Telematics systems use sensors, GPS and wireless communication to collect and transmit data about the performance and status of vehicles like trucks and other farm machinery. Farmers and ranchers can improve safety and production with telematics in several ways.
How telematics sensors give customers a ‘sixth sense’
Telematics contributes to safe machinery operation both on and off the road. Sensors can monitor machinery performance and provide real-time updates on different parts that can create costly and potentially dangerous safety issues. This includes brakes and transmissions. Fleet managers can then apply telematics data to proactive maintenance scheduling to prevent component failures that can cause accidents.
Many telematics systems alert operators or managers about potential problems — with both the machinery and its operators — before they become serious. Fleet managers and operators can then take quick action to prevent an accident caused by common components and operator behavior by monitoring:
- Engine speed
- Tire pressure
- Idle times
- Quick acceleration and braking
How GPS and environmental sensors add value to telematics
The GPS capability common in most telematics systems also improves the safety of machinery operation. Tracking truck or machine locations on a map that shows real-time road, environmental and ground conditions enables managers and operators to avoid potential hazards. This includes steep inclines or unstable ground that can cause an accident. An over-the-road truck driver, for example, can be directed to a different route if weather or road conditions raise the risk of an accident.
Other environmental sensors common in many telematics systems help operators make smart field operation decisions. Many systems monitor weather conditions like temperature, wind and relative humidity. Confirming conditions at a specific location with GPS can ensure a sprayer is in the right field and help the operator decide if they can go ahead with an application. This helps minimize the risk of chemical misapplication or off-target movement of fertilizer or herbicides.
Telematics and safety training
Telematics sensors help your customers stay on top of daily operator behaviors that can lead to safety issues. There’s also a long-term benefit to collecting operational data over time. Showing trends on the most common safety issues stemming from operator behavior can help build safety training programs.
If a customer’s fleet has a lot of safety issues around excessive speed, for example, they can build a training program focusing specifically on that hazard. This ultimately helps inform operators and, in some cases, change their workforce to ensure they are one of the safest fleets, on and off the road.