The agricultural sector is a major contributor to the world’s economy. It not only helps produce food and raw materials but also generates employment. This is why automation is an extra layer of safety that this industry requires to ensure proper and smooth functioning. The fleet management software can be a good addition to such fleets.
Not only does this system help agricultural businesses become efficient, but also cuts costs. But before we understand how this is done, it is important to properly understand the issues this industry faces. Let us find out in the next section.
Challenges faced by Agricultural Industry Fleets
So what do you think are the challenges fleets belonging to this industry face? It is safe to assume that the margin of error in this industry is very low. Why? Well when heavy duty vehicles are running on the same field as animals and cattle, safety becomes a top priority.
Issues that an agricultural fleet has to face during field operations are:
Lack of definitive Boundaries
Not all fields and farms are rectangular in shape. When you are trying to track the location of your vehicles and equipment, having the exact boundary of the field is a requirement.
If not so, then it is easier to either damage the crops grown in one portion of the land or stray off to some other farmer’s land. Both these scenarios can lead to losses for the business.
Safety from theft
Equipment theft is a very common issue that agricultural fleet businesses face. This means that even when inside the fleet premises, there is a chance that somebody might try to take the vehicle. The cost of vehicle or equipment replacement is very high and an unnecessary cost.
Having good solutions in place can help avoid such situations.
Safety of Cattle
As we mentioned above, equipment employed on the field co-exists with the cattle used for field operations. Fleet businesses have to take extra care that no vehicle jeopardises the safety of the animals. Manually setting a person on the field for supervision is not only wasteful but also adds to the cost of operations. Ultimately the business will have to pay extra for an employee.
The harvest often grown on fields does not have a very huge shelf-life. This is why the storage and transportation process delay can lead to damaged goods. Time inefficiency is inevitable with manual management. But with such a time sensitive industry, this inefficiency translates directly to monetary loss.
Vehicles running on the field do not have to be in motion at all times. With the loading and unloading of goods happening continuously, they have to stop several times. This means a higher scope of vehicle idling. Idling can not just lead to excess fuel consumption and vehicle depreciation. These added costs can heavily affect the fleet’s expenditure.
Solutions to Challenges with FMS
So how can investing in a fleet management system help you solve the challenges we mentioned above? Let’s see:
Reports and Records
All the solutions offered by the software provide fleet managers with data for analysis. It is very difficult to work on any shortcomings in operations without the study of pre-existing functioning. This is where reports come in for help. They make note of all the fleet’s aspects. All managers have to do is understand the pattern their fleet is showing and then work on improvements.
Fleet businesses can work on their driver’s behaviour and also fuel consumption with the use of this feature.
Service and Maintenance
Vehicles are ultimately what have to work on the fields for task execution. So how can that be done when vehicle health is ignored? The service and maintenance feature of the fleet management software allows managers to schedule check-ups for their vehicle’s preventive maintenance.
This feature allows fleets to cut down their cost on vehicle repairs and loss of productivity due to downtime.
The geofence feature allows managers to set virtual boundaries on a map. Every time a vehicle enters or exits this marked area, managers receive alerts. This feature can be useful for an agricultural business in many ways. Managers can mark their field as a geofence. Thus, every time their vehicle strays out of this boundary, they can instruct the driver to come back to the field.
These features are also useful to keep vehicles out of a certain area. Managers can mark the areas for cattle grazing as a geofence. This will keep the vehicles from harming any animal accidentally.
Drivers working in an agricultural field do not have access to their managers all the time. This is why it is a challenge for these fleet managers to relay any messages to the drivers. But the driver is connected to the fleet management system. So a notification of this software will certainly do the job well. The announcement feature does exactly that.
Any message that managers have to broadcast to the entire or a large part of the fleet can be put in as an announcement. It will be the first thing the driver encounters upon opening the system, thus working on the issue promptly.
This emergency button is used to inform the managers if there is a dangerous situation. The managers can thus investigate alerts further and send help on time. On an agricultural field, this button can be used to alert managers in case cattle have injuries or if a vehicle is damaged. It can also be related to any equipment not working properly.
In case of accidents, managers can send help to the drivers as quickly as possible.
Driver Behaviour Monitoring System
On the field where equipment, crops and cattle co-exist, it is important that drivers maintain a certain level of decorum during operations. Driver behaviour monitoring solutions ensure that drivers do not use any rash driving methods that might jeopardise the safety of the business.
In the End
Well we have understood the operations of the agricultural industry. Though tricky to manage these fleets, the fleet management system is a great help. Its solutions make it easier for managers to navigate their fleets, making their operations more transparenta too.
You might be wondering though, what fleet management software should I invest in? Do not worry, we have just the right one for you.
TrackoBit is the leading Gps Tracking software solution provider in the market that has just the right solutions for you to optimise your fleet business. But not all companies are the same and with this arise unique issues needing optimisation. This is why customisation makes it easier for businesses to choose what works for them best.