Total visibility and control of tractors and other farm vehicles
“Farmtrack gives us total visibility and control of our tractors and other farm vehicles and in the process, we save thousands,” says Wicus Botha. Wicus is the manager of Lochaber, a 180 ha macadamia farm outside White River in Mpumalanga.
Farmtrack is a smart but simple GPS tracking device that is secured onto tractors and farm vehicles to track their movements. Lochaber equipped six tractors and one truck with the device in 2017.
- Produce stolen/lost during transport
- Missed rows
- Fertilizer wastage
- Determination of overtime for drivers
- Evaluation of driver behaviour prevents unplanned stops and possible loss of produce
- Monitoring the accuracy and efficiency of spraying
- Accurate and precise fertilizer application
- Monitoring the amount of time drivers spend in orchards
The truck is used to transport the harvested nuts from the farm to the processing factory. Farmtrack acts as additional security to prevent the truck driver from stopping along the way and unloading nuts. The units on the tractors are mainly used to monitor the accuracy of spraying,” Botha explains.
According to Botha, Farmtrack is a cost-effective tool to ensure that production processes and general farm practices are carried out correctly, which contributes to significant financial savings. Benefits gained from using Farmtrack include:
“Farmtrack indicates where rows in orchards were skipped during spraying and whether tractor drivers are sticking to the calibration speed. If a row is skipped, more money must be spent on pest control. Chemicals can also be ineffective if not used at the correct speed,” says Botha.
“We apply approximately 30 tons of fertilizer per year to our orchards at a cost of between R300,000 and R400,000. Farmtrack ensures that the fertilizer is applied accurately and precisely without any waste,” he adds.
Monitor driver behaviour
Farmtrack is used to monitor the speed and behaviour of drivers. “The data is used to reduce poor driving habits and reward drivers for good work.”
Without Farmtrack, it is not possible to determine the amount of time tractor drivers spend in orchards, especially when they need to be paid overtime. “Farmtrack allows us to determine and pay the correct number of overtime hours,” says Botha.
Record fuel and stationary time
He adds that Farmtrack checks diesel use and inventory. “Start and closing balances are captured as well as the amount that has been used. It also helps to restock on time and maintains a record of stationary time while a tractor is being serviced.”