This post will tell in detail about what GPS monitoring is and what kind of methods are used.
GPS monitoring is a system used to track moving objects. It is based on satellite navigation, cellular technology, specialized equipment and digital mapping.
This kind of system enables tracking of the following parameters:
০ locations and movement routes of all vehicles;
০ fuel consumption during movement, or stops, during work in the field, consumption per hectare of treated areas, etc.;
০ field entry and exit time, total field working time and downtime;
০ area of plots treated.
Additionally, the system allows:
০ field mapping or cartographic data import;
০ keeping a record of field processing, crop alternations;
০ automatic identification of mounted equipment and determination of the performed work type;
০ automatic driver identification for time tracking;
০ preliminary work price estimation;
০ planned versus performed field work comparison.
How it works
On-board transport monitoring devices are installed on a vehicle. These devices use GPS signal to determine vehicle location and speed, read data from various sensors and transmit these data to the control center using GPRS mobile communication.
Fuel consumption tracking
০ fuel level in the tank – fuel level sensor is mounted in the tank
০ fuel consumption – a sensor is mounted to the fuel line
০ fuel level and fuel consumption (from CAN bus) – connection to the on-board computer is made
Each of these methods has drawbacks as well as advantages. Factors like vehicle type and working conditions need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right option.
The system includes driver identification, which allows to tell between drivers on a specific vehicle. Identification helps to automatically determine the volume of agricultural work performed by a specific person.
This information may be used during preliminary accounting, better management decisions during incidents, e.g. fuel theft.
Mounted equipment identification
Enables to determine the type of equipment used, time and location where it is mounted. This information is used to identify the specific work performed, area of plots treated, and work speed.
Teletrack-AGRO is one example, it is an agricultural transport control system that can be integrated with 1C and other accounting programs.
From international experience we know that implementation of monitoring in agriculture increases efficiency drastically.
According to various evaluations fuel and oil consumption drop by 20-30% when the tractor park is equipped with satellite monitoring.
Here is why it happens:
❶ Fuel consumption is decreased
০ fuel theft drops – any sudden decrease in the amount of fuel is monitored by a manager.
০ total mileage and work hours are calculated precisely
০ vehicles with fuel system malfunctions are found – consumption anomalies are found easily on the charts.
❷ Vehicles are not used for other purposes
All the movement and speed of vehicles, parking time and place are displayed on the computer. It is not possible to use the vehicles other than for their intended purpose.
This is the guarantee that the tractor is not working ‘accidentally’ on someone else’s field, or delivery lorries go by an unauthorized route.
❸ The likelihood of product theft is reduced
Tracking vehicles’ movements reduces any theft likelihood. But additionally the discharge auger can be tracked, to see if the company delivery vehicle was in a nearby location from a tractor at the time of the discharge.
❹ Staff and vehicle park management made easy
The introduction of satellite navigation makes it much easier to manage and track company vehicles. Having a notebook or another gadget connected to the Internet lets to track all the movements of the equipment. You can make prompt decisions based on real-time data transmitted from on-board navigation controllers. And your employees realizing this kind of control consciously or unconsciously become more disciplined and responsible.
GPS monitoring perspectives in agriculture
Today there are a number of international as well as national companies that providing GPS-monitoring in agribusiness. When examining their brochures and promotional offers, we can see that all of them emphasize the efficiency of the tractor fleet and corresponding personnel. At the same time, the use of these technologies can evolve in the direction of scientific research in plot area management – namely in precision agriculture, which is becoming more popular in our country. Also monitoring systems create a so-called “field history” that can be the basis for field certification.
GPS-monitoring and precision agriculture together will help advance many scientific developments in the field of land use optimization, implementing the efficient use of seed material, better management of wetlands as well as plots with insufficient moisture.