Today’s agribusiness operations are flourishing. Modern farms tend to be much larger than farms were even a decade ago. Larger farms mean an increase in the number of tractors and other equipment that is needed to keep agricultural businesses functioning efficiently. This creates a logistics challenge for farmers. In order to meet this challenge, connected fleet technology is evolving to improve coordination and management of agribusiness operations both large and small.
Here are 6 ways connected fleet technology is helping farmers who oversee a farming fleet streamline their operations.
- Optimization of assets
When farming equipment is in use, the manager needs to coordinate what’s happening in the field. The manager needs to know where each operator and equipment is located in order to coordinate and increase efficiency.
In addition to coordination benefits, real-time data makes it easy for operators to make adjustments while in the field. For example, if an operator realizes that the default planting speed of a tractor is too slow, the operator and farming manager would receive notifications. The manager could then contact the driver (or vice versa) to increase the rate of planting. These types of alerts are now available due to sensors that track everything from fuel levels, engine temperature, driver behavior and maintenance schedules. This type of monitoring and notification system helps ensure that the agribusiness is meeting its goals.
- Better data means better planning
Connected agribusiness fleets are able to provide fleet managers with historic data that is drastically improving strategic planning. Historic data can be used to optimize harvesting logistics and help predict maintenance needs on equipment. This allows the owner to better utilize slow periods during the farming cycle.
Data from connected fleet farming management systems are helping farmers make informed decisions about when and what type of vehicle replacements are needed. Data related to fuel use, efficiency and maintenance needs helps managers plan effectively for equipment purchases, which reduces down time when vehicles break down.
- Field monitoring improves harvest
Fleet managers are able to make better decisions with real-time monitoring of field activities, which in turn improves harvest yields. Connected fleet management technology now allows remote viewing of each tractor, enabling the fleet manager to compare efficiency and trouble shoot problems. The fleet manager can communicate quickly and easily with the operator, ensuring the entire fleet is operating at peak levels. These types of in-the-moment adjustments can have a dramatic effect on harvest outcomes.
- Proper recordkeeping
Proper documentation is required for hours-of-service compliance as well as employee hours worked and insurance purposes. Connected fleet technology makes record documentation automatic and accurate. For example, electronic logging for livestock hauling is now required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Whether for compliance purposes or for internal recording and decision making purposes, fleet management systems will streamline these important documentation activities.
- Coordination of equipment sharing programs
Today’s farms are growing and specialized equipment needed to operate can be costly. Many farms time-share expensive equipment and other moveable assets. Equipment sharing programs allow multiple farms to share valuable equipment. Connected fleet management systems make it easier to manage these types of equipment sharing programs. Clocking hours and billing is streamlined when connected technology is used.
- Geofencing for increased security
Vehicle theft and unauthorized vehicle use is always a risk when it comes to expensive mobile assets. High-value agribusinesses are a target for thieves. Connected fleet technology uses geofencing to alert the owner when a vehicle is moved from a pre-determined area, giving farmers the opportunity to leave equipment in remote locations, reducing the time it takes to move and engage the equipment. Geofencing means the owner can rest assured he will be notified if the vehicle is moved or tampered with.
If you own a farm or are a farming operation fleet manager, you know the logistical challenges large operations pose. With the right connected technology solution, you can easily track the performance of your fleet, know the location of each piece of machinery, plan for maintenance and make wise decisions when it comes to replacement.
Cline Wood is more than just an insurance agency. We tailor insurance and risk products and services that improve your bottom line. As a Cline Wood client, we care about your farming operation; you can depend on the knowledge and experience of Cline Wood to help analyze and solve your needs. To learn more about how Cline Wood can help your agribusiness, click here.
This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.agribusiness insurance, agribusiness news, agribusiness technology