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Loadrite puts total cost of ownership in your hands 

 While savvy operators know that total cost of equipment ownership is more important than just the purchase price, what most don’t know is that they could actively reduce their total cost of ownership across earthmoving equipment and trucks by using Loadrite’s monitoring and alert features to set benchmarks and measure productivity.

Total cost of ownership includes everything from the original purchase price to the daily running and maintenance costs, depreciation, finance and even ‘hidden’ costs like insurance and employee wages. A machine that appears to be competitively priced may end up costing many thousands more than a higher priced machine because it may deliver lower productivity, increased fuel and maintenance costs and a lower resale value.

You can measure total cost of ownership based on the number of hours a machine works or based on actual productivity in terms of the amount of material moved. By basing total cost of ownership calculations on the amount of material moved, operators can get a clearer picture of the machine’s actual cost of ownership, since a machine that moves more material in less time is likely to generate more income as well as using less fuel per tonne of material moved and other consumables .
While it makes sense to choose a fuel efficient, highly productive machine, it is also possible for smart operators to proactively reduce the machine’s total cost of ownership via reducing the running costs  – regardless of the original cost of the machine, according to Loadrite Product Manager Elliot Chisholm.

There are a number of steps that can achieve this, such as improving efficiency to reduce fuel usage, optimising the loading process and improving the maintenance scheduling so that all machines and vehicles are up and running when you need them to be.

Measuring productivity

“The first step is to understand how productive your machines are, including how much fuel they use and how much material they move,” Elliot said. “The next step is using that information to make changes where necessary to improve efficiency and reduce costs.”

By tracking the amount of material moved per hour to measure productivity and set benchmarks, operators can see underperformance and make appropriate adjustments to ensure all equipment is working to its optimum efficiency. 
An on-board weighing system like those offered by Loadrite can be used to calculate the weight mass of material in an excavator’s or loader’s bucket, relay this material to the operator and record the weight mass for later use. 

“Being able to track the amount of material moved per hour can then be used internally as part of an overall business analysis to measure productivity and set benchmarks,” Elliot said.
“Once you know your benchmark productivity rates, it’s also easy to identify equipment that is underperforming, which sets off a trigger for an investigation into the underlying causes. These causes can vary widely, from operator error to equipment failure.”

Once productivity benchmarks are set, fleet managers can customise the Loadrite system to capture a wide range of other data from such as cycle times, to fuel consumption  which can then be used to identify process bottlenecks and inefficiencies. By resolving these issues, managers can improve productivity and reduce operating costs. overlaid to calculate the total cost of ownership.  

Reducing costs

By tracking and monitoring various productivity indicators fuel use, operators  managers can see variations and make changes that will result in a more efficient use of resources. 

“Being able to track and monitor fuel use, for example, is a major consideration in assessing the cost of ownership, particularly given the high price of fuel. By understanding the amount of fuel used to move each tonne of material, you can see how productive each machine is and possibly find ways to reduce fuel usage. While more and more machines are being designed with fuel minimization in mind, you still need a system in place to see what’s happing on the ground,” Elliot said.

The Loadrite system can report how much fuel the earthmoving machines are using and it can also report how much fuel is being used by the trucks being used to haul material away.  It does this by also measuring the cycle times between each loading event, which can show how efficiently the material is being moved. Shorter cycle times generally point to a more efficient and therefore more profitable operation.” and dumping and measuring the amount of fuel used, then combining the two measurements to see how much time and fuel is used for each cycle .

“Using the Loadrite system, one of our customers in the United States was able to identify an unusual variation in fuel consumption  between three haul trucks hauling material in a quarry. Over the course of a week, even a small increase in cycle time can increase the cost per tonne of production fuel use can eat into overall profitability,” Elliot said.

“The fleet manager investigated a number of factors from engine performance to tyre inflation before discovering that one of the operators was travelling at a slightly slower speed due to a sore back, which increased fuel use. By purchasing a new top of the line seat, the operator was more comfortable, his travel speed increased, and fuel efficiency improved. If it wasn’t for the Loadrite system, this small variation would not have been picked up in the first place.”

The system goes further than simply identifying differences in fuel usage – it actively helps reduce fuel use. By using an accurate on-board weighing system, operators can ensure trucks are filled correctly the first time, with no productivity lost due to underfilling under-loading, overloading or overfilling.

“By loading trucks correctly from the outset, unnecessary internal truck movement is reduced as there’s no need to turn around for either a refill or a removal of material once the trucks get to the weighbridge,” Elliot said.

Setting maintenance parameters

Being able to measure the time between replacing consumable parts, operators can establish the most efficient and convenient maintenance and replacement schedule. This can be done by measuring the amount of work done in terms of material moved, rather than simply by working hours. 

“The system can record the time how much material has been moved since the last time the bucket edge was replaced between bucket edge replacements for example. This data would allow different brands to be benchmarked on how long they last may also reveal that one particular brand consistently out performs another, thereby making this a more cost-effective choice when it comes to ongoing maintenance, another critical factor in calculating the total cost of ownership,” Elliot said.
“Tyre damage on trucks can also be reduced. Providing accurate and consistent weight measurement from the outset allows operators to set the correct target weight for the loader bucket to accurately load the truck. Because the truck’s tyres are inflated correctly to carry a certain weight, they can be damaged when carrying too much weight. So once the loader is set for optimal efficiency, you reduce the potential for tyre damage due to overloadingcan potentially prolong the life of the tyres.”  
Elliot said that Loadrite’s onboard weighing system can be configured to provide the data needed for any operation. 
is built for versatility and uses Friction and Ambient Compensation Technology software to calculate accurate weights regardless of the time of day, machine type, operator or temperature. 
“Our expert distributors work with project managers to identify the configuration that will give them the information they need. We work with fleet managers individually to ensure the system meets the needs of their business. Our aim is to ensure the data collected provides real value to increase productivity and profitability over the lifecycle of the machine.”