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RFID Keeps Quarry Drivers Moving

U.K. minerals company Longcliffe Quarries is using a Command Alkon solution that includes an HID Global RFID reader at the gate to identify and authorize truck drivers as they enter, and send an alert to bucket operators.
By Claire Swedberg

Once loaded, the truck proceeds to the scale, which determines the vehicle's weight. The RFID tag is not required at this location, Roobottom notes, since the quarry already uses a license plate detection system to identify the vehicle being weighed.

To date, 24 tipper truck drivers have had RFID tags assigned to them—17 contractors and seven of Longcliffe's own drivers. In the future, more vehicles are expected to carry the tags, including pressurized tankers, some of which must be closely monitored to ensure that they are not loaded up with the wrong ingredient. For instance, some product is provided to customers that produce livestock feed, and any truck carrying that material cannot have previously stored a substance that might contaminate product that will be consumed by animals.

Mick Barkley, Longcliffe's sales director
The technology has provided two key benefits since its installation, says Mick Barkley, Longcliffe's sales director: improved safety and increased efficiency. Safety, he adds, was the primary goal.

"Drivers have to be extremely careful," Barkley says, when they leave a vehicle and could potentially find themselves in the path of a moving truck or heavy equipment. Because Longcliffe is using the RFID system, he adds, fewer people walk around the quarry site. The second benefit is greater efficiency. Anecdotally, Roobottom says, drivers seem to be moving through the gate faster, and bucket operators seem to be loading vehicles more efficiently. The drivers have indicated that they can complete their visit to the quarry faster than they did before the system was deployed, she says. Some have reported being able to complete an additional visit per day due to that added efficiency. For the quarry, Roobottom explains, that means potentially greater sales on a daily basis.

By the end of the year, Roobottom predicts, all of Longcliffe's own vehicles, and more of contractors' trucks, will have the tags for use during each load.

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