When you have a fleet of trucks and stationary fuel tanks spread across different sites and some in quite isolated spots, it is difficult to keep track of fuel levels and who is accessing the fuel.
McGregor Diesel, a repair and maintenance business in Goondiwindi in southwest Queensland has come up with a clever fuel management system that could be just the ticket.
Co-owner and Business Manager, Mandy McGregor explains.
How did you begin?
We are highly skilled diesel fitters specialising in fixing and maintaining all kinds of earth-moving equipment and agricultural machinery. Shane (McGregor) and I began the business with a ute and 50 years’ combined experience in 2008.
We have built a great customer base, and eight years ago we realised they needed help monitoring fuel consumption as this can affect their bottom line.
What did you set out to do?
Our customers do not want to spend more on fuel than they need to. They also want to know exactly where their trucks and tanks are located at any point in time, and how much fuel is in the tanks without driving many kilometres to check their assets.
We decided to develop a way to monitor fuel consumption remotely, even in isolated spots.
Telematics, which uses wireless communication to transmit data over great distances to a central data hub, seemed to provide the best solution.
What has the company developed?
We have developed the McGregor Diesel Telematics (MDT) system. Our technology provides a very cost-effective way to monitor every single truck and storage tank in a fleet, and lock out unauthorised access to fuel through special valves fabricated into the pipework.
The MDT system uses fleet ID tags, GPS and a network of sensors to collect real-time information that verifies the operator and equipment, even in remote spots where there is no electricity or limited phone service.
We can detect anomalies quickly and through location tracking, hone in on the truck or bulk fuel tank that needs attention.
For our customers, we are improving the management of bulk fuel tanks, reducing the inconvenience of downtime in peak periods like harvest, and helping the bottom line.
We have worked on this innovation for four years, collaborating with Teletrac Navman Integration specialists and multiple suppliers to build and test the MDT system and make it mobile friendly.
What is next for your business?
We have 12 MDT systems across rural Queensland and are ready to enter the market for the first time. We are looking to step up production and install our technology on more sites.
How has Advance Queensland funding helped?
The Ignite Ideas grant is very timely. We plan to use the grant to cut our production time and evolve the MDT system.
It will allow us to look beyond Queensland for customers and to grow from eight to 12 staff.