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Innovation and Technology

Innovation and Technology

Not Running on Empty: Tracking Haul Truck Fuel Levels in Real Time

Not Running on Empty: Tracking Haul Truck Fuel Levels in Real Time

To keep our haul trucks running day and night, Fuel and Lube Operators are sent out across our mines to refuel them. But with the size and scale of our mines, it’s not an easy task.

“Fuel and Lube Operators were having issues refueling trucks, so I went for ride-alongs to learn more,” said Cody Wakeford, Specialist, Operating Excellence at Elkview Operations. “Sometimes the haul truck they went to service was already fueled. Sometimes the operator wasn’t able to find the right haul truck. And sometimes the truck in question was down for maintenance.”

Cody and the Fuel and Lube Operators identified the key challenge: tracking the fuel level on the haul truck, location of the haul trucks and whether or not the truck is down for maintenance.  

Thanks to an existing mobile equipment monitoring program in place at Elkview, fuel gauge sensors were already installed on each truck. Now it was about accessing that data, tracking truck location and finding a way to easily communicate that information.

In mid-2017, they partnered with Teck’s digital systems team to develop a live dashboard that displays fuel levels in each truck, shovel and dump where the truck is assigned and maintenance status.

The dashboards are displayed on laptops mounted in each Fuel and Lube Operators truck and in the dispatch office thanks to a robust wi-fi network on site. When fuel levels in a haul truck are low, the operator knows exactly where the equipment is and how much fuel to pump in.

“Since we implemented the new dashboard powered by truck sensors that were already in place, Elkview is on pace to save nearly $3 million per year in productivity costs,” said Cody.

We’re putting ideas like the real time fuel dashboard at Elkview to work across our operations. Learn more about our approach to innovation and technology.

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First Published on November 07, 2018

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Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with business units focused on copper, zinc, steelmaking coal and energy.