Fleet Management – does it have a place in Underground Mining?

“Based on the simple fact that the ‘day to day’ operations of surface mining and underground mining are markedly different, users must be cautious in assuming that ‘Apps’ designed for surface fleet management will yield the same benefits underground as they do ‘up-top’”



Whether surface ‘Fleet Management’ applications actually have any business in underground mining continues to be a contentious debate in our community. Surface ‘fleet management systems’ (FMS) have been in operation for over two decades and, let’s face it, their introduction revolutionised the way in which surface miners utilised equipment and optimised their operations.

Building on this, and considering the extent of which surface mining has evolved since the advent of FMS, it’s not unreasonable to ask why we don’t see FMS delivering the same productivity gains in underground mining as they do on the surface.

The simple, and undoubtedly painful truth – especially to UG miners who have attempted to rollout a FMS already – is two-fold.

  • Surface FMS rely heavily on the dual ability to accurately track the ‘moving parts’ as well as reliably send and receive data to them. This is absolutely commonplace above ground, painfully rare UG
  • FMS is relatively ‘simple’; few moving parts, fewer interdependencies. Task Management Systems (TMS) is a better descriptor of what actually takes place underground

Equally, if you had FMS enabling technology UG and still delivered an FMS it would likely fail. And, conversely, if you had a TMS and none of the required tracking and enabling technology underpinning it, you would likely also fail and your production system would simply become a system of record

We are interested on what you think, why don’t you tell us? We know what we think and we know what our fast growing client base is telling us they think.

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