Capital Equipment News

KOMTRAX, Komatsu’s advanced remote equipment and machine monitoring system, has become an indispensable tool for the management of an extensive fleet of capital equipment operated by Old Lady & Son Plant Hire (OL&S). 

The KwaZulu-Natal-based company leases equipment primarily to the construction industry and recently extended its footprint into mining and quarrying. KOMTRAX gives operations managers and hire operators greater control over their operations by providing easy access to the information they need to manage their fleets every day.

Komtrax Jacques Dave and Ravi1

From left: Jacques van der Sandt, senior operations manager, Komatsu SA Pinetown branch; Dave Haines, owner of Old Lady & Son Plant Hire; and Ravi Naidoo, sales rep, Komatsu SA Pinetown branch.

“Wireless, secure and user-friendly, the web-based application places a wealth of information at the user’s fingertips so that they can enhance utilisation, minimise downtime and reduce operating costs,” says Komatsu Manager: Sales and Marketing, Toshi Ohtsuka. 

Areas in which KOMTRAX delivers user support are wide-ranging and include parameters like equipment hours, average hourly fuel consumption, idling times, water temperature and fuel levels. Machine conditioning is essential, and the system provides users with regular updates on routine maintenance needs.

OL&S Plant Hire owner Dave Haines makes extensive use of KOMTRAX, to the point where it is now an integral part of the operation. “As our business is equipment rental, we are concerned with hours; the billable hours we charge our customers for the use of our machines. Maintenance is a non-negotiable issue and we strictly observe the minor and major service procedures notified by KOMTRAX. A short-term cost-saving gained by skimping on an oil change is nothing compared with the financial consequences of an expensive machine standing idle,” he says.

In terms of operational costs, diesel consumption is by far his customers’ biggest consideration. “They may have two identical excavators both working a nine-hour shift, but the operating costs can vary enormously. The first may be used for pipe laying and burn diesel at a rate of 13,4 l/hour. The second may be used for bulk earthworks and continually load trucks, which would likely consume fuel at a rate of 17,5 l/hour. The difference of 4,1 l/hour over a month of operations would equate to more than R10 000, which the customer must account for when costing operations,” says Haines.

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