“Our solution provides farmers with the peace of mind that their machinery is in excellent working order, and that it is being monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” – Ponce CEO José Robetto.
To help farmers ease the problems of irrigation issues, Ponce developed a monitoring system that saves money, time and effort, while preserving water. Powered by ORBCOMM’s IsatData Pro Satellite Network, connected to the OGi modem, the system allows real-time monitoring of irrigation equipment, helping to monitor and reduce the environmental impact of farming, while reducing costs. Download the Case Study now to read more.
Ponce is an Argentinian IoT company specializing in agricultural efficiency. It helps farmers throughout Latin America to reduce costs, time, effort and preserve water through its irrigation solutions. The solution combines early detection of machine failure with accurate crop irrigation data. Working with some of the leading agricultural growers in Latin America, including La Guía, it has developed – with the help of ORBCOMM satellite technology – a sophisticated solution for farmers to mitigate against the environmental impact of farming.
For years, many of the world’s farmers have relied on labor-intensive failure detection of their equipment; sending someone out to inspect equipment. Often this equipment is in very remote areas, requiring long or numerous trips. Farmers could make several trips a day to check on equipment. With Ponce’s system, farmers can now be notified of equipment failures as they occur, rather than discovering them during inspections, sometimes several hours too late.
Devices Delivering Data
The system’s devices on irrigation equipment allow for real-time alerts to farmers. Monitoring water pressure, machine pressure and other parameters, the data is passed to the OGi modem, which connects via satellite to Ponce’s data cloud. The solution allows for rapid data transmission in very remote areas, including if an abnormality occurs.
Cost Savings as Standard
Farmers in this case study reported substantial savings in production costs as a result of working with the Ponce solution. With longer equipment uptime, lower operational costs and better crop management, farmers are reaping the broad benefits of the Ponce solution and ORBCOMM’s technology.
Today, Ponce is helping farmers all over Latin America to reduce wastewater but also to make further valuable savings in other areas; fewer field inspection trips, lower energy consumption and reduced operating costs.
The FMCSA is introducing a change to HOS regulations to give drivers greater flexibility without impacting safety. The rule changes impact: the 30-minute break rule, split-sleeper berth provision, adverse driving condition exception, short-haul exception and comes into effect on September 29, 2020. The rule change comes after the agency reviewed the results of more than 8,000 public comments from industry stakeholders. “The reforms will improve safety on America’s roadways and strengthen the nation’s motor carrier industry,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen.
What change will we see in the
30-Minute Break Requirement and how will it impact drivers and fleets?
There are a couple of changes coming into effect at
midnight on September 28th. The 30-minute break rule has more
options now. It can be taken with any status but driving.
The eight-hour timer is going to shift. It changes from starting
when the driver comes on-duty for the day after a reset to starting the first
time a driver starts driving for the day. The driver will be able to go
on-duty, work in the yard, do training or admin work, but the clock that
dictates the break, will not start until the wheels start turning for the day.
The first time the driver goes into drive, the timer starts and within eight
hours they will have to take their break.
There will also be some extra flexibility in the duty
status that can be used during the break time. Previously, for a break, a
driver had to use off-duty status. This change to the 30-minute break rule
gives drivers more flexibility for their non-driving work. Now, for instance,
if drivers are waiting at a location to pick up, the rule change will allow an
on-duty not driving status to count towards a break.
What change will we see in the
Adverse Driving Condition Rule and how will it impact drivers and fleets?
change in the adverse driving condition rule gives drivers a lot more
flexibility. The regulation will now give a full two hours of driving time
regardless if they are at the end of the driving window or not. Previously, if
a driver was up against their 14-hour driving window limit, they could only go
as far as that 14-hour window would allow. With the new changes, it gives a
full two hours, regardless of how much time is left on the 14-hour daily limit,
as long as they qualify under adverse driving conditions rules.
The rule change normalizes the hours. The driver gets the
two hours they might need. If they find themselves facing a qualified adverse
driving situation, they can drive two hours to get to a safe haven, the yard,
or wherever necessary under the circumstances. It will simplify management;
it’ll simplify things for the driver.
What about the short-haul exception?
Drivers will have a bit more leeway with this rule update
and better management of their hours. Essentially, two things are changing.
Before, there was a 100-mile radius around the terminal. The driver stays
within the hundred miles; no need to worry about Record of Duty Status (RODS).
Now the FMCSA is expanding that out to 150 air miles. Each driver will get an
extra 50 miles before they must maintain RODS.
The rule also provides for two extra hours of driving time. The previous rule stated that the truck had to return to the home terminal within 12 hours, now it’s extended to 14 hours.
How about the sleeper berth
if the driver split the sleeper berth, it was two segments of at least eight
and two hours to get a ten-hour break. They got the first segment of either eight
or two, that pauses the 14-hour clock. The second segment, once complete, would
give the driver their 10-hour break but the new 14-hour driving window would
start at the end of the first segment.
Under the new regulation, the FMCSA has simplified it. They said we are not going to say one segment is going to count, while the other does not. From September 29, when the driver uses the sleeper berth and splits it, it will be between two periods; allowing a choice, for example, a split of eight and two hours, or seven and three hours, to make a total of 10 hours. Under the new regulation, the entire sleeper berth time will pause the clock. The 14-hour driving window restarts after the first break (as long as they get the full 10 hours) but now the driving clock pauses for both breaks. It’s easier to manage and the driver and carrier get a few hours back.
Are there any steps that fleets can
take to make this easier on drivers?
certainly is an educational aspect of it, especially for the short-haul, 30-min
break and sleeper berth rules, to make drivers aware of the new updates. Let’s
take the sleeper berth example. The drivers must understand the new limits and
how it will impact them. They will be used to having that second period of two
hours and the clock not stopping. It’s to their benefit, but there’s also a
need to educate drivers that it’s coming so they can be prepared on the 29th.
adverse driving conditions, companies will need to evaluate their procedures
and decide how they want to activate it. The implementation is based on their
method of operation. We are working with all our fleet customers on this now,
in the lead-up to this change.
ORBCOMM ready for this update?
already been in development on this for some time. ORBCOMM is prepped and ready
for the rollout of the new HOS rules. We will have all the changes in place, including the
adverse driving conditions, which is a new option that we are introducing since
the switch to ELD. The updates will happen automatically, apart from the
adverse driving rule. For this, there will be an option within the system to
configure adverse driving conditions if they so choose.
It will all be available at midnight on September 28. Anyone operating will pick up the change and move forward from the 29. We are working with our account management and sales team along with our customers to enable that, as per their policies and procedures.
Do you think there’ll be any further
changes to the rules/regulations like this in the future?
I don’t think there’ll be any major changes like this for a while. This will need time to settle. If there is any further rule change down the line, ORBCOMM is fully committed. We are a committed ELD supplier and we’re already working on Canadian ELD. We’re here for the long haul.
The FCMA’s final rule includes
the four key revisions to the existing HOS rules. These are:
The sleeper berth provision allows drivers to split their 10-hour off-duty period in different ways (e.g., 7/3, 8/2, 7.5/2.5), provided one off-duty period (whether in or out of the sleeper berth) is at least 2 hours long, and the other involves at least 7 consecutive hours spent in the sleeper berth. The periods must add up to 10 hours, and when used together, neither time period counts against the maximum 14-hour driving window.
The 30-minute break requirement can now be satisfied by an on-duty, not driving break (in addition to an off-duty break). The requirement for property-carrying drivers is applicable in situations where a driver has driven for a period of eight hours without at least a 30-minute interruption. A modification to the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split the required 10 hours of duty into two periods. This can be an 8/2 split or a 7/3 split. Neither period will count against a driver’s 14-hour driving window.
The adverse driving conditions exception is extending the duty day by two hours when adverse driving conditions are encountered. This is in addition to the extra two hours of driving time already allowed.
This change applies for both property (14-hour driving window) and passenger (15-hour on-duty limit) motor carriers. The short-haul exception maximum allowable workday is changing from 12 to 14 hours, and the distance the driver may operate is extending from a 100 air-mile radius to a 150 air-mile radius.
We are proud to be a part of the recently announced partnership with AAC Clyde Space AB and SAAB AB that is ushering in a new era in maritime communications through the development of the next generation of a space-based very high frequency (VHF) Data Exchange System (VDES). As the maritime industry embraces digitalization, we expect a greater emphasis on secure data exchange and ship to shore communication—and we look forward to facilitating this shift in operations through our technology in conjunction with our partners.
long-term providers of automatic identification system (AIS) solutions and a
touchpoint for space-based maritime data, we at ORBCOMM relish the opportunity
to demonstrate the benefits that the significantly increased bandwidth that
VDES will offer not just our maritime customers but the supply chain as a
With up to 32 times more bandwidth than currently offered by AIS and two-way communication, the ground-breaking new system is the next natural step for satellite technology and will allow users to completely rethink the way they manage their fleets. VDES bridges the gap between ship and shore in a way that the industry has been crying out for.
An Open Playing Field for Maritime Innovation
One of the changes we are most excited about is how innovators now have an open playing field to craft interesting technical solutions specifically for the maritime world without having to scale back their imaginations to match the limited accessibility. The sky is literally the limit once these new satellites come into play and we are keen to work with newcomers and support existing companies with bringing their visions to life so that they can propel this industry forward.
We have already seen how our AIS data is used not just for real-time vessel and asset tracking, but also as a baseline from which interesting insights can be drawn about the global fleet. A good example is a recent article by maritime expert and Navigate PR director Bill Lines, who used our partner Marine Traffic’s data in conjunction with information from the Baltic Exchange to create a snapshot of tanker operating expenses.
Facilitated by Berkeley Innovation X-labs, the expert panel will answer questions on where transportation and trucking are going, how the industry is innovating, how it should innovate and how the role of the supply chain is evolving during these uncertain, pandemic times.
The webinar will take place on Thursday, September 3, 2020, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (Pacific Time.) It’s a must-attend event for supply chain, transportation, logistics and trucking industry professionals.
ORBCOMM’s Ashish Chona, SVP, IoT Transportation Intelligence, will join the panel at Berkeley Innovation Sutardja Centre for Entrepreneurship & Technology, along with representatives from Gartner, Project 44, PINC and UC Berkeley. They will be taking a deep dive into what lies ahead for one of the biggest industries in the country. The logistics industry in the U.S. is worth close to two trillion dollars, while trucking moves 71% of all freight and delivers nearly 6% of full-time jobs.
When it comes to making a substantial improvement in the safety and operational performance of drivers, real-time feedback makes all the difference. Unfortunately, many in-cab telematics solutions throw this term around quite loosely. When an at-risk driving event occurs, these solutions might register the event as it happens, but there’s often a delay between the incident and when the driver is notified, sometimes lasting several minutes. In this time gap, a driver may not recall the incident, particularly if the at-risk maneuver was subtle, such as lane drifting or speeding. This decreases the likelihood of the driver acknowledging the poor behavior and making the appropriate behavioral change. If drivers are to improve upon their errors, they need to be made aware of them as they occur.
The way real-time notifications are delivered
makes a drastic difference in how successful they are. Beeping alarms are
common in the industry, but they don’t indicate the specific infraction. Real-time
in-cab voice coaching is far better, as it notifies the driver of the at-risk
behavior they’re committing. Being told exactly what you need to improve at the
moment you are undeniably performing an at-risk maneuver is the surest way to increase
driver awareness and encourage safety behind the wheel. We’ve measured an
average of 75% improvement in at-risk driving within the first two months of
activation based on ten years of customer data.
The primary benefit of real-time voice
feedback is the level of safety assurance it provides, both for drivers and
those around them. Pairing the immediacy of real-time notifications with the
clarity of voice feedback influences a driver’s ability to appropriately react when
they commit at-risk maneuvers, potentially avoiding crashes that can harm people,
damage property and negatively affect business reputation.
Tipping the Scale
Poor driver performance is often attributed to
competency problems, but most drivers commit at-risk behavior, so it’s unlikely
to be strictly related to driving ability. In my experience, a major influencer
of at-risk behavior is operational pressure, such as being short on time. A
driver’s work environment can greatly affect their decision-making behind the
wheel, encouraging them to choose expediency over safety. Having an in-cab
device that provides voice feedback the moment this decision is being made can tip
the scale and lead them in the right direction.
Using the Data
An effective fleet safety solution shouldn’t be
judged only on the immediacy of driver feedback, but also how the information
is used by fleet operators, and how fast. The quicker input is turned into
actionable data, the quicker change can occur. With an advanced, comprehensive platform,
fleet managers can learn about driving incidents as they occur, identify trends
in their organizations and execute corrective measures accordingly. Supervisors
can identify areas of improvement for further coaching that will help improve
their fleet’s safety.With a
real-time voice feedback solution, drivers are respectfully held accountable
for their actions.
ORBCOMM’s fleet safety solution puts drivers at the forefront. It detects unsafe driver behavior and uses real-time voice mentoring to encourage safer driving, help prevent crashes and avoid costly legal consequences. Using the best-in-class technology, our hardware, platform and supporting services are easy to implement, easy to manage, and deliver immediate positive results for fleets of all sizes. With dangerous maneuver detection, clear real-time feedback, and accurate data collection and retention, fleets can create a healthy environment of consistent driver feedback that promotes change and further enhances efficiency.
The Permian-basin based company works with ORBCOMM telematics, using voice coaching, HOS data and telematics to improve fleet safety, ensure compliance and reduce operational costs. Download the full case study to find out more.
Sand Revolution’s 300 tractors operate within the rugged conditions of the Permian Basin delivering sand trucks, silos and conveyor belts. They work with some of the largest fracking service companies, oil and gas operators, and proppant distributors in North America.
In 2017, the company found its previous telematics solution to be lacking, and the team was struggling to manage compliance as its drivers didn’t have the know-how to consistently manage their logs. Even more troubling were the safety risks. The rate of weekly accidents wasn’t decreasing, because drivers weren’t being informed of dangerous behavior. In the search for a new telematics system, the company saw a huge value in the robust telematics and driver coaching that the ORBCOMM system offers.
For Sand Revolution, the voice coaching built into ORBCOMM’s solution is invaluable. Drivers receive instant feedback in the event of a dangerous driving event, such as harsh braking, sharp turns or speeding. It helps to identify and correct poor driving habits instantly. This has made a huge difference to Sand Revolution’s fleet safety record. “We are not 100% crash-free just yet, but the device providing feedback to drivers, such as the speed-by-street mentoring, is helping reduce their speed, allowing them more time to read the road and react appropriately,” said David Woods.
As well as working to encourage safe driver behavior, the fleet stays in check for compliance with the FMCSA’s HOS rules thanks to ORBCOMM’s ELD. The in-cab devices maintain accurate records and let the drivers know when to expect their next break, the end-of-shift and any other information they need to complete their day’s work.
Next-level Data Reporting
Another positive result for the company is the insight available through reports generated by the platform. With the ORBCOMM system, vehicle data is pulled into customizable reports that can be shared with drivers. This illustrates where and when a hazardous driving event happened and who was involved, leading to further training. By focusing on the reports, the Sand Revolution team is able to uncover inefficient areas that they can improve on. “Our focus at this time is looking at the data on a daily basis and turning that information into action to help and support the continuous improvement of our operations,” says Woods.
Praise for the Team
Working with the ORBCOMM team was a differentiator for Sand Revolution. The team remained onsite throughout the implementation process and continues to provide hands-on assistance. Woods says this level of support has been a big help: “with a single call I can access the right people, from account management to sales support. I love that I don’t have to make several calls to address issues.”
Today, Sand Revolution is comfortable in the knowledge that it is compliant, it is improving its safety record and is continuing to increase operational efficiencies, thanks to ORBCOMM.
“Satellite signals from ORBCOMM terminals were responsible for remote coverage of these important areas, ensuring high availability of the communication channel”. André Balestreri – Electrical Engineer – CERFOX
On June 30th, 2020 a powerful cyclone occurred in the southern states of Brazil. Now considered the biggest wind disaster in the country’s recent history, the extreme weather – with winds of up to 70 kph – caused significant damage including blowing roofs off houses. CERFOX, a Brazilian Energy Company, tells us how ORBCOMM-enabled smart technology was vital in ensuring continuous energy provision, in remote areas during the extreme weather event.
The electrical grid essentially collapsed, and some areas went for hours and in some areas, days without power. CERFOX was able to rely on ORBCOMM’s continuous satellite connectivity to ensure remote communications were still available. Throughout the storm, ORBCOMM’s satellite terminals continued to operate, providing remote coverage in areas that were crucial in identifying failures in the electrical grid and getting things back up and running. At times, “during the outage, one-third of consumers were without coverage.” CERFOX, using ORBCOMM’s network was able to retain connectivity, “At CERFOX satellite signals from ORBCOMM terminals were responsible for remote coverage of these important areas, ensuring high availability of the communication channel,” said Balestreri.
Real-time Critical Infrastructure Monitoring
ORBCOMM’s solutions are deployed to remotely monitor and control reclosers (a kind of circuit breaker equipped with a mechanism that can automatically close/open it in the event of a fault) and protective equipment in smart grid applications, as voltage regulators and capacitor banks.
In connecting reclosers, events and alarms messages can be sent by unsolicited reporting by exception, including analog and digital variables states representing recloser information in the field. The values are filtered, and relevant data is transmitted, requiring minimal network usage. They are especially useful in areas where cellular coverage is limited or non-existent, like in the areas impacted by the cyclone.
Balestreri says the continued coverage from ORBCOMM’s technology helped to ensure the consistent supply in what turned out to be very challenging conditions. “The damages we had were pole breaks, conductor ruptures and trees falling on the electricity distribution network. The equipment automation system and the satellite signal availability, strategically installed in points with no signal availability and points with a large concentration of consumers, where we cannot run the risk of running out of signals, helped us a lot in the quick identification of the lack of electricity, and the restoration and maneuver of the electrical network. We had no instability in the recloser system, covered by the ORBCOMM satellite technology,” he said.
ORBCOMM solutions can remotely control and monitor equipment around the clock, making it possible for electricity distribution companies to control operations, with satellite as a primary or backup communications system. In the case of an issue, our systems alert the control center. The solution supports two-way communications, so users can remotely trip or close a recloser, and ping the device to get information like such as voltage, power factor, current and more.
Find out how utility companies use ORBCOMM’s Smart Grid solutions to affordable and reliably extend their communication network. We help our customers to improve electricity distribution and prevent outages, particularly in remote areas. Download our white paper now to find out how satellite technology helps utility companies gain full visibility of smart grid infrastructure.
Every transportation business in the US and Canada has faced its challenges during the COVID-19 crisis. As fleets attempted to maintain a revenue stream, they were forced to amend employment procedures to combat virus transmission, change lane and trip policies and adjust to lower load availability and falling market rates. Yet throughout, transportation organizations and their drivers have played a critical role during the crisis in keeping food, pharma and other supplies moving, even as most other areas of business ground to a halt.
One of the more noticeable outcomes has been that fleets that turned to smarter technology during the pandemic have been quicker to bounce back. We hosted a panel of transportation experts in our recent webinar to find out how smart technology became a vital tool during these testing times and how it has been helping fleets to adjust to the new normal while remaining viable and profitable.
Here are some of the findings we learnt from our expert panel about how fleets can emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Technology to Stay in Touch
Technology is key at a time when we need to be more communicative than ever, without being able to meet and see anyone else. Through technology, fleets can reduce the points of physical contact between people, continue to ensure trucks are where they should be, monitor truck usage for proactive maintenance and keep communication lines open. Kenny Blankenship of Skyline Transportation said that for his fleet, although they had to shut the door to the drivers’ lounge, technology helped drivers to keep in touch and not feel isolated. Randal Sanchez, Solutions Architect with McLeod Software said that in utilizing existing technology, they were able to quickly pivot to online training instead of on-site.
Grydd.com, a digital provider of end-to-end supply chain visibility tools for shippers and freight forwarders, is making its cloud-based shipment booking and tracking technology available for free during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Drawing on data from multiple global sources including ORBCOMM’s maritime AIS vessel location technology, INTTRA’s Ocean Trade Platform and global aviation tracking tools, and powered by Microsoft, Grydd’s software as a service (SaaS) solution helps cargo owners manage their end-to-end supply chain operations in real time across land, sea and air.
The platform brings together shipment quoting, tracking, inventory management, collaboration, predictive analytics and business intelligence to give shippers and freight forwarders a digital bird’s eye view, control tower and dashboards to help them manage shipments across modes and nodes.
“It’s no secret that better visibility into cargo movement from origin to delivery has been top of mind for shippers and forwarders for a long time,” says Grydd founder Daniel Acosta. “Basic questions like where’s my cargo, how is it doing, when will it arrive and—crucially—do I need to make plans now because something has not gone as scheduled?—have proved remarkably difficult to answer in a fragmented data landscape. The challenges have only mounted as cross-border supply chains have become longer and more complex.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to growing calls from all quarters for accelerated adoption of digital collaboration tools and data sharing for more proactive management of global supply chain logistics. Real time data on the location of cargo helps mitigate disruptions, identify and manage risks, improve business resilience and support a future that is likely to include a much higher level of remote working.
Huge disruptions in global shipping schedules due to the pandemic have graphically highlighted the importance of visibility into the location of vessels and their cargoes across the deep oceans, as well as near shore and at port. Global maritime AIS data provided by ORBCOMM via its satellite and terrestrial networks is now helping Grydd to address this need with near real-time insight into shipping movements.
Grydd and ORBCOMM are also discussing future opportunities for other ORBCOMM IoT technology that has been widely adopted to monitor global cargo shipments and transport assets. ORBCOMM’s real-time tracking technology is currently deployed on trucks, trailers, rail cars, containers and other key transport assets used in both dry and refrigerated supply chain operations.
“Harnessing multiple digital data sources including ORBCOMM Maritime AIS allows us to give clients simpler and more harmonized access to all the pieces of the supply chain, logistics and transport puzzle so they can make better decisions,” says Mr. Acosta.
The free COVID-19 supply chain support tools are available now via Grydd.org, including a live dashboard feed displaying global vessel location via ORBCOMM AIS plus regional updates on COVID-19 cases.
Read the full case study on how Grydd and ORBCOMM are partnering to enable global supply chain visibility plus other reports exploring how maritime AIS and IoT technology are accelerating digitization of global supply chain operations:
We’re excited to join our partners at Inmarsat for a new webinar on the IoT and telecommunication challenges in the Energy, Transportation and Aid & NGO sectors in the Middle East.
Our experts will join the panel to talk about how satellite IoT solutions are enabling organizations to operate safely and more efficiently in the world’s most remote environments. The panel will showcase communications solutions that help to maintain critical connectivity, deliver strong communications and ensure compliance.
The webinar will explore topics related to satellite IoT and M2M solutions, including:
How to ensure the safety and reliability of equipment in the energy sector, from extraction through to delivery.
Managing the transportation of goods from end-to-end for better visibility and return on investment.
Delivering aid to remote regions and supporting NGO operations.
Monitoring and maintaining heavy equipment to reduce costs and keep equipment running.
Join us for this live webinar on Monday, Jun 29, 2020,2:00 PM BST/ 4:00 PM SAST.
ORBCOMM is a single source provider of multi-network connectivity, leading edge devices and powerful applications for industries including transportation and distribution, heavy equipment, oil and gas, maritime and government.