John Deere connectivity helps Bournemouth Council optimise groundscare operations ..

Connecting a huge fleet of mowers, compact tractors and high-horsepower machines to the John Deere Operations Center is beginning to enable Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council to optimise its output and maintenance.   

Coordinating part of a 70-strong workforce is Simon Woodall, Team Operation Manager for BCP Council, who this year has embarked on a project to retrofit MTG modems to his fleet in order to gain accurate insights into how efficiently work is carried out.

“As you can imagine, it’s a massive operation working with hundreds of thousands of square metres of grass and sand,” says Simon.

“We want to know where our machines are, be able to track what they have done, and be able to analyse how efficiently they are being run.”

The MTGs connect each machine to the John Deere Operations Center – a cloud-based platform allowing operators, managers and, with permission, the machinery dealer to access live information about a piece of kit. This includes its exact location, what it’s doing, where it’s been and details about idle time and fuel use, for example.

Anyone with a log in can manage their entire fleet from their laptop, tablet, or smartphone from wherever they may be.

Since March more than 30 machines have been retrofitted with the technology by Craig Woodman, Precision Turf Specialist at the Hunt Forest John Deere dealership, with more planned.

Simon says that the most useful feature is the tracking features for the entire fleet.

“We’ve got teams of three going out in areas working independently of each other across the council area, so if the team leader wants to see where the operators are, they can just look at the app on his phone and find them in an instant.”

With a fleet of 12 6R Tractors, nine 4066M Compact Utility Tractors, 20 1580 TerrainCut Front Rotary Mowers, and four X948 Diesel Mowers, at the time of writing 36 of their 43 John Deere machines have been connected.

In the long run, the accumulated data that Operations Center will collect over the next few months and years, the Bournemouth Council team will be able to do its job as efficiently as possible, while being able to make the most informed decisions about the fleet, all thanks to connectivity.

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