It's easy to keep track of your trucks and shovels. Fleet management tools and OEM systems specialize in analyzing engine hours, cycle times, payload volumes, and dozens of other KPIs. With that data in hand, it's simple to assign dollar figures for every hour your core equipment spends working.

It's just as easy to ignore your auxiliary units. Dozers, scrapers, graders — every site has them, every site needs them. But while managers are closely monitoring the haul cycle, tracking these other machines can fall by the wayside. It makes sense. These units don't contribute directly to the bottom line.

Still, dozers are essential to a well-run operation. How can you tell which ones are hitting their targets? And if you're a contractor, how can you justify the invoices at the end of the month?

A few KPIs can prove a dozer's worth — travel distance, pushing time, idle times, and more. Really, though, the best metric to quantify a dozer's output is the volume of material it's moved.

For instance, Wenco's Survey Dozer systems track a KPI we call "dozer push". Using the mine's surface designs and readings from the system's high-precision GNSS sensor, Survey Dozer can calculate the volume of material moved during a shift.

Dozers Pushing Tar Sand
Photo by Allan Edwin

Our system works by creating a two-dimensional grid over a defined area of the site. As the dozer passes over a grid square, its GNSS sensor collects the dimensions and elevation of the surface. When the dozer passes over that same grid square again as it cuts and fills, it records the surface's new dimensions. With each successive pass, the system stores new data on the surface shape and elevation. By comparing the data from each pass, the system is able to calculate a figure for the volume of material moved from that grid square.

Dozer push volumes provide a solid benchmark for evaluating equipment's work. They let operators put hard numbers to their day-to-day duties. They show mine planners which designs prove most effective, with the least rehandle. They give managers an idea about areas of their mine that need extra attention.

Even though dozers aren't the most obvious equipment to optimize on site, they can still have an enormous impact. Better dozer operation means less rehandle, with less time spent on site clearing and more on production. If a dozer can reshape a bench faster and more accurately, it can save a mine thousands of dollars a year. It can move more in less time — by definition, working more efficiently. Besides, if your equipment has work to do, it better do it well. After all, small improvements done enough times can make a big difference.

Want to know more about our Survey Dozer machine guidance system? Get in touch today.