Fleet management systems, or mine dispatch systems, play a critical role in efficient and productive mining operations. Fleet management systems (or FMS) provide real-time and actionable data to help a mining organization increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

However, working with new clients, we see issues with the mismanagement of the fleet, a lack of data visibility and slow reaction times when operating scenarios change. As a result of these shortfalls, the performance and efficiency gains from the fleet management system are never realized.

What is the Function of a Fleet Management System in Mining?



In the most basic terms a fleet management system is a specialized software using GPS and wireless networks to analyse production, maintenance, and safety at the mine site. This equipment sends real-time data to dispatchers to help identify performance issues and allow for for quick adjustments.

An FMS tracks and provides data for the mine site in the following ways:

  • Provides actionable data in the moment, not the end of the shift when it may be too late to make adjustments
  • Manages production activity to increase efficiency
  • Provides real-time data and analytics for your mine’s performance to dispatchers and management
  • Optimises fleet routes
  • Tracks payload and cycle times
  • Tracks refueling times
  • Gives a broad overview of fleet status
  • Calculates cost-to-benefit ratios

Maximizing the Value of a Fleet Management System

If the value proposition of an FMS is so strong, why do these systems sometimes fail or underperform? Why do some mine sites struggle to see the full benefits of their FMS system? Like any technology system, unlocking this value requires a sustained investment of training, time, and effort.

In our experience, there are seven areas that must all have focus and attention to get full value from a site fleet management system:

  1. Training and Coaching – A high-performing FMS system requires adequately trained staff. This training requirement extends to operators, supervisors, dispatchers, managers, engineers, hardware support, software support, and the mine’s internal training group.
  2. Process and task design – Defining task lists, accountabilities and communication pathways are key to successfully integrating fleet management tools into the existing mine operations management model.
  3. Managing change – Adapting the message and tempo of communication to achieve and maintain buy-in throughout the mine site.
  4. Technical change management – FMS systems can have several points of failure. The documentation of each change ensures traceability and reduces troubleshooting if a change introduces unexpected behaviour.
  5. Accountability – A central, well-defined accountability policy for FMS performance provides a focal point for activity. There needs to be an ability to prioritize production-critical hardware and infrastructure
  6. Vendor support – Specialized technical expertise is necessary to triage and address issues that may require training, configuration, bug fixes, or even new feature development.

A mining operation may choose to work with an outside specialist familiar with how to maximize the value of the FMS and provide guidance from top-level management through all levels of the site, realizing the full potential of the technology.

A consulting group specializing in fleet management can provide in-depth training and operations guidance, allowing a mine site to build capability within their team and deliver efficiency and production gains safely.

For more information on our solutions to implement and manage an FMS and increasing overall mine efficiency, visit our Increase Mining Production page.