How to optimise the loading of your bulk landscaping produce

Volumetric Truck Measurement (VMT) is the standard unit of trade in the landscape industry world-wide. Bark, mulch, woodchip, topsoil, compost, peat, specialty garden mixes and other bulk landscaping products are carted by the truck-load and traded in cubic metres or cubic yards. Traditional methods of determining loose-measure volume, including weighing trucks, weighing or counting loader-buckets, manual “level-and-measure” or simply counting trucks are less than accurate. And with inaccurate measurement accusations of under-supply, and excuses about “load settlement in transit” or moisture content, are ripe.

So how do you ensure each payload is optimised?

  1. Get an accurate measure on each payload
  2. Measure payload volume on entry and exit
  3. Give operators direct real-time feedback
  4. Optimise load capacity
  5. Track and trace all loads

Here’s how:

1. Get an accurate volume and tonnage measure on each payload.

Trucks are scanned by driving slowly below an elevated scan head. The system compares empty scan profiles and loaded scan profiles for the same vehicle to compute an accurate load volume.

This removes uncertainties such as moisture content, compaction and loading variations. Using this method, load volumes can be calculated to within a proven and tested +/-1%.

2. Measure payload volume on entry and exit.

By measuring load volume on entry and exit you can eliminate haulback (material left in the truck and accounted for multiple times). Make sure your system takes any haulback into account in real-time so that the actual measure for each load is calculated.

3. Give operators direct real-time feedback.

The ideal is to equip trucks with an in-cab console that allows the driver to enter load details such as truck operator, bogger operator, load source, load type, destination at the time of loading. This information feeds into the load volume measurement system.

Load measurement feedback is reported to the driver immediately after load measurement.

4. Optimise load capacity.

Once you have an accurate volume measure of payloads you can determine the maximum and ultimate payload capacity of your haulers. Increasing your payload will increase your efficiency and output (move more material for the same cost).

5. Track and trace all loads.

When you have an accurate picture of what you’re moving each day you can analyse this information to make more strategic operational decisions.