Improving mine site safety with RFID technology
Leveraging a wealth of experience in the mining and resources sector, we identified and solved a common safety problem with an innovative radio frequency identification (RFID) technology solution.
Recognised as an industry specialist, Toll provides stand-alone and integrated services to the mining and resources sector across onsite services and inbound/outbound segments of the mining logistics chain.
Our commitment to continuous improvement ensures that we deliver services to our customers in this sector in the safest way possible.Toll provides bulk haulage to some of the mining industry’s largest companies, and the team is always looking for ways to work safer and smarter.
Toll identified one area of its operations that had the potential to cause an incident during the unloading of material from its triple trailers.
When an operator of a mining truck with multiple trailers is positioning the vehicle to unload the contents of the trailers, there is always a chance that the wrong trailer could be opened.
If the vehicle is not aligned to the correct position, there is also a risk that the contents could be unloaded in the wrong location.
Toll set out to find a solution to this potential hazard that could be integrated into the Toll fleet of mining vehicles without interfering with any existing equipment on site.
Toll assembled a project team to identify an engineering control that could eliminate this risk.
Through consultation with our customers, operators, project managers and site supervisors, Toll decided to implement interlocking tipping sensors – an innovative solution that utilises radio frequency identification devices (RFID) and Wi-Fi technologies.
The mine site’s tipping bridge – where the trailers are unloaded – is fitted with a wireless transceiver and RFID scanner which link to a similar transceiver mounted in each Toll truck. These units send and receive messages once the truck arrives at the tipping bridge.
The interlocking system will not allow the driver to tip a trailer unless it is aligned with the reader on the tipping bridge. The sensors are designed with a 1-2 metre tolerance to prevent interference from other trailers on site.
Each truck has a console fitted in the cab, which shows the operator which trailer can be tipped at any given time – the panel has a lever for tipping each trailer, and individual LED lights that indicate which of the trailers is aligned and can be emptied.
If the operator incorrectly uses the wrong lever or they have not aligned the trailer correctly, the system will sense a lack of connection with the bridge receiver unit and prevent the trailer from tipping.
After extensive testing, these tipping sensors have now been rolled out with five Toll triple road trains currently utilising the technology.
The team has also further developed the solution, adding additional tipping sensors to alert the operator if they have left a tipping bin open before moving off from the tipping location.
Technology plays an integral role in Toll’s commitment to continuous improvement. It enables us to improve our operations, deliver transparent and responsive services and be accountable to our customers across our service offering.
Toll Mining Services Business Development
T+61 7 3295 1800