PTT brings a concrete comms transformation

IMPULSE Wireless

Monday, 15 October, 2018

PTT brings a concrete comms transformation

Hunter Readymixed Concrete overcame the challenges of its ageing radio systems and embraced new PTT technology for better results.

Hunter Readymixed Concrete had long been using traditional radio networks for its fleet communications but was experiencing problems, including escalating coverage costs, a changing network infrastructure and hard-to-obtain replacement parts and equipment. The total cost of ownership was increasing and there was a need for better efficiencies for the business.

General Manager Scott Wiseman was looking for an innovative solution which not only provided benefits beyond the limitations of the company’s existing system, but also futureproofed its investment through the availability of extra features and upgrades as technology and its business’s needs changed over time.

The solution

Hunter Readymixed Concrete began 2017 with a proof-of-concept trial of PTT devices in two of its 40 trucks, and with a base unit with Bluetooth installed at one concrete plant. IMPULSE Wireless was chosen as the supplier based on the experience, expertise and support it offered.

“IMPULSE [Wireless] took the time to understand our business requirements and then tailor a solution that met our current requirements and offered the flexibility to build in more functionality in the future,” Wiseman said.

The in-vehicle devices were Samsung smartphones, locked down and customised by IMPULSE Wireless to work only as a ‘radio’ and navigation tool, by running the IMPULSE Wireless PTT app and Google Maps. Rugged, wired, remote speaker microphones were installed, providing simple and familiar operation, enabling the drivers to use the new system in the same way they had previously operated their two-way radios, with no interaction with the phones needed.

The trial was a complete success, so the company rolled out the PTT solution to its entire fleet of concrete trucks. It now also uses the IMPULSE Wireless app on supervisors’ smartphones to enable them to communicate instantly with all vehicles from anywhere, without the need to carry a radio.

The solution vastly improved communications coverage, efficiency and safety, and enabled integration with other systems such as GPS tracking, job dispatch, safety monitoring, emails and messaging.

A view inside a cement truck cabin showing a mobile phone and remote speaker microphone

The outcome

Remote support and built-in tools provide troubleshooting and diagnostic capabilities far beyond those of a radio network. The IMPULSE Wireless support team can see live diagnostic information for a device and provide network SIM connection diagnostics and more ‘on the go’.

Technicians can remotely access a device to provide full troubleshooting, and even remote operator training or additional support. This provides immediate assistance, reduces downtime and almost completely eliminates the typical costs of troubleshooting, technician support, reprogramming, upgrades and repairs.

“Most issues can be sorted with a phone call. I’d recommend follow-up operator training post-implementation to get the best from the technology,” Wiseman said.

Overall, Hunter Readymixed Concrete is satisfied with the outcome.

“It’s been a pleasure dealing locally with a team who cares about our needs and responds positively when you call,” Wiseman said.

“PTT was chosen as a cost-effective communication technology that offered additional benefits to voice such as navigation and messaging. The comms package implemented meets our current needs, with room for growth in the future.”

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