April 10, 2015

Optimizing with Technology

Optimization—a word with a lot of syllables, but one simple meaning: making the best of anything. When it comes to logging, we understand how important this principle is and believe that telematics and other technologies are essential tools for optimizing and adding value to your business.

Jack McFarland, owner of McFarland Timber Inc. in Winfield, Louisiana, is a logger just like you. What's unique about his business is the variety of ages he employees, ranging from 20 to 50-year-olds, who are all anxious to get in the seat of equipment with new tech features. Below are some of the benefits he's seeing from applying technology to his daily operations:

  • Machine Optimization — The data and information that technology provides can enable you to make recommendations and adjustments based on the performance of your machines. Knowing the details of how your equipment is working helps you maximize its use, keep it protected, and cut your costs. Fuel usage, idle time, and operator efficiency are great measurements that give you benchmarks for future improvement.

"I can't control [the cost of fuel, but I have a tool that I can utilize that's going to make me more efficient in my skidding and cutting operations; then I can become better and more efficient as a manager, as a business owner." —Jack McFarland

  • Jobsite Optimization — Just as important as understanding what's going on inside your machine is your knowledge of the environment in which you're working. The forest is where it all comes together, and with technology, you view job locations, distances to mills and refueling stations, educate your operators on their assignments and more.

"I believe there's a great value there being able to control skidding distances, cutting distances, these are points where you save on fuel." —Jack McFarland

  • Uptime Optimization — What good are your machines if they aren't operating? Technology can monitor your machines' health and diagnose problems remotely to keep them up and running. Your awareness of issues in their earliest stages saves time and costs associated with servicing your equipment and prevents costly downtime. Increased intelligence of operators, owners, and technicians is yet another benefit to using technology in your business.

"If a machine has an alert, I know it instantly. I receive a text message and also an email. . . And often we work in those types of conditions where there's poor cellular coverage, but with text messaging, it gives me the ability to receive it right then." —Jack McFarland

Strategic use of technology has the potential to influence the years to come, as McFarland said, "Our vision for our company is to grow it beyond me. And to do that we have to have this type of equipment, we have to have this type of technology. . . "

Preparing you for tomorrow, today — because at John Deere, We're For Loggers.