Improving Farm Safety and Management with LoRaWAN® and Farmdeck
Farmdeck is an end-to-end IoT farm management solution founded in Australia in 2016 by a team of farmers and engineers from Outcomex.
Utilizing LoRa® technology and industrial Cisco gateways, Farmdeck is leveraging Digital Matter LoRaWAN® asset tracking devices to improve safety, optimize equipment utilization, and improve preventative maintenance strategies.
Quad Bike Tracking and Tilt Detection
Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries in Australia, with farmworkers at a very high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries.
Of the many hazards faced by farmworkers, quad bike accidents are the leading cause of death and severe injuries on Australian farms.
Using LoRaWAN’s geolocation solutions, Farmdeck installs Guppy LoRaWAN® tags on quad bikes to capture critical movement and location data.
Featuring up to 5 years of battery life, weatherproof and ultra-rugged IP67 rated housing for extreme durability, and an accelerometer for movement-based tracking, the Guppy provides approximate location data in addition to tilt detection, enabling alerts if the vehicle rotates beyond a pre-configured angle.
“The Guppy tag has been crucial in improving the safety on quad bikes by providing near real-time geolocation and tilt detection,” says Luca Palermo, Wireless and IoT Tech Lead at Outcomex. “We are able to send real-time alerts in the event of a quad bike rollover, which is a potentially life-saving feature,” says Palermo.
Digital Matter LoRaWAN® devices feature a flexible and open payload format, which simplifies integration into third-party platforms. Data collected from the Guppy tag is decoded and presented in the Farmdeck platform, where near real-time alerts are sent via SMS, tablet, or desktop to facilitate critical responses to life-threatening quad bike accidents.
Location Tracking and Preventative Maintenance Monitoring
In addition to improving quad bike safety on farms across Australia, Farmdeck is using the Yabby LoRaWAN® battery-powered GPS for vehicle and equipment location tracking, utilization monitoring, and preventative maintenance monitoring.
A daily and seasonal preventative maintenance program can reduce unexpected damage and breakdowns, increase fuel savings and efficiency, boost overall safety, and decrease vehicle and equipment downtime – overall leading to more efficient operations.
Compact and concealable, The Yabby LoRaWAN is installed on vehicles and equipment. When accelerometer movement is detected, the Yabby logs run hours, enabling preventative maintenance alerts based on hours of operation.
“Considering the elevated number of hours of operation and the rough terrain these vehicles are driven on, preventative maintenance for agriculture vehicles is crucial,” says Palermo. “The Yabby LoRaWAN is a very versatile GPS tracker and it can be mounted on vehicles and animals. The battery life is impressive, in one of our deployment, it has been running for 4 years with still more than 80% battery left.”