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Wholesaler Armstrong Richardson embrace Telematics to satisfy DEFRA regulations

When leading agricultural merchant and horse and pet food wholesaler Armstrong Richardson wanted to have instant access to the locations and routes of its vehicles, the company decided to introduce telematics to provide this important data.

Having seen a number of telematics companies at commercial vehicle shows, Armstrong Richardson was most impressed with CMS SupaTrak. After a successful trial to demonstrate the capabilities and benefits of the SupaTrak solution, Armstrong Richardson decided to introduce tracking into a small number of its rigid vehicles and articulated lorries.

The articulated lorries transport fertilizer and other products off Teesside southbound, returning with horse and pet food into Armstrong Richardson’s wholesale premises in North Yorkshire. The rigid vehicles then take smaller, packaged amounts of this food back out to retailers, kennels, race-horse trainers & breeders, and other customers; including their own retail stores based across the North of England.

The SupaTrak system is a live GPS vehicle tracking solution that provides 24/7 vehicle visibility. As an organisation that is committed to delivering the highest levels of customer service, Armstrong Richardson is able to use this information to provide customers with an approximate delivery time, as well as real time updates if a customer queries the location of their goods.

The system also allows Armstrong Richardson to see if the routes given to the drivers are being adhered to. The routes are planned in advance to be the most efficient possible, so it is important for drivers to follow these. As well as this, the SupaTrak system enables records from historic journeys to be accessed, so users can see where the vehicle has been on a particular day.

Armstrong Richardson also operates vehicles on behalf of its two sister companies, which benefit from the technology as well. Oil NRG Ltd, a fuel distribution business covering North Yorkshire Cleveland & Co Durham, has six tankers, while C & C Horse Transport Ltd, consisting of seven horseboxes, covers the whole of the UK and has regular trips to Ireland & Europe.

Armstrong Richardson’s managing director, Nigel Jones, has been very impressed with the level of service provided by CMS SupaTrak. "The SupaTrak technology has been perfect for our needs; it’s easy to use and reliable. It allows us to keep track of ever growing fleet which incorporates oil tankers and horseboxes of our sister companies."

Nigel continued: "We’ve also been pleased with the way the technology has developed. The integration of Google maps has been extremely helpful in allowing us to view the surroundings of where we will be delivering to. As most of our business is collecting & delivering within the rural communities, it is a real benefit to be able to plan our access points in advance, which saves time and means we can ensure we are not causing an obstruction or traffic jam with our delivery vehicles."

With this in place and working well, Nigel has now found an additional use for telematics for the C & C Horse Transport business – to provide necessary data to comply with forthcoming DEFRA legislation regarding the transportation of horses. The company transports horses for a number of reasons, including to and from sales, race meetings, and stud farms.

The legislation governs how long the horses can spend being transported, as well as how many times the horse needs to be checked on. C & C Horse Transport needed to find a way to demonstrate their compliance, and asked CMS SupaTrak to develop a solution to provide the required evidence.

CMS SupaTrak subsequently developed a telematics system that records how many times the doors of the horse box are opened and closed over a set period. This data will be used to form part of C & C Horse Transport’s evidence to show compliance with the legislation.

Nigel added: "It was great that CMS SupaTrak was able to develop a solution to suit our specific requirements for the horseboxes. The technology delivers exactly what we need – evidence of opening and closing the horsebox doors, which we can use to demonstrate that we are adhering to DEFRA’s regulations."

The telematics solution also records what time the door was opened to load the horses, and then again to unload – which shows how long the horse or horses have spent in the vehicle.

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