“The uptake of TracLink by the spreading market has been phenomenal, with 25% of the market choosing to upgrade their existing units to the latest hardware release, TM465c, to utilise the new technology in the last month. By moving into the aviation sector, it will increase the level of safety for planes or helicopters operating in demanding situations requiring accurate performance of tasks and proof of placement reporting. We are upgrading our customers onto this system and getting great feedback.”
Brown also said that not only is TracLink more cost-effective than other similar products, it provides huge benefits such as efficiencies in fertiliser and effluent spreading, stock rotation and irrigation placement.
The aviation sector currently makes up approximately 30% of TracMap’s revenue, and is expected to grow as the company gains penetration into the United States. The release of the TracLink system, including new software for the head units, and the addition of a US country manager will assist TracMap to increase its market share.
According to Brown, the development of the TracLink system is also allowing the business to expand into new markets. The system is about to be launched for search and rescue operations in Melbourne, Auckland, Northland, Wellington and Otago (allowing grids to be sent to aircraft and boats wirelessly). It is currently being used in vineyard harvesting and spraying in Marlborough, and is attracting interest in the kiwifruit and horticulture markets throughout New Zealand. The product is also being used for fire-fighting services in Australia and the US, allocating tasks and recording information from water tankers.
The TracLink system allows farm contractors’ customers to log in on the TracLink website, see their farm maps and create orders by clicking on the particular paddocks where they want product applied. This creates an order which is sent to the contractor, who then sends instructions wirelessly to the head unit in the vehicle or aircraft. The vehicle receives the information which is displayed on the screen. The pilot or driver performs the task, and resends the information back to the TracLink website, which records the application for the client’s records.
TracLink recently won an award in the equipment category of the innovation competition when it was launched into the agricultural sector at the New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays.
TracMap has a proven track record in producing productivity gains and increased safety for sole-operator machinery, especially where units are operating in hazardous or challenging areas. The company has continued to grow since its inception in 2005, with an expected 40% growth for this year.
The company currently has close to a 70% share of the agricultural spreading contractor market, and close to 50% of all fertiliser spread in New Zealand is completed with operators using TracMap technology. Productivity gains averaging 19.8% are being achieved by customers.