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Time Flies at Tilcon
Ticketing systems increase plant throughput
Tilcon owns and operates dozens of quarries, asphalt and recycling plants, water terminals, and highway construction divisions, in New York and New Jersey. At the Mount Hope Quarry alone they weigh hundreds of trucks on a busy day. Advance Scale Company, Inc., Rockaway, N.J., has installed Automated Ticketing Systems (ATS) on the truck scales to handle that volume of traffic and the enormous amount of data they generate.
“Safety–Productivity–Data Security–Lower Overhead”
There are four major reasons for using the Rice Lake Automated Ticketing Systems. You might even be able to justify the purchase of an ATS if you had only two of these important reasons, but when you can hit all four, you will have made a big contribution to your company’s bottom line. The management at Tilcon. Recognized this important tool several years ago as a means of gaining more throughput from their truck scale transactions, and have instituted a program to install an ATS at all of their truck scales.
In the past it took an average of three minutes (and sometimes up to eight minutes) for a truck to drive on a truck scale, capture a weight, drive off the scale, have the driver go into the scale house to get his ticket, get back in his truck and drive off. These trips were sometimes drawn out by conversation and coffee.
Rice Lake Weighing Systems’ ATS has reduced this three-minute process to 45 seconds. The driver now drives on the scale, takes the ticket from the kiosk without leaving the cab, converses through an intercom with three of the most efficient (and friendly) weigh masters in the industry, and moves on.
Inside the scale house, Ellen Hays, Ronnie Mattia and Chrissy Bishop, weigh masters, say “saving time” is the first advantage of the ATS. Weigh masters like to keep the line moving fast; it makes time fly. When truckers came into the scale house, they were likely to visit a few minutes. According to Ellen, “We would talk about traffic or weather or family. We are still able to offer a friendly greeting over the intercom and keep the traffic moving without ignoring the personal contact”. Cell phones can be a problem when the driver is chatting instead of processing the ticket. Ellen has a large sign taped on her window, “GET OFF YOUR PHONE, please.”
Dan Batelli, supervisor of Tilcon’s scale operations, is enthusiastic about auto ticketing. And, surprisingly, not primarily because they are operating far more efficiently. “Safety” was the first benefit he mentioned—keeping truckers in their vehicles. “Tilcon is committed to a full-bore safety program.”
It was obvious that this statement is true. When we got out of our vehicle, Paul Gerard instructed us to turn our wheels into the curb so that the vehicle would not go straight down the incline where we had parked. Hard hats and safety vests were the order of the day while out of the vehicle. We knew going in that safety was not just a slogan on the wall at Tilcon.
When the driver gets out of the truck, there is an increased opportunity for injury. With hundreds of trucks passing through the yard daily—in snow, ice, and rain—keeping drivers in their trucks keeps them safer and lowers liability risk for Tilcon.
Before the ATSs were installed, each of the scales needed a weigh master standing at a booth taking care of drivers, one at a time. Now three weigh masters handle all the scales with the streamlined process created by the ATS.
Weights are captured electronically and information is streamed to their Enterprise Software that keeps track of all costs, inventory, and billing. No keying errors. Keying errors cost most companies 1% to 2% in annual revenue. No paper to lose or misplace. They have captured the information, which is only going into their system.
Dealing with the environmental issues on the high-activity truck scales at Tilcon represented a challenge that Paul and Kyle Vough, Advance Scale senior technician, had long prepared. The kiosks are located out in the weather. Hot in summer, and way below freezing in winter. High volume meant frequent changes of ticketing stock.
Everyone interviewed explained how the ATS improved their workday. Efficiency, safety, reduced cost and secure data—those are the four big reasons Tilcon lists. How would Automated Ticketing Systems improve your workdays?