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Aptella delivers technology without complexity

Quarry spoke to McBride Sands about how embracing Aptella’s technology helped boost their operations near Bundaberg.

Family-run Queensland quarry company McBride Sands has adopted trade-approved scales and iWeigh office software to streamline administration.

Owners Dean and Melissa McBride said simplicity has meant technology helped rather than hindered their operations.

“Using the Loadmaster system keeps our trucks moving more efficiently,” Dean told Quarry.

“Because the system is weighing during the load, there’s no delay, so as soon as the truck is full, they can get going.”

Based near Bundaberg, McBride Sands specialises in high-quality sand for concrete and asphalt plants, landscaping businesses, blockworks, and construction companies, with options for delivered or ex-pit collection, as well as screened and unscreened products.

For many years, McBride Sands has used Topcon Loadmaster trade-approved loader scales serviced and supported by Australian distributor Aptella (formerly Position Partners).

Installed on two Hitachi wheel loaders, Loadmaster is a simple, user-friendly on-board weighing system that accurately measures the weight of every load. Customers and materials can be saved in the system to record loads for each job.

With a digital record of the weight and type of materials for each customer, McBride Sands has saved time and improved the accuracy of information compared with paper-based records.

The company has now installed a printer box that enables drivers to pull up alongside the printer and tear off its docket without having to park and go into the office.

“It may seem like a small thing but removing the need for our drivers to stop and start to get paperwork really helps to keep everything moving,” Dean said.

Operators have reported being happy with the system due to its straightforward to use.

Dean said using the loader scale technology gives him peace of mind for his trucks on the road.

“You know the trucks aren’t going to be overloaded, so you’re minimising risk when travelling. If we get pulled up and inspected, or worst case, one of our trucks was involved in an accident, we know we’re covered,” he said.

“We don’t use all the bells and whistles that it’s capable of; for us, it’s about keeping it simple and getting the fundamentals right.”

From a business perspective, Loadmaster also helps to ensure that every load is optimised without being under- or over-loaded.

“If you were loading a 27.5 tonne load by eye, you might be under or over by half a tonne, which means you’d either have to tip off or you’d be running light,” Dean said.

“With the Loadmaster system, if you need 27.5, you know you’ll be accurate every time, maximising your loads.”

McBride Sands gets the scales calibrated regularly to ensure they are working accurately. The company also uses a weighbridge periodically to compare weights and check for any discrepancies.

“The service we get from the Aptella team is spot on. We always get calibration certificates, which are required by all the concrete companies and are tracked by them over time,” Dean said.

“Our customers have always been happy, and we’ve never had a problem in all the years we’ve been using the technology.”

Melissa McBride runs the company’s administrative work and invoicing. She told Quarry she is excited to extend the benefits of the Loadmaster technology through to invoicing by integrating iWeigh software.

Originally designed to integrate weighbridge data with accounting software, iWeigh is now compatible with Loadmaster solutions thanks to the company’s collaboration with Aptella.

For Melissa, finding a straightforward software solution that would suit her workflow and the business’s requirements was crucial.

“I was aware of systems designed for larger quarries, but they would be overkill for what we need and too complex to implement,” she said.

Loadmaster helps to ensure that every load is optimised. Image: Aptella

Having researched options with other similar-sized businesses, Melissa came across iWeigh and hoped that it could provide the perfect setup if it could be integrated with the loader scales.

“We’ve had a longstanding business relationship with Chris from Aptella, so I reached out to see what was possible and now we’re ready to start implementing it,” Melissa said.

Once set up, data recorded by the Loadmaster loader scales will feed directly into iWeigh’s platform via the Internet. From there, it will automatically convert into MYOB, the accounting software used by McBride Sands.

The new setup will give Melissa access to the data almost instantly, eliminating the need to visit the office or the printer box for a hard copy.

“I’m really excited about the potential for this solution; it will be so much more current and streamlined than our current setup, which has more manual invoicing,” she said.

“I will be able to process invoices quickly, and it will make things easier for our customers, too, because I can email documents straight away. There’s no delay, and it doesn’t matter if a driver loses a docket, as I have a digital copy.”

Melissa expects a few teething issues as the new solution is rolled out, but she feels confident about the level of support she’ll receive from Aptella and iWeigh.

“I think we’ve found the right fit for our business that won’t overwhelm our team with complex technology that would be overkill for our needs,” she said.

“Like the loader scales, we just need a simple solution that improves our efficiency.” •

For more information, visit aptella.com

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