Case Study: Donia Farms (Milking Fuel Efficiencies)

One of the ten largest dairy operations in BC, Donia Farms has supplied milk to the province since 1953. With 700 cows to care for, on 800 acres of farmland with 35 machines to maintain, it’s no easy task to keep on top of fuel utilization. During the spring, tractors and combines can burn up to 13,000 litres of diesel after irrigating manure and in the fall 8,300 litres after harvesting corn. With all the usage, this local farm needed an easier way to dispense, track, and report fuel consumption.

Donia Farms had three objectives: track fuel usage, make it more convenient to distribute, and secure dispensing. David Van Keulen, a dairy farmer at Donia Farms, searched for a system to manage their daily fuel operations. He stumbled upon a gas station setup with a fuel control system designed by Computrol. “We needed a way to track our diesel usage and the gas station had exactly what we were looking for,” said Van Keulen.

Computrol traditionally supplies systems to municipalities and transport and resource industries; however, Donia Farms’ requirements were the same as many of its other clients. Computrol recommended the newly launched Fleet-220, designed for small to midsize businesses. The Fleet-220 provides David with all the data records he requires and the ability to dispense fuel in a convenient manner through a dual access system. ID codes for the staff and FOBs for the machine meant no more carrying separate keys for each machine. The system also provided the added safety benefits of limiting fuel dispensing to 300 litres at a time, and preventing fuel theft. All the while the integrated software system automates the task of tracking and reporting specific data on the fuel usage of each employee and machine creating an audit trail. As a result, Donia Farms can now map and understand utilization trends, which help in planning for the future. “The wealth of knowledge you get is invaluable as you gain a much better insight to each machine’s usage, total consumption, and individual efficiencies which all relate back to total life-cycle equipment management and overall operations,” stated Van Kuelen.

Since the rugged, weather-resistant Fleet-220 was installed at the farm, it has added efficiency, security and the ability to monitor and track diesel usage. Computrol is available to help other farmers who share equipment, rent equipment, belong to CO-OPS; or, like Van Kuelen, manage on-site operations.

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