E-ticketing offers solutions to improve efficiency, safety

By |  October 11, 2021
Photo: TAC Insight

TAC Insight presents its e-ticketing offerings through a mobile application for iOS and Android devices. Photo: TAC Insight

Aggregate producers are always looking for ways to modernize and enhance safety, efficiency and communication. E-ticketing presents an opportunity to do all of the above.

At its simplest, an e-ticket is a paperless ticket that’s delivered digitally to truck drivers, hauler dispatchers and site supervisors during a materials delivery. Such tickets have been offered for a number of years, but the e-ticketing concept has evolved to include capabilities aimed at streamlining aggregate operation processes.

Safety was top of mind for many of e-ticketing’s early adopters – particularly state Departments of Transportation (DOT) – when choosing to replace paper tickets with their digital counterpart, says Suzie Holycross, business development manager at Command Alkon, which developed an e-ticketing platform.

“[State DOTs] realized that when they have people out on the jobsite that are approaching every truck as it comes in with a load of material, they were putting those people in harm’s way,” Holycross says. “There have been a lot of fatalities and injuries caused by people maneuvering around on the jobsite. So if you could take that step out where they’re getting that ticket information on a phone or a tablet, it removes some danger from that project site.”

Impetus for adoption

While the airline industry and others have already incorporated e-tickets into daily operations, the aggregate industry has been slower to adopt, says TAC Insight’s Steve Rasmussen and Clay Bowman.

“I think the attitude of the industry has been: ‘Well, I can’t give a truck driver an electronic ticket,’” says Rasmussen, partner and owner of TAC Insight, which develops e-ticketing solutions. “It’s been a very conservative, slow industry to accept the technology, even though the technology is quite mature and pervasive.”

Yet, when the spring of 2020 arrived, producers and state DOTs had to find a way to conduct business safely with fewer workers on-site due to health- and safety-related restrictions and protocols. The onset of the pandemic served – in some ways – as a catalyst for the industry to more widely utilize e-ticketing.

“[There was] lots of hesitancy because people were resistant to change,” says Kevin Lai, product manager of onboard weighing at Trimble, a provider of e-ticketing software. “But now, [people were] forced to change and realize the benefits. That’s really the first stage of that transformation journey.”

Coupled with its contactless capabilities was the worldwide investment in infrastructure that accelerated the acceptance of e-ticketing technologies in the industry.

“Because every government in the world was doing an infrastructure project to try to push the economy to recover, the demand has gone skyrocketing,” Lai says. “And because of the productivity improvement [with e-ticketing], they were actually able to keep up with the demand.”

Still, while Rasmussen is glad the pandemic helped e-ticketing take hold within the industry, he says its benefits extend far beyond COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“There are a lot of other drivers that really should take precedence,” Rasmussen says. “But it did obviously make the industry aware and [caused] quicker adoption, especially at the state DOT level.”

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About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) is a former Associate Editor for Pit & Quarry.

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