It’s a busy time for Teleo, a company that retrofits autonomous and remotely operated technology to construction and material-moving equipment. Based in Palo Alto, California, the business has announced new capabilities for heavy construction equipment, staged a long-distance supervised autonomous operation on two continents, added new clients and signed orders to equip 42 machines. It has also announced the addition of Ozark Laser, Murphy Tractor and Position Partners to its global dealer partner network, expanding its dealer footprint in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
“Construction companies are facing historic labor shortages and incurring significant costs as their machines sit idle,” said Vinay Shet, co-founder and CEO of Teleo. “We are seeing an unprecedented number of customer orders, which demonstrates Teleo’s powerful value proposition. Our technology breathes new life into our customers’ machines, addresses their labor shortages and makes the operators’ role safer and more comfortable.”
The initial autonomous capability being launched by Teleo is tramming – hauling materials from one point to another. Tomahawk Construction will use its Teleo-equipped articulated dump trucks for autonomous tramming across a Naples, Florida, job site where they will move material to build a residential community. The autonomous feature will be introduced on three machines and will roll out to 12 machines over the course of a few months. Operators driving dump trucks spend the majority of their time tramming from one point to another, so by automating the tramming portion, one operator can run multiple machines simultaneously, multiplying their productivity. The physical dumping of materials will be handled remotely by one operator controlling multiple machines from a command center.
“Teleo’s technology has the potential to completely transform our operations,” said Scott Lyons, managing member of Tomahawk Construction. “With Teleo, two of our dump trucks that have been idle will be put back into service to haul dirt across the site autonomously, allowing our remote operators to do more. This will help us to run a more efficient operation.”
To date, Teleo has been testing the autonomous capabilities on two John Deere 333G Compact Track Loader skid steers at its Pleasanton, California, proving grounds, and on a Komatsu WA500 wheel loader moving dirt at the OuluZone racetrack in Finland, which is affiliated with the University of Oulu.
Eight other new customers will deploy 42 new Teleo-enabled machines on 17 job sites across eight US states and Europe. This will include retrofitting Caterpillar, Komatsu, John Deere and Volvo machines ranging in model year from 2005 to 2022 for remote and autonomous operations. One of the new customers is Ajax Paving in Florida, which will outfit two new Caterpillar wheel loaders that will operate on two sites 130km apart.
“The asphalt industry operates on tight schedules,” said Andy DeCraene, vice president of Ajax Paving. “When our customers require asphalt, we must deliver promptly, making it imperative for our machines and operators to remain available. Allowing one operator to control machines at multiple sites is a significant advantage. If an operator is unavailable at one site, another can operate the machine remotely. This is a genuine game-changer for our business.”
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