CRANE, Ind. – Crane Army Ammunition Activity sits on 97 square miles of South-Central Indiana’s rolling hills and wooded ravines on Naval Support Activity Crane. The sprawling 124 miles of paved road connecting Crane Army requires a fleet of more than 250 construction and government owned vehicles that assist the workforce in their mission to provide munitions to warfighters around the world.
CAAA knows that its strength is the world-class Hoosiers who are using their skills to support the U.S. military. Ensuring that this workforce is safe on the road is a key part of the activity’s drive to shape the future of the Army – and one small device, hidden beneath the dashboard of Crane Army vehicles, is helping to decrease potential safety issues and accidents.
“We’re implementing Geotab primarily for the safety of the workforce,” CAAA Chief of Staff Joe Mikac said. “Before, we had no method to track where everyone was. Now, in the event of an emergency, we have eyes where people are all over the installation.”
Geotab is a cloud-based telecommunications information technology solution offered by the General Services Administration that can be hardwired into GOVs before they become fleet vehicles. The system records data such as speed, vehicle location and engine diagnostics in real time and can send a detailed report to fleet managers. Vehicle location tracking was one of the most important features to fleet managers, as they wanted to be able to track down any individual CAAA employee in an urgent situation like severe weather.
The system can also report on individual drivers and can predict maintenance by identifying mechanical problems early. The program tracks figures like harsh braking, speeding and seat belt usage on individual drivers, and is capable of sending audible warnings to drivers who break rules within the algorithm.
“Reducing the number of GOV and materiel handling equipment accidents has been a top priority for the safety office, and thus a top priority for Crane Army,” CAAA Safety Chief Eric Byrnes said. “We began implementing a more robust strategy in October of 2020 based on the fact that most of our collisions were backing accidents.”
In fiscal year 2020, CAAA reported a total of 11 accidents for both GOV and industrial vehicles. After enforcing traditional safety measures like ground guides, placing orange cones behind GOVs after parking and acquiring new vehicles with backup cameras, more than 250 Geotab Global Positioning System devices were installed in GOVs and agency owned vehicles in the activity’s fleet. This increased focus on safety has resulted in only two collisions reported so far in fiscal year 2021.
“Once our drivers realize they are being monitored, they are more likely to cease any potential bad driving behaviors. We hope this will improve the safety of everyone on the road at NSA Crane,” CAAA Equipment Specialist Jesse Ladaker said.
Additional benefits of the system include cost efficiencies derived from less idling, better fuel consumption based on the warnings and more informed maintenance information based on vehicle diagnostics. Crane Army employees can more accurately predict and conduct maintenance on the fleet based off of engine data collected from the device. Being able to detect technical problems early will give employees peace of mind when driving around the installation, and having more vehicles on the road will help drive the activity toward maximizing the performance of its mission.
“Having this program increases our relevancy as an organic industrial base, and keeps us in line with modernization goals as set forth by Gen. Daly,” Mikac said. CAAA is a subordinate activity of the Joint Munitions Command and U.S. Army Materiel Command, which comprise arsenals, depots, activities and ammunition plants. Gen. Edward Daly currently serves as Commanding General of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.
By seeking to implement modern safety precautions in each area of a Crane Army employee’s work day, the activity will continue to provide superior service to the DOD, from the heart of the country to the people who defend it.
About Crane Army
Crane Army Ammunition Activity ships, stores, demilitarizes and produces conventional munitions in support of U.S. Army and Joint Force readiness. It serves as the second largest Army ammunition depot, holding roughly a fourth of the U.S. Department of Defense’s conventional munitions. CAAA was established in October 1977 as a subordinate command of JMC and AMC.