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Working alongside Tesco, Traka aims to improve the current key control and access management system for fork truck fleets in three new and 19 existing UK distribution centres.

Initially, this will involve upgrading more than 2,200 fork trucks at Tesco sites.

Previously, keys for fork trucks were collected and returned to the Traka cabinet at the beginning and end of each shift.

However, Tesco identified that staff accessing the existing key management cabinets could create significant bottlenecks when gathering to collect or return keys.

By adopting a new approach to key management, some two minutes per person, per truck, across all shifts has been saved.

‘Looking at this small time saving across all trucks on three shifts throughout the Tesco UK Distribution Centres equates to around 80,000 hours per year, or more than GBP1m in improved productivity,’ said Godfrey Anderson, Traka’s MHE sales manager.

By changing from the tried-and-tested ‘key per truck’ to an ‘Ikey per person’ approach, it allows each driver to be given his or her own personal issue intelligent key – a Traka Ifob key.

This intelligent key is inserted into a receptor socket on the dashboard of the truck and replaces the existing ignition key or PIN access pad as a means to start the truck.

The Ifob contains an electronic chip that holds the driver’s personal profile and will only start trucks for which he or she has been trained.

Consequently, there is now no need for drivers to return to the cabinet to swap keys should they need to move from one truck to another.

Once issued, it is retained by the driver as part of his or her PPE.

Drivers need only return to a Traka data download station to ‘reinitialise’ their Ifob keys once a day at any convenient time, usually at the end of each shift.

As before, the Traka Ifob key is used to enforce and record that pre-operational safety checks have been completed by the driver on each truck driven.

A full audit of trucks driven is held, and the information is downloaded to the Traka database without the need for expensive RF transmission equipment.

Initial trials at a test site indicated that a full return on investment could be achieved in less than three months, as well as delivering year-on-year savings.

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