The construction and material moving industry is at a turning point: there is a historic and worsening skilled labor shortage. The most experienced heavy equipment operators are retiring, and the industry is struggling to attract enough new operators to fill job openings, increasing project costs and timelines. Leading contractors are leveraging innovations in technology to bridge the gap. 

The John Aarts Group stands as a testament to this strategy. When searching for ways to future proof their operations, they turned to Teleo.

At the John Aarts Group, they’re long-term early adopters of innovation. Founded 40 years ago, they’re committed to staying ahead of the curve, foreseeing business challenges and evaluating technologies to solve them. 

They saw Teleo’s technology as a potential key to unlocking new opportunities for their business. Teleo offers the ability to operate any heavy equipment both remotely and autonomously. This takes the operator out of the cab, placing them in a safe and comfortable working environment. That enhanced working environment closely resembles a gaming station, appealing to new audiences: both a younger generation and those who don’t see themselves climbing into a cab for eight to ten hours a day.

Advancing operations with an industry first

Together we retrofitted a John Deere 624K wheel loader and introduced the first remote plant loading operation in Tillsonburg, Ontario. Ryan Aarts, CEO of the John Aarts Group, says it’s a slower plant, and their loader operator, Eddie Duff, wears multiple hats at the site. By remote loading the hopper, Eddie is able to switch to other tasks rather than spend unnecessary idle time in the loader. In addition to increasing productivity, working with Teleo gives the John Aarts Group a leg up in attracting a new operator when Eddie inevitably retires. 

“It’s rather obvious when you can take an operator out of the seat. This is something that impacts our health and safety. We have people that hurt their back and then they can’t work. With Teleo, you have the opportunity to actually put them in a much safer, secure environment. This opens the door for the types of people that can do this work,” says Ryan Aarts.

Looking forward

While this industry first is already redefining operational norms, Ryan says this application is just step one. He states “The next step is having one batch plant operator and one loader operator operating multiple plants, where they’re just teleporting over the internet to different machines and batch seats to make the concrete.”

By retrofitting additional machines across different sites, one operator can multiply their output, further protecting the John Aarts Group from the imminent labor challenges ahead.

Teleo is helping contractors around the world increase operator productivity, safety, and satisfaction. To explore working with Teleo, contact us. To stay up to date on our news, follow us on InstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter