Rural Air Work is an agricultural aviation company, owned and operated by Josh and Suzie Calder who provide topdressing services to farmers in the central Hawke’s Bay area.
In 2014, Josh and Suzie invested in a TracMap system and online software (TracMap Online) after seeing how other companies were using it and improvements in operational efficiency. Over the past three years, TracMap has significantly improved the efficiency and safety of Rural Air Work’s operations; “Pilots don’t need to keep maps in their heads anymore, the display shows them where to go so they can focus more on flying.”
“Farmers are now required to keep accurate records of where they have spread fertiliser, which is really easy to do with TracMap. We provide the completed job maps along with the invoice for the job so they are able to prove exactly where and how much product has been used to complete the work.”
– Suzie Calder, Rural Air Work talking about using TracMap Online
Rural Air Work operates a pink Cresco, which is iconic in the rural skies of Hawke’s Bay. To cope with demand over the busier seasons, Rural Air Work uses their pink plane and lease another, and work with the pilot of the leased plane. Using a TracMap system means that “Josh doesn’t have to go and meet the pilot to show him where the airstrip is and where to do the application,” Suzie adds.
TracMap is, “A really easy system to use, especially when we are leasing planes. We can just send the map to the new pilot or if they don’t have TracMap, we make the map on TracMap Online and they can upload it to whatever system is in their plane.”
One of the main benefits of using TracMap is having on-site training and support from a responsive helpdesk, “If you have a problem with your TracMap system, it is really easy to get it sorted, you just call their local office and it’s fixed straight away.”
With changes in laws and regulations surrounding agricultural practices in the Hawke’s Bay and throughout the New Zealand, Suzie has found that TracMap helps with these adjustments. “As Plan Change 6 is coming into effect in Hawkes Bay, farmers are now required to keep accurate records of where they have spread fertiliser, which is really easy to do with TracMap.”
“We provide the completed job maps along with the invoice for the job so they are able to prove exactly where and how much product has been used to complete the work.”
Would Suzie recommend TracMap to other pilots? “I would absolutely recommend it. It’s easy to use and even though we are currently going through a generational change a lot farmers don’t use computers, but from what we’ve experienced farmers also find it easy once they are shown how to use it,” Suzie concludes.