Navigating the Mississippi River can be a challenge for even the most experienced operators. Currents, changing water levels and visibility are just a few of the factors that can adversely impact navigation. Ingram Barge Company
, one of the Mississippi's premier towboat operators
, decided on an aggressive approach to safe navigation more than three years
ago and have been reaping the benefits for nearly two years.
After a thorough investigation, Ingram made the decision to install PinPoint Systems International's electronic charting systems with Titan real time radar overlay, a computer-based navigational system on the cutting edge of technology.
Ingram's General Manager Mark Stevens cited the need to depart from the industry's long-standing, conservative approach. "It's correct to say this kind of technology is new to many barge operators on the river. We've had voice communications and radar for years, but this is the first time we've used computer software for navigation. The electronic charting system with radar overlay provides a visual tool for the captain to reference information on depth and landmasses with pinpoint accuracy in real time. It's a great tool for judging speed and regulating fuel burn, we're even considering a test of PinPoint's engine-monitoring system."
The PinPoint navigational systems were installed on Ingram's fleet of 62 vessels and have been in use for nearly two years. The operators couldn't be happier about this addition to their bridge. With PinPoint's training and support, they have fully incorporated the use of this technology into their suite of navigational skills.
"Since we can record our track information," Stevens said, "we can establish a transit path that more effectively utilizes the capabilities of each vessel. For example, if we encounter a hazardous location, once the first vessel succeeds in passing it, the route information can be transferred to the fleet. With PinPoint, we can see our position relative to landmasses and other objects shown on the chart, confirmed by the radar overlay."
PinPoint President, Bill Silhan knows this technology can be used to ensure safety and profitability. "We are proud Ingram Barge Company brought the PinPoint products onboard. It sets a new standard for performance in their industry, which we're sure others will want to achieve."