Large excatvator dumping rocks and dirt into the back of a dump truck.

GET Trakka helps gauge wear and tear on the ‘teeth’ of large excavators.

Big miners are taking up new excavator sensor technology.


Ian Hamilton has come a long way since brainstorming with colleagues several years ago on what would be the next invention to boost mine productivity.

He now leads a dynamic company, GET Trakka Pty Ltd (GET Trakka), that has released a revolutionary tracking technology that has been taken up by the likes of Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

“We had a fundamental idea about where mining technology was moving and we knew it had to be a wireless device,” says the instrumentation specialist, recalling how his GET Trakka company’s technology was born.

GET Trakka’s technology tackles the problem of teeth and other ground engaging tools breaking off excavator buckets during mining. Subject to extreme wear, teeth can last only days or weeks and, when broken, can jam-up a mine crusher resulting in millions of dollars of downtime.

GET Trakka uses Radio Frequency Identification sensors embedded in the teeth to alert machine operators when teeth break off so they can quickly locate and extract them.

With some 1000 large open-cut mines worldwide, and most mines having about four to six diggers, there is enormous growth potential for the technology.

“We essentially brought a product to market in 12 months and were able to trial that product as it was being developed,” says Ian of the benefits of an $1 million Australian Government Accelerating Commercialisation Grant, which was accompanied by support from Commercialisation Adviser, Sheryl Frame.

Rapid changes and unforeseen events during the conceptual testing phase were almost inevitable, so it was great to have the steady hand of an industry-experienced Commercialisation Adviser.

Ian Hamilton, CEO, GET Trakka

The Productivity Plus solution reports real-time data on digger utilisation, for example, the number of bucket scoops, temperature, active digging time, clean-up rates, change out time and predicted wear. This additional information can dramatically improve mining operations, including maintenance practices and scheduling.

Having successfully brought a product to market during a downturn in the resources sector, Hamilton is confident his company is on the right track as it embarks on the next phase of its commercialisation.

“For us to have successfully developed our product and withstood the brunt of the downturn gives us a lot of confidence,”

“...Our technology applies no matter where commodity prices are, as efficiency and productivity will always be at the core of mining company ambitions.”

GET Trakka Achievements from 2017 to 2019


Since completing their inital grant project, GET Trakka has gained market traction with extended commercialisation trials and installations of the technology with mining companies in Australia, Africa and Canada. 

A number of GET manufacturers have commenced factory casting of GET components designed to accommodate the GET Trakka sensor tags. 

A collaborative research and development (R&D) program has developed the GET Trakka proprietary technology for application in the comminution process, with technical trials demonstrating significant potential benefits and leading to discussions for a global distribution agreement with one of the world’s leading manufacturers of grinding media.

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