Written by Damien Russell, Managing Director

My company’s story begins with my own concerns for vehicle occupant safety, deriving from a large number of near misses and vehicle interactions I had personally witnessed or heard about while operating on mine sites in a mobile maintenance capacity.

I found a common problem in the industry was quickly identifying vehicles working around me, at safe distances as their ID signage was often damaged, missing or unable to be read at distances outside of their exclusion zone.

In many cases, this made it almost impossible to quickly and clearly communicate with other vehicles over the 2way radio.

So between 2012 – 2017 during my R&R in the confines of my spare room, self-funded, I set about innovating LED vehicle identification signage for all types of mining vehicles that would provide “Positive Identification At First Glance” and promote “Rapid Positive Radio Communication” between vehicles, ultimately enhancing vehicle operator safety, and in turn help promote “Zero Harm” on mine sites across Australia and potentially even the world.

Advanced Fleet Signs graduated from my spare room to my garage, then to a back alley rundown industrial shed.

I had made a few small sales at this point and in February of 2017 I was able to resign from my mining job to pursue my last 5 years work full time.

I brought a small 2nd hand CNC Router educating myself how to operate it, my little start-up was now self-sufficient.

Meaning we now had the capability to manufacture all of our signs components in-house without any outsourcing and, we could also rapid prototype new products.

Near the end of 2017 I formed a partnership with GPC Commercial/Ashdown-Ingram.
The next 12 months was to be a period of exponential growth for Advanced Fleet Signs that would see us move locations 3 times and grow by over 300%.

We now occupy a 700 Sqm factory in Canning Vale WA, employ 5 people, operate a brand new CNC Machine the largest of its type, and have a large format print and graphics department.

Not only do we design, innovate and produce the high quality extremely effective Rock Board® LED and Non-LED Mine Vehicle Identification products distributed by GPC/A-I all across Australia and into Asia, but we also produce stickers, vinyl printed graphics, general signage and print and install vehicle warps.

Advanced Fleet Signs is now focused at innovating a new range of products, allowing us to scale our business internationally.

The first of which is our new Rock Board® Modular LED ID Sign that is the first LED Back-lit ID Sign that allows the end user to set their own display.
This single digit display unit allows a display of 0-9, and comes with a 2 way power harness that connects the sign units in series if multiple characters are required.

The advantages of our new Rock Board® Modular LED ID Sign are:

·         When the vehicle is powered down our sign retains its display, where a digital ID sign will switch off without power losing its display.

·         No more custom ID Sign builds as the end user sets their display ID.

·         Generic item that is sold by the box

·         International patent

·         Price point, this LED ID sign will retail for around ¾ less than the current large LED ID sign, opening up new market opportunities

The new Rock Board® Modular LED ID sign is due to be launched in late October and has been recognised as one of Australia’s top innovations of 2019, and will be allocated a segment on the 3rd season of Network 10’s Australia By Design, Innovation.

The show will be aired on Network 10 later this year and is sold into a number countries and airlines for viewing on long haul flight entertainment.

We will be filming this segment at FMG’s Cloudbreak mine site at the end of this month.

This is a very exciting opportunity for AFS to showcase its products and business capabilities and one that we believe will drive further growth.

Although keenly focused on growth both national and international, AFS remains committed to only producing high quality products.