GPS / Telematics

Telematics Case Study: Reporting Snow-Cleared Roads

In addition to other fleet units, Hamilton Township, N.J. operates a fleet of trucks used for snow removal.

June 2013, Automotive Fleet - Feature

by Shelley Mika

Logo via Baltimore County.
Logo via Baltimore County.

Established in 1686, Hamilton is located in Central New Jersey, which is about an hour's drive from New York, Philadelphia, and the Jersey Shore — and covers nearly 40 square miles.

The Fleet: In addition to other fleet units, Hamilton Township, N.J. operates a fleet of trucks used for snow removal.

The Challenge: Facing snowy winters and citizens in need of passable roads, Hamilton Township sought a way to more efficiently clear more than 600 lane miles of snow-covered roadways, while also keeping citizens and public officials informed of their progress.

The Solution: GPS tracking devices installed in public works vehicles constantly transmit raw data about their location and activities to a centralized server, where it is organized and stored. Specific information on plowing operations can then be accessed through an online portal.

The Results: Individual residents can access the online tracking portal — dubbed "Snow Pal Sal" by local administrators — directly through the government's website.

With an easy-to-use online interface, individuals interested in finding out when their neighborhood will be plowed simply type their street address into a text box. They are then automatically taken to a graphic display, which shows an estimate of when snow-clearing crews are expected to reach their area.

In addition to providing useful information to customers, this software helps service providers maintain a high level of efficiency in their operations. By tracking fleet vehicles in real time, those responsible for coordinating cleanup activities can see exactly where each truck is currently located, as well as where the unit has been.

This allows officials to react to developments and make the most effective use of their fleet resources. With the ability to constantly monitor the location of each plow, fleet managers can determine the best way to distribute their resources and tackle the challenge of keeping local roads clear.

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