GPS / Telematics

Lake County Installs GPS on Snow Plows

January 14, 2011

WAUKEGAN, IL - The Lake County Division of Transportation (DOT) installed global positioning systems (GPS) on 32 snow plows and other DOT vehicles. These provide real-time vehicle tracking, as well as tracking of salt and de-ice material application. The data is then used to better coordinate and target services, saving on salt and gas, according to the Lake County DOT.

"We'll be able to monitor those trucks during a snowstorm, we'll be able to see live data, transfer it back to our location, salt rates, liquid rates, speed, location of vehicles," said Kevin Kerrigan, engineer of maintenance, Lake County DOT. "From there, we'll run reports at the end of a shift and be able to put together all this data about how much salt was used and how many miles these plows have driven."

Lake County is collecting the data to be used as a benchmark for future years. DOT projects a savings of about 1,600 gallons of diesel annually.

The GPS units were funded using a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.  

In addition, the City is helping the environment by using less salt on the roads with new techniques, including pre-wetting the salt before application, and blending it with beet juice. The result has been a 25 percent reduction of salt per treatment, according to the DOT.

Watch a five-minute video of the Lake County DOT snow plow fleet here.

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