Public Works departments manage a diverse set of vehicles, which can make it challenging for fleet managers to implement a telematics solution. Sophisticated integrations are often needed to effectively manage complex waste management operations, winter maintenance programs and parks and recreation projects. 

For instance, successfully managing a winter maintenance program relies on fleet managers having the right tools to effectively track vehicles and measure material usage to determine whether service goals have been met. Telematics can help by providing data to show whether salt spreaders are on or off or plows are up or down as they complete their routes.

Managing such diverse fleets is not only complex, it often leads to data silos where different departments are left to figure out the intricacies of their operations independent of the others. In situations like these, many of the benefits provided by telematics can get lost in the shuffle as teams struggle to gather department-wide insights that benefit the larger team. A robust telematics solution can eliminate these types of data silos and bring disparate processes together to help agencies operate more effectively and efficiently, as a whole. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) did just that by integrating their internal Maintenance Management System (MMS) with a reliable telematics solution.

How MoDOT maximized the full potential of data 

With a large and diverse fleet, MoDOT services over 114 counties and 34,000 centerline miles of highway. But, information within the department was trapped inside each of its seven districts making it challenging to derive insights from data gathered by their telematics solution. This left them unable to identify any fleet-wide opportunities for improved efficiency. 

Working with a powerful telematics solution, MoDOT was able to connect the many databases and create a single shared view, effectively breaking down the silos. Once MoDOT’s MMS program was integrated with telematics the teams were able to digitally access real-time mileage meter readings and ending engine hours. MoDOT also achieved an added return on investment by providing data that could be shared with both citizens and the media to prove the effectiveness of MoDOTs snow clearing efforts during winter storms. During one winter season, one of MoDOT’s districts 225 trucks logged 225,000 miles during a single, 48-hour snow event. MoDOT shared this data to demonstrate the effectiveness of their Public Works fleet in providing clear, safe roadways for their citizens. To learn more about how MoDOT is using telematics to run its fleet, read the full case study.

MoDOT is just one example. Many transportation agencies are beginning to realize the full suite of benefits telematics can provide. Beyond overall fleet reporting, a robust telematics solution can also help:

  • Monitor and reduce fuel usage
  • Decrease maintenance costs
  • Track driver behavior like speeding, harsh braking, cornering and seat belt usage
  • Log material usage
  • View vehicle locations
  • See operational status of equipment
  • Manage levels of services

Telematics helps eliminate assumption-based winter operations

Ensuring snowy streets are cleared is one thing, but showing citizens when their streets have been or will be plowed can go a long way to help public agencies promote transparency. More and more government agencies are creating websites allowing citizens to view precisely this type of information, and prior to the availability of telematics in Public Works fleets, much of the information provided to these types of websites was assumption based – assuming the level of services was achieved simply by confirming a driver had been sent out to plow a particular route. Now, with access to reliable telematics data on the back-end, they can pull plow up-down or spreader on-off features to make certain the information shared on these public-facing websites is accurate. 

Keeping citizens informed and safe is always the utmost concern during winter weather events. Roads must be serviced quickly and efficiently. Government agencies are finding success using telematics to help achieve their goals while providing transparency and visibility into their winter operations. Winter operations account for almost 20% of state DOT maintenance budgets, with state and local agencies spending more than $2.3 billion annually on winter maintenance programs, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). A reliable telematics solution can help boost operational efficiency while driving down costs, making it a vital tool for Public Works departments across the U.S.

Learn more about how to implement telematics successfully in your Public Works department.