The City of Hamilton, Ohio’s newly created Department of Infrastructure needed a fleet technology solution to help improve services for its citizens. Part of its progressive vision was to use Verizon Connect to help improve communication with residents and employees and be more efficient with city resources.
A growing community
The City of Hamilton provides all utilities to city residents, including electric, water, wastewater, gas and fiberoptic services. That means the city’s fleet of vehicles is large and mixed—400+ plow trucks, street sweepers, pickup trucks and more. To track all of these vehicles and their activities, the city needed a flexible technology solution, and it found it with Verizon Connect.
Improved communication for residents and employees
Prior to having Verizon Connect, the City of Hamilton had a different fleet system that was hard to use and inefficient. Implementing Verizon Connect enabled the city to integrate with its existing Esri GIS mapping tool to create an application that tracks snowplow truck movements and activities. As their Director of IT Services, Larry Rover, explains, “Whether a plow is up or down, or a salt spreader is on or off—we’re checking that through the report wizard and seeing whether a sensor is being triggered.”
The Verizon Connect and Esri integration led to a successful resident-facing snow plowing application. The tool allows citizens to visit their online resident portal to view which streets have been plowed, improving transparency into the city’s fleet activities and helping residents to plan their day during the winter season.
Another critical feature of the system is diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that provide alerts to mechanics if something is wrong with a vehicle. The DTCs alert the mechanics to a problem, so they can know how severe the it is and can proactively schedule maintenance. Mechanic Joseph Simmons finds this feature critical to his work: “Makes scheduling a bit easier ... as opposed to just having somebody randomly show up and drop it off and want it done yesterday.”
Better use of city resources
In addition to the snowplowing application and improved vehicle maintenance, the City of Hamilton has seen decreases in vehicle idling and improved communication around vehicle location. Using geofences, which are digital boundaries around important locations, they can know when vehicles are entering and exiting the garage and how long they’ve been there. Larry says “We’re able to track once that vehicle is turned on, how long it was turned on, when it left and when it came back, how long it was idling, and then when the vehicle turned off.”
Verizon Connect has helped reduce idling across the fleet, because managers can get reporting on idling activity and have a conversation with drivers if it becomes excessive.
“We obviously want our employees to use the vehicles responsibly. Idling time is a big waste of money,” says Craig Koger, Superintendent of Streets, Fleets and Sewers.
Jim Williams, Public Works Director, believes Verizon Connect is part of the City of Hamilton’s larger vision for a more accountable, more progressive city. “We can improve our productivity, ensure service to our customers and validate the work that’s being done.” And a community of happy residents is what it’s all about.