Even with a jump from 28 snow events in one winter to 63 snow events in the next, the City of North Canton, Ohio was able to cut its salt usage by nearly 50% by collecting more accurate salt use data. This salt use reduction saved the city $300,000, according to Webtech Wireless.
The winter months in North Canton mean a constant flow of snow storms. During the 2012/2013 winter, the city used 6,800 tons of salt. Drivers salting roads would eyeball the amount of salt they were dropping through their side-view mirrors, often using much more salt than needed. The following year, after switching to Webtech’s GPS tracking system, which also monitors salt use, the city’s salt usage dropped to 3,700 tons. This drastic reduction in salt use left the city with 5,000 tons of salt in reserve.
The new tracking system also brought other benefits. The city is now able to prioritize every single street by breaking the city up into quadrants. A fleet manager is able to review data to determine which routes require immediate service and which don’t, according to the company.
In the event that a resident calls the city concerned that a street has not been serviced, a fleet manager can quickly check the street’s status. That fleet manger can then assure the resident that the area has been covered or, if it turns out that the street was missed, can immediately send a driver over to the area.