ANDERSON, IN – The City of Anderson, Ind., selected a GPS system for its fleet of vehicles. The City decided it needed a system after dealing with inclement weather, including ice storms, blizzards, and summer thunderstorms. Before using the new GPS system, fleet dispatchers used a white board to track the City’s fleet of 50 vehicles.

Government Fleet corresponded with the City’s GIS Manager Jason Tuck about the new system, which is offered by Trimble, and how it has helped the City provide services to its citizens.

“We could never efficiently route the fleet before, and now we can see where the vehicles are and dispatch them to the closest outage,” Tuck said. “Safety was also an issue. We had to make sure each crew was finished with its repairs before turning on the line. This meant tracking each crew so that they were all accounted for before ‘re-energizing.’ There’s much less chance of error now because we can visibly track each crew on the monitor.”

Tuck said the routing improvement led to a measurable improvement in fuel usage. Tuck estimates fuel savings are around 30 percent. Beyond the fuel savings, the improved routing also improved City employee productivity.

“There was a major ice storm this June, and with the new tracking system, we kept each vehicle in one area rather than send them from the southeast part of the City to the northwest corner. Routing was very systematic, which increased (power) restoration time by 20 percent.”

The overall improvement in work efficiency in its utility division is more than 40 percent. Trimble’s system also has a technical interface that allows the department to access fleet diagnostics and better manage maintenance, which helps eliminate vehicle downtime and regulate workflow.

By Greg Basich