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GPS Helps Crews Remove Snow Efficiently

Plowing and salting the roads isn't a job done solely on the street anymore. It's something Wheeling's Public Works director can now monitor from his desktop. "When you go on the tracking, it actually shows when the truck left in the morning and every place it's been since," said Rusty Jebbia. Earlier this year, the city purchased GPS units for each maintenance truck.
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While the city's been working with the GPS system throughout the year, the main purpose is to improve the efficiency of snow removal. Every 10 seconds, the program updates each snow plow's location. It also tracks the trucks' speeds and how long they're stopped. In addition, it keeps snowplow drivers on the move and helps the city keep tabs on which roads they need to hit next.

"We've always had people calling saying that they haven't seen a truck in their neighborhood for snow plowing or cindering. And this way we can monitor our vehicles to make sure that we've got all the streets covered," Jebbia said.

The program tracks the entire route the driver has taken throughout the day and Jebbia can look back at any day in the program's history. He said looking at the history will also help improve snow removal in the future.

"It's going to help us in our planning, to be able to plan to get the neighborhoods covered so we know exactly how many trucks it's going to take to cover different areas. If we have a breakdown, we'll know a truck didn't get over to that area so we can send someone else to that neighborhood."

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May 19, 2019, 8:22 am PDT

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