Winter can be the busiest time of the year for some local government municipalities.
Budgeting and planning now is the best way to avoid being caught off guard. It's that time of year again when local governments across the country prepare for winter weather. One important way to do this is by equipping snowplow fleets with GPS tracking systems. This will allow municipalities to capture data about their operations, which can be used to improve their preparations for future storms.
Plan Carefully and Ahead of Time for Snow Removal
When winter weather hits, it's important to be prepared. Blizzards and ice storms can cause power outages, downed trees, power lines, and hazardous driving conditions, which means local governments will need to ensure the fleets they plan to use for maintaining circulation during the winter months are well equipped. Preparing for winter weather may seem like a daunting task, but there are some simple things you can do to make it easier.
Train Snow Removal Fleet Operators to Drive in Winter Weather
Municipalities should ensure that fleet managers can provide proof of training for their drivers when it comes to operating vehicles in adverse weather conditions. It’s a good idea to have drivers undergo extra training before the winter months since they may be dealing with icy roads, sleet, and even rain. All of these conditions can make driving in winter dangerous. Fleet managers should monitor drivers’ speeds and ensure they are slowing down, using low gears, and avoiding hard braking and acceleration when winter weather hits.
Develop a Winter Fleet Management Plan
One thing that local governments can do to establish a winter fleet management plan is to make sure that they have enough snowplows and salt trucks. All vehicles and equipment should undergo inspection, and any routine or emergent maintenance scheduled and completed before the first snowfall or icing to make sure vehicles have maximum uptime, particularly if equipment [hydraulics, spreaders, blades, etc.] needs to be reinstalled.
Plan Emergency Routes
Routes should be reviewed, ensuring they are as efficient as possible, clearing main roads and not crossing over already cleared areas, wasting time, materials, and fuel. In addition, GPS route data should be reviewed and verified as up-to-date in case any changes have occurred since the last winter season.
Equip Your Fleet with GPS Tracking to Achieve Maximum Efficiency
Local municipalities should seek winter weather fleet solutions equipped with a GPS telematics system to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Telematics can collect critical data from spreader controllers, plow sensors, and temperature sensors, during the winter months, especially when the first winter storm of the season hits. Municipalities should retain this data for future planning purposes. Every year, winter will get easier to handle!
Locate Winter Fleet Assets
In the winter months, fleets are at higher risk for damage and theft. Using GPS tracking equipment, municipalities and fleet managers can know exactly where their assets are when, even under harsh weather conditions. GPS location tools, together with geofencing, allow fleet managers to set virtual boundaries and receive alerts when assets go beyond where they should be. In the winter, this is especially important because extreme weather conditions may make checking on equipment too dangerous. With a telematics system, you can at least be aware of what is happening with the fleet.
Monitor Conditions & Which Roads Have Been Serviced
GPS asset tracking does much more than just show where vehicles or equipment are. Together with asset management software, asset-tracking devices that are winter-weather proof can also monitor and track movement, temperature, moisture, and more aspects from the external environment. This information can be transmitted in real-time as weather conditions change, and both drivers and fleet managers can adjust their activity to maximize winter weather fleet efficiency.
In addition to weather conditions, robust road maintenance fleet tracking software gives you a map snapshot of the reads that have recently been serviced. Not only does this make it easier for you or your transportation department to plan winter road maintenance, but you can use the data to update the public (to the minute) as to which routes are clear.
When looking for asset-tracking devices for the winter seasons, it’s important to find the one most suitable for your specific assets and job site environment. Rastrac has a solution to match your municipality’s winter weather planning needs.
Whether you need asset tracking systems exclusively for winter or throughout the year, our team can help you find the best solution. Find out which of our asset-tracking devices can help your business protect your assets this winter!