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How to Keep Streets Cleaner in the Summer with GPS Tracking Software Brian Dziuk | Aug 4, 2020 3:10:54 PM

Conducting efficient street sanitation and maintenance is a priority for your municipal fleet year-round—but it becomes even more vital in the summer months. Why is street maintenance so important in the summer? More importantly, how can you improve street maintenance in the summer?

The Top 5 Reasons to Optimize Street Maintenance in the Summer

1: Odor

Garbage left out in the hot summer sun, even when properly bagged and sealed in a trash can or garbage bin, will quickly begin to decompose under the heat of the sun, emitting unpleasant odors that no taxpayer wants to deal with.

Using GPS tracking to optimize route planning helps ensure that trash pickup is done quickly and thoroughly, preventing complaints about the stink of hot garbage in the streets. Additionally, solutions like Rastrac’s StreetComplete tool help verify that every trash route or street is serviced on schedule.

2: Commuter Safety

Debris in the streets is a navigational hazard for your municipality’s commuters. Whether the debris is organic (wood, animal carcasses, etc.) or inorganic (shrapnel, vehicle parts, and the like), it can cause damage to commuter vehicles and interfere with the flow of traffic.

Because of this, it’s important to keep streets clear of such debris at all times. The summer heat adds the risk of stranded commuters suffering heat stroke and severe sunburns if they aren’t prepared.

Optimizing street sweeping routes and cleaning services with GPS tracking can help make sure that debris is cleared from the road more quickly, reducing the risk for damage to commuter vehicles.

3: Public Health

Another risk that can be more worrisome in the summer is the risk of disease spreading from rotting materials. As organic trash and animal carcasses decompose in the hot sun, bacteria can multiply and spread.

This creates a health risk for citizens in your municipality who come into contact with rotting materials in the street. The faster you can clean up these infectious materials, the less risk there is of people getting sick from them.

Optimizing routes for the cleanup of animal carcasses and other organic debris helps speed the process of removing these health hazards from your municipality’s streets.

4: Minimize Disruption to Traffic

As noted earlier, debris in the road can be an obstruction to traffic patterns, leading to delays in the morning and afternoon commutes of your municipality’s working citizens. In summer, though, there is an increased risk of drivers reacting to traffic delays with aggression.

As noted in the book Psychology A2: The Complete Companion by Mike Cardwell and Cara Flanagan, “negative affect (mood) increases as the temperature becomes uncomfortably hot… if escape is not a possibility, aggressive behaviours are displayed.” In other words, as temperatures rise, people become more volatile—and if they’re stuck in traffic, road rage incidents become more likely.

Keeping streets clear of obstructions so traffic can keep moving can help indirectly prevent these occurrences. At the very least, you’re removing a major stress factor from the commute.

5: For the Sake of Your Drivers

You municipal workers don’t like being stuck in traffic under the hot sun any more than your commuters. By using GPS tracking to optimize operations, you can minimize the amount of time your drivers spend sitting still in the summer sun and maximize the time they spend in motion.

This can help to reduce the stress factor of the summer heat for street sweepers in addition to making them more efficient at clearing street debris. Additionally, with GPS vehicle tracking, if a vehicle gets stuck for any reason, you can send assistance straight to the vehicle’s last known GPS location, minimizing the time delay for help to arrive.

How to Keep Streets Cleaner in the Summertime with GPS Tracking

Waste management GPS tracking software can be your solution to keeping streets cleaner in the summertime! Here are three major ways how.

1: You Can Track Your Municipal Fleet in Real-Time

Many municipal fleet managers are turning to GPS tracking software to monitor and manage their street sanitation vehicles. By making it possible to pinpoint the exact location of any vehicle at any time and from any location, visibility into your fleet operations is drastically increased. This is important because your municipality only has so many street sanitation vehicles it can deploy at once, so knowing where each one ensures that streets in your community are cleaned as efficiently and effectively as possible.

GPS tracking can also provide enhanced reports that detail actual mileage driven and vehicle performance. For example, if a driver isn’t sticking to their assigned routes and schedules, you’ll be able to quickly notice there’s an issue when the mileage on their vehicle is much higher than it should be. Additionally, with alerts about vehicle performance, you can keep your fleet operating in peak condition and optimize maintenance scheduling. This way, there’s less risk of having to take street sanitation vehicles out of service for emergency repairs.

2: You Can Monitor Service Areas

For many municipal fleet managers, the biggest challenge is making sure that every part of your service area has been thoroughly covered—even when you aren’t out in the field yourself. Rastrac’s StreetComplete GPS tracking software can be a valuable solution to this problem. It gives you the ability to monitor the service coverage area of each vehicle on a real-time map with color-coded, aging routes.

For example, a service route that has just been visited might be color coded as green, yellow could indicate a route that will need service soon, and red could mean a route or site is overdue for service.

This allows you to quickly and accurately determine which routes are most in need of street sanitation services with a simple glance at your monitor. There’s no need to sort through endless stacks of manual records or try to get a hold of an employee to ask them when a route was last cleaned. When you can effectively monitor services areas, efficiency and coverage is improved. This allows you to cover more ground with fewer vehicles and less labor, ultimately keeping your streets cleaner in the summertime!

3: You Can Build Optimized Routes

By building optimized routes and making sure your drivers stick to them through GPS tracking software, you can maximize your street maintenance fleet’s coverage. You’ll be able to create ideal routes for each vehicle and track their progress. If a traffic jam or road closure would delay those routes, you’ll be alerted in real-time. This way, you can reroute those vehicles so they can continue working at maximum efficiency.

This drastically improves the distribution of your assets in the field and ensures your vehicles are always taking the routes that get them to their destination as quickly as possible. StreetComplete can also be used to take this a step further. When you’re always aware of which areas are most in need of street sanitation services, you can adjust routes and redistribute your field assets to where they’ll have the biggest impact without excessive overlapping.

There are numerous reasons to use waste management GPS tracking software in your municipal fleet—and these reasons are only amplified in the hot and humid summer months.

To learn more about how our asset tracking software and GPS tracking solutions can help you keep the streets in your community cleaner this summer, reach out to a Rastrac expert!

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