The Missouri Transportation Department’s trucks are treating roads this winter with some extra help from technology. MoDOT Assistant Maintenance Engineer Paul Denkler tells Missourinet it is using a GPS tracking system and is testing an extra feature that makes its operations more efficient.

Illustration courtesy of MoDOT

“The winter operations add-on allows us to better monitor the material being spread, what application rate it’s being spread at, how many times we have traveled over a certain route,” he says.

Denkler says the add-on has paid off in other states.

“There are several states that have this already in place,” he tells Missourinet. “States using this are seeing a return on investment of 20 to 1 when they incorporate the winter operations.”

The department uses the technology on about 1200 trucks in the southwest, central and St. Louis districts.

According to Denkler, the system also gives MoDOT early alerts when trucks are having engine problems and other maintenance issues, which also help to save money.

The illustration in this story shows a snapshot of a trip history for a MoDOT truck. It shows three trips the truck took and each trip shows where the truck was during that time period, how fast it was moving, the speed limit of the road it’s on and if any rule criteria were broken, such as harsh braking, harsh cornering, speeding or idling too long.

The system, called Geotab, also shows if there were any engine warnings. These alerts would show up on the map as a triangle with an exclamation point inside it. A triangle at the end of trip 1 is an alert of the truck idling past the time set for that rule criteria.

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