GPS Fleet Tracking System Helps Keep Michigan Roads Clear of Snow

Last year, Wayne County, Mich., installed $360,000 worth of GPS fleet tracking equipment for the 158 trucks and 18 sweepers that deal with winter road maintenance.

snow removal vehicleIn real-time, the GPS fleet tracking system tells the Department of Public Services where trucks are located, how much salt the trucks are using, whether truck plows are up or down and how fast the trucks are going.

“If there’s a route that hasn’t been cleared, we can see where the nearest truck is and clear the route,” says Cindy Dingell, deputy chief operating officer of Wayne County’s Department of Public Services.

A fleet tracking system offers a unique combination of tools to help a city manage their response to snow storms.

The mapping solutions help administrators deploy their snow plow fleets to attack the storm as it happens.

The GPS fleet tracking software gives real-time feedback of the location of each truck and plow and helping identify where they’ve been and where they should go.  The information will help cut down on redundant routes, identify overlap and missed routes.

Using a fleet tracking system could reduce overall salt use by up to nine percent, according to a recent study from the UW-Madison Traffic Operations and Safety lab projects.

An additional element built into the Wayne County system is a website ( that the public can use to track the progress of trucks on county roads. Using the map option, a commuter ready to leave home for work can, for example, plan the best route to take to avoid roads that have not yet been cleared of snow.