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Friday, August 18, 2017

News & Updates

Zonar provides street crews with valuable road work tracking information

primary data gathered includes time spent, speed, areas of community covered

Frankfort, Ind. – Frankfort Street Department crews are using Zonar Systems’ ground traffic control software to track time spent, speed driven and areas of the City covered when crews salt roads and plow snow.

According to Street Superintendent Jason Forsythe, each of the Department’s 11 trucks and plows are identified with a number and a GPS box attached to each of them.

“As our crews are out working the roads – whether they are salting them or plowing snow – the Zonar computer software creates custom reports and a color-coded graphic with various segments showing the date, the duration of time spent salting and plowing including actual start and end times, average driving speed and specific roads traveled.

“The color-coded graphic also includes an overlay showing active and inactive times the plows are engaged. The software reports back the distance our vehicles are driven, maximum speed, maximum idle, mileage and even when the plows on our trucks are down versus up.

“It’s always our goal to minimize overlapping of areas in town by our drivers to help ensure every area of the community is salted or plowed in a complete and timely manner. Zonar’s system helps us accurately know whenever any overlap has occurred, which is valuable information to help create enhanced strategic road improvement plans,” Forsythe said.

A significant added benefit of using the Zonar system is to protect the safety of Frankfort’s road crews.

If one of the vehicles is idling longer than 10 minutes, Forsythe receives an alert text on his cell phone letting him know which truck is idling, for how long and its exact location.

“If the truck is at the Street Department, then I know the driver likely is handling a maintenance step such as loading up on salt, but if he is somewhere out in the community and his vehicle is idling that long and we haven’t heard from him, it could be a health or safety situation.

“Once I receive the text alert, I can reach out to the driver on my cell or in certain circumstances, I could decide to activate emergency personnel to his location,” Forsythe said. “This is one example of how Zonar’s software provides vitally important information allowing us to trigger what could be life-saving assistance to our drivers.”

City officials purchased the software from Seattle-based Zonar for $3,298 a year in a three-year contract. At the conclusion of the third year, the City can do a year-by-year contract. The monies came from Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) funds in the Street Department’s 2016 budget.

According to Forsythe, if residents have questions or concerns about their streets being salted or plowed, the data the Zonar software provides will answer the time, duration of work and areas of Frankfort covered.

“Zonar’s system allows us to provide valuable tracking information for both external information to the public and as an internal resource for us to always be looking at ways to improve our salting and plowing services,” Forsythe explained.

Founded in 2001, Zonar pioneered smart fleet management technology that has changed fleet operations in the vocational, pupil and commercial trucking industries.

NOTE: the two color-coded graphics below show examples of a plow-salt spreader activity report and a map of salt trucks’ paths.