Snow plows get salted with GPS systems

Posted by Mark Raby

Indianapolis (IN) - As the country gears for Winter, states vulnerable for snowstorms are preparing for the next few months with heaters, snow plows, and local news tickers to show school closings. At least one of these is about to get easier in Indiana, as the state rolls out snow plows equipped with GPS systems.

"It all just helps us make decisions on how to send which truck where," says Public Works Assistant Director Pat Holdsworth, commenting on an $800,000 project to install more technology into state snow plows, salt trucks, and garbage trucks, which includes installing GPS devices into the vehicles.

Built-in GPS helps both the drivers and dispatchers of the trucks. Those who brave the streets to clear the snow are able to know for sure if they're on the right path, and the ones back in the office can see on one screen where the dispatched units are currently working.

Furthering the advancements to the state's department of transportation, salt trucks have also been improved with a salt spreader sensor, which will allow for more efficient dispersion of the salt, according to department representatives. Those overlooking the operation can even keep tabs on this too, and tell the drivers if they're wasting too much salt.

The test will be to see if these fancy new gadgets actually help improve the overall flow of transportation throughout the state once the snowy season is in full swing.