When Chris Larmon started working at the Town of Mead more than two decades ago, plow operations were simple. But that once quiet Colorado town has since quadrupled in size, and the Public Works Department battles to keep up with high service level expectations.
Chris brought in NeoTreks Plow Ops™ to collect data that will help him keep up with demands, enhance safety and justify increasing the winter operations budget to the town’s Board of Directors. With NeoTreks Plow Ops, Chris will be able to effectively communicate how much plowing work is being done around town, including:
- Miles plowed
- Hours worked
- Days worked
- Estimated fuel consumption
Along with tracking data, NeoTreks Plow Ops allows Chris and his team to keep a record of all communications to and from plow drivers in the field. These event logs will help track any incidents on the road so they can be addressed quickly and efficiently.
“With Plow Ops, we can get items out of memory and into tracking,” said Chris Larmon, Operations Manager at the Town of Mead Public Works Department. “With the right tools, we can do our part to keep the town safe.”
By leveraging the power of NeoTreks Plow Ops, Chris can compile a holistic report at the end of the winter season. By presenting the right information to the town’s Board of Directors, Chris will be able to successfully communicate why he needs increased budget and manpower to keep the town running smoothly.
According to Michael E. Bullock, President & CEO at NeoTreks, the pilot project with the Town of Mead, “demonstrates that NeoTreks Plow Ops is an affordable, scalable solution that can provide value to organizations of all sizes.”
You may feel like you’re getting by with traditional communications at your agency during inclement weather. However, the current cloud-dependent and digital platforms offer more efficient ways to track plow driver status and improve road, weather and critical incident reporting. Keep reading to see if you can benefit from digitizing your winter operations.
1. You’re still using CB radios.
If you are still using the traditional CB radio to communicate with plows on the field, you’re bound to have challenges with human error, communications latency (research shows plow drivers can wait up to 15 minutes to report an issue), and reduced accuracy of the information being reported. Adapting to digital winter operations streamlines the communication process including accurate and real-time travel information updates from plow drivers on the field to Operations Centers and even to the public.
2. You’d like to improve communications with plow drivers.
Dynamic road conditions reporting, weather reporting, critical incident reporting, etc. are difficult to track and relay on a real-time basis. Electronic event logs help get information out of memory and into tracking. Not to mention it helps keep track of the occasional rooster tail damage.
3. You need a better understanding of plow driver status.
Accountability in the workplace is something every manager wants to have. While accountability has a clear link to higher work performance, experts indicate that it also results in improved competency and commitment to work, increased employee morale, and work satisfaction. Accountability enhances creativity and innovation making the employee is more invested in the future of the organization. Going digital can keep your plow drivers accountable for hours of service, percentage of route completed, and real-time location.
4. Lack of real-time traveler information.
Updating traveler information in real time is critical for ensuring public safety and reducing costly weather-related delays and incidents. Accurate road condition reporting results in fewer vehicles crashes, injuries and fatalities.
Do your winter operations stack up?
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We’re proud to announce that NeoTreks has been selected to present “Utilizing Mobile Apps for Weather Responsive Traffic” as part of the FAST TRACK education sessions at the 2017 APWA Snow Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. The session takes place Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 1PM in room 316-317.
The 2017 APWA Snow Conference has it all—from expert-led snow and ice education sessions to an exhibit floor full of experts who can’t wait to show you the latest winter maintenance solutions your community’s been looking for.
Join Josh Parker, Vice President of Product Development at NeoTreks, as he examines how the GIS-IT team at Wyoming DOT worked with NeoTreks and CompassCom to design, develop and deploy an Android tablet application for use with the 600+ plows operating within Wyoming.
The Wyoming DOT Road Condition Reporting Application was designed to improve the frequency, accuracy and timeliness of observational weather data from the plow operators themselves.
Learn how the Wyoming Road Condition Reporting Application helped improve:
- The efficiency of road condition reporting by maintenance staff
- Response times when reporting road conditions from Transportation Management Center operations
- The timeliness of updated traveler information
- The situational awareness of maintenance staff in the field regarding road weather conditions
After attending this session, you’ll be better able to transfer your workflows from verbal to digital, update the public in real time, and reduce the length of road closures to aid commercial trucking and the motoring public. Come hear how the project turned out and see if your agency could benefit from something similar.
We’ll also have a booth where we’ll be demoing our latest version of NeoTreks Plow Ops and sharing best practices to help professionals like you improve safety and efficiency during winter operations.
And, oh yeah, we’ll be giving away a Yeti cooler! On the NeoTreks team, we’re outdoorsmen at heart. And we can’t get enough of these coolers that are built for finding comfort well outside your comfort zone.
Check us out at Booth #307 and win!
Directions Magazine features NeoTreks Plow Ops in its article, “Startups: What’s the Next Big Thing?” The magazine caught up with the geospatial development company and other startups at the 2016 Esri User Conference, which connects leaders in the field of geographic information system (GIS) product development.
According to the article: “In the world of utilities, public works and public safety, fleet management technology continued to be a focal point, with personnel tracking technology growing — not just for improved efficiency, but also for worker safety.”
Looking to discover a few fresh ideas to solve geospatial problems, Directions Magazine asked NeoTreks, “Why you? Why now?”
“We connect and deploy fleet-wide on an easily modified smartphone platform,” said Josh Parker, vice president of product development at NeoTreks. “For the Wyoming Department of Transportation, NeoTreks Plow Ops saved almost one year’s worth of reporting time.”
A mobile platform that enables road, weather and critical incident reporting, NeoTreks Plow Ops replaces traditional radio communications to help state and local agencies enhance safety, increase efficiency and reduce weather-related delays.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) team has embraced the experience, ensuring consistent adoption across all levels of users. With NeoTreks Plow Ops, WYDOT has reported:
- 91% of maintenance staff in the field can send a report without waiting (compared to traditional radio)
- 25%+ improvement in quality and accuracy of data (compared to traditional radio)
- 100% of NeoTreks Plow Ops users “feel this new technology is useful in their operations” and “agree NeoTreks Plow Ops is easier than using the radio.”
“We’re proud of the work we’re doing with the Wyoming DOT and look forward to building on our success to help reduce vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities,” said Parker.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) uses NeoTreks Plow Ops to make road, weather and critical incident reporting safer, easier and more efficient. Initially launched on 60 plows in 2014, WYDOT built on the success of its initial deployment to launch more than 250 plows for winter 2016.
Documented wins around public safety and internal efficiencies include:
- Plow operators who use NeoTreks Plow Ops have been able to report twice the number of road condition reports compared to traditional radio communications.
- Plow operators are able to submit three times the number of Variable Speed Limit (VSL) requests compared to traditional radio communications.
- NeoTreks Plow Ops improves the efficiency of WYDOT Transportation Management Center (TMC) operations, resulting in a reduction of weather-related costs by saving more than 2,000 man-hours a year.
“By improving the timeliness and accuracy of reporting road conditions, NeoTreks Plow Ops aims to reduce vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities for WYDOT and other agencies,” said Michael E. Bullock, president and CEO at NeoTreks.
See how WYDOT uses NeoTreks Plow Ops to enhance safety, increase efficiency and reduce weather-related delays. Read the case study.
Alex Salazar, with Douglas County Department of Public Works is the lucky winner of a brand new Yeti Roadie cooler! Thanks for coming by our booth at the Western Snow and Ice Conference, and Congratulations Alex!