Street sweeping makes city life more pleasant. Removing dirt, sand, road salt, and debris from public streets makes them safer and more pleasant. It keeps storm drains from clogging, and it protects the water table from contamination. It keeps large objects from clogging the sewer system.
Some cities own their own street sweepers. Other municipalities contract street sweeping with private companies. If you own a street sweeper, and especially if you own a private street sweeping company, you should equip your street sweepers with GPS tracking.
The Benefits of GPS for Street Sweepers
City schedules for street sweeping and public contracts for street sweeping are usually very specific about which streets should be swept when. Street sweeping contracts do not pay for deviations from prescribed routes, and they certainly don’t pay for work employees may do “on the side.”
Keeping track of employees and equipment at all times is essential for achieving the kind of productivity that makes a street sweeping business profitable and keeps taxpayer costs to a minimum.
- GPS Reduces the Likelihood of Billing or Time Sheet Disputes
GPS technologies also reduce the risk of contract disputes. A GPS tracking system can create a map of the route a street sweeper takes during the working day. The number of curb miles or road miles swept is electronically recorded. This way, if there is later a dispute about whether a section of road was swept, GPS can resolve it for all parties concerned.
GPS can be used to create a geofence. GPS can tell management instantly when a sweeper strays from its assigned, geofenced territory.
- GPS Confirms Contractors Are Meeting Environmental Rules
Street sweepers don’t spend all their time sweeping streets. It is still necessary to dump the sand, dirt, and detritus swept off the streets in an approved landfill or dump. GPS technologies can confirm that fill is delivered where it is supposed to be.And telematic GPS systems integrated with the sweeper’s diagnostic electronics can inform your home office of all the same situations that might set off a warning light on a dashboard. You can use GPS telematics to track fuel efficiency, safe operation, and needed maintenance.
But couldn’t you just install GPS tracking devices in all of your street sweepers on your own?
- Street Sweeper GPS Works Best When It Is Professionally Installed
GPS tracking isn’t just about watching a red dot on a map that tells you where your sweeper is. GPS systems can create a tremendous amount of data that only becomes meaningful information with the help of professional installation.
- GPS Can Automate Timekeeping Tasks
GPS creates a digital trail of breadcrumbs that you can use to follow your employees throughout the day. You can easily track their real-time location with your GPS monitoring system.
GPS can be integrated into your accounting systems so that location data generates time sheets. You no longer have to track down recording errors. You will know exactly what your employees were doing and when. You can use this data to allocate costs to different contracts, making sure you bill your customers for all the services you provide.
- GPS Can Track Multiple Sweepers at the Same Time
GPS is a great tool for fleet management. Managers don’t have to monitor sweepers one at a time. They can set geofence parameters for the entire fleet, and then wait for the system to notify them of exceptions. Managers can use geofencing technology to document when employees arrive in the morning and leave in the evening.
- GPS Tracking Technology Can Deter Equipment Theft
Every few weeks, there is a story in the news about some street sweeper theft. Usually, a new employee becomes aware of the value of street sweeping equipment and decides to steal it to attempt to sell it illegally. A slow-speed chase ensues, and the police capture the criminal—usually. When the sweeper is equipped with GPS tracking, the police can locate it much more quickly.Even after equipment is recovered, there can be substantial losses for the company that owns it. The sweeper is unavailable for paying for work while it is being driven without permission and while it is sitting in a police impound lot. The company has to pay a fee to get the sweeper out of the impound lot, and then it has to be driven to the nearest work location. Unauthorized drivers may damage the sweeper, requiring expensive repairs.
Installing GPS trackers in your sweeper will not stop all thefts. But any employee who realizes that the equipment is being tracked is much less likely to attempt to use it on private projects or to commit grand larceny to fence it to a competing street sweeping company.
- GPS Tracking Technology Generates Maintenance Alerts
Many kinds of sweeper maintenance are scheduled periodically, every time the machine is driven a certain number of miles. GPS tracking can generate automatic notifications of these regular maintenance tasks.
But that isn’t all GPS tracking can do. Telematic GPS sensing integrated into the electronics of the sweeper can notify the office of unscheduled maintenance needs. It’s a lot like the warning lights on a car’s dashboard, only it ties into the maintenance records and repair history of each machine, predicting the kinds of repairs needed and when they must be done.