The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) began testing a new GPS tracking system in approximately 1,200 heavy duty trucks in 2020. With the assistance of visual mapping, the system allows drivers to know which roads have already been treated for winter weather and which ones still need treatment. The system also operates as a safety operation mechanism.
MoDOT Chief Safety and Operations Officer Becky Allmeroth told The Heartlander that MoDOT originally began the program to ensure that they knew the location of big trucks and to eliminate at-risk behaviors by drivers.
The Geotab GPS tracking system has exceeded expectations and has now been installed in every snow plow and material spreader across Missouri. MoDOT also plans to expand Geotab to its passenger fleet vehicles in the near future.
Geotab shows drivers a visual map to let them know where trucks have been in the last four to eight hours, but the system also alerts MoDOT when a truck is displaying a maintenance error. Mechanic crews will be able to put the truck on hold at its exact location until they can come fix the problem.
The device will also flash warning signals to alert drivers if they are driving in an unsafe manner. Allmeroth says new CDL drivers have a lot to focus on, but Geotab will help them keep focused on their duties rather than speeding or harsh cornering. If an operator has run off the road or had an accident, Geotab will also alert proper MoDOT authorities.
“We don’t want this to be big brother, watching our operators,” Allmeroth said. “Our operators know if they are starting to speed a little bit or if their seat belt isn’t on.”
MoDOT is currently lacking several hundred drivers for the winter of 2022. Approximately another 200 workers are out with sickness.
“It’s been vital this year. We’re competing for some of those same CDL drivers that everyone else in the industry is. We have a gap of several hundred operators, put Covid on top of it and we’ve really had to pull resources to fill in some of those gaps in different operators who don’t necessarily plow in their usual location.”
Those interested in more information on how to apply can visit MoDOT’’s website.