Colorado Implements Snow Plow Monitoring for Public Tracking, Fleet Management

AASHTO Journal, 5 February 2016

The Colorado Department of Transportation unveiled a new monitoring system that lets the public see where snow plows are working and which areas have been plowed, so they can better plan their trips during snow storms.

The new system provides “near real-time location information for CDOT’s snow plow fleet,” the agency said. And it helps CDOT to more efficiently deploy its fleet during winter storms.


“One of the most frequent comments and questions that we get from the public is ‘where are the plows’,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT’S executive director. “This tool will help the public understand where we are and how we are working to keep the traveling public safe.”

Besides helping the public see plow locations, the Automated Vehicle Locator AVL system generates real-time notifications to CDOT on how plows are functioning. That will make it easier for CDOT crews to manage the fleet, direct plows to where they are needed most and keep more plows on the road by addressing mechanical issues quickly.

Though the AVL system, the public can view plow locations and travel speeds on any internet device. The system will not show plows that have not moved for more than 16 minutes.

CDOT said on Jan. 31 that 860 of its total 970 snow plows had been outfitted with the AVL system, and more are coming online.

Future elements of the snow plow page will include a button showing all roads plowed in the past hour, and continued refinements showing the path of the plow truck.

“We are dedicated to helping the public to where they need to go during our winter storms,” said Maintenance Director Kyle Lester. “We are constantly looking for ways to use technology – like this AVL system – to help improve our operations and therefore provide better service to travelers.”

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