How to achieve your public works fleet goals

Published on August 13, 2021

Imagine a world where the responsibility of keeping your community running smoothly and efficiently rests on your shoulders. Where everyone you pass on the street is your consumer, your critic, and your employer. Welcome to the department of public works where the budgets are tight, projects never end, and performance expectations are high. Whether you’re a civil servant focused on public works or a private contractor delivering services to municipal clients, you share a common set of goals. 

Cost control and reduction

Year-round maintenance and operation of public services, roads, and green spaces come with a hefty price tag. Geotab’s new Public Works solution empowers fleet managers to make better, more cost-effective decisions through data-driven reporting:   

Geotab’s Public Works solution allows for highly precise materials management reporting such as the quantity of brine, sand or salt applied on city streets as it happens with insights directly from your spreader controllers. Combine this with road surface temperature sensor and weather forecast data to determine the optimal distribution of products needed to safeguard roadways while avoiding excessive material use.  

Preventative maintenance reminders/remote diagnostics are key to controlling costs. When a vehicle is taken out of service due to a mechanical failure, the cost of repair is compounded by lost productivity. Geotab not only allows you to schedule, track and report on preventative maintenance tasks, it also remotely reads a rich stream of exception data and fault codes from the vehicle’s engine diagnostic port alerting you to potential and immediate mechanical issues.  

Route optimization can pay huge dividends, however, is a complex task. For this reason, many public works departments’ maintenance or service delivery routes remain unchanged year over year. “We do it this way because we have always done it this way.” Geotab allows dispatchers and fleet managers to make better-informed routing decisions based on several metrics:  vehicle/driver availability, traffic patterns, total trip distance, zone exceptions…etc.  

Level of service completion and accountability

When you serve the public, all eyes are watching. Everyone wants to know when their street will be plowed, their garbage picked up, or if the street sweeper has passed their property. Geotab allows you to overlay your custom ESRI/GIS service maps within your database. Geospatial reporting allows you to set rules and run reports related to vehicle/driver performance and level of service completion. The value of this rich data is further compounded when you integrate it into your city’s 511 public information system. This can be easily achieved with Geotab’s new Citizen’s Insights Map. Turning on this new feature provides your citizens access to real-time or delayed maps of city services such as snowplows, waste collection, street sweepers, city buses…etc. Providing citizens with this level of transparency improves their perceptions of service delivery and reduces inquiries to you and your 511 operators. 

Liability and safety

Improving worker/citizen safety is always a number one goal within the public works department. Geotab empowers you to promote maintenance procedures and driver behaviours that ensure a safe working environment.  

You can ensure your fleet remains in top operational condition by having drivers perform customized pre/post trip vehicle inspections in the Geotab Drive mobile app. As issues are identified repair tickets can be automatically generated and end users are provided guidance on the next steps.  

Once the vehicle is inspected and deemed safe for service, the Geotab solution provides exception data related to speeding, harsh maneuvering, seatbelt usage, etc. Depending on the severity of the incident you may wish to be alerted immediately of certain exceptions or simply have all the exception data compiled into a customized driver scorecard to be reviewed on a regular schedule.  

Accident claims are another area of substantial financial risk. Geotab offers several tools that minimize exposure and/or exonerate drivers altogether. When an incident is reported you can quickly identify which, if any, of your vehicles could have been involved through a simple area search. If one of your vehicles were in the area at the time of the incident your Geotab reporting would paint a detailed picture of the vehicle’s speed, direction, engine measurements and sensor data such as signal and beacon light use, G-force data etc. Geotab devices also provide you with accident re-creation reports in the event the system senses an incident may have occurred. Many Geotab clients have used this comprehensive data to defend themselves against erroneous or exaggerated claims, reducing large settlements and insurance costs. 

Support of environmental sustainability initiatives

Environmental sustainability has become a top priority for most public fleets. Fleet managers have a lot of complex variables to consider when developing their electrification strategies. For this reason, Geotab has embedded an Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment tool (EVSA) directly into the platform. The EVSA benchmarks your fleet’s real-time data with the world’s largest dataset for real-world EV performance, offering data-driven EV recommendations to make your transition to electric as seamless and cost-effective as possible. 

Simplification of managing mixed fleets and contractors

With your fleet now running more smoothly and efficiently than ever, it would be ideal to have your contractor’s Geotab data seamlessly integrated into your municipal database and reporting tools. Well, now you can with Geotab’s new Extendable Services feature. Extendable Services allows sharing a second customizable data stream from a vehicle’s Geotab device to a secondary database. Having the ability to integrate contractors data into your own database ensures alignment of service levels, maintenance standards accountability for municipal and contractor fleets alike.

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Alfred Bragg

Sales Manager


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