Winter operations is probably the last thing on your mind right now but taking the time to get ready before the first evidence of winter’s chilly bite will allow you to thoroughly prepare before the arrival of ice and snow.

The first step in winter commissioning is obvious. Vehicles and equipment should be inspected and any routine or emergent maintenance scheduled and completed to make sure vehicles have maximum uptime, particularly if equipment (e.g., hydraulics, spreaders, blades, etc.) needs to be reinstalled.

For data-driven agencies, there is an equally crucial step that needs to be taken during this summer winter commissioning process: making sure you will have access to all of the metrics and measurements agencies rely on during mission critical events.

Winter operations as a data operation

With a comprehensive Public Works telematics solution, you will be able to collect critical data from spreader controllers, plow sensors and temperature sensors during the winter months. To guarantee that you are getting the right data from each of your vehicles, there are a few key steps you need to take.

Start by inspecting all of your rolling assets to make sure that the data you’re receiving is accurate. As part of this process, you’ll need to:

  • Calibrate the spreader controllers

  • Ensure the spreader is working with no errors or feedback sensor failure

  • Validate spreader controller material settings

  • Order spare GPS/AVL equipment if on-the-fly swaps are needed, especially if multiple drivers are using the vehicles

Partner with your telematics provider

As part of your telematics winter commissioning, you should work directly with us to verify that all of your hardware and software is working properly, including:

  • Making sure that firmware is updated and standardized based on material settings, confirming that your fleet will collect the data you need

  • Perform on-site GPS/AVL equipment inspections, replacing any defective equipment if spares are available

  • Confirm spreader, telemetry and temperature data communication

  • Verify winter operations reporting

With this comprehensive preparation, you will remove any guesswork from your decision making, and allow you to meet the worst winter storm event head on with the knowledge that you are receiving accurate, actionable real-time data.

While focusing on winter preparation during the heat of the summer may seem excessive at first, the results – accuracy, efficiency, productivity and no loss of critical operational data – can’t be beat.