Franklin installs GPS devices on plows so residents can monitor snow removal

Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 18:42:08-05

One local community hopes a roughly $7,000 investment in new technology will lead to better-plowed streets during future snow storms. 

City leaders in Franklin recently purchased GPS tracking devices for all 16 of the municipality's snow plows. 

The devices, which are mounted underneath the dash along with a corresponding antenna on each plow's windshield, are being installed in the trucks over the next couple of weeks. 

Mayor Steve Olson said some residents complained of unplowed streets this winter, even though Department of Public Works employees were certain plow trucks had attended to those roadways. 

"But we had no way to show that to them," Olson said. 

Now, city workers will have access to real time data showing where all the plow trucks are and have been. 

Olson hopes that will help them better-respond to concerns from constituents. 

He said he's also expecting the GPS purchases will enable Department of Public Works employees to better map out different routes for plowing certain areas of the city. 

The mayor said that improved efficiency could save taxpayers money. 

"We're always looking for ways to use technology to improve our performance," Olson said. 

The GPS devices will also track whether a snow plows blade is down, and how much salt it is distributing onto the road. 

Franklin contains more than 170 miles of roadway, which Olson said is the most in any Milwaukee County municipality outside of the City of Milwaukee.