Fleet Manager Detects Dangerous Black Ice In Charlotte, North Carolina
L and M Construction was bidding on contracts for snow and ice abatement with Mecklenburg County. They wanted something that would set them apart from their competition. GPSTrackIt.com’s Fleet Manager vehicle tracking and fleet management system provided the perfect solution.
These devices use an infrared beam aimed at the ground,” according to Eddie Bermudez, Manager of Product Development at GPSTrackIt.com. “It’s this reading that’s so critical to identifying potential hazards like black ice.
L and M Construction, of Statesville, North Carolina (http://www.landmconstruction.com/), has been a customer of GPSTrackIt.com since 2010. They hold general contractors licenses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Alabama. They offer a wide array of construction & landscaping services, including large commercial buildings and commercial upfits.
In addition, they provide services to local municipalities for the removal of snow and ice. For Mecklenburg County, and for cities like Charlotte, this is a major responsibility. One need only look back to last winter as a massive storm dumped ice and snow. Cars and trucks lost control, with even 18-wheelers spinning out on the roadways. Commutes that normally took 30 minutes stretched to hours. According to CNN, some drivers spent up to 20 hours in their cars, while others abandoned them.
And there were more than a few fatalities.
According to Nick Walawender, L and M’s shop foreman, they had an edge.
“We’d talked to GPSTrackIt about what we could do to extend the capabilities of their vehicle tracking and fleet management system to help with operating our Torwell Sand and Salt Spreaders,” said Walawender. “We provided them with a device we used – Surface Patrol, from Vaisala (http://www.vaisala.com/).
Surface Patrol measures the ambient temperature of the air. It also monitors the surface temperature of roadways.
“These devices use an infrared beam aimed at the ground,” according to Eddie Bermudez, Manager of Product Development at GPSTrackIt. “It’s this reading that’s so critical to identifying potential hazards like black ice.”
Black ice, also called clear ice, is virtually transparent. It shows the asphalt surface below through it—thus the term “black ice”. The typically low levels of observable ice pellets, snow, or sleet makes the ice almost invisible to drivers, resulting in a risk of skidding and collisions due to the loss of traction.
“Bridges are a particularly hazardous location when the temperature freezes,” added Walawender. “The ambient temperature might show above freezing, but there’s nothing under a bridge to help hold the heat, so the surface temperature could be below freezing. That’s why they freeze so fast.”
“The salt spreaders transmit both the ambient and surface temperatures via the GPS tracking device installed on the vehicle,” said Bermudez. “It’s transmitted to our Fleet Manager system along with the location and other operational information.”
“They have a guy in Charlotte who watches the information coming in,” said Walawender. “He uses Fleet Manager to monitor where they need to deploy trucks.”
They even use the trucks outfitted with sensors as a crowd-sourced real-time weather network that is extremely accurate.
“They monitor the temperature of a truck in one location showing an ambient temperature of 21 degrees and another showing 32 degrees several miles away. By using the data coming in from all the trucks, they can determine the exact movement of a storm front as it comes through.”
Walawender adds that this technology has set L and M Construction apart and ahead of it’s competition when it comes to snow and ice abatement.
“Going forward, this capability will be a requirement for anyone bidding on contracts for snow and ice.”
Established in 1999, located in Southern California, GPSTrackit is dedicated to providing its clients the most innovative, cutting-edge GPS tracking technology for business vehicles and assets accompanied by their world-class customer service.
- Contact Information
- Krystal Willis
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- (1) (866) 320-5810
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