GETTING READY: DOT Tests New Plow Technology

Department of Transportation crews are making the transition from construction season to road maintenance season.

Even though many of the workers are veterans, they still have plenty to learn about the new equipment designed to keep the public safe as they get ready for the first significant snow-fall.

It was training day for DOT maintenance workers, Tuesday.

“Each season, we usually have some changes and technological updates to the trucks and we want our crews to know about the latest and greatest changes that have come forth,” says highway maintenance supervisor Eric Lack.

New on all trucks this year will be software that can perform “accident mode.” It allows drivers to adjust how much product they lay at an accident scene or area that is especially slick from a computer mounted in the truck.

Also to be mounted in the trucks this year will be cameras that will give the DOT live images of the roads they plow.

This will better allow supervisors to identify problem spots.

After a test run this winter, they hope to make this technology available to the public through the 511ia.org website.

“We have to really test it first, make sure it’s working and accurately depicting where the plows are and we have the applications to manage that application that information as well,” says DOT coordinator Andy Loonan.

Unlike their counter-parts in the northern part of the state, metro DOT workers didn’t have to lay any salt or chemicals Tuesday.

But the products and the trucks are ready, they’re just waiting for a call to action.



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