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Ottawa's Fleet Monitoring Improves Road Salt Distribution

November 25, 2009

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA --- The city of Ottawa has begun using new fleet monitoring technology for its salt trucks that's expected to save money and reduce the use of road salt during winter, the Ottawa Citizen reported. 

Maria McRae, chairwoman of the city council's transportation committee, said Ottawa is the first city in Canada to use fleet-wide GPS technology to monitor road salt operations in real time. "By reducing salt, we save money, but we also manage the adverse effects to the environment," she told the newspaper. 

Depending on the severity of this winter's weather, salt use could be reduced by as much as 13,300 tons this year, city officials told the Ottawa Citizen. That represents a potential savings of up to $1 million per year. 

Previously, city staff had to manually download salt-use information from the spreaders, which was labor-intensive and at times ineffective. 

The city spent about $200,000 to equip its 200 salt-spreader vehicles with parts necessary for the new fleet monitoring system.

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