With almost 100,000 miles of road, Saskatchewan leads with the most roadway out of any province in Canada. The agricultural and dairy industry in and around Rose Valley and Ponass Lake, Saskatchewan thrives off of the roads for its day-to-day transportation requirements. With the constant wear and tear of such vital pathways, the maintenance of roads becomes crucial in supporting the local industries. Loretta Prevost, the administrator for the Rose Valley rural municipality of Ponass Lake relies on Titan GPS to track the equipment that efficiently maintains and repairs the busy roads.
Wear, Tear and Much To Bear
With only two full-time employees, a couple of seasonal contractors and thousands of miles of road to cover, managing the graders that repair and smoothen roads became a hard task for the administration. The municipality needed an asset management plan, but needed software to manage those assets in real time even more.
The additional time that it took to run from one area to another and send grader operators or seasonal contractors to various locations was quite tedious, with no way of making sure which areas were covered at what time by which grader. It was impossible to plan things ahead of time, which is an essential aspect of maintaining thousands of miles of roads.
Loretta confessed using spreadsheets for managing the costs of repair and maintenance of the roads, and had trouble efficiently recording the data in a small period of time. For finding out the time spent on each mile of road in an hour or similar statistics, she would have to manually calculate averages or use estimated quantities, which were not as accurate as she desired. Asset management, cost handling, repair tracking and future planning became top priorities for the RM, and needed a provider who could integrate such services together.
The municipality did hire a provider before, but left its services due to Titan’s extensive features and willingness to work around its client’s demands.
“When you have a skeleton staff like we have, efficiencies are important to make sure we know where our assets are, what they’re doing,” says Loretta.
The Quick Answer – Geofencing
Titan GPS’s fleet tracking assisted the municipality in keeping track of its graders and the areas they were covering. By helping highlight “how many times graders are going back to a certain area, or having issues in a certain area,” Titan GPS was able to increase visibility for the municipality and help graders choose an area to repair and focus on that area day-by-day. The number of reports Titan GPS’s interface has to offer exceeded Loretta’s expectations, and continue to do so.
The tracking also shows how long a grader has spent in each landmark, which helps identify and flag external factors that may affect a timely repair. If a grader does not do as many miles as it usually does, the problem areas can also be pinpointed and handled. This crisis identification has helped Loretta a lot in revolutionizing the management of the graders.
The recording of costs surrounding road operations and repair also became streamlined as all data regarding how long a grader has operated, which areas it has operated in and how much repair it has done is all uploaded into a single system. This helps accurately track costs of repair and handle finances efficiently.
A large and unique part of Loretta’s job is her accountability to the rest of the municipal council, and part of her responsibilities include reporting to the councillors about the work that the graders have accomplished. Loretta can now confidently give councillors and other ratepayers answers to any question regarding the assets and “be able to put data behind it.”
She can also highlight areas which could have better efficiencies or advise the grader operators on a “better way of doing things” so they don’t unnecessarily put their efforts in the wrong direction. Titan GPS as a consequence benefits the municipal council, the grader operators, as well as Loretta herself.
She recalls how she recently received a repair complaint about a road stating that the graders had operated on the road less times than it was actually operated on, and felt confident in sending out a printed report of how many times the road had actually been worked on.
“Having a system like this does make it a lot easier to see where everything is and the cost of everything,” exclaims Loretta.
The Titan GPS system in itself is also very user-friendly and easy-to-navigate, making the transition from the previous provider to Titan GPS smooth and time spent transferring data less than anticipated. It’s the one thing Loretta is happiest about since starting her journey with Titan, and continues to be impressed by.
“When you actually go through the system, everything is pretty self explanatory– I found it very easy to catch on to,” cheers Loretta.
Titan GPS’s customer service team is also greatly valued by Loretta, as she loves how helpful it is to be able to call the team and get assistive support for any query she may have. Any demand that Loretta may have, Titan GPS works to fulfil, which also helps both parties blossom and evolve together.
“I find it helpful to able to phone in, I’m treated like no question is a stupid question which is kind of nice” she jibed.
Grow Together, Progress Together
The RM of Ponass lake administration was pleased with the varied services Titan GPS has to offer, and how much it has transformed asset management for the municipality. The gain is obvious with the experience they have had with Titan so far.
The plethora of reports, the accuracy of data, the real-time tracking, integrated software, and receptive team made Titan GPS the perfect choice for Loretta and the municipality. She has recommended Titan GPS to other municipalities in the past, and will continue to do so.
“I would tell them that I think that they’ll love it,” assured Loretta.