Pennsylvania DOT to test real-time tracking of plow trucks this winter

Updated Nov 19, 2015

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) plans to outfit 728 plow trucks this winter with an Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system as part of a pilot program to “improve location and operations information” of the trucks.

The AVL system will help PennDOT track real-time movements of 516 plow trucks and 212 contracted rental trucks, their coverage as they travel across the state’s Interstates and expressways and materials they use such as salt.

“We expect that this technology will not only help us review truck movement and material usage after a storm, but it should also help us while storms are occurring,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said. “Interstates and expressways are our top priority during winter weather, and this system will help us identify and respond to real-time conditions even better than we do today.”

The pilot program is part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s GO-TIME initiative that “leverages inter-agency coordination and collaboration to maximize efficiency, modernize state government operations, and provide the highest quality services.” The program is expected to save PennDOT $1.4 million over a four- to six-year period.

“This system will allow PennDOT to see operations and conditions on the ground in real-time, helping them to better analyze how they do their jobs and get the best investment out of every dollar,” Wolf said. “A government that works is also a transparent one and this pilot is a perfect example of maximizing efficiency and modernizing operations.”

PennDOT plans to make the system’s real-time location data available to the public later this year through its traveler information website,