The City of Dallas installed GPS tracking system into its garbage truck fleet at the end of 2009. At that time, many were unconvinced that the GPS tracking system would be worth the hefty price tag of $700,000. Several City Council members voted against the deal over concerns echoed by the sanitation drivers’ union and a rejected GPS bidder. “There’s no proof that it’s going to work,” said union spokesperson Elisa Gonzalez.
But the majority of City administrators believed that by monitoring sanitation workers and improving the fleet management efforts of garbage trucks, they would be able to reduce overtime and increase overall efficiency and performance of waste removal teams. They were right.
Dallas City officials announced that within the first year of using the tracking system more than $677,000 was saved. Almost $170,000 of the savings was from fuel cost savings alone. The GPS tracking system saved the City of Dallas more than $56,000 per month in the first year. The City’s vehicle tracking system has paid off.
Despite initial resistance from sanitation workers who were not so keen on being tracked, many have since changed their opinion. They now recognize that that the program has created “lasting value if we use savings to keep drivers aware of safety issues – and how dangerous our work is.”
City managers and supervisors also like the program. For them, the GPS tracking system offers many benefits, including:
- Truly able to see ALL of their direct reports more fully
- Provides excellent means for reinforcing basic principles, such as “Stick to the route,” “follow speed limits,” and “check in by radio”
- Allows for better day-to-day use of manpower and trucks
- Pinpoint delays earlier – and re-allocate resources to fix
- Reports offer means to compare driver efficiencies
- Recognize the better operators
- Re-train drivers where needed
- Make better use of supervisors’ field time
In light of the current macroeconomic conditions, cities everywhere across the United States are being forced to make budget cuts. Many cities are turning to a GPS tracking system to help cut costs and save money.
The City of Dallas is using the savings to fund storm cleanup work, provide Employee Safety Incentives, and for employee recognition programs.