Tech Talk: Let it Snow! | VideoJerame Novak | 2/28/2013
The North Dakota Department of Transportation is using technology to keep them updated on changing weather conditions, but that wasn`t always the case.
"Well before, we would more or less just watch the news and determine if it was going to snow for the weekend or what. And that`s really all we had," said Kent Leysring with the NDDOT.
Now, things have changed.
"Well, the MDSS computer will tell us a lot of information about road temperature, wind speeds, what time it`s gonna snow, how much we`re gonna get, rate per hour and it also gives us a recommendation of how much salt/sand we should put down," Leysring said.
Something that`s also regulated by a computer.
"Yes, it`s all automatic. If you fluctuate in speed, the computer will automatically adjust."
Some trucks are also equipped with cameras so the driver can keep an eye on what`s going on.
"Well, we have installed cameras on our trucks also here. To watch your wings and your back for traffic. Not all trucks have it, but we`re getting more of them," Leysring said.
With the MDSS system, plows out on the road can be monitored from the office and weather data can be used to schedule routes and drivers.
"There`s always somebody watching. We check it in the morning, we check it at night. If a system`s coming in, we`re watching it as it comes in and we`re scheduling our people accordingly," Leysring said.
Drivers also use hands-free devices so they can keep both hands on the wheel while they plow. And during the summer, the computer systems are used for road maintenance and construction.