The eye in the sky will soon be looking at you, if you’re driving or otherwise assigned a Chelan County PUD repair vehicle.
PUD Commissioners Monday approved the purchase of high-definition, GPS equipment to keep electronic tabs on the location and performance of the utility’s bucket trucks and other work vehicles.
The $100,000 “computerized fleet asset management system” includes 46 hand-held electronic readers and sensors to install on the trucks to keep track of maintenance, including fluid levels, tire pressure and brake wear.
Ken Sillman, fleet services manager, said the electronics can sense if a vehicle isn’t operating correctly in the field and automatically issue a digital reminder to PUD staffers to have the vehicle repaired.
The utility currently uses hand-written inspection forms to take safety and operational inventories of the trucks before and after a day’s use.
Trucks will also be fitted with GPS devices that allow utility dispatchers to pinpoint their location by looking at a computer map, as well as the distances they’ve traveled.
The PUD expects to save $151,000 annually in staff time spent doing maintenance-related paperwork and vehicle tracking.