Managing materials leads to success
The Town of South Windsor, Connecticut is in the New England region of the United States. Their Public Works department is responsible for approximately 136 miles of road maintenance receiving an average of 42 inches of snow every winter. South Windsor did not have an accurate way to measure the amount of salt inventory stores, the amount loaded onto trucks, or the amount returning unused.
This created a number of challenges. Not being able to measure inventory levels meant they could run out of salt, which is a real problem in the middle of a municipality’s fiscal year. Overloading the trucks creates safety problems and maintenance issues, plus there is the risk of overload fines. Under-loading trucks leads to increased time spent re-loading them, compared to trucks loaded to their optimal capacity.
Another problem was tracking the amount of salt spread on the streets. The lack of an accurate measuring tool typically led to over-salting the roads. “The quantities were not matching up with our stockpiles and we were going through our stock too quickly, so we knew we were putting out too much salt,” says Administrative Manager, Ronald Asselin.
The LOADRITE wheel loader scale has solved South Windsor’s stockpile problem. Now salt is weighed accurately when inventories arrive, and trucks are loaded with the scales. This means when unused material is returned, South Windsor can accurately measure their stockpile levels. The data transmission from the onboard weighing systems to the Material Management System (MMS) allows them to know exactly how much salt they use per snow event, and how much salt they use per lane mile.
“By acquiring the LOADRITE system and accurately measuring the outgoing and incoming inventories, we have been able to eliminate unnecessary surplus. Our annual salt usage has decreased by 30 - 50%, leaving us with a small surplus at the end of the season,” says Administrative Manager, Ronald Asselin.
The accurate weighing and reporting of salt spread per lane mile has also solved the environmental compliance issue. “I think we’ve accomplished what we wanted – complying with State laws and the Department of Environmental Protection, we know how much is loaded onto each truck, and we can see the usage,” says Ronald. Last winter South Windsor used 2,600 tons of salt. Through accurate weighing they were able to cut their usage by at least 30%.
At $75 per ton next year, this saves them over $58,500 on salt alone. They did not have to reorder additional stock in the middle of their budget year, allowing them to stay within budget. Going forward, they can reduce their inventories by 30%, giving budget to other projects. South Windsor is complying with environmental compliance regulation, and optimizing their operations with accurate loading of trucks at the maximum weight and the correct salt per lane mile.