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Technology in the shop

Post Date:06/19/2017 8:00 a.m.

Read the story in the Summer 2017 Hometown Messenger 

One place where time seemingly stands still is the mechanic's shop. Regardless of the year, oil must be changed; tires need to be rotated; vehicles break down.

But even the Shakopee Public Works shop is moving with the times.

Earlier this year, the department began using a new fleet management software, AssetWorks, that tracks repairs and maintenance service; alerts mechanics about upcoming service; and compiles invoices, memos and mechanics notes in one place.

Mechanics looking at computer"Rather than digging through a file cabinet hoping to find records, a mechanic can now view a vehicle's repair history simply by using search functions," said Lead Mechanic Tom Larson. "It's a big-time saver and reduces the use of printers and paper that are a costly expense."

In addition, the shop is also using a vehicle tracking program, called Network Fleet, which monitors city vehicle use. For example, the software alerts mechanics if a vehicle's check engine light is flashing so the mechanic can call the vehicle in for service before it becomes a bigger issue.

The software also tracks vehicles, informing supervisors where city equipment has been and how it's been used. For example, Public Works supervisors can track where a street sweeper is, how much time is spent on a given street, how fast the sweeper moves or idles and which direction it travels. All this information can create better tracking and greater efficiencies.

"Managing a fleet is about more than changing oil," Larson said. "We want to use technology to ensure we get the most out of our equipment."

For more information about the city's Fleet Management Division, visit www.ShakopeeMN.gov/publicworks.