WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Trash truck drivers in Wichita Falls may find their jobs to be a little more manageable in the coming months.
That’s because the Wichita Falls City Council approved a more than $150,000 bid for an onboard routing system that will put a GPS-like system inside the trucks.
Wichita Falls Public Works Director Russell Schreiber said for the past few months he and the City Council have been trying to find ways to more efficiently run curbside trash pick-up services.
“It’s very difficult for these guys to learn a route. It takes a lot of time it takes a long time because basically, you’re driving from memory most of the time and so with the new software. We’ll be able to train a new employee on how to operate the truck and in three months we can put him in the truck with the iPad and say go run route three,” Schreiber said.
The new software comes from Routeware Inc and is an automated onboard GPS system that will be used to optimize curbside pick-up services. The software will be put onto iPads to help drivers navigate their routes.
“It’ll optimize our routes, we’ll be able to balance the routes you heard in the agenda item how some of our routes are very unbalanced. One has 1,300 stops and takes 13 hours to run and one has 500 stops and takes seven hours to run,” Schreiber said.
Council members and Schreiber both agree this new software is needed.
“This software will allow us to put the routes in the trucks on an iPad so it’d be basically like you and when we navigate on a trip we put a destination in our phones and we follow the blue line and that’s what this new software will allow us to do,” Schreiber said.
Of course, the new addition will mean the most to the drivers of those trucks.
“They’ll be excited to have this in their trucks like I said for someone to remember oh I need to go down this street then I gotta turn around and come back down the other side of the street and then I skip two streets and I’ll have to go down the street over. It’s very difficult,” Schreiber said.
He said this new technology should be here to give drivers some extra help very soon.
They are hoping this new software will be implemented by February of 2022. Its funding comes from this year’s budget.