What started as one man’s college class project has turned into a company that promises economic and environmental benefits for those in the snow-removal business.
Andrew Jaccoma, founder of Sensible Spreader Technologies, originally came up with his product in 2012 while working towards his MBA at the University of New Hampshire.
His tool is designed to utilize GPS and let plow drivers who are de-icing roads know which roads have been treated in real time.
Of the 18 million tons of de-icing material used each year in the United States, an estimated 20 to 30 percent is wasted because operators don’t know which of their company’s plows have spread salt where.
Applying extra salt wastes time and money, not to mention the effect it has on watersheds. With these problems in mind, Jaccoma created the technology to track the location of the vehicles out in the field along with when the salt spreader is rotated or the plow is down. This information is then relayed to every company driver’s monitor.
Automatic vehicle location works similarly to the system, but it does not convey this information to the other drivers.
“That’s next to useless for it to go to a manager sitting in an office somewhere,” Jaccoma told NH Business Review.
Jaccoma has sold his system to seven municipalities so far, estimating that each could save from $2,000 to $6,000 a year. Another selling point he uses is the fact that having a systematic approach to de-icing increases safety and the likelihood that all roads have been treated.
“Right now, we are focused on building a rock-solid product and to always keep ahead of the curve,” he said. “It’s a very complicated product, and we plan to further improve the technology before we expand too far.”
Sensible Spreader Technologies has two different products that can be retrofit to your current equipment.