Knox County road crews have employed a new tool to track their snow progress, and hope it will increase efficiency and safety during this week's winter storm.

The Engineering and Public Works Department purchased dozens of GPS devices for their vehicles. They are installed in 120 trucks currently, which accounts for most of the fleet.

The GPS tracks the location of each truck, where workers have already spread brine or salt, and how fast the trucks are moving. It's a tool Solid Waste Director Tom Salter says increases efficiency and safety for the department.

"Making sure that we get the job done with the assets we've got," he said. "I think over time we're going to find out we can probably do more with our existing assets, which is our people and our equipment. I think we will get more done -- definitely."

Salter said before the county purchased the devices, public works tracked crews and trucks the old fashioned way: pen and paper. Now, supervisors can watch their employees in real time, by following their progress online.

The county paid $30,000 for the GPS devices, which have already been tested in previous -- but less extreme -- weather. Each device costs $24 per month to operate in a vehicle.

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