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Posted: May 9, 2016
Last modified: January 19, 2017

While some construction projects still rely on workers with clipboards filling out forms in triplicate to track trucks as they come and go, the I-4 Ultimate team planned to take the digital and paperless route from the start.

The decision to use instantaneous digital readers and scanners to monitor trucks that have electronic tags or barcoded job tickets put the I-4 Ultimate team miles ahead of other groups when it comes to keeping tabs on vehicles that bring in or haul out construction materials.

“We track all trucking this way and keep it nearly paperless,” said Glenn Shilling, Borrow Pit Manager for SGL Constructors – the design-build joint venture for the I-4 Ultimate project.

Shilling, who has 30 years of experience in earthworks construction, said many in the industry have been reluctant to move from paper to electronic record-keeping. “It’s been slow to change in some sectors,” he said. “But it’s well worth it when they do.”

Scanners and digital readers in construction zones even can be linked to the financial arm of the I-4 Ultimate project. The computerized system eliminates a lot of sorting of records by hand and data-entry work, while also reducing the chance of misplacing a job ticket. As a result, trucking companies and their drivers can be paid with little or no paperwork – a positive for both the budget and the environment.

While digitizing any single step in the process might save only a few cents per occurrence, the savings can add up to big dollars. A few seconds here and a few minutes there can mean thousands of hours saved during the six-year project to reconstruct 21 miles of Interstate 4 (I-4) from west of Kirkman Road to east of State Road 434.

“It definitely saves time and money,” Shilling said.