The National Academies

NCHRP 13-03A [Completed]

Decision Making for Outsourcing and Privatization of Vehicle and Equipment Fleet Maintenance

  Project Data
Funds: $224,891
Research Agency: Booz Allen Hamilton
Principal Investigator: John Wiegman
Effective Date: 5/19/2009
Completion Date: 12/30/2010

Background: Because of growing demands and resource limitations on vehicle and equipment fleet maintenance, state departments of transportation (DOTs) often consider outsourcing and/or privatization of these services. However, the decision for outsourcing and/or privatization depends on fleet size, mix of vehicles, and type of equipment, and is influenced by such factors as cost effectiveness, timeliness, and quality of service. Also, outsourcing and privatization can be implemented in a variety of forms with different levels of agency involvement, such as outsourcing statewide or regional activities and selected outsourcing of specific activities, and with different levels of responsibility for quality control and assurance.


There is no widely accepted process for evaluating the different forms of outsourcing vehicle and equipment fleet maintenance. Research is needed to review relevant information and recommend a rational process for making decisions on outsourcing and privatization of these activities with consideration to maintenance requirements, basis of measurement, costs, performance, and other related items. Such a process will help highway agencies in evaluating alternative outsourcing and privatization options and making decisions that would achieve acceptable levels of service and cost savings.


Recent work completed under NCHRP Project 13-03 provided further review of some of the issues related to outsourcing and privatization of vehicle and equipment fleet maintenance (background information contained in the interim report for NCHRP Project 13-03 is available for review and use in support of this research).  However, additional research is needed to address these and other issues and to recommend a process for making decisions on such work.


Objective: The objective of this research is to recommend a process for making decisions on outsourcing and privatization of vehicle and equipment fleet maintenance. The process shall address the full range of decision making from outsourcing a single activity or function to privatization of entire fleet maintenance operations.


Status: The project is complete. The final report has been received; copies have been distributed to Program sponsors (state departments of transportation).  The final report has been published as NCHRP Report 692, available at https://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/165623.aspx 

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