BACKGROUND: State highway agency equipment fleet assets are vital to the delivery of agency programs, projects, and services. These fleets represent a significant capital investment and require recurring maintenance, operational expenditures, and timely replacement to achieve the desired level of performance, reliability, and economy. A variety of practices have been used by state departments of transportation (state DOTs) agencies for making investment decisions for highway operation equipment. However, there is no widely accepted process for determining the long-range needs and budgets.
There is a need to identify current practices, review relevant information, and develop rational processes that will provide state DOTs a realistic means for making investment decisions. A guide for formulating the long-range plans for replacement needs and budgets of highway operations equipment can then be prepared to facilitate use of these processes. Such a guide will help highway equipment managers and administrators in making decisions regarding replacement needs and budgets. NCHRP Research Report 879: Optimal Replacement Cycles of Highway Operations Equipment (http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/177263.aspx) contains guidance on the processes and tools that should be considered in making decisions regarding the optimal replacement cycles of on- and off-road highway operations equipment used by state DOTs; these can be useful for this research.
Recent work completed under NCHRP Project 13-06, “Guide for the Formulation of Long-Range Plans for Replacement Needs and Budget of Highway Operations Equipment” (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP13-06_RevisedInterimReport.pdf), provided a review of some of the issues related to the formulation of long-range plans and budgets for replacement of highway operations equipment and proposed a preliminary research plan for developing related guidance (see Special Note B). However, additional research is needed to further define and address the issues associated with the formulation of long-range plans and budgets for replacement of highway operations equipment and develop the needed guidance.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research is to develop a guide for the formulation of long-range plans and budgets for replacement of highway operations equipment. The guide shall include processes and tools for consideration in making investment decisions. For the purpose of this research, long-range is defined as 20-25 years.
Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following phases.
Phase I—Planning: Prepare and submit, no later than 4 months after the contract award, Interim Report 1 that documents (1) the factors contributing to the formulation of long-range plans for replacement needs and budgets of highway operations equipment, and the practices and processes that merit further consideration or improvement in this research, and discuss their deficiencies; (2) an assessment of the relevance of the identified factors to the formulation of long-range plans for replacement needs and budgets of highway operations equipment, and the factors that should be used in the processes for formulating such plans; (3) a proposed research plan, to be executed in Phase II, to (a) develop rational processes and tools, based on computational models for formulating long-range plans and budgets for replacement of highway operations equipment; (b) present case examples to illustrate use of the proposed processes and tools; and (c) develop a detailed outline of the guide.
Phase II—Development of Processes, Tools, and Illustrative Examples: Execute the plan approved in Phase I. Based on the results of this work, prepare and submit Interim Report 2 that (1) documents proposed processes and tools for formulating long-range plans and budgets for replacement needs of highway operations equipment; (2) presents case examples or hypothetical scenarios to (a) illustrate use of the proposed processes and tools for all equipment classes and (b) show how these processes and tools may be used for making specific replacement and investment decisions; and (3) presents a detailed outline of the guide.
Phase III—Development of Guide and Tools: Prepare the guide for formulating long-range plans and budgets for replacement of highway operations equipment, associated tool, and a user manual to facilitate use of the guide and tool.
Phase IV—Final Deliverables: Prepare and submit, no later than 18 months after the contract award, draft final deliverables. Deliverables will include (1) a research report documenting the work performed in the project and used to develop the guide and associated tool; (2) the guide for formulating long-range plans for replacement needs and budgets of highway operations equipment; (3) user manual for the guide and tool; (4) illustrative examples; and (5) the tool in an electronic format.
STATUS: Research in progress.