Iyer, A. V., Labi, S., Dunlop, S. R., Thakkar, D. J., Mishra, S., Kumar, L. K., Du, R., Gala, M., Banerjee, A., & Siddharthan, G. (2022). Heavy fleet and facilities optimization (Joint Transportation Research Program Publication No. FHWA/IN/JTRP-2022/03). West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University. https://doi.org/10.5703/1288284317365
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is responsible for timely clearance of snow on state-maintained highways in Indiana as part of its wintertime operations. For this and other maintenance purposes, the state’s subdistricts maintain 101 administrative units spread throughout the state. These units are staffed by personnel, including snow truck drivers and house snow removal trucks and other equipment. INDOT indicated a need to carry out value engineering analysis of the replacement timing of the truck fleet. To address these questions, this study carried out analysis to ascertain the appropriate truck replacement age, that is different across each of the state's three weather-based regions to minimize the truck life cycle cost. INDOT also indicated a need for research guidance in possible revisions to the administrative unit locations and optimal routes to be taken by trucks in each unit in order to reduce deadhead miles. For purposes of optimizing the truck snow routes, the study developed two alternative algorithmic approaches. The first uses mathematical programming to select work packets for trucks while ensuring that snow is cleared at all snow routes and allowing the users to identify optimal route and unit location. The second approach uses network routing concepts, such as the rural postman problem, and allows the user to change the analysis inputs, such as the number of available drivers and so on. The first approach developed using opensolver (an open source tool with excel) and the second approach coded as an electronic tool, are submitted as part of this report. Both approaches can be used by INDOT’s administrative unit managers for decision support regarding the deployment of resources for snow clearing operations and to minimize the associated costs.
fleet management, vehicle replacement strategy, snow route network, optimal routing, winter operations, cost reduction, performance improvement
Joint Transportation Research Program
Indiana Department of Transportation
West Lafayette, IN
Date of this Version