The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) wanted to develop an automated maintenance and reporting support system to improve its winter snowplow operations.
The ITD team identified four strategic goals:
- Improve data quality
- Reduce operator input needs
- Improve winter maintenance management tools
- Reduce winter maintenance costs
ITD staff moved forward to develop a comprehensive Winter Automated Reporting System (WARS) that would meet these four strategic goals through a customized interface with its existing maintenance management system (MMS), AgileAssets Maintenance Manager.
ITD manages about 12,000 lane miles of roads, more than 1,700 bridges, and 30 airstrips. The department also oversees federal grants to 15 public transportation systems and supports rail, bicycle, and pedestrian projects. In addition, ITD oversees the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles.*
To develop and implement the new WARS, ITD needed to overcome several challenges: managing the development of the system internally, coordinating multiple third-party vendors, integrating the system with existing department hardware and software, and training the staff of numerous statewide districts on how to most effectively use the new system.
* ITD, Frequently Asked Questions, 2018.
Using a customized interface with AgileAssets Maintenance Manager, ITD developed WARS to provide more accurate and timely snowplow truck data for field operations.
Key WARS system requirements included:
- Generating snowplow truck spreader, plow position, and automatic vehicle location (AVL) data via Certified Cirus™ Control Systems SpreadSmartRx™ with an on-board data recorder connected to ITD by WiFi
- Creating activity and route records with data on operators, labor hours, material types and quantities, completed work units, and truck numbers, miles, and hours
- Interfacing snowplow data and legacy systems with AgileAssets Maintenance Manager, which automatically generates work orders, labor day cards, and information on equipment, materials, locations, and accomplishments
With the deployment of the WARS, ITD can achieve materials savings of 10%, or approximately $600,000 per year. Additional, direct cost savings include a reduction of operator input time by approximately 7,500 labor hours per year and a reduction of equipment costs through improved efficiencies.
The WARS enables ITD to validate consistent performance from snowplow operators throughout all highway sections. By improving winter operations performance, ITD can enhance overall transportation quality and safety while reducing severe winter weather crash events.