A Resource Guide for State DOT’s Maintenance Equipment Fleet Management Decisions

Strategies for highway maintenance and repair activities across the state include using contractors or in-house personnel combined with equipment sourced through either purchase, lease, or rent. State DOTs tend to use their in-house personnel and own equipment. As a result, they typically possess a big fleet of vehicles and equipment. Equipment ownership cost and operating costs are the two major categories of costs used to determine the lifecycle cost of a piece of equipment. Ownership and operating costs are often estimated using some published methods in the literature or available rate-schedule published by equipment manufacturers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or Cost Recovery Rental Rate Blue Book. As more state DOTs adopt computerized equipment management systems, fleet managers should be able to estimate the ownership and operating costs based on accurate data so that better economic decisions can be made. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) utilizes “rental rates” as the primary metric in its equipment budget. The rental rate is the sum of equipment depreciation costs and operating costs. An earlier study by the research team indicates that the rates have not been updated since Fiscal Year 2010. Furthermore, there is no established best management practice for analyzing and adjusting equipment rental rates for reporting and budget forecasting. This creates uncertainty and inaccuracies. Moreover, ODOT has approximately 4,300 pieces of equipment, with equipment purchase year ranging from 1964 to the present. A lot of the equipment has already exceeded its useful life. Running equipment under suboptimal conditions increases operating costs due to equipment aging and deterioration. The default equipment useful life specified by ODOT is subjective and lacks scientific reasoning. Equipment replacement decisions are purely dependent on fleet managers’ experience. Furthermore, ODOT primarily buys equipment. When it comes to equipment sourcing, strategies include own, rent, and lease. ODOT may miss the opportunity of investigating other equipment sourcing alternatives. This research directly addresses the need of ODOT. The overarching goal of this research effort is to help ODOT strategically improve its equipment management practices using the data recorded in its equipment fleet management system. The specific objectives of this project are to: (1) Assist ODOT in calculating ownership and operating costs of the selected types of equipment, (2) Develop models for equipment management decisions (including replacement and own-rent-or-lease decisions), and (3) Develop a resource guide to introduce ODOT management to state-of-the-art techniques and practices for equipment management.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $ 140000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)

    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
  • Project Managers:

    Mousa, Momen

  • Performing Organizations:

    Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

    School of Civil & Environmental Engineering
    Stillwater, OK  United States  74078
  • Principal Investigators:

    Shan, Yongwei

  • Start Date: 20200801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220201
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01757543
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747106
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 11 2020 9:30AM