Optimizing Maintenance Technician Staffing Levels for Highway Maintenance Fleets

State departments of transportation (DOTs) routinely employ fleet maintenance technicians with a variety of technical backgrounds and skill levels to perform maintenance and repairs on agency fleets. State DOTs use a combination of in-house technicians, out-sourced repair shops, and equipment operators to perform specific functions. Allocations of staff assignments typically use formulas that consider common factors such as financial constraints, fleet age and condition, fleet equipment class mix, and the availability of adequately trained and credentialed technicians to complete the work. As highway maintenance equipment fleet technology evolves, the tools and methods used to assign maintenance technician staffing must also evolve. Rapidly aging fleets are creating new repair and maintenance challenges, and state DOTs are having difficulty hiring and retaining qualified fleet technicians. Vehicle fleets operated by state DOTs have become more complex and require specific technical expertise to maintain. As a result, previous methods to reach an optimal ratio of maintenance staff to fleet size are no longer effective. Research is needed to identify effective methods for optimizing the assignment of technicians to efficiently maintain state DOT fleets that reflect the evolution of the vehicle fleet technology and the skills required to keep the fleets in a good state of repair. The objective of this research is to develop an interactive tool that projects technician labor needs and assigns the technicians required to efficiently maintain vehicle fleets. To the extent practicable, the tool should address technician needs for repairs and maintenance activities using a standardized ratio, methodology, or formula that will guide the quantity, type, and source of staff assignments for specific fleet maintenance needs. The tool should be applicable to any state DOT, regardless of the specific needs and conditions of the local context. A manual providing instruction on the application of the tool in decision-making should be developed to enable application and adaptation as vehicle fleet technologies and maintenance techniques evolve.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $300000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 23-40

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Weeks, Jennifer

  • Start Date: 20240128
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01900456
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 23-40
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 27 2023 7:24PM