Guideline for Decision-Making for Repair vs. Replacement of Highway Maintenance Equipment

Equipment failures often require state transportation agency fleet managers to consider whether the equipment should be repaired or replaced. (For purposes of this project, the term “repair” encompasses such actions as major overhaul or refurbishment that can add to the anticipated equipment service life; “replace” includes sale or other disposition of the failed equipment; and “equipment” includes the broad range of items typically operated by or for a state transportation agency, including sedans, light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles, and off-road equipment.) The replace or repair decision typically depends on a variety of considerations such as availability of other equipment, seasonal conditions and maintenance workloads, various budget restrictions and current agency policies, as well as the anticipated time requirements and costs of replacement or repair and future equipment reliability. Fleet managers need consistent and defensible methodology and computational tools to assist them to identify viable repair and replacement options, evaluate the merits of these options, assess the impact of budget limitations or other constraints that may preclude otherwise viable options, and generally provide sound and easily understood bases for decision-making. Recent research products from NCHRP and others offer guidance for calculating ownership and operating costs of agency vehicles and equipment and for determining optimal equipment replacement cycles. Research is need to extend such guidance to address explicitly the repair vs. replacement options when highway maintenance equipment fails. The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook for state transportation agency fleet managers and others, presenting a readily usable methodology, supportive computational tools, and examples of effective practices for (a) describing and evaluating repair and replacement options when a particular piece of highway maintenance equipment fails and (b) judging which options represent the best value for the fleet and agency. The methodology and tools should facilitate consideration of the range of factors that may be critical to decision-making, such as downtime; budget limitations; seasonality; equipment compatibility; the equipment’s age, anticipate service life, and future reliability; current shop capability, warrantees, future liabilities, and availability of rental equipment; cost-recovery period and return on investment; and aspects other than monetary costs that may influence best value. The guidebook shall be presented in a format suitable for adoption by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Agencies (AASHTO).


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 13-08

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

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

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

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

    Federal Highway Administration

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

    Hanna, Amir

  • Performing Organizations:

    Cadmus Group, Inc.

    Waltham, MA  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Morrison, Geoff

  • Start Date: 20210128
  • Expected Completion Date: 20221014
  • Actual Completion Date: 20221014

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01672548
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 13-08
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 19 2018 9:55AM