Snow Plow Software for Route Optimization

Defining the Snow Plow Routing Problem

The challenges with snow removal or snow plow route optimization is in orchestration of your assets.  There are typically two to three priority assignments for streets to be serviced before or after other less traveled streets.  Some of those priority streets may run tandem plowing to more effectively and more efficiently service the streets.  The tandems will then separate to service lower priority streets.  If the storm event intensifies after a lull, the trucks will return from lower priority streets to then re-service the first priority streets.  The type of service also varies1 from salt/sanding/chemical treatment to plowing or actual removing.  Snow removal requires the orchestration of a series of dump trucks to align with the blowers.  Service may also extend to walkways and parking lots.

Unlike waste collection route optimization, the key to snow removal efficiency and effectiveness is in the orchestration of assets.  Because of the priorities, optimized snow plow routes must not only minimize deadhead time and travel on the route during servicing, but also between the priorities and to/from the depot.  The illustration demonstrates typical inefficiencies that require analysis and optimization:

  1. Travel from Facility to Priority 1;
  2. Plow Priority 1;
  3. Travel from Priority 1 back to the beginning of Priority 1;
  4. Plow Priority 1 again;
  5. Travel to Priority 2;
  6. Plow Priority 2; and
  7. Travel back to the start of Priority 1.

Snow Plow Software Options and Services

Because snow removal routes do not change frequently and are only expande3d as new roads are built, the high cost of snow removal route optimization software is typically not financially justified, except for large service areas.  Route Optimization Consultants provides snow plow route development and updates as a service, which significantly decreases costs.  Most importantly, your routes are developed by highly experienced specialists in snow plow route optimization, which increases implementation success.  Our staff have developed snow plow routes for: Anchorage, Alaska; Centennial, Colorado, Littleton, Colorado; and New York City.  The Centennial project was awarded the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ 2012 Transportation Achievement Award for Operations (awarded to the City of Centennial Public Works Department managed by CH2M Hill).
Contact us today to learn more or call 703-473-7055.