18-02: High Performance Blade Evaluation

Problem

High-performance snowplow blades are designed to last longer than standard plow blades, and they typically cost more as well. However, since many variables can affect blade life, it can be difficult for an agency to determine which blades are the most cost-effective overall. Since Clear Roads recognizes that it may be challenging to develop a standard field test protocol that controls for all of these variables, this project will involve compiling and analyzing the results of field tests to be conducted at multiple state DOTs, as well as conducting a cost-benefit analysis of each blade type.

Objective

The objective of this project is to develop a field test protocol and cost-benefit analysis methodology that can be reproduced by Clear Roads agencies in future testing, so that other blades can be evaluated and compared using the same standard procedures used in this project.

Expected Results

Based on field test results, the Clear Roads will produce a Quick Reference Guide outlining the features and specifications of each blade along with key field test results and cost-benefit ratios in an easy-to-read format. These tests will also be repeatable with future-developed high performance blades as a standard test protocol will also be developed.

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