INSIDE THE DOT
South Dakota Department of Transportation
Snow Plow Blade Life Study
11/1/1988 - 3/1/1994
This report describes research performed by the South Dakota Department of Transportation to determine cost-effectiveness of snow plow cutting edges. Five vehicles at maintenance units around the state were instrumented with mileage counters to record the distance plowed by each set of cutting edges. Two of these vehicles were in Pierre, one in Murdo, one in Presho, and the other in Sisseton. The cutting edges used on each vehicle included a CAT, with and without a 1/2" frontal blade, a Pacal, with and without a 1/2" frontal blade, a Kennametal and a CPL, each with a 1/2" frontal blade. The results showed the Kennametal blade, which has the second highest cost per foot of the five blades tested, plowed more miles than any of the other types tested, resulting in the lowest cost per mile in each of the five areas.
1 To determine which type of snow plow cutting edge is most cost-effective for SDDOT.
1 Choose five areas that include a diverse selection of pavements and climates.
2 Select and install blades on each of the chosen snow plows, and replace with next test blade as required.
3 Instrument vehicles with sensors and counters to provide measurements of vehicle mileage with the blade in the plow position.
4 Provide operators with instructions and forms to record the required information.
5 Record miles plowed, snow coverage, pavement type and amount of cutting edge wear.
6 Analyze information to determine cost effectiveness of cutting edges.
7 Submit an executive summary summarizing the literature, research methodology, data, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
8 Present findings and conclusions to SDDOT Research Review Board upon completion of the project.
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