The addition of various advanced technology applications such as radar, sensors, and control units can add $20,000 to $30,000 to the cost of a regular snowplow.
Made Public Date


United States

Summary Information

The Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE) at Iowa Sate University explored the feasibility of integrating advanced technologies in a Highway Maintenance Concept Vehicle (HMCV) for winter-weather management. The goal of the HMCV was to integrate location data, friction readings, surface freeze point information, and road surface weather conditions (air and pavement temperature) with a chemical application system.

For CTRE’s HMCV study, some equipment were provided by vendors, some were purchased, and some were included as part of upgrading the snowplow as per normal vehicle replacement schedule at Iowa DOT. Various cost items for HMCV, excerpted from the source report, are presented in the table below. Advanced technology based elements, shown as Added Features for HMCV, cost $20,963.

Equipment Items
A: Basic Snow Plow Items
Chassis – International
RDS Dump Box
Front Plow 4,000
Underbody Blade
Onboard Pre-wetting
Anti Icing Spray Bar System
DCS 710 Ground Speed Controller
Total A
B: Added Features for HMCV
Surface Temperature Sensor
AMS (Application Management System) 200 Data Management Console
Trakit AVL (see table below)
DGPS Antennae
HID Plow Lights
Frensor Mobile Freeze Point Detection
Total B
Grand Total =Total A + Total B

The table below provides a breakout of the Trakit automated vehicle location (AVL) hardware and software installation costs.



Trakit 25 Interface Box
Data Cables, Computer Cables, etc.
Trakit USA 5 seat software (expandable to 10 seat)

The AVL system for HMCV incurred additional costs over and above $4,663, as shown below, for testing and development of the communications system. If these costs are added, the total cost of AVL increases by $12,600, from $4,663 to $17,263. Note that the AVL system used the radio communications network that was shared by both the Iowa State Patrol and the Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement division. Because of the public safety dimension associated with the Iowa State Patrol, additional tests were conducted at Motorola Lab as a safeguard against any possible damage to the Iowa radio network due to AVL installation. At places where no such public safety concern is involved, the additional tests that the Iowa DOT conducted may not be warranted.





Software Development Share (Iowa DOT)
Motorola Lab Technicians
IDA Corp. (private sector partner) Technicians
Trakit AVL Hardware/Software

Overall, when various advanced technology applications are added to a regular snow plow, the cost increases by $20,000 to $30,000. If the integration of these technologies is successful, work reductions are likely to occur, requiring fewer applications of chemicals on roadways.



System Cost

See summary

System Cost Subsystem