​​​​​Top-10 Activities that Constitute a World-Class Program of Winter Maintenance

​​The Top-10 list of activities that define a world-class winter maintenance program was developed based on input obtained from winter maintenance professionals around the globe.  Utilizing a process of consensus building the following eleven activities were determined to constitute the Top-10 (there was a tie).  The following descriptions provide some clarity to each of the items in the list.  

Adequate funding for operations and sustainability

No money, no work!  Or, more seriously, a sustainable winter maintenance program requires appropriate long term funding levels.

Using sustainable winter maintenances practices

Sustainability requires balancing three factors – economics, the environment, and the public need. Building a winter service program around these three legs creates a system that can provide optimal benefits to all.

Accurate and timely weather forecast

Especially when anti-icing is being used by an agency, accurate forecasts are critically important and they must be delivered in a timeframe that is appropriate for the agency with regard to staffing decisions.

Optimal route planning

With limited resources, getting the most out of our trucks is critical. Optimizing routes is one way of doing this.

Equipment and equipment calibration

Having the right equipment to dispense product for a given winter maintenance task is half of the issue. The other half is making sure it is calibrated correctly, so you know what exactly it is doing

Equipment maintenance program (preventative and routine)

Making sure that your equipment can perform as needed during a storm requires some sort of program to do both preventative and routine maintenance on that equipment.

Efficiency in operations - intelligent use of resources

Any agency has a finite number of resources – trucks, people, materials, time. Using those resources in the most efficient way possible is always a key goal.

Communication between operation controllers and drivers

Good winter maintenance needs responsiveness to changing conditions during and after a storm and good communications between drivers and supervisors is critical to achieving this.

Snow plans (Include operational evaluation/continuous improvement)

A detailed plan for an agency is an absolute must and should be the guide for all actions before, during, and after a storm.

Standards in winter-service

What standards are you trying to achieve? Are they the standards your community wants or are you not giving them what they need?

Defined levels of service 

Most agencies are required to provide differing levels of service on different road types. Having those levels of service well defined is a critical part of a winter maintenance program.​​


Top-10 Project Paper

Top-10 Project Development Presentation

Top-10 Project Implementation Survey Presentation

Top-10 Project Survey Summary