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Snowplow operator driving time: survey of state and local practices : final report.
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    Final report
  • Abstract:
    In February 2015, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) issued interim guidance for continuous working

    hours for UDOT’s snowplow operators. Letter of Instruction 15-1 specified the number of hours that could be

    worked by snowplow operators and the approval required for certain shift lengths. This research examines best

    practices for snowplow operator driving time to inform development of a formal policy that will replace the Letter

    of Instruction 15-1 interim guidance.

    The major tasks of this research include a literature search that gathered information about the implications of

    driving time, rest breaks and other driving time policies with a focus on commercial motor vehicle drivers and

    snowplow operators. Two surveys—one provided to 39 state departments of transportation and another distributed

    to 20 specially selected UDOT region staff—gathered information about current snowplow operator driving time

    practices across the country and within UDOT.

    Recommendations for UDOT’s consideration in preparing a formal policy for snowplow operator driving time

    include establishing 12-hour shifts given the successes reported by survey respondents; establishing different shift

    limits for emergency conditions; including breaks in the operator’s work schedule; specifying a minimum rest period

    between shifts that accommodates long commute times for drivers; identifying ways to remediate staffing

    challenges; considering reducing the level of service during extended storm events; managing public expectations;

    allowing for flexibility at the area, region or station level; and monitoring the impact of the new policy.

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