New technology and new methods in winter road maintenance – Documentary study

Among new technology and new methods in winter road maintenance, with special interest, the following can be emphasized.

Advanced technology highway maintenance vehicle: The maintenance vehicle is not only an operational truck but also a mobile data gathering platform. The following examples of sensors and equipment have been suggested:
– System to determine the location of the truck by use of GPS technology
– System for recording meteorological data such as air and road surface temperature, humidity and sight distances
– System for gathering data about road surface conditions, road surface friction characteristics and freezing point temperature of a wet, moist or slushy road
– System for recording application rate of spread materials, e.g. sand or salt
– System for transmitting the above mentioned data wirelessly to a dispatch centre where data are recorded on magnetic media.

Admixture of sugar to salt:
– Sugar cannot melt snow or ice but can prevent abrupt freezing
– Patent process: Sugar is manufactured directly from raw sugar beet, not from waste agricultural products
– End product: Sugar beet flour containing 75 per cent sugar and 25 per cent beet substance
– 30 per cent sugar beet flour is mixed with 70 per cent warm water, enzyme is added and completed sugar solution is obtained. About 25 per cent sugar content
– The sugar solution was tested mixed with brine, and also when used for prewetting dry salt
– The results did not show any significant differences in friction characteristics.

Admixture of sugar to sand:
– Sand was mixed with 50–100 litres of sugar solution per m3
– Result: The same friction characteristics as sand mixed with 80 litres of brine per m3
– No problems with freezing in storehouse.

Warm sand:
– Method: Hot water is mixed with sand at the moment of spreading
– Sand adheres to the road surface and creates a sandpaper effect
– Long duration in stable weather conditions.


  • Infrastructure maintenance
  • ,
  • Winter maintenance
  • ,
  • Technology
  • ,
  • Snow clearance equipment
  • ,
  • Snow plough
  • ,
  • Deicing
  • ,
  • Salt (deicing)
  • ,
  • Sugar
  • ,
  • Spreading
  • ,
  • Sand
  • ,
  • Road heating
  • ,
  • Method
  • ,
  • Apparater
  • ,
  • Snow
  • ,
  • Friction
  • ,
  • Temperature
Cover of VTI publication.
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  • Research area: Infrastructure maintenance
  • Published: 2007-04-16
  • VTI-code: R569

VTI rapport 569 (52 pages, 1 100 kB, written in Swedish with an English summary)

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