Development of a Totally Automated Spreading System

Totally Automated SpreaderProblem

DOTs are constantly challenged to maintain safe, passable roadways through the winter season. Winter weather can generate a variety of unique conditions and many factors need to be analyzed to identify the best approach for treatment in any given situation.

The implications of improper treatment include public safety concerns, failure to meet or exceed the customers’ expectations, waste of materials and adverse impact on the environment. The vehicle operator has the most influence on effective treatment as they determine application rates and use of varying medium (i.e. granular vs. liquid or granular w/liquid). Like any human process, this is subject to occasional errors. A totally automated dispensing system could help mitigate the potential for human error in determining the best approach for treatment of winter roads.


The intent of this study was to determine if a totally automated dispensing system is achievable and cost effective and develop recommendations on the best way to implement such a system in the short and long term.


A guide to help agencies assess the levels of spreader automation available and how best to implement the latest technology into DOT fleets.

This final presentation webinar took place on May 5, 2014.