Intelligent Deployment of Forest Road Graders


  • Matthew Thompson Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
  • Kevin Boston Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
  • Jeff Arthur Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
  • John Sessions Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR


Road grading is the most common maintenance activity performed on forest roads. Reducing grading cost could release resources for other maintenance needs, ideally resulting in a better maintained road system. A combinatorial optimization method, tabu search, is combined with two local search procedures to generate efficient grading routes. Determining the optimal grading route is modeled as an extension of the Mixed Rural Postman Problem (MRPP), adapted to include a daily operating time limit and different traversal/service times. The objective was to minimize total operating time, a proxy for grading cost. The heuristic was tested on both artificial and actual forest road networks, and computational results are presented. The heuristic demonstrates the ability to generate efficient and feasible grader routes.