RURAL MAIL CARRIER MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATING COSTS ON VARIOUS TYPES OF ROAD SURFACES

OPERATING COST RECORDS FOR 160 CARS OPERATED BY RURAL MAIL CARRIERS IN IOWA AND INDIANA WERE ASSEMBLED, SUMMARIZED, AND ANALYZED FOR DETERMINING THE OPERATING COST DIFFERENTIALS FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF ROAD SURFACES. THE DATA SHOW THAT THE AVERAGE UNIT OPERATING COST DIFFERENTIALS ARE FROM 5 TO 10 TIMES GREATER THAN THE AVERAGE UNIT MOTOR VEHICLE TAX CONTRIBUTION FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE OF ROADS, AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN SELECTING THE TYPE OF SURFACE TO BE USED FOR GIVEN TRAFFIC CONDITIONS. FROM THE DETAILED DAILY RECORD OF THESE CARS COVERING EVERY PHASE OF OPERATION SUCH AS MILES OF TRAVEL ON EARTH SURFACE, RATE OF TRAVEL, WEATHER, NUMBER OF STOPS, LOAD, GASOLINE AND OIL CONSUMPTION, TIRE EXPENSE, MANTENANCE COSTS, GARAGE RENTALS, LICENSE FEES, TAXES, INSURANCE, DEPRECIATION, INTEREST, AND EXTRA HELP, THE UNIT OPERATING COSTS WERE DETERMINED FOR EACH TYPE OF SURFACE. FROM THE PLOTTED DATA THE AVERAGE COST OF OPERATION FOR THE YEAR-ROUND CONDITION WAS FOUND TO BE ABOUT 8 CENTS PER MILE FOR EARTH OR NATURAL SOILS ROADS, 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR UNTREATED GRAVEL SURFACE, AND 3.5 CENTS PER MILE FOR PORTLAND CEMENT CONCRETE OR BITUMINOUS MACADAM SURFACES. THE OPERATING COST WAS 2.25 CENTS PER MILE LESS IN SUMMER THAN IN WINTER FOR EARTH ROADS, 1.75 CENTS PER MILE FOR UNTREATED GRAVEL, AND 1 CENT PER MILE FOR PAVEMENT. THE AVERAGE ANNUAL TRAVEL FOR ALL CARS WAS 10,919 MILES; FOR CARS OPERATING ENTIRELY ON EARTH ROADS, IT WAS 1,500 MILES FOR CARS OPERATING ON GRAVEL ROADS, 11,000 MILES PER YEAR; AND ON PAVED ROADS IT WAS 14,000 MILES PER YEAR. THE AVERAGE MILES OF ROUTE COVERED PER HOUR, INCLUDING STOPS, WAS ABOUT 14 ON GRAVEL AND PAVEMENT AND 8 PER HOUR ON EARTH ROADS FOR THE YEAR-ROUND CONDITION. DURING THE SUMMER IT WAS 16 MILES PER HOUR ON PAVING AND GRAVEL AS COMPARED TO 10 MILES PER HOUR ON EARTH ROADS. IN THE WINTER IT WAS 12 MILES PER HOUR ON PAVING AND GRAVEL AS COMPARED TO 6.5 MILES PER HOUR ON EARTH ROADS. IF THE VALUE OF THE MAIL CARRIER'S TIME IS 50 CENTS PER HOUR, THE PAVED OR GRAVEL ROAD WOULD THEN PROVIDE A TIME SAVING 2.67 CENTS PER MILE OVER THE EARTH ROAD FOR THE YEAR. IN THE STATISTICAL ANALYSIS THE AVERAGE COST OF GASOLIN, OIL, TIRES, AND MAINTENANCE FOR THE YEAR-ROUND CONDITION WAS 3.17 CENTS FOR EARTH ROADS, 2.46 CENTS PER MILE FOR GRAVEL ROADS, AND 1.73 CENTS PER MILE FOR PAVING. THE COST OF GASOLINE, OIL AND MAINTENANCE FOR THE WINTER MONTHS WAS 3.44 CENTS PER MILE FOR EARTH, 2.56 CENTS PER MILE FOR GRAVEL, AND 2.06 CENTS PER MILE FOR PAVING. FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS THESE COSTS WERE 1.97 CENTS PER MILE FOR EARTH, 1.71 CENTS PER MILE FOR GRAVEL AND 1.49 CENTS PER MILE FOR PAVING. APPLYING THESE DATA TO DETERMINE THE TRAFFIC VOLUME NECESSARY TO JUSTIFY CHANGING FROM AN UNIMPROVED EARTH ROAD TO AN IMPROVED GRAVEL SURFACED ROAD FOR A SURFACED ROAD FOR A TYPICAL IOWA COUNTY, IT WAS FOUND THAT 20 VEHICLES A DAY ARE REQUIRED IF OPERATING COSTS ONLY ARE CONSIDERED AND 3 VEHICLES A DAY IF A TIME VALUE OF 2.67 CENTS PER MILE IS ADDED. /AUTHOR/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 17 Part I, PP 53-78, 12 FIG, L TAB 4 PHOT; part of Report of Department of Highway Transportation Economics
  • Authors:
    • Moyer, R A
    • Morrison, R L
    • Norcross, T W
  • Discussers:
    • Lavis, F
  • Publication Date: 1938

Media Info

  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the Highway Research Board Held at Washington, D.C. November 30, December 1, 2, 3, 1937. Part I
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00201914
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1971 12:00AM