Oftentimes, the jobsite dictates the practical width of the haul road. But when it is possible, wide haul roads can increase productivity. "It is a definite advantage to have a road that is at least three times as wide as your biggest truck," says Best. "So if you have a 15-ft.-wide truck, you need at least a 45-ft. road. That way, you have two-way direction plus a buffer in the middle and on each side to pass. You also create a lane so that when the grader is going by, the trucks can still pass."
Many sites only have room for a lane and a half. "Their solution is to create passing lanes," says Best. "The problem with that is you are really slowing up your production because you have a guy waiting for another guy to pass."
The human factor
With the shortage of tires, haul road design and maintenance are crucial. "It's also important that all operators and employees understand their roles in maximizing tire life," says Good. "Companies need to educate their workforce on tire maintenance and the keys to extending tire life. A cut or flattened tire can have a major impact on whether a piece of equipment becomes inoperable, particularly during a global tire shortage where replacement tires aren't readily available."