Ask Your Mates Open Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

Forecasting maintenance cost

  • 1.  Forecasting maintenance cost

    Posted 21 days ago
    Hi everyone,

    I am writing to request your thoughts with respect to Asset Plan Integration, the Better Practise Guide  in relation to forecasting maintenance budget and how your Council approach this matter?

    The Guide recommends forecasting for whole of asset life costs such as the increase in operating/maintenance costs associated with asset additions: 3.2 'Council assets are long lived, commonly built to last for 50 – 100 years and as they age there is an increase in maintenance costs.'

    I would appreciate your feedback. 

    Melton City Council
    Pro Cert 2

  • 2.  RE: Forecasting maintenance cost

    Posted 20 days ago
    Hi Rima,
    The case for an accurate defect data history.

    After 20 years of arranging footpath maintenance, I understand that Asset management and maintenance will not have consistent costs for budgeting.

    My understanding of Asset management is that it is driven by accounting standards and the concern with asset life, renewals and depreciation.

    What maintenance and programmed road replacement/upgrades face in reality is the increasing renewal gap between the work required and budget available.

    The ability to predict maintenance loads faces the task of knowing how the asset condition changes on the ground. There are impact factors that are impossible to predict in the future such as illegal vehicle damage, poor backfill to utility trenches and concrete expansion.
    Theoretically it should be possible to "age" assets from construction, if you have the date history available and know that the same construction quality was achieved. Equally the construction standard of the asset important. It is obvious that the behavior of a 75mm unreinforced path built in the 1970's is very different to a thicker reinforced path.

    It should be possible to start forecasting more realistic maintenance conditions if the defect data is accurate enough to allow this. For example if you have height differences of 15 to 25mm it might take 2 or 3 years before this interval is exceeded and maintenance is necessary.

    Ground movements in the west of Melbourne are more severe than most areas and maturing street and private trees can quickly exacerbate defects.

    A combination of the ageing of large areas in "fair" condition at the same time will need more sophisticated targeting of maintenance resources if not budget increases don't occur.

    I have advocated to obtain over a few surveys very accurate data (within 3mm)  using of Lidar which hasn't been tried for footpaths at a large scale, but this is likely to attract a high cost. Unfortunately COVID-19 came just as suppliers were becoming interested in developing a trial.

    I would be interested in how others who don't benefit from stable ground are planning their maintenance. (If only there was sand or stable ground everywhere).

    Graham Downie
    Brimbank City Council
    Pedestrian Facilities Coordinator

    Pro Cert 2