How Drone Data Improves Haul Road Maintenance

Haul road maintenance isn’t always at the top of the priority list for mine and quarry managers. Once the haul road is designed and cut, it tends to get forgotten until someone reports a problem.

But by the time a complaint exists, a washed-out switchback could have already put your team at risk, and a steep road grade could already have cost you thousands in unnecessary fuel.

Using drone data and the Propeller Platform, survey managers who fly their entire site regularly can quickly and easily keep haul roads safe and efficient without sending out a dedicated road survey team.

Performing Regular Safety Checks

Windrow Heights

Windrows are a vital barrier to maintain beside all haul roads that are close to slopes. Once you’ve flown a site, the line/cross-section tool makes it easy to check windrow heights from the 3D map.


Switchbacks can get washed out by rain or overuse. Find out which ones need maintenance with the 2D image view, and take your haul road management to the next level.

Grade, Elevation, Surface Length

For safety, haul road gradients should be less than 10%. To determine if your roads meet this requirement (or to compare reality to the haul road design), use Propeller’s line tool to see the grade, elevation, and surface length of your road. Add segments for curves in the road for the highest level of accuracy.

It’s worth noting that shallow roads demand less diesel than steep roads. Maintaining a shallow road grade wherever possible could help your site save money on diesel fuel each month.

Planning and Building with Confidence

When expanding your site to new areas, good haul road design and management are essential. 

Propeller helps teams like yours identify the most efficient way to design and integrate new transportation plans with current ones. Overlay design files with up-to-date drone surveys provide a bird’s-eye view of the entire project and help calculate the most efficient haul routes.

Whether your focus is on safety, minimizing cost, or expanding your site, haul road maintenance is easier and simpler with Propeller.


We’re happy to show you how Propeller can power your worksite, and boost productivity. Simply request a demo now.

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