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87 1.1 Background The National Cooperative Highway Research Program Proj- ect 13-04 has developed a guide for optimal replacement cycles of highway operations equipment and an Excel-based replace- ment optimization analysis tool to support equipment replace- ment processes. The guide describes the equipment replacement processes, replacement factors, and LCCA methods. This user manual describes how to use the Excel-based tool. 1.2 About This User Manual The user manual is a companion document to the analysis tool. It is best to review the guide first to understand how the optimization tool supports the equipment replacement processes. The user manual provides instructions for â¢ Installing the optimization tool; â¢ Customizing the tool to meet an agencyâs needs; Introduction C H A P T E R 1 â¢ Importing equipment data from the agencyâs equipment information systems; and â¢ Using the toolâs six main functions to analyze equipment life cycle cost and support equipment replacement. 1.3 Overview of the Optimization Analysis Tool The tool has the following six functions: 1. Determining optimal life cycles for each equipment class; 2. Performing LCCA on individual equipment units; 3. Identifying candidate replacement units based on utilization or life cycle cost; 4. Prioritizing equipment replacement units; 5. Developing a 5-year replacement needs budget; and 6. Analyzing the cost consequences of various replacement cycles.