HETAP

High-Efficiency Trail Assessment Process

HETAP

High-Efficiency Trail
Assessment Process

highly efficient

Following the same principles as UTAP, the High-Efficiency Trail Assessment Process (HETAP) expedites the assessment process, enabling one individual to collect detailed and accurate trail and feature data at an average of one mile per hour. Whether by cart or measuring wheel, HETAP is the best choice for speed and accuracy.

automatic collection

automatic collection

wheeled instrumentation sensor package WISP

In order to speed up the assessment process, a Wheeled Instrumentation Sensor Package (WISP) is designed to automatically collect distance, grade, and cross slope data. This state-of-the-art collection device sends live data to the HETAP software, providing constant measurement of the grades and cross-slopes on the trail tread. A calibrated sensor box eliminates an incredibly large portion of the labor involved in a typical trail assessment.

HETAP benefits

HETAP benefits

HETAP vs UTAP

HETAP follows the same general principles as its predecessor, UTAP (the Universal Trail Assessment Process). Both collect objective trail measurements, produce detailed trail data for land managers, and provide summary trail reports for trail users. The main advantage to using HETAP is the ability to collect data and produce trail reports more quickly and accurately with only one person. This creates more opportunity to assess multiple trails while saving time and reducing personnel costs. Following are some key differences using HETAP:

This program provides easy screen flow and simple data entry. Trail data is automatically stored and sorted, thus eliminating the need to manually enter data using Trailware software. Detailed trail data and summary reports can be analyzed and printed directly using  the HETAP software. UTAP data can also be manually entered into HETAP software as an economical work around using manual assessment tools using traditional UTAP trail assessment methods.

The Wheeled Instrumentation Sensor Package (WISP) and the HETAP software provide high-speed data collection. On average, an individual using HETAP can collect detailed and accurate trail information at one mile per hour, while recording many features. It is also feasible to collect detailed trail data for a backcountry trail several miles long in only one day. As a result, longer trail lengths can be assessed with a greater amount of detail in a shorter amount of time.

HETAP is designed to enable one person to collect trail information. However, two or more individuals can still be used in the assessment process. Managers often require at least two individuals to work together for safety reasons. It is encouraged during training exercises that all available trail assessors work together as a team for review and consistency in measuring trail data. When two individuals are collecting trail data, the second person can measure trail width and features using a tape measure and a notepad or datasheet. The second data collector can periodically enter the features into HETAP or they can be entered later as long as feature locations (distance) are recorded with the feature notes. If compass readings are being recorded without a GPS, this person can also use a compass to record trail directions.

Stations can be recorded at the push of a keystroke as often as desired along the trail. More frequent stations increase the accuracy of trail data. The HETAP data collection cart is only required to advance a distance of 0.1 foot/0.03 meters to record another station. The ability to record stations anywhere along the trail allow for a more accurate trail assessment. It is strongly encouraged to use this to your advantage by taking as many stations along the trail as possible whenever there is any noticeable change in any trail condition.

All grade, cross-slope, tread width and surface data in the HETAP software program is related to the station that has most recently been recorded by selecting the [Record Station] or [Record Feature] button. Distances, grades and cross slopes are continuously displayed in the HETAP program and as soon as a trail tread attribute changes a new station should be recorded to automatically record the new grade and cross-slope. You can also record stations and features that have the same tread width, surface type and characteristics as the previous station since the HETAP software copies the data from the previous station or feature for you.

All necessary data fields are present in the HETAP program. There is no need to write data down on paper that can be miswritten, illegible or lost. Trail data can be easily backed up to any location on your computer or to an external thumb drive.

Station marking isn’t necessary with the HETAP program. There is no lag time waiting for your partner to catch up and find your exact location. HETAP software allows you to use the GPS coordinates to relocate any specific station in the future if needed.

The identification and recording of maximum grades and cross slopes happens automatically using HETAP software. Simply record a station any time there is any change in grade or cross slope. Stations should be recorded often to reflect changing trail conditions. This can be determined visually or by comparing the previous and current grade/cross slope in the HETAP Stations screen. HETAP also allows you to set alarms to tell you when the grade or cross slope has changed by more than a set amount. 

Any significant change in tread width requires a new station. Simply record a station at the beginning of any significant change in tread width. In addition, when the tread width is less than the specified design width, it should be recorded as a ‘Minimum Clearance Width’ feature. The feature should be recorded at the start of the minimum width.

package options

trail assessment tools

trail assessment tools

HETAP option 1

HETAP software on GETAC laptop

HETAP software

The High-Efficiency Trail Assessment Process (HETAP) software will save you time and money. The software is designed to reduce data errors, expedite the assessment process, and semi-automate the calculation of Trail Access Information (TAI). Remember, TAI data is required to create trail signage that meets the ABA and USFS Accessibility Guidelines. HETAP enables a single assessor to collect precise trail and feature data at an average of one mile per hour. Data is automatically stored and can be sorted by the HETAP software to provide detailed summary trail reports for analysis.

Beneficial Designs can set up a weather resistant laptop and battery package that has the HETAP software loaded and ready to go for a complete HETAP system. Contact us for more information regarding the best laptops to use for outdoor assessment work.

HETAP wheel

The HETAP Cart is the perfect vehicle for wider trails and urban routes. Able to carry everything necessary for any assessment, this cart makes the entire process lightweight and fast.

SmartTool™ Level with SmartFeet

The SmartTool™ with SmartFeet is a waterproof, dustproof, and backlit digital level with added feet for a wider stance to reduce the possibility of tipping and imbalances. The SmartTool™ offers objective and detailed slope measurements in degrees, percent slope, and pitch to 0.1 degree of resolution and accuracy. Using a standard 9-volt battery, this inclinometer also features audio sound at both level and plumb.

The SmartFeet are precision-machined feet added to both ends of the 24-inch (60-cm) SmartTool™ level to prevent teetering on uneven surfaces. Teetering can cause significant measurement errors and is common on all types of surfaces. The position of the feet can be moved to the end of the SmartTool™ to measure a grade or cross-slope over a distance of up to 24 inches, representing the stance of a typical person moving across a path of travel, with or without the use of adaptive equipment. One of the two feet also provides a wider base and thus creates three points of contact to reduce tipping in the lateral direction.

A SmartStrap is also included, enabling easy measurement without the need to bend over.

SmartFeet (pair)

SmartFeet are precision-machined feet added to both ends of a 24-inch (60-cm) SmartTool™ level to prevent teetering on uneven surfaces. Teetering can cause significant measurement errors and is common on all types of surfaces. The position of the feet can be moved to the end of the SmartTool™ to measure a grade or cross-slope over a distance of up to 24 inches, representing the stance of a typical person moving across a path of travel, with or without the use of adaptive equipment. One of the two feet also provides a wider base and thus creates three points of contact to reduce tipping in the lateral direction.

SmartFeet are specifically designed for the SmartTool™ level.

tape measure

A tape measure is an essential tool for any trail assessment–whether automated or manual–providing dimensions of tread width, features, obstructions, and more. Though we include a tape measure in our UTAP package, any typical tape measure is sufficient.

cross slope illustration

UTAP/HETAP training guide

The UTAP/HETAP training guide provides all of the detailed instructions needed to use the UTAP tools to practice and learn the Universal Trail Assessment Process. It also contains the information needed to perform the High Efficiency Assessment Process. The guide is fully illustrated with over 100 images and illustrations. The guide contains all the information needed to pass the UTAP/HETAP Certification exam which is required as part of getting certified by Beneficial Designs and American trails as a certified trail assessment coordinator.

HETAP option 2

HETAP software on GETAC laptop

HETAP software

The High-Efficiency Trail Assessment Process (HETAP) software will save you time and money. The software is designed to reduce data errors, expedite the assessment process, and semi-automate the calculation of Trail Access Information (TAI). Remember, TAI data is required to create trail signage that meets the ABA and USFS Accessibility Guidelines. HETAP enables a single assessor to collect precise trail and feature data at an average of one mile per hour. Data is automatically stored and can be sorted by the HETAP software to provide detailed summary trail reports for analysis.

Beneficial Designs can set up a weather resistant laptop and battery package that has the HETAP software loaded and ready to go for a complete HETAP system. Contact us for more information regarding the best laptops to use for outdoor assessment work.

HETAP cart

The HETAP Cart is the perfect vehicle for wider trails and urban routes. Able to carry everything necessary for any assessment, this cart makes the entire process lightweight and fast.

SmartTool™ Level with SmartFeet

The SmartTool™ with SmartFeet is a waterproof, dustproof, and backlit digital level with added feet for a wider stance to reduce the possibility of tipping and imbalances. The SmartTool™ offers objective and detailed slope measurements in degrees, percent slope, and pitch to 0.1 degree of resolution and accuracy. Using a standard 9-volt battery, this inclinometer also features audio sound at both level and plumb.

The SmartFeet are precision-machined feet added to both ends of the 24-inch (60-cm) SmartTool™ level to prevent teetering on uneven surfaces. Teetering can cause significant measurement errors and is common on all types of surfaces. The position of the feet can be moved to the end of the SmartTool™ to measure a grade or cross-slope over a distance of up to 24 inches, representing the stance of a typical person moving across a path of travel, with or without the use of adaptive equipment. One of the two feet also provides a wider base and thus creates three points of contact to reduce tipping in the lateral direction.

A SmartStrap is also included, enabling easy measurement without the need to bend over.

SmartFeet (pair)

SmartFeet are precision-machined feet added to both ends of a 24-inch (60-cm) SmartTool™ level to prevent teetering on uneven surfaces. Teetering can cause significant measurement errors and is common on all types of surfaces. The position of the feet can be moved to the end of the SmartTool™ to measure a grade or cross-slope over a distance of up to 24 inches, representing the stance of a typical person moving across a path of travel, with or without the use of adaptive equipment. One of the two feet also provides a wider base and thus creates three points of contact to reduce tipping in the lateral direction.

SmartFeet are specifically designed for the SmartTool™ level.

tape measure

A tape measure is an essential tool for any trail assessment–whether automated or manual–providing dimensions of tread width, features, obstructions, and more. Though we include a tape measure in our UTAP package, any typical tape measure is sufficient.

cross slope illustration

UTAP/HETAP training guide

The UTAP/HETAP training guide provides all of the detailed instructions needed to use the UTAP tools to practice and learn the Universal Trail Assessment Process. It also contains the information needed to perform the High-Efficiency Assessment Process. The guide is fully illustrated with over 100 images and illustrations. The guide contains all the information needed to pass the UTAP/HETAP Certification exam which is required as part of getting certified by Beneficial Designs and American trails as a certified trail assessment coordinator.

trail assessment methods

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