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Cite this document
Heavy trucks are a primary source of road damage due to the stresses imposed by heavy axle loads. The mechanics of truck-pavement interaction are examined to determine which truck characteristics have the most direct and strong relationship to road damage.
Static axle loads are found to be one of the most important factors affecting both rigid and flexible pavement fatigue damage because of the power relationship of load to damage. As a result, the load-sharing capabilities of tandem suspensions are also important. Tandem axle spacing is only significant to performance on rigid pavements and is always beneficial. Dynamic loading effects dependent on road roughness, travel speed, and truck dynamic properties are also quantified. Finally, the relevant tire properties are examined. Tire size and inflation pressure have strong influences on fatigue damage of flexible pavements. Tire construction type (radial and bias) appear to have influences on tracking that may explain the recent problems with accelerated rutting.
heavy trucks, pavement stress, pavement damage, cracking, rutting
Research scientist, The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Ann Arbor, MI
Research Assistant II, The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Ann Arbor, MI