Started in 2007, the Pooled Fund Study, which was sponsored by the Minnesota Department of
Transportation, Iowa Department of
Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Minnesota Local Road Research Board began at the MnROAD testing facility in Monticello, Minnesota. There were both flexible and rigid pavement sections implemented with strain gauges, LVDTs and earth pressure cells at the MnROAD testing facility. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of farm equipment on the structural responses (stresses and strains) of flexible and rigid pavements. The goal of the project was to not only quantify the pavement damage caused by this heavy farm equipment compared to the damage caused by a 5-axle, 80 kip semi-truck, but to also implement and develop a computer based model that could be used to predict pavement damage.
The study findings revealed that traffic wander, seasonal effects, pavement structural characteristics, and vehicle type/configuration have a pronounced effect on pavement responses to farm implements. The experimental data clearly demonstrated that all farm implements tested induced higher subgrade stresses than a standard 5-axle, 80 kip semi-truck. To minimize damage in flexible pavements due to farm implement loading, the following recommendations may be considered: increasing the number of axles while ensuring even load distribution among axles; avoiding unfavorable environmental conditions such as fully saturated and/or thawed base/subgrade or high AC temperature; and constructing a paved shoulder.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. March 2012. Major: Civil engineering. Advisors: Lev Khazanovich, Mihai Marasteanu. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 179 pages, appendices A-F.
Quantification of the effects of heavy agricultural vehicle loading on pavement performance..
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