Development of heavy truck models and their effects on girder bridges

  • Lang Liu Chongqing Jiaotong University
  • Xian Le Zhang Chongqing Jiaotong University
  • Jie Wang
  • Hong Yang
Keywords: Heavy traffic, overloaded, truck configuration, load effect


The traffic on highway bridges has been increasing in both volume and magnitude, which even has become one of the main reasons leading to damages and collapse of bridges. Most of the existing regulations for overloading checking are carried out based on various limits of gross vehicle weights and axle loads. However, the results of relevant researches show that weight is only a potential factor but not the dominating factor in threatening the safety of bridges. In this study, the concept of load-effect-based heavy truck is proposed for overloading checking, and then three years of WIM data were collected and used to develop heavy truck models for each truck type, based on the understanding of the characteristics and configurations of heavy trucks as well as the distribution of their main parameters. Furthermore, the typical heavy truck models selected and their possible combinations are applied to a simply supported pre-stressed concrete T-beam bridge model with three loading levels, considering one-lane, two-lane and three-lane loaded respectively, then the induced load effect, deflection and stress are discussed for 20 loading cases. The results show the bending moment caused by heavy trucks moving on multiple lanes is 1.6 times the value of the standard truck model in Chinese specification, and the eccentric loading due to a very heavy vehicle moving on single lane usually lead to more severe effect.

Author Biography

Lang Liu, Chongqing Jiaotong University
Department of civil engineering


Asantey, S.B.A., and Bartlett, F.M. 2005. Impact of posted load limits on highway bridge reliability. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 10(3):321-330.

Biezma, M.V. and Schanack, F. 2007. Collapse of steel bridges. Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 21(5):398-405.

Cohen, H., Fu, G.K., Dekelbab, W., et al. 2003. Predicting truck load spectra under weight limit changes and its application to steel bridge fatigue assessment. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 8(5):312-322.

China Department of Transportation. 2015. General code for design of highway bridges and culverts. JTG D60-2015, Beijing.

Fu, G., Feng, J., and Dekelbab, W., et al. 2008. Impact of commercial vehicle weight change on highway bridge infrastructure. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 13(6):556-564.

Fu.G.K., L. Liu, and M.D. Bowman. 2013. Multiple Presence Factor for Truck Load on Highway Bridges. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 18(3):240-249.

Fu, G.K., and J. You. 2009. Truck loads and bridge capacity evaluation in China. Journal of Bridge Engineering,14(5):327-335.

Ghosn, M. 2000. Development of truck weight regulations using bridge reliability model. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 5 (4):293-303.

Ghosn, M., and Moses, F. 2000. Effect of changing truck weight regulations on U.S. bridge network. Journal of Bridge Engineering,5 (4): 304-310.

Han.,W.S., X.D.Liu and G.Z.Gao, et al. 2018. Site-specific extra-heavy truck load characteristics and bridge safety assessment. Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 31(6): 04018098

Han, W.S., Y.G. Yuan and P.M. Huang, et al. 2015. Characteristics and dynamic impact of overloads extra heavy trucks on typical highway bridges. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 20(2):05014011

James, R.W., Noel, J.S., Furr, L.H., et al. 1985. Proposed new truck weight formula. Report No. FHWA/RD-85/088, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC.

James, R.W., Noel, J.S., Furr, L.H., et al. 1985. Proposed new truck weight limit formula. Journal of Structure Engineering,1589-1604.

Leahy, C., Obrien, E.J., and O’Connor, A. 2016. The effect of traffic growth on characteristics bridge load effects. Transportation Research Procedia, 14, 3990-3999.

Li, S.-H., and Jiang, H.-W.2016. Influence law of different weight limit levels on highway bridge safety. China Journal Highway Transportation, 29(3):82-22 (in Chinese)

Li, W.J. 2009. Research on highway bridge vehicle loads. Ph.D. thesis, Dalian University of Technology, Liaoning, Dalian, China (in Chinese).

Obrien, E.J., and B. Enright. 2013. Using weight-in-motion data to determine aggressiveness of traffic for bridge loading. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 18(3):232-239.

TRB (Transportation Research Board). 1990. Truck weight limits: Issues and options. Special Report No.225, National Research Council, Washington, DC.

Wardhana, K. and Hadipriono, F.C. 2003. Analysis of recent bridge failures in the United States. Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 17(3): 144-150.

Yu, Y. and C.S. Cai. 2019. Prediction of extreme traffic load effects of bridges using Bayesian method and application to bridge condition assessment. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 24(3):04019003

Yuan, Y.G., W.S. Han, and P.M. Huang, et al. 2017. Structure safety assessment under heavy traffic based on weigh-in-motion and simulation analysis. Advances in Structure Engineering, 20(12):1864-1878.

Zhou, X. 2007. Structural and economical impacts of heavy truck loads on bridges. Ph.D. dissertation, College of Engineering and Science, Louisiana Technology University.

Civil Engineering