Document Type


Publication Date



This study had three objectives: (1) to develop a comprehensive truck simulation that executes rapidly, has a modular program construction to allow variation of vehicle characteristics, and is able to realistically predict vehicle motion and the tire-road surface interaction forces; (2) to develop a model of doweled portland cement concrete pavement that can be used to determine slab deflection and stress at predetermined nodes, and that allows for the variation of traditional thickness design factors; and (3) to implement these two models on a work station with suitable menu driven modules so that both existing and proposed pavements can be evaluated with respect to design life, given specific characteristics of the heavy vehicles that will be using the facility. This report summarizes the work that has been performed during the first year of the study. Briefly, the following has been accomplished: A two dimensional model of a typical 3-S2 tractor-trailer combination was created. A finite element structural analysis program, ANSYS, was used to model the pavement. Computer runs have been performed varying the parameters defining both vehicle and road elements. The resulting time specific displacements for each node are plotted, and the displacement basin is generated for defined vehicles. Relative damage to the pavement can then be estimated. A damage function resulting from load replications must be assumed that will be reflected by further pavement deterioration. Comparison with actual damage on Interstate 80 will eventually allow verification of these procedures.


For this and other reports, visit the InTrans project page at

Granting Agencies

Iowa Department of Transportation; University Transportation Centers Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation



File Format


File Size

3 mb