ABSTRACT

Until the last decade, the 1993 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) design guide has been traditionally used for the design of flexible and rigid pavements in the USA and some parts of the world. However, because of its inability to meet the new traffic and material challenges, a Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) was introduced based on an NCHRP 1-37 A study conducted in 2004. This study used the MEPDG software and associated models to determine, through comparative truck damage analysis, the effects of nine different truck configurations on a 12 inch-jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP). The study recorded truck damages at the end of each analysis period (40 years) and comparatively analyzed the relative pavement damage in terms of fatigue cracking, faulting, and surface roughness. The results indicated that the most critical damage to the concrete pavement was caused by truck cases with high and uneven load distribution and relatively smaller size axles group (e.g. tandem). Other key findings included the following; (1) increase in damage when the truckloads were shifted between the same size axles, (2) decrease in truck damage when the truckloads were shifted from tandem axle to quad axles, and (3) no change in truck damage when the axle spacing was increased between wheels of a quad axle.