Dynamic impact of heavy long vehicle with equally spaced axles on short-span highway bridges


  • Omar Mohammed School of Civil Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
  • Arturo Gonzalez School of Civil Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
  • Daniel Cantero Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Richard Birkelands vei, 1A, Trondheim 7491, Norway




Bridge dynamics, critical velocity, dynamic amplification factor (DAF), expansion joint, large trucks, permit vehicles, vehicle bridge interaction (VBI).


Extremely large trucks with a weight exceeding the standard require a permit before they are allowed to cross the bridges of a specific route. For the purpose of safety, an escort is often employed to maintain a distance between vehicles and to ensure that the bridge load remains below the allowed maximum. Given that the speed of these large vehicles is quite slow and that the amplitude of vibrations normally declines when the vehicle mass is large, a minor dynamic amplification of the bridge response is expected. However, some of these large trucks have a unique feature characterized by “multiple equally-spaced axles”, something that is uncommon in normal vehicle. The application of axle forces at equal intervals dynamically excite bridges to a considerable extent, even at low speeds. These “critical” low speeds are estimated a priori from the axle spacing of the truck and the main frequency of vibration of the bridge. This paper demonstrates that when the “critical” speed is unavoidable, a relatively high dynamic allowance must be added to static calculations before granting a permit to a long heavy vehicle.


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How to Cite

Mohammed, O., Gonzalez, A., & Cantero, D. (2018). Dynamic impact of heavy long vehicle with equally spaced axles on short-span highway bridges. The Baltic Journal of Road and Bridge Engineering, 13(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.3846/bjrbe.2018.382