Impact of wide-base tires on pavements: Results from instrumentation measurements and modeling analysis

Imad L. Al-Qadi, Hao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wide-base tire technology can reduce vehicle fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions because there is less rolling resistance at the tire-pavement interface. This study investigated the impact of widebase tires on two typical flexible pavement structures-full-depth and thin asphalt pavements-through accelerated pavement testing and advanced finite element modeling. Three tire configurations (dual, the first-generation 425, and the new generation 455 wide-base tires) and various pavement sections with different asphalt layer and granular base layer thicknesses were considered. In particular, the advanced modeling simulated realistic tire-pavement interaction and considered appropriate material properties for each pavement layer. It was evident from this study that, of the three possibilities, the wide-base 425 tire configuration caused the greatest pavement damage. The wide-base 455 tire was found to cause greater bottom-up fatigue cracking and increased potential for subgrade rutting than the dual-tire assembly on most tested sections except the thin pavement section with the thickest granular base layer. However, the impact of wide-base tires on fatigue cracking and subgrade rutting potential became less significant with a stronger pavement structure. The finite element modeling results indicated that, compared with the dual-tire assembly, the wide-base 455 tire resulted in similar or less primary rutting potential in thin asphalt pavements and less near-surface cracking potential in thick asphalt pavements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Record
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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