Quantification of pavement damage caused by dual and wide-base tires

Mostafa A. Elseifi, Imad L. Al-Qadi, Pyeong J. Yoo, Ibrahim Janajreh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A study conducted in 2001 on the heavily instrumented Virginia Smart Road measured pavement responses to a new generation of single wide-base tire (445/50R22.5) and to dual tires (275/80R22.5). The new single wide-base tire has a wider tread and a greater load-carrying capacity than conventional wide-base tires. The potential fatigue damage resulting from different tire configurations was evaluated. After successful field testing, a finite element (FE) parametric study was conducted to investigate different failure mechanisms that were not evaluated in the field. In this study, dual tires and two new generations of wide-base tires (445/50R22.5 and 455/55R22.5) were evaluated. The main difference between the two generations of wide-base tires is that the 455/55R22.5 is wider than the 445/50R22.5; hence, it further reduces the contact stress at the pavement surface under the same nominal tire pressure. In the developed FE models, geometry and dimensions were selected to simulate accurately the axle configurations typically used in North America; actual tire tread sizes and applicable contact pressure for each tread were considered; laboratory-measured pavement material properties were incorporated; and models were calibrated and properly validated against stress and strain measurements obtained from the experimental program. Four failure mechanisms were considered: fatigue cracking, primary rutting, secondary rutting, and top-down cracking. Results indicated that the new generations of wide-base tire would cause the same or relatively greater pavement damage than conventional dual tires. Because overall truck weight is reduced by approximately 450 kg when wide-base tires are used, it is reasonable to implement the load limits currently applied to the dual-tire assembly on the 455/55R22.5 wide-base tire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-135
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1940
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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