The Effects of Implements of Husbandry "Farm Equipment" on Pavement Performance
Within the past few decades, there has been significant change in both farm size and
farm equipment. This change in size combined with regulatory emphasis encouraging
farmers to store manure as a liquid and apply it in a short time frame, has caused the
farm equipment industry to respond with the shift in production towards larger and
heavier manure hauling and application equipment. This shift has occurred at a faster
rate than both pavement design technology and the state regulatory precautions have
been able to moniter and test. Innovations such as steer able axles, flotation tires, and
tire design changes are not reflected in state DOT regulations. This has forced the
adoption of equipment and practices that, while complying with the letter of the law, can
create excessive and expensive pavement damage.
The regional aspect of this project is a major selling point. Many states in the Upper Midwest have the same concerns about heavy farm equipment, and the pooled fund study framework allows for these states to combine their resources and research on common issues. This project will study the current version of a number of vehicles to attempt to create an average basis of conclusion for the effects of Implements of Husbandry. The basic framework, capabilities and knowledge for
this research might be of interest to other industries in the future such as tire manufacturers, logging trucks, mining vehicles, forage harvesting equipment, and other heavy farm equipment to stay in accordance with state and national regulations.
Previous research on farm equipment has been conducted in Minnesota, Iowa and
South Dakota yielding valuable information.
The objectives of this study are to determine the pavement response under various types of
agricultural equipment (including the impacts of different tires and additional axles) and
to compare this response to that under a typical 5-axle semi tractor-trailer. This was
accomplished by constructing new instrumented test sections at MnROAD and retrofitting
instrumentation into two existing concrete test sections.
Reports and Publications
Pooled Fund Study Website