Study of the Impacts of Implements of Animal Husbandry on Iowa Bridges Study of the Impacts of Implements of Animal Husbandry on Iowa Bridges

Research Project

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Study of the Impacts of Implements of Animal Husbandry on Iowa Bridges

Researcher(s)

Principal investigator: Terry Wipf (project list)Brent Phares (project list)

Co-principal investigators:

Project status

In progress

Start date: 01/25/10
End date: 06/30/11

Sponsor(s)/partner(s)

Sponsor(s):Federal Highway Administration Transportation Pooled Fund
Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

About the research

Research objective:

Traditional bridge design and bridge rating are based upon codified procedures that examine a bridge's capability to resist traditional highway-type vehicles (e.g., trucks). It is known, however, that other vehicles (e.g., farm/agricultural vehicles or implements of husbandry) use these bridges. These farm vehicles have characteristics that are quite different from traditional vehicles; specifically, they tend to have different wheel spacing, different gage widths, different wheel footprints, dynamic coupling characteristics, and others. Further, these vehicles are carrying heavier loads as the agriculture industry has desired them to do so. Currently, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) Bridge Rating Engineer must make assumptions about how highway bridges resist these non-traditional vehicles. The objective of this study is to determine how the implements of husbandry distribute their load within a bridge structural system and to provide recommendations for accurately analyzing bridges for their loading effects. To achieve this objective the distribution of live load and dynamic impact effects for different types of agricultural vehicles will be determined by load testing and evaluating two general types of bridges. The types of equipment studied will include but is not limited to; grain wagons/grain carts, manure tank wagons, agriculture fertilizer applicators, and tractors. Once the effect of these vehicles has been determined, recommendations for the analysis of bridges for these non-traditional vehicles will be developed. To achieve the goals of the project, work in three principal areas will be conducted: 1) load testing and evaluation of approximately 10 bridges in Iowa, 2) development of engineering/code based comparisons, and 3) the development of analysis recommendations.

The objective of this study is to determine how the implements of animal husbandry distribute their load within a bridge structural system and to provide recommendations for accurately analyzing bridges for their loading effects.

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