Impact on rutting from introduction of increased axle loads in Finland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Jonas Ekblad
  • Robert Lundström
  • Robert Karlsson
  • Jarkko Valtonen

Research units

  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • The Swedish Transport Administration
  • NCC Industry AB
  • NCC Industry AB


In 2013, Finland introduced legislation increasing gross vehicle weights (GVW) on a number of trucks. Since the actual impact on road damage is nearly impossible to quantify in advance, the present analysis of road surface measurements is intended to provide knowledge regarding the impact on road damage. Rutting is influenced by many conflated phenomena. To indicate and capture the effect on road damage due to the new maximum GVW for certain truck- and trailer combinations, the analysis follows two different but mutually supporting lines of reasoning, empirical and theoretical, respectively. Analysis of measured rut depth is supported by theoretical calculations. Theoretical findings clearly indicate that the relative increase in road damage induced by higher GVW is larger than the increase in relative payload capacity. There was a rapid fleet shift towards heavier trucks after 2013, and statistical (empirical) analysis of road surface measurements shows an increase in rutting after this introduction.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Early online date5 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Feb 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Axle load, gross vehicle weight, LHV, pavement management, rutting

ID: 41056879