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Geometric Design for Trucks — When, Where and How?

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Publication no: AP-R211-02 Pages: 30

While truck tracking characteristics are a primary consideration for intersection geometry and curve widening practices, most road geometric design standards, particularly alignment design standards, are based on the performance characteristics of passenger cars and car drivers. With the number of commercial vehicles on our roads predicted to continue increasing it is relevant to ask the question: 'At what point is it appropriate to design for trucks rather than cars?' This publication presents the results of Austroads Project TandE.D.N - 009 which was aimed at deriving truck-based geometric design standards, and establishing the traffic volumes and mix at which the adoption of such standards is economically warranted.The project focussed on the characteristics of the 6-axle semi-trailer. While this vehicle is typically the most common truck type on inter-regional freight routes, the intent of this research was to develop and test the effectiveness of the approach to economic justification, not to develop warrants for all truck types. Design truck performance characteristics were established from an assessment of the literature, and cooperation with an Austroads/NRTC project aimed at developing performance-based standards for the regulation of heavy vehicles. Truck-based design standards derived from the performance characteristics were then developed for basic design elements including horizontal curve standards, crest vertical curves, lateral clearances, acceleration lane lengths, etc.Benefit-cost analysis was then undertaken for a number of examples to indicate the initial year truck volume at which truck-based rather than car-based standards would be economically justified.


Table of Contents

GEOMETRIC DESIGN FOR TRUCKS — WHEN, WHERE AND HOW?
  • CONTENTS
  • 1 INTRODUCTION
  • 2 PROJECT METHODOLOGY
  • 3 DESIGN VEHICLE
  • 4 DESIGN ELEMENTS
  • 5 TRUCK-BASED DESIGN VALUES
  • 6 WHEN TO APPLY TRUCK-BASED STANDARDS
  • 7 REFERENCES
  • INFORMATION RETRIEVAL

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