New Project: Economic Benefits of Truck Weight and Safety Enforcement Improvements

Overweight and oversize vehicles can accelerate pavement damage, increasing the cost of maintenance and rehabilitation of road infrastructure networks.

According to the latest estimates, illegal overweight vehicles cause $42 million of damage to Minnesota’s trunk highway system each year. Heavy commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that operate illegally by being oversized or overweight cause premature deterioration of pavement; thus, reducing the life of the roadway and making the roads hazardous to the safety of the traveling public.

Weight stations play a key role in weight enforcement to limit roadway damage by trucks and safety enforcement to protect the safety, wellbeing, and health of the traveling public, operators, freight owners, and Minnesota’s infrastructure from dangerous trucking operations.

However, existing technological systems that have potential applications in efficiently monitoring and regulating freight movement can also become a great alternative solution, which provides an economical benefit with regards to initial cost, operating cost, and return on investment.

In a new project, researchers will collect and gather extensive data of various intelligent traffic and freight monitoring systems.

Researchers will then evaluate and perform comparative studies between conventional weight station and various technological systems, such as virtual weight-in-motion (WIM) stations, portable WIM systems, and portable scales.

The main technical information gathered for the comparative study between freight monitoring and regulating systems will be determined based on several factors – accuracy and reliability, installation, maintenance, and operation, and most importantly, the cost of the system.

Lastly, a detailed and comprehensive cost benefit analysis of various systems will be performed, as the main objective of the study, to identify the cost-effective freight monitoring and regulating system that provide the best economic return on investment.

Project Details

  • Estimated Start Date: 08/20/2020
  • Estimated Completion Date: 07/31/2022
  • Funding: Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Principal Investigator: Lubinda Walubita and Hao Wang
  • Technical Liaison: Julie Whitcher

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation to subscribe.

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