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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-16-024     Date:  June 2016
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-16-024
Date: June 2016


LTBP Program's Literature Review on Weigh-In-Motion Systems

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This study was conducted as part of the Federal Highway Administration’s Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program. The LTBP Program is a long-term research effort, authorized by the U.S. Congress under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users legislation, to collect high-quality data from a representative sample of highway bridges nationwide that will help the bridge community better understand bridge performance. The products from this program will be a collection of data-driven tools, including predictive and forecasting models that will enhance the abilities of bridge owners to optimize their management of bridges.

This report presents a review of the literature related to regulations on truck weight limits, weigh-in-motion (WIM) technologies for pavements and bridges, WIM system specifications and accuracy, and experience from the Long-Term Pavement Performance Program with WIM systems relevant to the traffic load data collection goals for the LTBP Program. This report should be of interest to bridge program personnel from Federal, State, and local transportation departments as well as to parties engaged in bridge-related research.

Mark Swanlund
Acting Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.


Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.


3 Recipient's Catalog No.


4. Title and Subtitle

LTBP Program’s Literature Review on Weigh-in-Motion Systems

5. Report Date

June 2016

6. Performing Organization Code


7. Author(s)

Imad Al-Qadi, Hao Wang, Yanfeng Ouyang, Kirk Grimmelsman, and Jeffrey Purdy

8. Performing Organization Report No.


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Pennoni Associates Inc.
3001 Market Street, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2847

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)


11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

FHWA Contacts: Susan Lane, HRDI-50 and Yamayra Rodriguez-Otero, HRDI-50 FHWA Technical Lead: Tom Saad

16. Abstract

Truck size and weight are regulated using Federal and State legislation and policies to ensure safety and preserve bridge and high infrastructure. Weigh-in-motion (WIM) systems can capture the weight and other defining characteristics of the vehicles actually using the Nation’s highways, providing important loading-related data that is essential for evaluating the performance of transportation infrastructure.

As part of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program’s Technical Assistance Contract, a literature review of the state of the practice was performed for WIM systems installed in pavements and on bridges. This literature review focused on the development of WIM systems, concepts for measuring axle loads, the applications of WIM sensors for pavements, and recent advancements in bridge WIM system. This review covers the types, installation, calibration, operations, accuracy, efficiency, effectiveness, and durability of WIM systems, in addition to current Federal and State truck load regulations. This review facilitates selection of the appropriate WIM technology systems for consideration and use to address LTBP Program needs. This literature review serves as a reference document for Pooled Fund Project Number TPF-5(283), The Influence of Vehicular Live Loads on Bridge Performance, which targets the impact of vehicle live loads on bridge component durability.

17. Key Words

LTBP Program, weigh-in-motion, bridges, trucks, truck weights

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors


List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Abbreviations

2D two-dimensional  
3D three-dimensional  
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials  
AVC automatic vehicle classification  
B-WIM bridge weigh-in-motion  
ESAL equivalent single-axle load  
FE finite element  
FHWA Federal Highway Administration  
FAD free-of-axle-detector  
GVW gross vehicle weight  
LCV longer combination vehicle  
LTBP Long-Term Bridge Performance  
LTPP Long-Term Pavement Performance  
NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program  
NOR nothing-on-road  
OS/OW oversize/overweight  
PCC portland cement concrete  
SPS Specific Pavement Study  
STAA Surface Transportation Assistance Act  
TRB Transportation Research Board  
TS&W truck size and weight  
USDOT U.S. Department of Transportation  
WAVE Weigh-In-Motion of Axles and Vehicles for Europe  
WIM weigh-in-motion  



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