Transportation & Vehicle Safety Policy

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



In past assessments of the cost responsibilities of heavy vehicles, the greatest unknown has been the magnitude of damage they do to roads and bridges. Dynamic simulation techniques have shown great potential to resolve this issue of cost. PaveSim, a dynamic simulation environment, was created to help develop performance-based operations policy. Integrated into PaveSim is another simulation program, TruckSim, developed at the University of Michigan to model heavy vehicles. Using the dynamic wheel loads from TruckSim, PaveSim simulates the performance of jointed-concrete pavements. RigidPav, a finite element program, performs the detailed calculation of deflections and stresses in the pavement. Within the PaveSim environment it is possible to quickly vary vehicle parameters such as number of axles and axle spacing, suspension type, and payload and distribution. We can also estimate the effects of pavement characteristics such as thickness, subgrade support, and joint types. This report presents an overview of the PaveSim environment and its user interface. It is also a PaveSim tutorial to help pavement designers and policymakers in state and federal DOTs.


Copyright © 1997 Public Policy Center, The University of Iowa