Truck platooning to minimize load-induced fatigue in steel girder bridges

Thales Couto Braguim, Peng Lou, Hani Nassif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Truck platooning has been demonstrated to possess several advantages in relation to energy savings. To implement this technology in the future, a better understanding of the effects of truck platooning on bridges is needed in relation to safety, serviceability, and remaining service life. This research aims at investigating the effects of truck platooning on the fatigue of steel girder bridges. Different types of platoons are simulated in line girder analysis for simple spans and two-equal continuous spans bridges. Then the rainflow counting method is applied to obtain the stress ranges and cycles. Miner’s rule is used to quantify the fatigue damage. The fatigue damage of different platoons is normalized by American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Load and Resistance Factor Design Fatigue Load for comparison. The effects of the number of trucks and gap distances of truck platoons are further investigated. In some cases, truck platooning helps decrease the fatigue damage since, although truck platooning brings higher load effects, it also decreases the number of cycles. For platoons with different truck wheelbases, there are specific span to wheelbase ratios, beyond which fatigue damage decreases as gap distance increases. In addition, depending on the platoon configurations, there are ranges of span lengths where it is more beneficial to travel as truck platoons rather than traveling individually in relation to fatigue damage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)146-154
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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