Analyzing Truck Size and Weight Impacts on Vehicle Miles Traveled

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has a goal of reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 20% per capita by 2050. Additionally, Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act sets a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goal of 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. Trucking makes up a large proportion of VMT on the intercity highway network, and medium- and heavy-duty (classes 3-8) trucks account for 37% of the GHG emissions in the transportation sector. Currently, there are no tools or guidance for the freight community in Minnesota to move toward the VMT reduction goal. Changing the regulations on truck size and weight limits could affect VMT and the resulting GHG emissions. Currently, the allowed maximum truck weight for vehicles operating on Minnesota highways without an exemption or special permit is 80,000 lbs, while some provinces in Canada allow up to 137,788 lbs., depending on the vehicle configuration. There are federal studies that analyzed the potential impacts of changing truck size or weight limits, but no studies have analyzed the impacts on Minnesota highway network (including interstate freeways). This project will use vehicle telematics and freight movement data to develop a network analysis tool to project potential VMT changes under different regulatory scenarios. Moreover, the impacts of VMT changes on lifecycle cost of transportation infrastructure, such as bridges and pavements will be analyzed. Study results could inform policies and regulations and help MnDOT move toward its VMT reduction goal.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $159000
  • Contract Numbers:

    1036342 WO 119

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Local Road Research Board

    395 John Ireland Boulevard
    St. Paul, Minnesota  United States  55155-1899
  • Managing Organizations:

    Minnesota Department of Transportation

    395 John Ireland Boulevard
    St Paul, MN  United States  55155
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455
  • Principal Investigators:

    Khani, Alireza

    Marasteanu, Mihai

  • Start Date: 20240625
  • Expected Completion Date: 20260630
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01922762
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 1036342 WO 119
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 26 2024 9:46AM