Longer Combination Vehicle's Impact on Improving Operational Efficiency, Freight Flows and Traffic Congestion

Longer combination vehicles (LCVs) are attractive for the transportation community because they carry more freight per trip. However, the implications, costs and benefits of LCVs are not clearly delineated or well documented. An initial evaluation suggests the benefits include improved freight flow (more freight per driver), improved administrative efficiency (fewer permits required), and reduced highway congestion (fewer trucks on the road). However a more comprehensive evaluation is required to account for safety concerns, traffic impacts, liability costs, and potential infrastructure damage. In some circumstances special equipment and higher wages for qualified drivers could offset the potential operational efficiency. Furthermore, if LCVs lower freight costs, trucking may be a more competitive alternative to rail at some distances thus increasing highway congestion. This research will provide an objective and comprehensive evaluation of how the use of LCVs will impact freight flow, operational efficiency, safety, infrastructure, and highway congestion. The results of this project will contribute to the policy evaluation that will determine whether to continue to restrict or allow for operation of LCVs on state and federal highways. If the federal freeze is lifted in the future, this research will be useful to individual states for policy and project evaluation, pricing, or cost allocation decisions relative to the operation of LCVs within their state. Policy makers at all levels of government could potentially use the results of this research. The benefits will be measured objectively by evaluating the safety of LCVs and the amount of pavement damage they cause. The benefits will also be measured by conducting interviews and discussions with state agencies, private business, and motor carriers. The research team will provide a reasonable estimate of the amount of truck traffic that would be influenced by increased LCV usage.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Petrolino, Joseph

  • Performing Organizations:

    National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE)

    University of Wisconsin, Madison
    1415 Engineering Drive, 2205 Engineering Hall
    Madison, WI  United States  53706
  • Principal Investigators:

    Adams, Teresa

  • Start Date: 20110101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20110930
  • Source Data: RiP Project 28154

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463669
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Transportation Research Center, Incorporated
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT-G-0043, U28
  • Files: UTC, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:28PM