This new technology in the US, THMPER, is showing exactly what loads a bridge can take. For years, many in the trucking industry have disputed the bridge assessments done by the states in Australia, underestimating the truck masses the bridge can safely carry.
Not only are the tests showing a consistent pattern of unnecessary bridge weight limits, the testing is also quick and cheap. Another criticism levelled at the keepers of our road infrastructure is the time and cost of a state-sanctioned assessment.
We are constantly seeing real improvements in productivity stymied by bridge engineering, which, if these results in the US are anything to go by, are an outdated obstruction to progress.
This technology is available now, the road authorities have an opportunity to climb down from their obstinacy and at least look at this system. What’s the betting it will be okay for a couple of states, but out of the question for the rest?