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Research article2007Peer reviewed

Soil stress as affected by wheel load and tyre inflation pressure

Arvidsson J, Keller T


The relative importance of wheel load and tyre inflation pressure on topsoil and subsoil stresses has long been disputed in soil compaction research. The objectives of the experiment presented here were to (1) measure maximum soil stresses and stress distribution in the topsoil for different wheel loads at the same recommended tyre inflation pressure; (2) measure soil stresses at different inflation pressures for the given wheel loads; and (3) measure subsoil stresses and compare measured and simulated values. Measurements were made with the wheel loads 11, 15 and 33 kN at inflation pressures of 70, 100 and 150 kPa. Topsoil stresses were measured at 10 cm depth with five stress sensors installed in disturbed soil, perpendicular to driving direction. Contact area was measured on a hard surface. Subsoil stresses were measured at 30, 50 and 70 cm depth with sensors installed in undisturbed soil. The mean ground contact pressure could be approximated by the tyre inflation pressure (only) when the recommended inflation pressure was used. The maximum stress at 10 cm depth was considerably higher than the inflation pressure (39% on average) and also increased with increasing wheel load. While tyre inflation pressure had a large influence on soil stresses measured at 10 cm depth, it had very little influence in the subsoil (30 cm and deeper). In contrast, wheel load had a very large influence on subsoil stresses. Measured and simulated values agreed reasonably well in terms of relative differences between treatments, but the effect of inflation pressure on subsoil stresses was overestimated in the simulations. To reduce soil stresses exerted by tyres in agriculture, the results show the need to further study the distribution of stresses under lyres. For calculation of subsoil stresses, further validations of commonly used models for stress propagation are needed. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Soil and Tillage Research
2007, Volume: 96, number: 1-2, pages: 284-291 Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV

      SLU Authors

    • Arvidsson, Johan

      • Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Keller, Thomas

        • Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Agricultural Science

      Publication identifier


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