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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

The impact of road geometry and surface roughness on fuel consumption of logging trucks

Svenson, Gunnar; Fjeld, Dag


Fuel accounts for more than 35% of transport costs in Swedish forestry, and reduced fuel consumption would provide immediate economic and environmental benefits. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of road gradient, curvature and surface roughness on fuel consumption of a conventional 60-ton logging truck. The study used a 320-km test track on both public and forest roads. The track was driven with various load weights in both dry summer and wet autumn conditions. Fuel consumption data were retrieved from the truck's CAN-bus system, and road data were measured with a profilograph. Average fuel consumption was 71.4 litres/100 km. A regression analysis showed that the most important factor was the interaction between vehicle weight and gradient, explaining the 86% increase between empty and fully loaded truck. In addition, the regression analysis quantified the individual effects of undulation, curvature and surface roughness, explaining the 107% increase in fuel consumption between the highest and lowest road class. Results from the proposed regression model (R-2 of 84% for a road section length of 1000 m) were consistent with predictions given by the European ARTEMIS model, and the proposed model can be used to improve cost estimation and route selection.


Fuel consumption; low-volume gravel roads; gradient; curvature; road surface roughness; logging truck; profilograph

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2016, Volume: 31, number: 5, pages: 526-536

    SLU Authors

    • Svenson, Gunnar

      • Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, Skogforsk
    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Forest Science

      Publication Identifiers


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