Traditional arguments for maintaining riding quality of pavement are expanded in this paper
to examine the effects of deteriorating riding quality on vehicle operating costs, freight
damage and logistics. The objectives of this paper are to analyse the effects of different
levels of riding quality on a truck and its freight, and to discuss potential applications of the
analysis in terms of effectiveness of the freight transport system. The paper discusses needs
and drivers influencing freight transport costs, vehicle-pavement interaction concepts, and
the potential physical effects and costs from roads with deteriorating riding quality. A case
study is presented analysing vehicle-pavement interaction for selected roadways in California.
It is concluded that investments in pavement and freight transport industry improvements
can be investigated by applying vehicle-pavement interaction analysis to evaluate damage
to pavement, vehicle and freight that would result from alternative levels of pavement
riding quality. The paper recommends that existing concepts, tools and resources such as
dedicated truck lanes and vehicle-pavement interaction analysis can help to improve the
freight transport system. A framework is proposed to better understand the scale of potential
impacts of riding quality from localised effects to larger-scale influences, including costs to
customers and global competitiveness.