In New Zealand heavy vehicles are charged for using the road based on the damage caused passing over the road. The current approach to charging has its origins in American research that found doubling an axle load increased the damage as a power function with an exponent of 4, known as the Fourth Power Law. This was developed with limited pavement and vehicle load types not representative of most of the roads in New Zealand. This research provided reliable evidence on the wear characteristics of New Zealand local road pavements from accelerated pavement loading studies at the Canterbury Accelerated Pavement Testing Indoor Facility (CAPTIF). The aim was to determine the relative damage on different pavement types/strengths. The data was extended with rut depth modelling with repeated load triaxial data and validated with field data from the nationwide long-term pavement performance sites. A relationship was found between pavement life tested at CAPTIF plus the rut depth modelling and the damage law exponent for the 4 and 6 tonne equivalent axle loads. For short-life pavements the damage law exponent increased.
Keywords: accelerated pavement testing (APT), CAPTIF, loading, New Zealand, pavement, pavement performance, roads, road user charges, thin-surfaced pavements, traffic, vehicles