Measuring the Rolling Resistance of Pavements by Means of Trailer Method: a status quo

Luc Goubert

BRRC, Belgium


The transport sector accounts for about 25 % of all greenhouse gas emissions, from which the major part is caused by road transport. Therefore, providing a sustainable and environmentally friendly road infrastructure is high on the agenda. In particular the use stage within the pavement’s lifetime contributes largely to the carbon footprint of the road. Decreasing the rolling resistance is a straightforward way to reduce emissions from road traffic.
Recently – and actually still ongoing – many research initiatives are undertaken in Europe to study rolling resistance measurements, rolling resistance modelling, development of low rolling resistance pavements, factors influencing rolling resistance.
The Belgian Road Research Centre pioneered in the early 1980ties with the invention of a new type of trailer capable of directly measuring the rolling resistance coefficient, based on the so called “angle method”, which is still used in the scarce rolling resistance trailers which are currently operated in the world. A major step forward for the research on rolling resistance was the FP7 ROSANNE-project, dealing with texture, noise, skid resistance and rolling resistance of pavements. This project comprised a Round Robin to compare the rolling resistance measurement devices, the development of an enhanced model based on texture enveloping, a proposal for a reference surface for calibration of rolling resistance devices and the drafting of a first proposal for an EN standard for field rolling resistance devices.
This paper summarizes the most important developments on the field of rolling resistance measuring, modelling and standardization. Some recent developments since ROSANNE ended (2016), a.o. a project studying the measurement of the rolling resistance of truck tyres in Austria, a Danish field study of low rolling resistance pavements and a Belgian measurement campaign on Next Generation Cement Concrete, will be discussed as well.