Determination of wheel loads from runway cranes based on rail strain measurement

Markus Kettler*, Paul Reinhold Zauchner, Harald Unterweger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The knowledge of the actual wheel loads resulting from the runway cranes in service is of major importance for the fatigue assessment of existing crane runway girders. Once the wheel loads are known, the global and local stress fields can be calculated based on well-known procedures.

Within this paper a methodology is developed to quantify the wheel loads based on strain measurements on the rail. For cases without rail pad, only two vertical strain gauges are sufficient to calculate the wheel load, while two additional horizontal strain gauges are necessary for cases with rail pad.

Experimental tests with different rail types are presented and compared with numerical calculations. Both, the borderline case of rails with ridged support and cases of rails on crane runway girders, with and without elastomeric pads, are studied in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Article number 110546
Number of pages22
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Crane rail
  • Strain measurement
  • Wheel load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

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