Applications of WIM Data
There are many applications for WIM systems and WIM data. Often the same WIM systems can be used for more than one application. Some of the most common ones are:
- Statistics on traffic loading: this information provides an important input for transportation studies that help to optimise the planning and design of the future road network. The detailed and accurate loading information is an important input both for the design codes of the road infrastructure (new roads and bridges) and for the planning of the maintenance of the existing infrastructure. Additionally, the information from WIM systems can be used for detailed analysis of transport flows over the road network and its development over time. This information can also be used in providing evidence for Government policy.
- Weight enforcement: the objective of weight enforcement is to achieve a better compliance with loading regulations and, as a consequence, a reduction of overloading and its negative effects; increased wear and tear of the road infrastructure, unfair competition and reduced traffic safety. Low speed and high speed WIM systems offer a range of applications that will assist in a more efficient and effective weight enforcement. The applications described in this document are: road side controls, statistics and planning, pre-selection, company profiling and direct enforcement.
- Tolling by weight: the road users pay a toll fee based on the actual weight and/or axle loads of their vehicles. This is in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle, since the height of the fee for using a toll road is proportional to the wear caused by the vehicle. The WIM systems not only ensure fair toll prices but may also generate additional revenue to finance maintenance of the infrastructure. This application includes the use of low speed WIM systems at the toll plazas and of high speed WIM under the free flow conditions.
- Industrial applications: at ports, industrial and logistic centres. WIM systems can be used to check the weights and axle loads of trucks leaving the site, to prevent overloading before the trucks enter the road network. In case the WIM systems are certified for trade applications they can also be used for the invoicing of industrial (bulk) goods by weight.
- Railway WIM: WIM systems installed in railway tracks may be used for one or a combination of the following applications: Rail track design and maintenance; by recording the total track loading a more efficient planning of rail track design and maintenance can be made. Train maintenance; in combination with a train identification system, the WIM can record the dynamic wheel loads of each train car. An early detection of high dynamics (e.g. because of flat spots) allows quick intervention for maintenance avoiding additional wear and tear of the train and track. Rail track access pricing; WIM can be used to monitor the access of trains to a railway track. This can be used for track access pricing related to the number and weights of the trains, the distance traveled on the rail network.