Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

John Ma

Committee Members

Edwin Burdette, Timothy Truster


The goal of this work is to design and construct a full scale lateral impact testing facility that is capable of recreating the damage that would be created by an overheight vehicle collision. This was accomplished by impacting a test specimen with an 8000 lbs. impact cart. The impact cart is raised on an elevated track and allowed to roll down the track with a change in height of 10 ft. This change in height is what provides the impact force necessary to recreate an overheight vehicle collision. The track is constructed out of wood and is designed to withstand both the gravity and lateral loads that the impact cart will cause. The impact cart consists of a concrete block surrounded in plate steel on a cart frame. The cart itself was designed to withstand multiple impacts so that it can be used for more than a single test. The supported system for the test specimen consists of gravity supports and lateral supports. The lateral support, or backstop, prevents the test specimen from sliding during testing and insures the most accurate representation of actual conditions that would occur during an overheight vehicle collision. The facility must be capable of testing a variety of specimens in order to fully utilize the potential of such a facility.

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