Parking Lot Construction for Heavy Vehicles Needs Special Consideration


Companies in the business of managing heavy commercial vehicles must be attentive towards how their parking lots are constructed. If they are not designed to bear the massive weight of heavy vehicles like commercial cargo trucks, garbage trucks, buses, and trailers, it can lead to dangerous safety hazards, as well as legal and financial ramifications later. Since the extra pressure is exerted from multiple sources, we will discuss each stress type separately for a better explanation.

The Huge Weight Difference between Commercial and Non-Commercial Vehicles

Compared to how much stress parking lots housing heavy commercial vehicles go through, the stress on an average parking lot is borderline negligible. For instance, the Cadillac Escalade ESV is one of the heaviest noncommercial vehicles at roughly 6,088lbs. The mammoth car can carry as much as 1,636lbs in cargo weight, bringing the SUV’s total weight at its heaviest point to roughly 7,724lbs. This is the absolute maximum that an Escalade ESV can weigh, although safety recommendations suggest keeping the cargo + passenger weight below 1,500lbs.

On the other hand, a medium-duty Freightliner Class M2 106 weighs close to 26,000lbs when its empty. The box truck can carry an additional 40,000lbs in cargo weight, bringing the total payload capacity to 66,000lbs. The heavy-duty Volvo VNX 740 usually hauls in a total of 160,000lbs – 220,000lbs (GCR) and the tractor weighs about 30,000lbs sans cargo.

As we can clearly see, commercial vehicles outweigh the heaviest noncommercial vehicles by tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds. Other than that, a passenger car will offload most of its weight soon after reaching a parking lot, but loaded commercial trucks often sit in the parking lot for hours, if not days at a time.

This naturally exerts more persistent, continuous pressure on commercial parking lots, making it compulsory for these to be constructed with significantly higher capacity for withstanding more stress, if they are to safely house the behemoths of modern trucking. Failure to do so will lead to depressions first, and eventually, total collapse of the surface.

The Grinding Stress from Truck Tires

Now that we have a decent understanding of potential stress exerted by sitting heavy vehicles on parking lots, consider how much more stress the same surface must go through when several of those heavy behemoths move in and out of the parking lot multiple times a day, every day. Then there are also forklifts and other heavy vehicles which frequently visit the parking lots to load or unload trucks.

The reinforced and heavily treaded, massive tires which carry all that weight around will weigh 120lbs-400lbs each and most medium-heavy duty trucks have at least 10-12 of those. The tires can and will rend a parking lot surface to shreds in a matter of weeks, unless they are treading on a surface that has been specially designed to withstand that tremendous abrasive pressure. Asphalt is a poor choice of material for this very reason.

Concrete Truck Parking Lot Paving: The Ideal Option?

Asphalt is a strong and durable choice of material when building an average parking lot. Unfortunately, an asphalt surface will not last very long if multiple commercial trucks of the medium and heavy variety are constantly going in and out of the parking lot. A combination of depressive and abrasive stress, exerted by huge, treaded tires carrying thousands of pounds on top is not what asphalt lots are designed to withstand.

Fortunately, we do have a much stronger and more durable option in concrete. Steel-reinforced concrete truck parking lot paving for heavy duty vehicles will go beyond even the impressive capabilities of an average commercial concrete parking lot. Note that steel-reinforced concrete is even capable of resisting the weight of mining rigs. Mining trucks are the super heavy vehicles that make even the largest 18-wheeler trailer-truck look like their mechanical offspring!

For example, the BelAZ 75710 is one of the world’s largest pieces of mining equipment with a max payload capacity of 992,080lbs or 450 tons. The gigantic 8.26-meter-tall and 20.6-meter-long haul truck weighs roughly 360 tons or 793,664lbs empty. At its heaviest, the world’s largest haul truck can weigh as much as 1.79 million pounds or 810 tons!

While mining rigs mostly operate and stay on sand and open land, they do require protection from harsh weather conditions, especially when the rig is not being used. Only steel-reinforced concrete truck parking lots can withstand their titanic weights when such occasions do arise, and the $6 million truck must be parked inside for protection. This should explain why specialized concrete truck parking lot paving is deemed to be a safe, reliable, and cost-effective option for constructing heavy-duty lots for commercial vehicles.

Attention to Lot Maintenance is a Crucial Aspect

Irrespective of the construction material, all parking lot surfaces will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear. We can delay and mitigate cracks, depressions and the like by choosing tougher materials fit for the job. However, we cannot completely stop it from happening somewhere down the line. This is why regular checks and timely maintenance are so important.

For example, small cracks on a concrete surface will eventually show up, but they can be easily filled in at that point. If a crack goes unnoticed and unrepaired for a long time though, it will turn into a gaping crevice. At that point, repairing is still possible, but it will take substantially more time, effort, and money.

If a big crevice is left unrepaired for quite some time, that is when the situation starts to become highly dangerous. With multiple heavy vehicles coming in and out of the parking area at all hours, there should not be any uneven surfaces at all. Having a pothole or a large fissure on the lot’s surface is just a disaster waiting to happen. What could have been repaired at hardly any cost at all, can soon turn out to be a cause for accident, loss, and even tragedy in worst-case scenarios.