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Re: loader surcharge at top of retaining wall

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> I am designing an 18-foot high retaining wall which is
> to hold back a ramp which will be used by a loader to
> load bins.  The loaders front tires will likely be
> stopping at the wall - once they hit it that is. I
> don't have the loader size yet and I know that is
> important but the question remains the same.  What I
> would like to know is whether there are any good
> references out there regarding surcharge loading for
> this type of situation.  Our DOT uses something like a
> 3 foot minimum surcharge for bridge abutments but I
> don't really feel comfortable just using that without
> knowing more.  As always, your opinions are
> appreciated.

The loads you use in this situation might not be as important
as the "People Factor" (the safety factor based on the abuse
the general person can inflict on a structure).  How do you
design for some idiot operator slamming a 4-ton loader into the wall 
at 10 mph with a full bucket?  I don't know what they're loading,
but can the top of the wall be used as a backstop to help push
spilled material back into the bucket?  

I don't know of any official reference, but we used to get a best-
guess as to the most-probable load, then double or triple it.

If you can talk to the owner, you'll probably find out that he 
would much rather pay for several extra yards of concrete now 
than have to pay to rebuild the entire wall later (plus the cost
of the down time).

Just my 3 cents.

Jason W. Kilgore
Leigh & O'Kane, L.L.C.
(816) 444-3144