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Normally the loading requirement comes from the bridge owner. Most existing
highway bridges are designed to HS-20, though a lot of new bridges are
HS-25 to account for the increase in truck weight that has been the trend.
You said that your bridge is small, though that does not necessarily mean
lightly loaded. On the other hand, HS-20 loading is pretty serious, so you
need to talk to your client about what kind of loading they want.

Michael Ludvik, PE

             "Bill Polhemus"                                               
             >                                                          To 
             09/20/2004 11:31                                           cc 
             Please respond to                                             

“HS-20” is a long-time standard loading defined in the AASHTO “Standard
Specification for Highway Bridges.”

You will most likely want to design your bridge to AASHTO, just for
defensibility’s sake (even though I’m assuming yours is not a “highway
bridge”). There are lower-intensity loads defined in AASHTO, such as HS-15,
H-15, etc.

Get a copy of the standard; it will explain the use of the loadings. Your
fire-truck ought to fall within the parameters of a standard AASHTO

From: Peggy Dall [mailto:pdall(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2004 10:27 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)

Does anyone know where H20 loading comes from and what it defines?  I'm
working on a small bridge and we want to be sure that we're designing for
the correct loads.  Also, is there a special spec for say, firetruck loads?
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