Current equipment and technologies for oil and gas development and production from shale formations in the Permian Basin require very large numbers of heavy truckloads. Most of the existing roadway and bridge structures in West Texas were not designed to accommodate the large frequency and weight of these truckloads.
Pavement Impact per Truck – Due to axle load force multipliers developed by AASHTO (The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), the total pavement impact due to a loaded truck weighing 80,000 lbs. is 18,009 times greater than the impact of a single passenger vehicle weighing 4,000 lbs.
Pavement Impact on County Roads – The pavement impact per loaded truck on county roads is even higher than that of state highway and secondary state roads with a single 80,000 lb. loaded truck equal to the impact of 1.2 million passenger vehicles.
Pavement Impact per Well – Current horizontal well development estimates in the Permian Basin show that 4,000 fully loaded trucks are needed to complete a well, meaning that a single well would be the rough equivalent of more than 72 million passenger vehicles.
Costs of Repair – The accelerated damage of pavement structure due to energy-related trucking along secondary state highways and local roads are estimated between $1.5-$2 billion per year, with the majority of that activity occurring in the Permian Basin.
Costs to Industry – Costs in the form of additional vehicle damage and lower operating speeds cost the industry between $1.5-$3.5 billion per year.