Generally, residential driveways are not made to support the weight of commercial trucks. The amount of weight a particular driveway -- its load-bearing capacity -- is difficult to determine without knowing more about the driveway.
The load-bearing capacity of a particular driveway can be affected by a variety of factors including the soil underneath it, the driveway's foundation, how old it is, the moisture content, thickness, mix of the asphalt and even the temperature. Load-bearing capacity increases slightly in cold weather.
The subgrade performance is a key factor in load-bearing capacity. The subgrade includes the soil type, compaction and moisture content of the soil underneath the driveway. It can also include the gravel layer that is usually laid beneath the surface. This layer can help absorb weight placed upon the asphalt. The less weight it absorbs, the less the weight capacity of the asphalt.
Moisture content of the asphalt is another important factor. Over time asphalt driveways can absorb moisture. Eventually, they soften slightly and cracks start to appear. In some cases, applying a seal coat can lock out moisture and improve the load-carrying capacity.
- Photo Credit snowy house image by Sandra Henderson from Fotolia.com
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