Study and simulation of the effective factors on soil compaction by tractors wheels using the finite element method

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering of Biosystems, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

3 M.S. Student, Department of Mechanical Engineering of Biosystems, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


Soil is a nonrenewable source that needs considerable management to prevent physical deterioration
by erosion and compaction. Compacted soil causes low fertility and yield. The purpose of this study is
to investigate the effect of viscoelastic properties of soil and to determine important factors on
compaction. Furthermore, stress distribution, prediction of soil compaction and simulation of its effect
under tractor wheels using ANSYS software were also studied. Predicted results using ANSYS
software are compared with laboratory and field results. Simulations were carried out by changing and
measuring effective factors on soil compaction. These factors consist of wheel parameters which
include: number of wheel passes, speed and load; and the soil parameters such as soil bulk density and
Young’s modulus. The predicted results indicated that maximum soil compaction in the first traffic
with 512 mm was induced by viscoelastic properties of soil and the minimum soil compaction in the
sixth traffic was 8 mm caused by soil elasticity properties. Variation in soil bulk density was
negligible. Also at each wheel pass, e maximum stress was in the soil surface and this decreased with
increase in depth. The maximum vertical stress on the soil in the sixth traffic was 120.477 kPa at 2.52
km/h and the minimum was 117.46 kPa at 5 km/h.


Main Subjects

[1].Arvidsson, J., Keller, T. (2007). Soil stress as affected by wheel load and tyre inflation pressure. Soil Till. Res. 96, 284 291.
[2].Besson, A., Seger, M., Giot, G. and Cousin, I. (2013). Identifying the characteristic scales of soil structural recovery after compaction from three in- field methods of monitoring. Geo derma 204-205: 130-139.
[3].Botta, G.F., Tolon- Becerra, A., Tourn, M., Lastra- Bravo, X. and Rivero, D. (2012). Agricultural traffic: motion resistance and soil compaction in relation to tractor design and different soil conditions. Soil and Tillage Research. 120: 92-98.
[4].Burger, J.A., Kreh, R.E., Minaei, S., Perumpral, J.V. and Torbert, J.L. (1984). Tires and Tracks: How they compare in the forest. Agricultural Engineering, 65(2): 14-18.
[5].Chen, Y., Tessier, s. and Rauffignat, J. (1998). Soil bulk density estimation for tillage systems and soil texture. Transactions of the ASAE, 41 (4): 1601-1610.
[6].Gill, W.R. (1971). Economic assessment of soil compaction. In: Compaction of Agricultural soils. ASAE monograph: 431-458 St. Joseph, MI.
[7].Hamza, M.A., Anderson, W.K. (2005). Soil compaction in cropping system. A review of the nature, causes and possible solution. Soil & Tillage Research 82 (2): 121-145.
[8].Hassan, A. (1978). Effects of mechanization on soils and forest regeneration in coastal plain organic soil. Transactions of the ASAE, 21 (6): 1107-1111.
[9].Hatchell, G.E., Ralston, C.W. and Foil, R.R. (1970). Soil disturbances in logging. Journal of Forestry, 68: 772-775.
[10]. Horn, R. (2009). Introduction to the special issue about soil management for sustainability. Soil Till. Res. 102: 165-167.
[11]. Jafari Naeimi, K., (2007). Investigate the interaction between the tractor wheels and agricultural soil and viscoelastic soil properties. PhD thesis, Moscow state university of agricultural machinery engineering, Garyachkyn.
[12]. Kibblewhite, M.G., Ritz, K. and Swift, M.J. (2008). Soil health in agricultural systems. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 363: 685-701.
[13]. Lancas, K.P., Santos Filho, A.C. and Upadhyaya, S.K. (1998). Soil compaction evaluation as a function of soil conditions, tire characteristics and wheel slip. International Conference of Agricultural Engineering. Oslo, Norway.
[14]. Lull, H.W. (1959). Soil compaction on forest and range lands. Academic press, New York.
[15]. Lamande, M. and Schjonning, P. (2010). Transmission of vertical stress in a real soil profile. Part II: Effect of type size, inflation pressure and wheel load, is ted. Denmark: Elsevier, 144.
[16]. Minaei, S. (1984). Multi pass effects of wheel and track- type vehicles on soil compaction. MS. Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
[17]. Raghavan, G.S.V. and Mckeys, E. (1977). Study of traction and compaction problems on eastern Canadian agricultural soils. MS. Thesis, Dept. of Agricultural Eng., MacDonald campus. McGill Univ. Ste. Anne de Bellevue.
[18]. Raper, R.L. (2005). Agricultural traffic impacts on soil. J. Terra mech. 42: 259-280.
[19]. Shahgholi, Gh. and Abuali, M. (2015). Measuring soil compaction and soil behavior under the tractor tire using strain transducer. Journal of Terramechines. 59: 19-25.
[20]. Shahidi, K. and Ahmadi Moghadam, P., (2005). The relation between machine and soil. Jahad Daneshgahi (Azarbayjan Gharbi) publishing.
[21]. Soane, B. D. (1990). The role of organic matter in soil compatibility: A review of some practical aspects. Soil & Tillage res. 16: 179-201.
[22]. Steinbrenner, E.C. (1955). The effect of repeated tractor trips on the physical properties of two forest soils in southwestern Washington. Northwest science, 29: 155-159.
[23]. Tanner, D.W. and Dexter, A.R. (1974). Time dependence of compressibility for remolded and undisturbed soils. Journal of Soil Science, 25: 151-164.
  • Receive Date: 16 March 2015
  • Revise Date: 10 June 2015
  • Accept Date: 06 October 2015