Rutting is the longitudinal vertical deformation of a pavement surface in a wheelpath, measured relative to a straight edge placed at right angles to the traffic flow and across the wheelpath, with a length/width ratio greater than 4:1.

A single instance of rutting is called a rut or wheel rut. Large ruts can hold enough water to result in vehicles aquaplaning in wet weather.

Rutting can occur in both sealed roads and unsealed roads



Earthco-Unsealed-Rutting-1a.jpg Kewdale-Rd-Shear-1.JPG


Rutting is measured in millimetres. AustRoads guidelines express a preference for rut depth to be reported with reference to a 2 metre straight edge, with a depth reading to be taken every 100 metres.

This measurement can be obtained in a couple of ways:

  • Manually by placing a straight edge across a rut and measuring the distance from the bottom of the straight edge to the bottom of a the rut.
  • Automatically, using a vehicle mounted non-contact multi-sensor transverse profile measurement device, e.g. laser profiling.

Treatment Options

Rutting in unsealed roads can be corrected temporarily by maintenance grading, but resheeting and possibly drainage works may be required to correct the problem more permanently.

Asphalt Regulation, a major patch or a road reconstruction are possible options for sealed roads.

Related Pages

External Links & References

  1. Camden Council Pavement Fault Diagrams
  2. Radar Portal
  3. AustRoads Guide to Asset Management Part 5C: Rutting
  4. Google Search (Rutting)
  5. Google Search (Wheel Rut)
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