We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Moving Load?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A moving load is a component, system, or addition that moves within an engineered environment. This changes the distribution of stress and creates demands that are not present in static systems. A truck driving across a bridge, for example, is a moving load, as is an aircraft landing on a tarmac. In systems that are likely to experience moving loads as part of their operations, engineers need to allow for them in designs, and make preparations to accommodate shifting stresses.

Load dynamics change radically when loads are likely to move. In a purely static structure or system, engineers can calculate stresses on the basis of the weight of the components and how they are put together. They can determine if the system is likely to buckle or shear. As soon as a moving load, like vibrating machinery or vehicles, is added, the system becomes much more complex. In addition, it may be necessary to think about seismic stresses that could push the system in ways it is not designed to address.

One concern with moving load is the bending moment, the amount of force needed to force components to bend. This can be a particular concern across unsupported spans. In the design of structural systems, engineers consider the kinds of forces that may be present and how much support will be necessary to accommodate them. Overengineering is common to ensure that the tolerances of the project exceed any projected use.

Numerous formulas can provide information about the behavior of moving loads. These can offer insight into the kinds of stresses that may be exerted with different kinds of motion, including acceleration and deceleration. Cars slamming on their brakes behave differently on a bridge, for instance, than trains moving at a steady rate without stopping. These formulas can be modeled to determine if a structure meets the need or is likely to fail under a critical moving load.

Computer-aided (CAD) design assists with these kinds of calculations. Engineers can use the computer to generate and document a variety of scenarios. This can ensure that a variety of moving loads are considered and accounted for in the design process so the system will perform at its peak, even in periods of extreme stress. Documentation can also be useful to demonstrate the necessity of specific engineering measures, or in the event of a forensic investigation, to illustrate that engineers took reasonable precautions to protect potential users of a system.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All The Science researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.