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Ruts of twin wheels of a bus at a bus stop
Pronounced ruts in the area of ​​a bus stop
Ruts in the rain

Ruts (also known colloquially as ruts ) are part of the road damage and are pavement depressions that run in the longitudinal direction of the road and are mainly caused by the compression and recompaction of the asphalt as a result of the effects of high wheel loads from heavy traffic . Over time, ruts often appear, especially in the area of ​​slow driving areas, bus waiting areas, inclines or intersections. In the case of concrete roads, on the other hand, the formation of ruts plays a subordinate role due to the high strength of the concrete.

Ruts change the slope of the road surface and prevent the surface water from quickly draining away. The surface water collected in the depressions impairs traffic safety, as aquaplaning (slippery water) can occur.


Unlike concrete, asphalt is a thermoplastic road building material due to its binding agent bitumen , which makes it prone to deformation, especially at high temperatures and heavy loads. If other factors are added, ruts can form.

The following factors can cause rutting:

  • Insufficient dimensioning (thickness) of the asphalt pavement
  • Wrong type of mix (s)
  • Incorrect mix
  • Errors in asphalt paving (especially temperature and compaction)
  • Insufficient bond between the asphalt layers
  • Systematic irregularities in the supporting layer (e.g., B. überasphaltierte trackage )


As part of road maintenance , sections of the road or lane areas with pronounced ruts must be rehabilitated. In the case of less pronounced ruts, repair measures are used. This includes the milling (fine milling) of the bulges and indentations in order to restore a flat surface. This method is a relatively inexpensive and simple rehabilitation method, but it does reduce the thickness of the asphalt pavement. It is also possible to apply a compensating thin layer ( DSK or DSH ). If the above-mentioned methods cannot be used, only the complete removal and reinstallation of the asphalt surface and, if applicable, the asphalt binder courses can be considered.

In order to prevent the formation of ruts in advance, it is important that the correct mix is ​​used and that the mix is ​​installed correctly. With the help of lightening aggregates in the surface course and the installation of a deformation-resistant asphalt binder course, ruts can be avoided. Statements about the deformation resistance of the asphalt binder course can be made by the track formation test .

The cooling of asphalt surfaces is currently being researched . In connection with open-space heating, the road can be kept free of snow and ice in winter and cooled in summer (use of the asphalt surface as a solar collector). The formation of ruts can be reduced by lowering the temperature in the asphalt.

See also

Norms and standards

  • Leaflet for flatness tests
  • Technical test regulations for flatness measurements on road surfaces in longitudinal and transverse directions (TP Eben)


  • S. Velske, H. Mentlein: Road construction technology . Werner Verlag, Düsseldorf 2002, ISBN 3-8041-3875-6 , p. 147 ff .

Web links

Commons : Ruts  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Spurrille  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Spurrinne  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations