Highlights: The dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP) and light falling weight deflectometer (LFWD) are useful tools for measuring bearing capacity; The measurement results are not same as with the falling weight deflectometer (FWD), but comparable.
Forest roads provide access to logging sites and enable transportation of timber from forest to mills. Efficient forest management and forest industry are impossible without a proper forest road network. The bearing capacity of forest roads varies significantly by weather conditions and seasons since they are generally made of poor materials and the constructed layers may be mixed with subgrade. A bearing capacity assessment is valuable information when trafficability is uncertain and rutting is obvious. In this study, bearing capacity measurements were carried out using the light falling weight deflectometer (LFWD), the dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP) and the conventional falling weight deflectometer (FWD). The aim was to compare their measurement results in relation to road characteristics and moisture conditions. Data were collected from 35 test road sections in four consecutive springs and during one summer. The test road sections had measurement points both on the wheel path and the centre line. The data show logical correlations between measured quantities, and the study presents reliable regression models between measuring devices. The results indicate that light portable tools, the DCP and the LFWD, can in most cases be used instead of the expensive falling weight deflectometer on forest roads.