Mitigation of the Damage of Amish Buggies to Local Roads

This paper summarizes the results of a study that was conducted to identify all possible changes that could be made to horseshoes used by the Amish community to mitigate their damage to local roads. Several alternative horseshoes were identified, including: horseshoes with a new calk design, horseshoes coated with select tungsten carbide coating design, and a composite horseshoe. Laboratory tests were performed to quantify the reduction in damage to local roads from using the alternative horseshoes. Experiments were also conducted to evaluate the effects of the new horseshoes on horses’ hooves and legs. Finally, comprehensive cost analyses were conducted to estimate the costs to users as well as the life-cycle costs of Amish buggy routes when the different horseshoes considered in this paper are used. The results of laboratory tests indicated that the use of alternative horseshoes can significantly reduce the road damage. The experiments performed to evaluate the effect of alternative horseshoes on horses indicated that the alternative horseshoes reduced stress on the horse hoof by at least 45%, while maintaining traction. The results of life-cycle cost analyses indicated that using the alternative horseshoes with new calk design can result in reducing the annual repair costs of Amish buggy routes by at least 40%. The results also suggested that using the alternative horseshoes could reduce the annual cost of horse keeping, considering the effects of the shoes on the service life of a horse.


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  • Accession Number: 01875304
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 8 2023 9:04AM