A new concept in soil mechanics is sought which will cope with the problem of the behaviour of soil when massive displacements are involved, as occurs when a wheel cuts a deep rut in soft material. It is sug- gested that such movement of soil is more in the nature of a flow phenomenon, and an energy-per-unit- volume concept is hypothesized. The load-sinkage curve is assumed to be of the general form y = aXn; this assumption may have to yieldin time to some other more accurate representation, possiblye hyper- bolic function. Expressions have heen derived for predicting sinkage and towing resistance of rigidwheels in soft soil on the basis of plate penetration tests. These expressions have been modified and extended to cover more complicated performance of pheurnatic tyres. Experimental verification of the theory in dry desert sand (as found near Yuma, Arizona) is presented.
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