Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Degree Level



Civil Engineering


Norman D. Dennis

Committee Member

Richard A. Coffman

Second Committee Member

Rodney D. Williams


Driven Piles, Resistance Factors, Static and Dynamic Tests


The field of geotechnical engineering has evolved from Allowable Stress Design (ASD) to Load Factor and Resistance Design (LRFD) which has led to a need to quantify the measures of uncertainty and the level of reliability associated with a project. The measures of uncertainty are quantified by load and resistance factors, while the level of reliability is driven by the amount of risk an owner is willing to take and is quantified by the reliability index. The load factors are defined through structural design codes, but the resistance factors have uncertainties that can be mitigated through reliability based design. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) have recommended resistance factors that are dependent on the type of load tests conducted and are available as a reference to state agencies. The objective of this study was to improve the AASHTO recommended resistance factors used by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), thereby, increasing allowable pile capacity and reducing deep foundation costs. Revised resistance factors for field acceptance based on dynamic testing were established through the analysis of pile load test data where both static and dynamic load testing was conducted. Pile load tests were separated by pile type and soil type. It was important that the load test data analyzed represented soil and geologic conditions similar to those found in Arkansas. The resistance factors determined from this analysis improved AHTD current practice, but indicated that the factors recommended by AASHTO may be unconservative for this region.