Abstract Experiments were carried out utilizing a gear-cam adapter to simulate line-contact lubrication and wear. Roller specimens with various asperity heights and roughness patterns were riding on roller plates and sliding over the two lands of the lower specimen. The scuffing loads for the rollers with various roughness conditions were measured while changing the applied load and spindle's rotational speed. The effects of the roughness parameters on scuffing load, particularly roughness pattern and asperity height, were thus investigated. The displacement of the bottom specimens during the lubrication and wear process were measured to establish their correlation with scuffing behaviour. The variations of bottom specimen displacement can offer information regarding the film thickness formation on the rollers with various roughness patterns and asperity heights.