Fundamentals of Heavy Truck Dynamics
I.D. # C0837 Duration 3 Days

Understanding vehicle dynamics is one of the critical issues in the design of all vehicles, including heavy trucks. This seminar provides a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of heavy truck dynamics. It covers all of the critical subsystems that must be considered by designers and decision makers in determining the effect of various components on heavy truck dynamics. This seminar begins where the tires meet the ground, progressing up through the various components and bringing together the theory and practice of heavy truck dynamics. A series of case studies related to truck ride engineering will provide an opportunity for attendees to demonstrate their knowledge gained and introduces them to some of the newer technologies related to evaluating and improving heavy truck ride dynamics.

This course has been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) for 15 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Upon completion of this seminar, accredited reconstructionists should contact ACTAR, 800-809-3818, to request CEUs. As an ACTAR approved course, the fee for CEUs is reduced to $5.00.

Learning Objectives
By attending this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Acquire an overall understanding of heavy truck dynamics, both its theory and practice
  • Acquire and demonstrate knowledge of heavy truck ride engineering and the factors that affect it
  • Define the dynamics of various truck sub-systems and components that include tires, steering system, and truck suspensions
  • Identify how sub-systems or components interact with other sub-systems to effect truck dynamics
  • Describe some of the contemporary issues in heavy truck dynamics
  • Assess and evaluate selected research topics you may want to consider for the sub-systems and components that you work with

Who Should Attend
This seminar will benefit design, manufacturing, and customer support engineers in the heavy truck industry, most notably the original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers. Managers and marketing staff, as well as individuals in government agencies and educators in academic institutions that have a need for understanding heavy truck dynamics will also benefit from attending this seminar.
A basic knowledge of college-level statics, dynamics, and vibrations will help the attendees to more easily follow the course material. Practical knowledge and common sense can replace the academic training in statics and dynamics.
Seminar Content

  • Course Introduction

    • What is Vehicle Dynamics

  • Course Outline
  • Tire Dynamics

    • Tire Mechanics
    • Tire Dynamics
    • Tire Operating Conditions

  • Steering System

    • Steering Mechanism
    • Forces and Moments
    • Steering Vibrations
    • Steering Effects
    • Maneuverability


    • Suspension Dynamics and Kinematics

      • Introduction to Suspension Systems
      • Spring Elements
      • Damper Elements
      • Advanced Suspensions

    • Heavy Truck Dynamics

      • Dynamics Basics
      • Center of Gravity (CG) Calculations
      • Roll Dynamics
      • Load Transfer
      • Aerodynamics Loads
      • Frame Dynamics


    • Vibration Sources

      • Road Roughness
      • Tire and Wheel Assembly
      • Engine & Transmission
      • Drive line Excitation
      • Truck Frame Dynamics
      • Cab Suspension Dynamics

    • Vehicle Dynamic Elements

      • Suspension Dynamics
      • Nonlinearities in Suspension
      • Resonance of Axle Hop
      • Bounce and Pitch of Rigid Body
      • Roll Response
      • Frame Bending
      • Cab Mounting System
      • Position of Fifth Wheel
      • Driver's Seat
      • Loading
      • Trailer Effects

    • Perception of Ride
    • Human Body Response to Vehicle Vibrations
    • Case Studies: Contemporary Topics in Heavy Truck Dynamics

      • CASE 1: Practical Evaluation of Truck Suspension Kinematics and Dynamics
      • CASE 2: Dynamic Influence of Frame Stiffness on Heavy Truck Ride
      • CASE 3: Effect of Panhard Rod Cab Suspensions on Heavy Truck Ride Measurements

  • CASE 4: Simulation Analysis of Suspension and Driveline Dynamic Coupling and their effect on Truck Ride
  • Seminar Evaluation and Conclusion

  • Instructor(s): Mehdi Ahmadian

    Mehdi Ahmadian, Ph.D. is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he is also the Director of the Center for Vehicle Systems and Safety (CVeSS) and the Railway Technologies Laboratory (RTL). He is the founding director of CVeSS, RTL, Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research, and the Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory. Dr. Ahmadian has authored more than 200 technical publications and has made more than 130 technical presentations in topics related to advanced technologies for ground vehicles. He holds six U.S. patents and has edited four technical volumes. He currently serves as editor for the International Journal of Vehicle Systems Dynamics, co-editor for Advances in Mechanical Engineering, and associate editor for the journal Shock Vibration. Dr. Ahmadian is a member of SAE and is the recipient of the 2008 Forest R. McFarland Award for outstanding contributions to the SAE Engineering Meetings Board. He is also a Fellow of ASME and a Senior Member of AIAA. In the past, he has served as associate editor for the ASME Journal of Vibration and Acoustics and associate editor for the AIAA Journal. Dr. Ahmadian's research interests include vehicle dynamics and control, advanced suspensions, biodynamics, ride engineering, tire dynamics, advanced materials for improving vehicle performance, and vehicle noise and vibration assessment. Dr. Ahmadian has over 20 years of industrial and academic experience, working in research, development, and engineering of various systems for ground vehicles, air vehicles, and water vessels for both civilian and military applications.
    "Fantastic course for anyone looking to have a solid understanding of heavy truck dynamics."

    Bryon Redeker


    SAF Holland

    "This course offered excellent information and insight into Heavy Trucks and their sub- systems."

    Enrique Bonugli

    Test Engineer

    Biodynamic Research Corporation

    "Good theoretical start to understanding the Heavy Truck industry."

    Martin Garcia

    Senior Engineer

    Quest Engineering

    "The Fundamentals of Heavy Truck Dynamics course offered by SAE is a great tool for engineers trying to get into the heavy truck world as well as a good refresher for those who have been in the industry for some time."

    Shawn Bozarth

    Project Engineer


    Fees: $1790 SAE Members*: $1432 - $1611
    * The appropriate SAE Member discount will be applied through the Registration process.  Discounts vary  according to level of membership: Elite Member 20%; Premium Member 15%; Classic Member 10%
    CEU 2