Comfort and Durability of Cabin of Commercial Vehicle 2001-26-0040
With the opening up of the economy and globalization in India, provision of reliable infrastructure has become a priority area in order to facilitate faster economic growth. The backbone for the economic growth is transportation. In transportation, the commercial vehicle industry plays a lion's role and hence demands urgent attention. One of the neglected areas in the commercial vehicles is its cabin.
Driving commercial vehicle in India, is hard and hazardous work lasting for long hours in distant and unknown places of varying environmental conditions. In India, most often, the driver of a commercial vehicle is an employee unlike in developed countries where he is a owner driver. Further, most of the commercial vehicles supplied in India today are drive-away chassis and with the engine in the driver's compartment unlike the built-in cabins abroad. The design of the cab and the compartment of the driver and its comfort which is essential for safe driving, an area left to the whims and fancies of body builders, calls for immediate attention for improvement.
This paper details many of the parameters required to be looked into such as space, ergonomic design, noise, vibration, heat, safety features, materials used in the cabin, durability, etc. This paper also compares quantitatively the above parameters between the Indian scenario and advanced design/developed countries, as well as mandatory requirements imposed by Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety (BMCS), Federal Highway Administration, US Department of Transportation, etc. It also suggests recommendations for the improvement of the cab as a work place.
This paper also presents a case study on a detailed exercise carried out in characterisation and improvement of the vibration levels and methodology of carrying out vibration durability and structural integrity of the cab design for commercial vehicles.