Ride Dynamics and Pavement Loading of Tractor Semi-Trailers on Randomly Rough Roads 2004-01-2622
An investigation of the vertical dynamics of a tractor semi-trailer traversing a random road profile was conducted. This paper presents the development of a 14 degree-of-freedom (DOF), dynamic ride model of a tractor semi-trailer. It is based on work previously conducted by Vaduri and Law  and Law et al . The DOFs include: (a) vertical displacements of each of the five axles, the tractor frame, the engine on its mounts, the cab on its suspension, and the driver's seat; (b) pitch displacements of the trailer with respect to the tractor, the cab, and the rigid tractor frame; and, (c) the first bending or beaming modes of the tractor and trailer frames. The model also incorporates suspension friction, and tire non-uniformities. The simulation of the model is conducted using MATLAB software.
Further, the model is used to examine the effects on ride and pavement loading of wide-base and conventional tires, suspension friction, tractor and trailer beaming, and statistical variations in parameters such as tire pressure, axle suspension stiffness, etc.