Making Greener Off-Road Vehicles - Assessment Method and Design Solutions 2011-28-0024
Over the past several years increasing concern is expressed over
the impact of tractors and heavy-duty trucks on the environment.
One of the factors specific to this type of vehicles is the level
of soil damage inflicted by the vehicle. This article suggests
methods of ameliorating this type of damage.
It is suggested that the harmful impact of the vehicle on the
soil be assessed on the basis of an index that takes into account
the reduction in the soil's reproductive capacity due to being
traversed by vehicular wheels.
A computational method is suggested that allows the design of
off-road vehicles; it takes into account the number of axles and
their arrangement along the base; the distribution of load between
the axles, the type and specifics of the drivelines, tire models
and pressure, turning patterns, etc. This method allows comparative
evaluation of various vehicles, whether already in existence or
under design. Design solutions for reducing the environmental
damage caused by off-road vehicles are suggested.
Particular attention is paid to the design of all-wheel-drive
vehicles equipped with intelligent automatic drivelines that are
able to redistribute the power supplied to the wheels. Besides
certain performance improvement (passability, traction and velocity
performance, fuel savings) these drivelines are also capable of
reducing the environmental damage. Relationships defining the
optimum distribution of power to the driving wheels of AWD vehicles
are suggested and design principles and layouts of intelligent
driveline control systems are presented.
The actual implementation of the suggested approach is
demonstrated for the case of a 6x6 wheel drive vehicle with a gross
weight of 12 ton equipped with an intelligent hydrostatic
driveline. The driveline control system continually redistributes,
in real time, the power supplied to the driving wheels, being
governed by road conditions and by vehicle operating modes.