A Computer-Based Study of the Yaw/Roll Stability of Heavy Trucks Characterized by High Centers of Gravity 821260

A class of heavy truck vehicles, characterized primarily by high centers of gravity, was studied using analysis and computer simulation to identify and understand the relationship between directional and roll stability of such vehicles during steady turning maneuvers. Findings of the computer-based study suggest: (1) directional instability (yaw divergence) is possible for such vehicles during steady turning while operating at elevated speeds on horizontal road surfaces, (2) yaw divergence will lead to rollover in the absence of corrective steering action and/or reduced speed, and (3) the primary mechanism responsible for precipitating yaw divergent behavior in such vehicles is the nonlinear sensitivity of truck tire cornering stiffness to vertical load acting in combination with typical heavy truck fore/aft roll stiffness distributions. In addition, the influences of roadway superelevation and driver steering control as contributors to vehicle stabilization are examined and discussed.


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