1996-08-01

On the Maneuverability and Stability of Turf Work Trucks 961761

Confusion and misconceptions regarding the utility and safety of turf work trucks are addressed in this paper. Sources of this confusion include media stories of related vehicles and advertisements. The maneuverability including both turning ability and traction performance as well as lateral-stability characteristics of three- and four-wheeled turf work trucks are evaluated based on experimental tests and mathematical models.
Experiments with the three most popular heavy-duty turf work trucks from Cushman® and Toro® show that the three-wheeled model maintains a distinct advantage over the four-wheeled models with respect to maneuverability in tight spaces as measured in clearance circle tests. Traction performance tests with these vehicles show there to be considerable variations in traction performance between vehicles test conditions and loading states.
The analyses of the lateral-stability characteristics of three and four-wheeled turf work trucks using a mathematical model indicate that the optimum four-wheeled vehicle is more laterally stable than the three wheeler for equal track widths. However among vehicles of equal clearance circle performance the optimum three-wheeled vehicle stability surpasses that of the four wheeler.
This paper continues with the analysis of the effects of a simple load on three- and four wheeled vehicle stability which shows qualitatively different effects of loading on the two vehicle configurations. Finally this paper evaluates the need for and implementation of a rollover protective structure (ROPS) system.
Among the conclusions reached is that both three and four wheeled turf work trucks are required to achieve all of the performance goals found in the workplace.

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