Field Testing of “Reference Vehicles” as an Aid to the Design Analysis Process for Earthmoving Equipment
New design analysis methods for the structural development and evaluation of earthmoving equipment have been heavily utilized in recent years. In particular, this increased utilization has focused on the use of finite element methods for analyzing stresses in structural components and the use of combined experimental/analytical modeling techniques, such as the “Building Block Approach,” for studying the system response of complete vehicles. The presence of these predictive methods has placed a new burden on test activities which support vehicle design and analysis. Properly planned tests on “reference vehicles,” i.e., existing vehicles for which new designs are needed, can play an important role in directing the new vehicle design efforts. This paper will discuss automated methods for collecting, analyzing, interpreting and handling data for effectively supporting design analysis needs.