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Technical Paper

Tractor-Semitrailer Stability Following a Steer Axle Tire Blowout at Speed and Comparison to Computer Simulation Models

This paper documents the vehicle response of a tractor-semitrailer following a sudden air loss (Blowout) in a steer axle tire while traveling at highway speeds. The study seeks to compare full-scale test data to predicted response from detailed heavy truck computer vehicle dynamics simulation models. Full-scale testing of a tractor-semitrailer experiencing a sudden failure of a steer axle tire was conducted. Vehicle handling parameters were recorded by on-board computers leading up to and immediately following the sudden air loss. Inertial parameters (roll, yaw, pitch, and accelerations) were measured and recorded for the tractor and semitrailer, along with lateral and longitudinal speeds. Steering wheel angle was also recorded. These data are presented and also compared to the results of computer simulation models. The first simulation model, SImulation MOdel Non-linear (SIMON), is a vehicle dynamic simulation model within the Human Vehicle Environment (HVE) software environment.
Technical Paper

Straight-Line Dry Tractor-Semitrailer Braking and Handling Comparison to HVE Computer SImulation

The ability of a simulation model to accurately predict vehicle response is investigated in this paper. This study seeks to compare full-scale tractor-semitrailer straight-line braking test data to predicted response from a detailed heavy truck computer vehicle dynamics simulation model. The model, Simulation MOdel Non-linear (SIMON), is a vehicle dynamic simulation model within the Human Vehicle Environment (HVE) software environment. This computer program includes a vehicle dynamic model capable of simulating vehicle motion in 3-dimensional environments and includes Brake Designer and ABS Simulation Models. The results of several days of full scale instrumented testing of a tractor-semitrailer performed at the Transportation Research Center, in East Liberty, Ohio are presented.
Technical Paper

Stiffness Coefficients of Heavy Commercial Vehicles

Accident reconstruction specialists have long relied on post-crash deformation and energy equivalence calculations to determine impact severity and the experienced change in velocity during the impact event. In order to utilize post-crash deformation, information must be known about the vehicle's structure and its ability to absorb crash energy. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), have created databases with crash testing data for a wide range of vehicles. These crash tests allow reconstruction specialists to determine a specific vehicle's ability to absorb energy as well as to generalize the energy absorption characteristics across vehicle classes. These methods are very well publicized.
Journal Article

The Influence of Disablement of Various Brakes on the Dry Stopping Performance and Stability of a Tractor-Semitrailer

This research was performed using a designed experiment to evaluate the loss of dry surface braking performance and stability that could be associated with the disablement of specific brake positions on a tractor-semitrailer. The experiment was intended to supplement and update previous research by Heusser, Radlinski, Flick, and others. It also sought to establish reasonable limits for engineering estimates on stopping performance degradation attributable to partial or complete brake failure of individual S-cam air brakes on a class 8 truck. Stopping tests were conducted from 30 mph and 60 mph, with the combination loaded to GCW (80,000 lb.), half-payload, and with the flatbed semitrailer unladen. Both tractor and semitrailer were equipped with antilock brakes. Along with stopping distance, brake pressures, longitudinal acceleration, road wheel speed, and steering wheel position and effort were also recorded.