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Journal Article

Semitrailer Torsional Stiffness Data for Improved Modeling Fidelity

2011-09-13
2011-01-2163
Vehicle dynamics models employed in heavy truck simulation often treat the semitrailer as a torsionally rigid member, assuming zero deflection along its longitudinal axis as a moment is applied to its frame. Experimental testing, however, reveals that semitrailers do twist, sometimes enough to precipitate rollover when a rigid trailer may have remained upright. Improving the model by incorporating realistic trailer roll stiffness values can improve assessment of heavy truck dynamics, as well as an increased understanding of the effectiveness of stability control systems in limit handling maneuvers. Torsional stiffness measurements were conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for eight semitrailers of different types, including different length box vans, traditional and spread axle flat beds, and a tanker.
Journal Article

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

2009-04-20
2009-01-0099
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.
Journal Article

Comparison of Heavy Truck Engine Control Unit Hard Stop Data with Higher-Resolution On-Vehicle Data

2009-04-20
2009-01-0879
Engine control units (ECUs) on heavy trucks have been capable of storing “last stop” or “hard stop” data for some years. These data provide useful information to accident reconstruction personnel. In past studies, these data have been analyzed and compared to higher-resolution on-vehicle data for several heavy trucks and several makes of passenger cars. Previous published studies have been quite helpful in understanding the limitations and/or anomalies associated with these data. This study was designed and executed to add to the technical understanding of heavy truck event data recorders (EDR), specifically data associated with a modern Cummins power plant ECU. Emergency “full-treadle” stops were performed at many combinations of load-speed-surface coefficient conditions. In addition, brake-in-curve tests were performed on wet Jennite for various conditions of disablement of the braking system.
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