Truck Ride — A Mathematical and Empirical Study
“Truck Ride” in this study refers to some vehicle ride parameters involved in tractor-trailer combinations. For the study, a mathematical model of a tractor-trailer vehicle as a vibrating system was developed. Principles of vibration theory were applied to the model while a digital computer was employed to investigate the complex system. To parallel the analytical investigation of the tractor-trailer vehicle, vehicle studies were conducted using a magnetic tape recorder and associated instrumentation installed in the tractor. Parameters studied included coupler position on the tractor, laden weight of trailer, spring rates of the different axles of the combination, damping capacity associated with each spring rate, vehicle speed, and “tar strip” spacing of the highway and cab mountings. The mathematical results were used as a basis for empirical study. A comparison of calculated and empirical data are reported.