Title: Stability and braking performance analysis of bus/pony-trailer combination vehicles

Authors: M. El-Gindy, X. Tong

Addresses: Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, The Penn State University, 201 Research Office Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA. Lucent Technologies Inc., 480 Red Hill Road, Middletown, NJ 07748, USA

Abstract: In this paper, the stability and braking performance of two bus/pony-trailer combination vehicles (40-ft and 45-ft wheelbase buses) are examined by computer simulation. Two simulation models, the Yaw/Roll model and the simplified straight line braking model developed by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), were used to evaluate the complete set of performance measures. The performance measures obtained are checked against specific performance criteria. In response to an expressed interest in the bus/pony-trailer hitch load, the effects of the trailer|s wheelbase and tandem axle spacing variations on the performance measures are examined. The study clearly indicates that the dynamic performance of the two buses would be affected slightly by towing the pony-trailers. The performance of the combination vehicles is acceptable, in comparison with a standard 5-axle tractor and semi-trailer, if appropriate pony-trailer wheelbase and axle spacing are selected. The results obtained indicated that a bus could tow a pony-trailer without degradation of the general safety performance standards of the bus. This may lead to increase of bus productivity by transporting more payloads.

Keywords: braking; bus/pony; performance measure; simulation; stability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHVS.2001.001164

International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems, 2001 Vol.8 No.3/4, pp.285-300

Published online: 01 Jul 2003 *

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