Title: The stability of trailing arm suspensions in heavy trucks

Authors: Donald Margolis

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-5294, USA

Abstract: A trailing arm suspension is principally a rigid member which pivots about its attachment to the tractor frame. This arm extends rearwards and provides attachment for drive wheel axles as well as the lower end of suspension components. When torque is applied to the drive wheels, while the truck is at rest, there exist conditions under which the drive wheels oscillate more or less vertically, and build in amplitude until the wheels ||hop|| off the road. As the truck accelerates forward, this wheel hop ceases. This paper investigates this instability and exposes it in a fundamental way. A linearised analysis yields stability criteria, and a nonlinear simulation model demonstrates this instability.

Keywords: drive wheels; linearisation; stability; tractor frame; trailing arm suspension.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2001.001920

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2001 Vol.25 No.3, pp.211-229

Available online: 18 Aug 2003 *

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