This design is to address the limitations of conventional tractor trailer couplings/hitches:
(i) Dynamics of conventional couplings :
Conventional tractor trailers have undamped and uncontrolled couplings such as a 5th wheel and pintle.
Turning radius is limited and trailers are not designed to follow in the tractorsíŽ wheel tracks.
Front of the trailer follows a turning circle outside the rear of the tractor, which causes sway.
(ii) Rollover :
The roll decoupled tractor and trailer are unable to resist independent roll over.
(iii) Jackknifing :
The undamped and uncontrolled couplings result in separate angular momentum of the tractor and trailer.
Without a damped, controlled coupling braking around curves or any instance in which the trailer pushes the tractor results in jackknifing.
(iv) Hitch position :
Trailers must be designed to attach to an unadjustable tractor hitch position.
Characteristics of New Steerable Hitch Design :
The steerable vehicle hitch designs increase vehicle durability and stability. The vehicle hitch will improve the performance and productivity of vehicles using it. There are four implementations of the steerable vehicle hitch. Each is specialized for a specific market. The steerable vehicle hitch improves vehicle manoeuvrability, simplifies vehicle suspension, increases productivity through a more modular vehicle usage and improves vehicle stability.
The steering suspension design improves vehicle manoeuvrability, stability, off-road performance and durability. The unique steering suspension system enables sharp steering angles of tandem steering axles, large wheels or tracks without requiring a very narrow vehicle body.
High Speed Multiterrain Vehicles
(i) Advantages of tracks :
Climb over rather than dig into debris and soft soil.
More surface contact for more traction in loose soil and irregular terrain.
(ii) Limitations of tracks :
Turning in debris and soft soils may throw or damage track.
Excessive wear when operated on hard surfaces.
Difficult to repair or change.
Steel tracks are noisy and all tracks require high maintenance when operated at high speeds.
New Hybrid Track Solution
It is possible to remove and replace tracks by as little as one individual.
Minimum suspension changes required to wheels, thereby making tracks attachable in the field.
Tracks are more tolerant of track wheel misalignment.
The high degree of tolerance to track wheel misalignment makes pneumatic track wheels a feasible alternative.
The design is highly resistant to throwing its tracks and can sustain very high lateral forces.