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August 01, 2013  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

10 factors that affect vehicle dynamics

Understanding vehicle dynamics will help the driver maintain optimum control of the bus, which is essential to maintaining student safety. Here, factors ranging from tires and centrifugal force to weight shift and acceleration are addressed.

by Marcia Hahn

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  • 6. Weight shift/weight transfer

This signifies when weight is transferred to the front, rear or sides of the vehicle. Weight shift transfer is critical to overall vehicle control. This occurs anytime the driver brakes, accelerates or turns the bus.  

We are all familiar with how the bus leans on a curve. This lean is because of the increased downward force on the side of the vehicle. The pitch of the vehicle is caused when weight shifts to the front or rear.  The roll is caused when weight shifts side to side.  Yaw is created when a vehicle rotates around the center axis.

7. Acceleration

When you accelerate a bus, the weight shift transfers to the rear of the bus, increasing traction to the rear tires as their footprint becomes greater in unison, thereby decreasing the traction to the front tires.

As the footprint becomes smaller at the front of the bus, it can create a poor steering situation.

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