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Heavy vehicle pitch dynamics and suspension tuning

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Associated organisational unit

Journal publication date2008
JournalVehicle System Dynamics
Number of pages23
Original languageEnglish


The influence of suspension tuning of passenger cars on bounce and pitch ride performance has been explored in a number of studies, while only minimal efforts have been made for establishing similar rules for heavy vehicles. This study aims to explore pitch dynamics and suspension tunings of a two-axle heavy vehicle with unconnected suspension, which could also provide valuable information for heavy vehicles with coupled suspensions. Based on a generalised pitch-plane model of a two-axle heavy vehicle integrating either unconnected or coupled suspension, three dimensionless measures of suspension properties are defined and analysednamely the pitch margin (PM), pitch stiffness ratio (PSR), and coupled pitch stiffness ratio (CPSR)for different unconnected suspension tunings and load conditions. Dynamic responses of the vehicle with three different load conditions and five different tunings of the unconnected suspension are obtained under excitations arising from three different random road roughness conditions and a wide range of driving speeds, and braking manoeuvres. The responses are evaluated in terms of performance measures related to vertical and pitch ride, dynamic tyre load, suspension travel, and pitch-attitude control characteristics of the vehicle. Fundamental relationships between the vehicle responses and the proposed suspension measures (PM, PSR, and CPSR) are established, based on which some basic suspension tuning rules for heavy vehicles with unconnected suspensions are also proposed.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Vehicle System Dynamics, 46 (10), 2008, © Informa Plc