In-service suspension testing of heavy vehicles – update on recent test programme and proof-of-concept
Davis, Lloyd E. & Bunker, Jonathan M. (2008) In-service suspension testing of heavy vehicles – update on recent test programme and proof-of-concept. In Wrigley, Cara & Lawry, Simon (Eds.) Built Environment and Engineering Postgraduate Student Conference, 10 September 2008, QUT, Brisbane.
One response to requests from the transport industry to allow more "freight efficient" heavy vehicles (HVs) onto the road network has been that road authorities have allowed higher axle loads in return for HVs being equipped with "road-friendly" suspensions. These suspensions (particularly those with air springs) are critically dependant on shock absorber health for proper operation. They are only certified, however, as "road-friendly" at the time of manufacture and this via a type-test. Once in service, the "road-friendliness" is determined solely by the maintenance regime of the transport operator. There is no in-service test for HV suspensions in Australia yet. Over 50% of Australian HVs do not meet at least one of the criteria for Australian requirements of "road-friendly" suspensions.
The Australian Government and the State Governments of New South Wales and Queensland are funding a programme to develop an in-service suspension test for HVs. This paper examines some possible low-cost test methodologies for an in service HV suspension test and their results within the context of a "proof-of-concept" test programme. The results show that low-cost testing is possible and is as accurate as the high-cost methods used for the original "road-friendly" certification.
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