Engineers have found a way to increase the maneuverability of road trainsSeptember 3, 2019
The German company ZF showed a steered rear axle module for pickups. The developers are confident in the commercial potential of the new product: the actuator reduces the turning radius of a pickup truck with a semi-trailer, increases the stability of the coupling on the highway and is inexpensive in mass production.
According to the results of tests at the training ground, the Ford F-150 road train with a ZF electric power steering and a controlled rear axle showed a reduction in the turning radius at low speeds and increased stability on “track” 64-72 kilometers per hour. In addition, electronics can damp hitch vibrations caused by abrupt changes of direction during the “moose test”, and help the stabilization system and ABS when braking on an inhomogeneous surface.
ZF explains that the steered rear axle consists of an electric motor, steering rack, rods and a belt drive. For the correct operation of the kit, it is necessary to configure the connection between the electric power steering, the brake system module and upgrade the rear suspension.
ZF is one of the world’s largest automotive component manufacturers. Over the past six years, ZF has released nearly half a million fully-controlled chassis modules for sports cars and crossovers.
ZF specialists are confident that a fully-controlled chassis on a tractor can be an integral part of active safety systems, and in mass production a new option will cost the owner “relatively inexpensive”. However, the company does not disclose prices for the managed rear axle module and system setup.
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