In order to calculate the weight and force requirements for a specific vehicle configuration, you should first determine how much weight a vehicle can carry. It should be noted that the requirements are different for different parts of a vehicle. In general, heavy vehicle weight must be measured in lbs/ft3. Light vehicles typically do not get heavier in weight, as is the case with cars and trucks. The weight of a vehicle is the weight per gallon of the fuel that the vehicle is made using and not the weight per mile (mpg).
The following examples would be based either on fuel for a large diesel powered light duty truck (10,000 lbs) or a passenger car (60,000 lbs). (If you don’t get the weight required for a vehicle, you could convert it to lb/ft3.)
Vehicle Type Fuel/Gasoline Weight per gallon MPG Weight with Fuel (lbs) T/T 0 0 565.3 3.6 10 1,025.1 3.4 40 1,350 12.5 120 2,000 14.5
The weight is based on the total weight of the vehicle and in this case, for this example, the weight of 1,000 lbs. is 10.4 lbs.
As an example, a diesel-powered truck would likely need less than 4,000 lbs. of gross vehicle weight rating and 1.2 tons of gross vehicle weight rating to make it comply with the weight requirements of 2,000 lbs.
Heavy Vehicle Design Requirements
In general, weight is given in lbs/ft3. When calculating the weight of a heavy-duty vehicle, there are two main issues you must consider: the maximum force a vehicle can apply, and the minimum force a vehicle must apply to stop and start in order to stop on its own.
The maximum force that a vehicle can apply in a single direction is called the force of friction (FL). Using 2.5 Tg (4,000 lbs. per ton) as an example, which requires a force of about 12.5 lbs./ft, a heavy truck could apply this force to an object of about 3 ft. long.
The minimum force is called the stop and start force (SRF or SBR). Using 20 lbs./ft as an example, using the force of friction (FL) required for 3 ft. of body length in the table above (10 lbs/ft) a heavy truck
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