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Kinematics and Control of the TowPlow: A Steerable Articulated Vehicle System

[+] Author Affiliations
Jaeyoung Kang, Steven A. Velinsky

University of California, Davis, CA

Paper No. DETC2014-35272, pp. V003T01A026; 5 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 16th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 11th International Conference on Design Education; 7th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4634-6
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The TowPlow is a novel type of snowplow that consists of a conventional snowplow vehicle and a steerable, plow-mounted trailer. The trailer is equipped with hydraulic-powered steerable axles so that it can be steered up to 30 degrees with respect to the tractor. The combination of the front plow of the towing snowplow and the trailer-equipped plow is able to clear a path up to approximately 24-ft wide, which is the width of two typical traffic lanes. In this paper, the kinematic characteristics of the TowPlow are derived using instantaneous centers of velocity. Based on the derived equations, the relation between the radius of curvature and the trailer wheel steering angle that allows the tractor-trailer to maintain its initial articulation angle is defined. Also, simulations of constant radius turning are performed with and without the trailer’s corrective steering, and the results are compared. Even though the kinematic analysis does not take forces and inertia into account, it is clearly demonstrated in the simulation results that appropriate steering of the trailer wheel is necessary to maintain the articulation angle of the TowPlow and to prevent the device from intruding into adjacent lanes.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Kinematics , Vehicles



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