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The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design

Dynamics of Heavy Duty Trucks

Available dates

May 11—14, 2020
4 days
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
USD 2525
USD 631 per day


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About the course

Learn and Apply Leading University of Michigan Heavy Trucks Research

Whether you are new to truck systems or have years of experience, this course is your chance to learn from leading University of Michigan researchers and affiliated industry experts.

This four-day certificate program will illuminate the special dynamic behavior of heavy truck systems by merging the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics and the details of truck components and their properties.

Information-packed lectures combined with computer simulations, case studies, and real world examples from decades of research and practice will keep you focused from start to finish. The course offers plenty of opportunities to network with course faculty, so bring your questions and come prepared to learn.

Learning Objectives

By attending this program, participants will be able to apply and transfer the following knowledge:

  • Gain an understanding of the fundamental principles that determine the handling, braking, and ride performance of pneumatic-tired vehicles
  • Examine the special mechanical and geometric properties that determine the unique performance properties of commercial trucks
  • Understand the influences of the mechanical properties of subsystems and components on the dynamic performance of the total vehicle system
  • Gain exposure to methods and tools available to analyze truck behavior

Program Topics

Truck Components: Physics and Math Models

  • Mechanics of the heavy truck tire
  • Behavior of heavy truck suspensions
  • Kinematics and mechanics of steering systems
  • Heavy vehicle brake system basics
  • Thermal capacity
  • Electronic control systems

Heavy Vehicle System Modeling

  • Simplifying assumptions
  • Unit truck and articulated vehicle models
  • Vehicle instrumentation and data sampling

Dynamic Behavior of Heavy Trucks

  • Ride quality
  • Off-tracking
  • Steady state and transient response to steering
  • The rollover process with the influence of slosh and shifting loads
  • Multi-Unit Vehicles
  • Functional vehicle control
  • Active safety systems
  • Naturalistic driving studies
  • Interaction with highway geometric features
  • Connected vehicles
  • Braking response
  • Brake force distribution
  • Downhill braking
  • Stopping distance

Fundamentals of Heavy Duty Trucks

  • Categories of performance
  • Subsystems of the vehicle
  • Terminology, sign conventions, symbols
  • Overview of vehicle dynamics theory
  • Contrasts between motor car and heavy truck

Who should attend

In addition to engineers involved in vehicle dynamics, this course is intended for people engaged in activities such as:

Truck and truck component design

Truck equipment selection

Fleet safety operations and equipment specification

Accident prevention

Development of truck safety standards

Highway/truck interaction

Measuring vehicle behavior

Highway safety standards and regulations

New engineers who could benefit from learning about truck mechanics will find it especially useful.

Trust the experts

Thomas Gillespie

Dr. Gillespie's professional career has been primarily concerned with advanced engineering and research in the automotive and highway areas. From the beginning, his career spanned the breadth of these areas, ranging from applied research at the Pennsylvania State University in pavement friction t...


Michelle Barnes

Michelle Barnes retired from the University of Michigan in January 2016 after 22 years 19 of which were at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). During her tenure at UMTRI she conducted research and analysis in highway geometry, road roughness, crash data, and tra...


Steve Karamihas

Mr. Karamihas has been heavily involved in the measurement and interpretation of longitudinal road profiles for 20 years. He conducted a two-year research study of the effect of road roughness on automotive ride quality, user perception of pavement performance, and truck dynamic wheel loads. In t...


David LeBlanc

Dr. David J. LeBlanc has been an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute since 1999. Dr. LeBlanc's work focuses on the automatic and human control of motor vehicles, particularly the design and evaluation of driver assistance systems. He is cur...


Richard Radlinski

Richard Radlinski is an engineering consultant specializing in vehicle braking systems. He spent 25 years at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) researching the braking characteristics of passenger cars and heavy commercial vehicles, with over 50 published papers and resea...


Michael Sayers

Dr. Sayers worked as a senior research scientist at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. In his time there, Sayers conducted research projects that resulted in written standards for using existing equipment to measure road roughness in a manner that that was repeatable, r...


Chris Winkler

Chris Winkler has been involved in the management and conduct of research concerned with the measurement, analysis, and prediction of the dynamic behavior of motor vehicles and their components for forty years. He has been responsible for the design and construction of a variety of laboratory and...


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