CTEA – Test results to enhance truck safety

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TORONTO, Ont. – As part of the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association’s (CTEA) annual manufacturers conference, Innovative Vehicle Testing Ltd. (IVT) of B.C. was on-hand to discuss the extensive truck rollover testing done last year.

Randy Baerg, president of IVT, says it was an exciting experience and everyone involved came together to produce an innovative and useful experiment.

“This project was a lot of fun. I think everyone involved felt it was a worthwhile and important thing to do,” says Baerg.

The testing session was conducted in order to test the rollover threshold of various types of log trucks, lumber trucks, chip trucks, military trucks and tanker trucks.

The test group included teams from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Insurance Corp. of B.C. (ICBC), Transport Canada, Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada, the Washington State Major Accident Investigation Team, the National Research Council (NRC), the Department of National Defence (DND), Michelin and of course IVT.

The aims for the test group were to test as many vehicle configurations as possible in one week, make the data available to the public and get as many people involved as possible.

“We certainly achieved the last goal, there were all kinds of people involved, we had so many partners with this project and every one of them played an integral part,” says Baerg.

Stations were set up to facilitate the testing process. The procedure for each truck involved began with a weigh in and a detailed inspection in Cache Creek. The next step was the tilt table test at Arrow Transport’s ore dump facility, then to Ashcroft airport for instrumentation and dynamic testing.

The tilt table test is very close to simulating reality, says Baerg, and because there are various definitions of a rollover, IVT was calling a rollover when the first axle left the ground.

“We were able to acquire information about lateral acceleration, rearward amplification, load transfer ratios, frequency dependent responses, dynamic and static effects and steady state cornering, which is all important information to have. And from this, we can pull some figures that we can provide manufacturers with and it will in turn, positively affect the safety of vehicles,” says Baerg.

The dynamics tests involved lane change manoeuvres, pulse input steering and random steer inputs.

The team, pushed 26 vehicles through the rigorous testing, and Baerg says the goal was to test for volume rather than test only one truck to death.

Baerg, who orchestrated the entire test session, says the information gleaned is invaluable to those in the trucking industry.

“Each person involved will be able to use the information in a different way, all while improving safety,” Baerg says.

The results gleaned are not only for the test group, but for anyone interested in the project.

Everyone involved volunteered their time and much of the equipment used, which cut down on the cost of the testing.

The value of the project was roughly $250,000 but with the generosity of those involved, the cost was cut to $15,000.

“We want to do it again,” says Baerg. “Everything worked out so well with this one, we want to do another one.”

For more information about IVT or about the rollover tests, contact Randy Baerg at rbaerg@ivt-eng.com or call IVT at 604 582-0542.

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