HUMBOLDT, Sask. - The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) is in the midst of a feasibility study on the possibility of adding a second test track.The new facilities would, in part, be used...
HUMBOLDT, Sask. – The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) is in the midst of a feasibility study on the possibility of adding a second test track.
The new facilities would, in part, be used to put heavy trucks to the limit and help out in the research and development stage of production.
Currently, the institute operates an off-road track, where trucks and other machinery can be tested under extreme off-road conditions, but the addition of a new concrete track could increase the opportunities for heavy-duty on-highway truck manufacturers and fleet owners, alike.
PAMI manager of applied technologies, Troy Lucyshyn, says although the company was founded to test agricultural machinery, it is also able to put trucks through the rigors of simulated extreme life.
“We’re mostly in it for agriculture, but a lot of the agricultural applications can also apply to the trucking industry,” says Lucyshyn.
In the past, the facility has provided confidential work on trucks to determine how different axle weights and configurations will respond to certain scenarios.
“What happens in various different configurations when you move a load in the back from Point A to Point B?” says Lucyshyn. “What happens when you actually twist the frame in an oddball configuration where the two opposite axles or wheels are raised really high and the frame is slightly twisted? Is there any strain on the main frame?”
PAMI has discovered the answers to those questions and more through their work, but Lucyshyn says they will be prepared to offer many more services to trucking companies if the new project is approved.
“In the past, we’ve had clients say ‘We want to do a brake test to European standards,'” says Lucyshyn. “Well, for that kind of test, you need about one mile of straight runway and you also need conditions where you have one track very slippery and the other one really rough so when you slam on the brakes you can test your ABS system.”
The new track will be concrete, offering PAMI the opportunity to do just that, as well as a host of other tests under the banner of on-highway research.
“For anything that’s seriously risky, we just can’t do it on a normal highway,” says Lucyshyn. But in the meantime, there is still plenty of R+D that can be done on trucks at the existing facility: Everything from suspension systems to sound and vibration testing.