Virtual prototyping of an articulated dump truck.
In the modem automotive industry product times to market are being increasingly compressed. In the earthmoving and construction machine industry this is also true with the manufacturer having to respond to new customer requirements quickly and decisively. Virtual prototyping is a vital tool in the vehicle engineer's armoury, allowing a large portion of developmental investigation to be done on the virtual model with the attendant savings in time and cost and allowing often dangerous manoeuvres to be predicted and investigated prior to actual physical prototype testing. The University of Natal BELL Equipment collaborative effort involves the vehicle dynamics modelling and model validation of a BELL Equipment manufactured B40C Articulated Dump Truck (ADT). The modelling was completed using the multibody system (MBS) simulation software package, ADAMS. Initial modelling and simulation results are presented with specific attention paid to the introduction of valid data for compliant joints in the MBS as well as modelling of the tire. The physical testing of the ADT is also presented as well as a discussion of the data acquisition system. Key results from the physical testing of the ADT are also presented and discussed.