Just a trailer: Trailer Tow Vehicle Dynamics Modeling

Vehicle dynamics model of articulated trailer vehicles and their yaw stability states

Archit Rastogi
8 min readOct 3, 2020

What is an articulated vehicle ? It normally looks like the figure below. It has a pivot joint that allows it to turn sharply. Articulation is particularly helpful in case of longer vehicles as it helps with the turn but it also poses its own challenges. Handling Behavior of an articulated vehicle is more complex and unpredictable than a non articulated vehicle. That poses greater risk for the drivers who are not aware of the dynamic complexities. Moreover, you can add as many articulations as you want but in this article, I am only going to discuss modeling and stability of single articulation vehicle. Single articulation vehicles are the most common ones with examples being the tractor-semitrailer and car-caravan.

Single Articulation Vehicle. Image courtesy: https://www.shutterstock.com/search/tractor+trailer

Lateral Dynamics of Articulated vehicles

Only the yaw handling behavior of an articulated vehicle is discussed neglecting the roll. Roll would add extra complexity to an already complex model. In one of my previous blogs, I discussed the bicycle model for a…