Empirical Investigation on the Effects of Rolling Resistance and Weight on Fuel Economy of Medium-Duty Trucks

Authors Abstract
Vehicle rolling resistance and weight are two of the factors that affect fuel economy. The vehicle tire rolling resistance has a more significant influence than aerodynamics drags on fuel economy at lower vehicle speeds, particularly true for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Less vehicle weight reduces inertia loads, uphill grade resistance, and rolling resistance. The influence of weight on the fuel economy can be considerable particularly in light- to medium-duty truck classes because the weight makes up a larger portion of gross vehicle weight. This article presents an empirical investigation and a numerical analysis of the influences of rolling resistance and weight on the fuel economy of medium-duty trucks. The experimental tests include various tires and payloads applied on a total of 21vehicle configurations over three road profiles. These tests assessed the sensitivity of the vehicle’s fuel economy toward rolling resistance and weight. Several experimental results showed inconsistent and counterintuitive trends of the effects of rolling resistance coefficients and weights on fuel economy. The consequences of rolling resistance and vehicle payload are compound and influenced by vehicle speed, road profile, and tire pressure. The irregularities of weight variances’ impact on rolling resistance requires further investigation in the strain level of the tire deformation.
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Liao, G., Card, B., and O’Malley, M., "Empirical Investigation on the Effects of Rolling Resistance and Weight on Fuel Economy of Medium-Duty Trucks," SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 12(3):197-206, 2019, https://doi.org/10.4271/02-12-03-0016.
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Aug 28, 2019
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Journal Article