Turning an articulated truck on a spreadsheet
Using the truck-steering spreadsheet
In the example described here, the spreadsheet was used to investigate
the clearance to the front and to the right that would be required
for an articulated truck to exit a roadworthiness-testing lane and
do a U-turn. It was straightforward to plot the exit opening. Using
the built-in function MAX the north-most and east-most positions
along the path line of the appropriate principal point on the articulated
truck were found as the maximum Y- and X-ordinates of the path respectively.
A cell was designated to hold the desired minimum approach clearance
between the truck and the walls. Hence the positions of the front-
and sidewalls were calculated, and the walls were plotted automatically
on the plan-view diagram on the Paths sheet.
Many other situations could be examined using the approach that
has been described here, for example, how various articulated trucks
might negotiate a particular roundabout, turn onto a side road or
steer around a series of obstacles.
This paper demonstrates the use of a spreadsheet application to
solve engineering problems relating to the turning or steering of
articulated trucks. The same techniques, or some of them, could
be used in a wide variety of engineering situations. The approach
and methodology could also be adapted readily to form the basis
of a software application for analysing truck-steering problems.
A search of the World Wide Web indicted that programs for this purpose
do exist. However, this paper has shown that it is possible to turn
an articulated truck on a spreadsheet.