Vehicle with Sensors for Articulated Steering

Sensors for Articulated Steering

Articulated vehicles are designed for advanced maneuverability and precision in challenging environments. These vehicles use steering systems to ensure synchronized movements between their front and rear parts. The control over the movements can be maintained using position sensors.

Articulated vehicles have a pivot joint in their design, enabling the front of the vehicle to turn relative to the rear. They are commonly seen in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM), such as loaders and forest machinery. Vehicle-trailer combinations, like a tractor/agriculture seed drill or tractor/road maintenance equipment, can also be considered as articulated vehicles when there is steering feedback between the vehicle and trailer. Articulated steering connects the front and rear halves of a vehicle or mobile machinery so that they turn in a controlled and synchronized manner.

Articulated vehicles are more agile and easier to maneuver, making them ideal for small spaces, where precision is necessary, and for increased safety and comfort for the operator. The agile steering also enables the rear wheels to follow the path of the front wheels. This results in less soil damage – a common requirement for forestry and agricultural machinery.

Yellow hydraulic cylinder

Sensor Solutions to Enhance Movement Control

To control the movement of front and rear, position feedback signals are necessary. This can be achieved using various position sensors and designs.

A very robust and reliable sensor solution involves using cylinder sensors within the hydraulic cylinders that connect the front and rear of the vehicle. The integrated sensor is well-protected from external stresses such as water, ice, dirt, or debris that can be thrown towards the area. The sensor is also protected from mechanical forces that may arise when the front and rear move relative to each other.

However, the downside of using cylinder sensors is that the hydraulic cylinder must be specifically designed and manufactured to enable integration of the sensor.

Rotary sensor ACW4 hall effect rotary position sensor

Sensors for Flexible Connection of Front and Rear

An alternative solution is to install an angular sensor in the joint between the front and rear. This is practical solution in vehicle-trailer combinations where there are no hydraulic cylinders connecting the two. In such cases, an angular sensor with separate sensor housing and magnet, such as ACW4, may be a suitable option. The magnet can be mounted on the trailer and the sensor housing mounts on the vehicle. Since the sensor housing and magnet are not mechanically connected, the trailer can be disconnected without additional steps to disconnect the sensor. Angular sensors can also be used as feedback sensor on the trailer bogie, ensuring the trailer co-tracks the vehicle.

Angular sensors offer a compact, low-cost, and flexible solution. The downside is that they are not as robust as cylinder sensors. The mounting and enclosures of the sensor need to be well-designed to protect it from external environmental and mechanical stresses.

If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help determine the best solution for your application.

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