Truck Bed Failure due to Loading
(© 2003, Kurt Gramoll)
"Well, this is a new one for me" said the highway patrolman when he was called
to investigate the accident. "I have never seen a semi snap in two due to the
load. I wonder why it failed near the front and not in the middle?" His
partner added, "I am sure the investigation team will let us know. I wonder if
the truck was overloaded?"
What is known:
- The trailer is 53 feet long (does not include the tractor).
- The trailer gross weight (total including both load and trailer) is 79,500 lb.
- Assume weight is evenly distributed.
- The truck bed is designed to withstand a bending moment of 200 ft-kip (=
- Assume the truck bed can be modeled as a simple supported beam with supports
at the left edge and at the center of the back wheels.