Comparative Analysis of the Mechanical Behavior of Locally Fabricated Timber Truck Trailer Beds in Ghana
A timber truck is a large truck mostly used to carry heavy logs ranging from 21,000 – 28,000 kg. There are basically three types of timber truck trailer beds manufactured and used to carry timber logs in Ghana. These are; the square, round and the frame trailer beds and all of them show different failure rate as a result of different geometrical configurations. This study compares the mechanical behavior of the three types of trailer beds. Finite element method was employed in modeling and analyzing the mechanical behaviors of the trailer beds with loads been applied in an increment of 1000 kilograms (kg). At 28,000 kg load, the corresponding von-Mises stresses on the various trailer beds are; square trailer bed: 1332.0 MPa, round trailer bed: 545.28 MPa and frame trailer bed: 1003.6 MPa. It can therefore be concluded that, the round trailer bed which has a von-Mises stress lower than the maximum yield strength of the material used and the highest load of 12000 kg is the best compared to the square and frame types of trailers. From the findings and conclusions, the following recommendations are made: (i) the trailer beds should take the following maximum loads; round trailer bed: 12,000 kg, the square trailer bed: 5000 kg and the frame trailer bed: 6000 kg. (ii) Optimization of the design of Timber Truck Trailer be done in order to determine the best type of materials that will necessary be able to carry the required load of 28,000 kg (28 tons) of the timber without failing.