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Q & A: four-wheel drive going onto truck

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Most recent answer: 08/15/2013
I am moving 80 km/h in a 4x4 car. In front of me is a "ramp truck" ( picture: ) moving 60 Km/h. When i reach him, and my front weels climb, what would happen? Would the car slowly move and climb on to a truck, or would something happen, because front weels are on a platform that moves 60km/h, and back weels are on a still ground. P.S. Lets say the conditions are perfect ( tires, engine, platform, distance of platform from ground etc. ) Thanks.
- Srdjan (age 21)
Banja Luka/Bosnia and Herzegovina

Your follow-up note says we should assume that there's limited-slip, meaning that the rear tires can only turn a little bit faster than the front tires. At 20 km/h difference in the velocity of the surfaces they contact, it sounds as if either the front or rear tires will have to start skidding. Since the intitial speed matches the rolling rate of the rear tires on the road, I guess that the front tires will skid on the ramp. Still, that should leave you going forward at 80 km/h, relative to the road, and you should climb the ramp. Of course if the front tires are skidding on the ramp, there could be serious steering problems, potentially fatal.

Mike W.

(published on 08/15/2013)

Follow-up on this answer.