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Driving Technique: Understanding Weight Transfer

Back to driving techniques, this time we will discuss weight transfer.

Weight transfer means weight transfer. This term in a car is the movement of the center of gravity (center gravity) in a car. Weight transfer is sometimes also referred to as load transfer or load transfer.

Have you ever felt your body pushed forward, back or side when driving a car? Now that is the effect of weight transfers.

In addition, other effects of weight transfer, for example, is indicated by the movement of car fluids such as fuel or oil, shaking the car body (body roll), or even lifting a car tire like many are found when the car is cornering fast. In extreme cases, the car body can lift. Of course we remember the scene in the film fast furious where a car that competed with a drag race starts with a lift ( jumping ) .

Heavy displacement of the car occurs when accelerating, braking, or when steering (right or left). While that affects the amount or level of displacement is the height of the center of gravity of the car, the distance between the front and rear wheels (wheelbase), and the magnitude of the change in speed either when acceleration or braking.

Effect of Weight Transfer on Grip

Previously we have discussed car tires as an important component in cars. Grip or grip in the car is certainly closely related to car tires as a ‘foot’ where the car rests and moves. Therefore, the calculation of the design and the right quality of car tires is very important in the performance of the car.

But not only car tires that affect the size of the car’s grip. Weight transfer also has a big influence in determining the amount of car grip to the road. The greater the pressure load on the field that is in contact with the road, the greater the grip.

When a load change occurs, the amount of grip will change. For example, when we do braking, the load will move forward. This makes the grip on the front car tire enlarged, while the rear car tire will lose its grip.

Likewise when we for example turn right. Vehicle weight will move to the right and make the left of the car lose its grip. This is what often makes a car tire lift when cornering quickly.

Reducing Weight Transfer and Increasing Grip

Ideally, what we want for the car to work at its maximum is the load on all four tires of the car is equal or balanced. With the same weight on all four cars, the footing will be more balanced and the grip evenly distributed. This is what can make a car can have maximum grip, acceleration, and braking.

But in fact, it is very difficult to make the burden on all four cars to remain the same. Transfer of burdens is a natural law that will occur both when we accelerate, brake, or turn.

What we can do is to reduce the amount of load transfer so that the car tire grip can be as optimal as possible.

How to?

  1. Lowering or making flat cars so that the center of gravity is lower.
  2. Increase the distance between the front wheel and rear wheel (wheelbase).
  3. Regulate changes in speed through smooth driving ( smooth driving ). The way we change gears, reactor, or brake will determine the size of the load transfer that occurs.
  4. Widen the tire so that the contact area to the road is bigger. But this is still a debate in the automotive world.

Drive with Weight Transfer

Acceleration – Rear Load Transfers

To get an optimal start, we can take advantage of the back load transfer for RWD-type cars. The benefit of backward load will increase rear wheel grip and reduce wheel spin.

The opposite is the type of front-wheel drive car or FWD. Wheel spin will tend to occur, therefore, when starting try to launch by pressing the gas pedal as smoothly as possible.

In the event of oversteer, ie when the rear wheel loses its traction, the FWD car can utilize the acceleration to trigger the transfer of the load backwards as a recovery from the oversteer state. However, in RWD cars, if there is oversteer and we keep accelerating it will actually increase traction and reduce grip on the rear wheels.

Shifting the load backwards can also trigger understeer on the bend. Understeer is a situation where the front wheel lacks traction. When accelerating at a bend, the weight of the car will move backward (and also laterally). Therefore the front wheel that turns will lose its grip so the car tends to move straight.

Braking – Forward Load Transfer

As mentioned earlier, the action in the bends will reduce rear wheel grip and cause understeer. Loosening or releasing gas when entering into a bend will make the burden of the car move forward which results in increased front wheel grip.

When we braking aggressively, we will get the rear wheels (on conventional cars) will tend to lock first. This is the reason why car rear brakes generally have a smaller size or design than the one in front. Braking during cornering must be avoided for the same reason, which can lead to oversteer.

Transition and Steering

The process of acceleration and braking will affect the transfer of car loads which then affects the grip of the tire. Therefore, we must pay attention to the transition between gas and brakes so as not to disturb the balance and performance of the oncoming car.

Also note that a good cornering process is to pay attention to the displacement of side wheel loads. The gradual and smooth cornering will make the car more stable and not lose the traction of the wheels.

Thus the review this time. Understanding load transfer is very important because it makes us more aware of changes in the balance of the car in each transition. Then we can also understand how it can affect tire grips so that the car can drive, brake, and turn optimally.

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