Monday, September 20, 2021

How Differential Steering Works (1937)

How the automobile differential allows a vehicle to turn a corner while keeping the wheels from skidding. 

Differential steering is the means of steering a land vehicle by applying more or less drive torque to one side of the vehicle than the other. Differential steering is the primary means of steering tracked vehicles, such as tanks and bulldozers, is also used in certain wheeled vehicles commonly known as skid-steer, and even implemented in some automobiles, where it is called torque vectoring, to augment steering by changing wheel direction relative to the vehicle. Differential steering is distinct from torque steer, which is usually considered a negative side effect of drive-train design choices.

VIDEO HERE  (9:30 minutes)


  1. ...An older farmer student at college had a military surplus pos that was a 6-wheel light dozer designed to be airdropped. It turned by declutching wheels on one side (worked fine under load). He was going down a hill to a right angle turn and tried to turn right (declutching right wheels). They now had less resistance and traveled faster than the powered left wheels, so it turned the other way (not slowly either), He said if I wanted the sob, it was still atop the rock pile where it ended up at the end of the road...

  2. Those old newsreels explained things in a way most could understand. Need to understand differentials? Dig out the tinkertoys and have at it! Ohio Guy


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