INTRODUCTION TO WHEELED VEHICLE STEERING SYSTEMS
A vehicle is not much use if it cannot be steered or guided. The act of
guiding the vehicle is called steering. Wheeled vehicles are steered by
aiming or pointing the wheels in the direction we want the vehicle to go.
The driver of a car or truck guides it by turning the steering wheel. The
steering system of cars and trucks consists of levers, links, rods, and a
gearbox and sometimes a hydraulic system that assists the driver's steering
The steering system is of critical importance in the safe operation of the
vehicle. There must be no looseness between the steering wheel and the
front wheels if the driver is to keep control over the direction the wheels
point. The tires must meet the road at the correct angle to get good
traction and to prevent unnecessary tire wear. Also, the driver should be
able to hold the wheels in the straightahead position and change them to
the right or left with very little effort.
For you, the student, a study of steering introduces many new words, parts,
ideas, and theories. The study includes some math, physics, and hydraulics.
This subcourse will provide you with a thorough understanding of the design,
construction, operation, and unit maintenance of steering systems. Math,
physics, and hydraulics are covered right in the text where they apply.
When you see a new word, a new part, a new idea, or a new theory, be sure
you know what it means, how it works, and why it works before you continue.