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A novel four-caster manual vehicle manoeuvring investigation: Higher loading-weights require larger turning spaces

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Brian Abraham, Professor Tom Joyce, Robert Davidson, Emeritus Professor Garth Johnson


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Patient-hoists, goods-trolleys and other omni-directional manually operated vehicles are ubiquitous. Yet no substantive, empirically based dynamic analysis has been made of these four-caster vehicles despite manual handling concerns. A relationship between loading-weight and turning space is indicated by theoretical analysis which further shows that this effect is represented by only 11 different manoeuvres. A qualitative account of the theory is presented. These 11 manoeuvres were implemented experimentally. A total of 17 subjects selected a maximum comfortable loading-weight for the four-caster vehicle for each of the 11 manoeuvres. Vehicle displacement and handle forces were measured for different centres of zero velocity. The median loading-weight of the manoeuvre with the highest loading-weight selections was 101% greater than the mean loading-weight of the three manoeuvres with the lowest loading-weight selections. The manoeuvre with the highest loading-weight selections required a larger vehicle turning space: one dimension increased by 37% (173mm) compared with the three lowest loading-weight selection manoeuvres and the other dimension increased by 17% (130mm) compared with one of the lowest loading-weight selection manoeuvres. Higher loading-weights require larger turning spaces. These results can contribute to building designs which facilitate safe manual manoeuvring of four-caster vehicles.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Abraham BB, Joyce TJ, Davidson RI, Johnson GR

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part H - Journal of Engineering in Medicine

Year: 2015

Volume: 229

Issue: 5

Pages: 403-416

Print publication date: 01/05/2015

ISSN (print): 0954-4119

ISSN (electronic): 2041-3033



DOI: 10.1177/0954411915581868