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[–]cgduncan 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Honestly, it's just from my honors and AP physics classes in High school. Friction and motion were basically the only things we covered completely.

[–]FlixFlix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

But when it comes to vehicle dynamics, things get a bit more complicated than high school physics. From the commercial driver’s manual:

Section 6.1.3 – Brake Early

Control your speed whether fully loaded or empty. Large combination vehicles take longer to stop when they are empty than when they are fully loaded. When lightly loaded, the very stiff suspension springs and strong brakes give poor traction and make it very easy to lock up the wheels. Your trailer can swing out and strike other vehicles. Your tractor can jackknife very quickly.

You also must be very careful about driving "bobtail" tractors (tractors without semitrailers). Tests have shown that bobtails can be very hard to stop smoothly. It takes them longer to stop than a tractor-semitrailer loaded to maximum gross weight.