Golf Cart Braking and Handling Tests

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MSI
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Golf Cart Braking and Handling Tests

Post by MSI »

On Facebook group a link to a reference with Golf Cart Tests was provided.
It's an NHTSA report

Inspection and Testing of Low Speed Vehicles, Jeff Elias, Aug 1998, VRTC-83-0461
Abstract:
  • In response to petitions by the golf cart industry the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reviewed its position on low speed vehicles and has taken steps to define a new class of low speed vehicle (LSV) which is exempt from the federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) that apply to motor vehicles. A new safety standard, FMVSS 100, has been proposed to regulate this new class of vehicle.
    The Vehicle Research and Test Center conducted a survey and a series of tests to evaluate the safety and stability of LSVs. Two neighborhood electric vehicles, the Bombardier and the GEM, and one golf car, the Yamaha gasoline powered golf cart, were selected for this study. Testing included 1) measurement of the CG height of the vehicle to determine the Static Stability Factor (SSF) for both unloaded and two passenger configurations 2) measurement of lateral stability in a constant 50 foot radius turn, and 3) straight line braking on both a high coefficient surface and low coefficient surface.
    LSV manufacturers raised concerns on the unsuitability of traditional windshield glazings on vehicles that would be used on golf courses as well as highways. Therefore, a short series of tests were conducted to evaluate and compare golf ball impacts on AS-1 and AS-6 glazing (specified in the proposed FMVSS 100). Results of these tests indicate that AS-4 or AS-5 glazing may be a better alternative than AS-6.
From summary:
  • One of the goals of this examination was to determine if potential LSVs would meet the requirements of the proposed regulation. It was noted in Table 2 of the report that two vehicles which were manufactured for golf and highway use meet nearly all of the proposed requirements. Those criteria that were not met in this examination would be relatively easy to upgrade (reflectors, warning labels, VIN). It was noted that a vehicle which was manufactured for golf course use would require substantial modification to meet the requirements of the proposed regulation
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MSI
Site Admin
Posts: 1739
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:37 pm

Re: Golf Cart Braking and Handling Tests

Post by MSI »

great followup on Facebook NAPARS page on golf carts:
See NAPARS page
  • Working with cars and trucks, many of us forget how small a golfcart is.
    It seems almost as large as a small car, but it's mostly air and happy thoughts, instead of engine blocks and steel drivelines.
    The article Inspection and Testing of Low Speed Vehicles noted that the static stability factor (T/2h) of their typical golfcart all by itself was pretty good:
    • 1.3 (compared to typical passenger car values of 1.2 to 1.4).
      BUT, and here's where things get dicey,
    • if you add 328 pounds (which they assert is equivalent to two 50th percentile males - or 164 each) in the seats, the CG height goes up from 14 inches to 20.8inches, and SSF drops to 0.8.
    I think the average adult American male is actually closer to 190 these days, so it's even worse than that. If someone puts an aftermarket seat on the back to carry extra companions to the tiki-bar on the 9th hole, things get even more worser. The moral of this story is that when you get a golfcart rollover (or any smaller vehicle where occupant weights are a real percentage of the vehicle weight), be careful to document how high the seats are and how heavy the riders were, and where they were all sitting.
golf cart pics.png
golf cart pics.png (559.81 KiB) Viewed 19 times
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