Design Challenge - June 2013

Brooks Stevens - Hubless Wheels

Lumede/Oliver Becker DesignThe High-Wheel Lynx is a selective tree harvester concept based on large-diameter wheels that enable the vehicle to negotiate rough terrain and high obstacles. To reduce the loss of visibility, the vehicle uses a hubless wheel design with an open centre that gives the operator a clear sightline through the tyre, improving operation and safety performance.

The vehicle’s wheels are suspended on hydraulically articulating arms with approximately 70° of movement, enabling each wheel to adjust independently based on terrain requirements. A sophisticated monitoring system reads the terrain and the vehicle dynamics to automatically optimise the position of each wheel on-the-go for a smooth ride and a stable operating platform. This feature also means the cab can be lowered for operator ingress/egress and service, as well as a reduced trailer transport height.

The versatility goes even further – each wheel has the capability to rotate around its off-centre drive hub, thereby providing unique options for greater ground clearance, as well as the ability to maintain its centre of gravity on steep hills or while traversing side slopes.
Primary steering is achieved with an articulated body, with each wheel also capable of turning independently. This enables a reduced turning radius and, by turning the wheels in opposite directions, the vehicle can turn on a dime in tight spaces.

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Dale Di Iulio has been a senior industrial designer with Brooks Stevens in Wisconsin for 15 years; Scott Micoley has been an industrial designer and programme manager there for 23 years





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