Journal of Terramechanics, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 239-255, 1992.

Printed in Great Britain.

0022-4898/9255.00+0.00 Pergamon Press Ltd © 1992 ISTVS






Summary--This article presents modifications to the vehicle ground pressure criterion of Mean Maximum Pressure (MMP). There is an introductory explanation of why MMP is preferred to other ways of expressing ground pressure. The main modification concerns the relationship for wheeled vehicles of tyre deflection to tyre size. Earlier, deflection had been in relation to tyre height; now it is to tyre diameter, which allows truer representation of low-profile tyres. This has required revised constants in the formulae, and new standardised deflections for normal comparisons. There are also developments to the MMP formula for wheels in sand. Aspects with scope for further research are described.


THE MEAN MAXIMUM PRESSURE (MMP) is a criterion for expressing the ground pressure of a vehicle, either wheeled or tracked, It is referred to as a "system", since it has relationships to soil strength and vehicle trafficability, such as sinkage resistance. For wheeled vehicles, it also takes into account the drive line. Soon after World War II, actual ground pressures were measured under the tracks of various vehicles, including tanks of generally similar Nominal Ground Pressures but very different soft-ground performance. Those which had performed better than expected on soft ground included the German Panther and British Churchill. Panther had many large diameter wheels, so large that they overlapped each other; its track link pitch was "normal". The Churchill had a very large number of very small wheels, running on a track of long pitched links. By comparison, the contemporary fast British tanks such as Cromwell had fine pitched tracks for smooth running at speed, and relatively poor soft-ground performance. In the trials, the measurements under the track showed the expected peaks in pressure as each wheel passed over the measuring transducer. A mathematical expression relating the mean of these peak pressures to running gear dimensions was derived from the results. This expression is the tracked vehicle Mean Maximum Pressure formula, given in Table 1. Its derivation and validation by Rowland is in Ref. [1]. MMP explained the performances of the tanks described above [2]. For wheeled vehicles an equivalent ground pressure expression was also derived at the British Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment (RARDE). This was based on the results of vehicle trials at the US Army Waterways Experiment Station, which had been translated into "Numerics", or Mobility Numbers. These Numerics were converted into pressures for MMP, as described in Ref. [3]. Ground pressure is a key issue in cross-country mobility for designers, procurers,
*Tithe Barn, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, Dorset BH16 6B J, U.K. 239

3 e a r t h m o v e r t r e a d T .05 2. For coarse grained soil (sands. C. In g e n e r a l m o d e s t d e f l a t i o n for off-road w o r k : that is × 1. (3) T y r e d e f l e c t i o n 6 is as m e a s u r e d on a h a r d surface.02 --- 1. see p a r a g r a p h l ( a ) above.48 -2. c o h e s i v e soils) (a) M M P F o r m u l a for t r a c k e d vehicles: MMP 1. M M P x 0.77 1/3 -2.85dI15(6/d)O. which t h a n the m a n u f a c t u r e r ' s d a t a for a new tyre.22 --- 2/3 -2.4 r o a d tyre 2. M M P × 0.Sdl. d i a m e t e r t a k e n to the base of the t r e a d p a t t e r n .97.2 -2.3 Notes: ( l ) If differential locks are in use.57 3/5 ---2. For s t a n d a r d i s a t i o n .62 --3. (b) M M P F o r m u l a for w h e e l s on sand: MMP S T W ~3 2 m bl.97. L A R M I N I E TABLE 1.240 J. M E A N MAXIMUM PRESSURE EXPRESSIONS For fine grained soils (clays.26W - 2m c b (pd) °.48 -- 1/2 2. (2) T y r e d i a m e t e r d is in t h e o r y the actual d i a m e t e r in use.1 1/4 --3.a r e a / p b (b) M M P F o r m u l a for wheels: MMP = K'W kPa 2m bO. 4 × 4 . The effect in o t h e r cases has to be established: use x 0. in practical t e r m s will always be less it has b e e n the practice to use the cases the d e f l e c t i o n u s e d is t h a t with q u o t e d for high s p e e d r u n n i n g on 2.5 W = vehicle w e i g h t ( k N ) m d b 6 K' = = = = = n u m b e r of axles tyre d i a m e t e r ~ [ u n l a d e n (m) tyre b r e a d t h tyre d e f l e c t i o n on h a r d g r o u n d (see n o t e s b e l o w ) factor from table b e l o w J Factor K': Number of axles 2 3 4 5 6 P r o p o r t i o n of axles d r i v e n 1 3/4 --2. 6 x 6 .83 1. frictional soils) (a) M M P F o r m u l a for t r a c k e d vehicles: Use the s a m e f o r m u l a as for clay.16 2.98.3 the deflection motorways. the e q u i v a l e n t M M P is i m p r o v e d : 4 x 2 vehicles.95 2.~ kPa W = vehicle w e i g h t (kN) m d b p c = = = = = n u m b e r of axles w h e e l d i a m e t e r (m) track w i d t h (m) track link pitch (m) t r a c k link profile factor f o o t p r i n t .17 --2.~ Old kPa S = Proportionality constant below = Tyre t r e a d factor: 1 for s m o o t h tyre 1.8 r o a d / C C tyre 3.

3.5W - 2m b (d6) °.35: for 8 x 6. The three most common methods of quantifying ground pressure all have limitations. Thus it is difficult to separate out the various influences which give a particular vehicle a certain value of VCI. For trailers. and not related to actual loading of the soil. and so on to the ith axle. MMP has its .31 for all wheel drive. S = 0. the tracked MMP is used. Army is a comprehensive criterion that includes many factors other than ground pressure. It is also unwieldy to use. and all other factors are the same as in the normal MMP for wheels in paragraph l(b). from which comes resistance to motion and power requirements. assess pitch where the track bends around the idler). its greatest value probably lies in the interrelationship of ground pressure to sinkage into the soil. with anomalies usually no greater than those arising from various steering systems or axle tracks on single vehicles. pending further research take: S = 0.66. as used by tyre manufacturers.+ b. the number of wheels or their diameter. and users of vehicles. [4]. the vel~icle can be considered as one.85d-TC~. For Ltracks. for the one axle take K ' = 1. The Nominal Group Pressure (NGP) is.OS i i where suffix (1) refers to the first axle. take: w = total number of wheels. not such matters as track-link pitch. allowing for any differences in running gears in the manner shown in paragraph 4 above.37: for 6 x 4.d. It thus is so insensitive to important design characteristics that it is dangerously misleading. The common one. VCI contains its various factors in unlikely interrelationships which do not accord to common sense. then on sand substitute w for 2m. 5. MEAN MAXIMUM PRESSURE EXPRESSIONS (cont'd) 241 Otherwise. However. 4. as its name implies purely nominal. and only by the British Army (having been developed at the RAC School of Tank Technology).s kPa 6 b = tyre deflection on hard ground (m) = track width (m) For belt tracks on solid tyred wheels.34: for 8 x 4. There are two forms of NGP for wheels.6. takes the footprint on a hard surface. military and civil.. or ~-tracks formulae from those above can be used. S = 0. articulated vehicles. for 4 x 2.. The N G P for tracked vehicles only takes account of the length and breadth of the track on the ground. Constant S.38. factors as for fine-grained soil..M E A N M A X I M U M P R E S S U R E SYSTEM TABLE 1.S. with the pitch being taken as the length of reinforcement at the tread (if internal. Furthermore. The other N G P for wheels was only used for a short time. so is little help in comparisons of rival vehicles. but MMP is the truest. for Go or NoGo. The most obvious use of ground pressure is in assessing ability to move at all over soft ground. For twinned wheels. S = 0. being supplanted by MMP in 1972 for greater accuracy. This has no correlation to tracks. and to damage to the soil. MMP Formula for belt tracks with pneumatic tyres MMP 0. and on clay for 2m substitute (2m + w)/2. From the point of view of soil and vehicle interaction. MMP Formula for wheels of different sizes (fine grained soils) MMP= +. Special cases. Its relationship to other vehicle characteristics was described in Ref. S = 0. The Vehicle Cone Index (VCI) of the U.

The procuring authority . 6]. Thus MMP appears to be the most useful criterion. However. such as that done by ISTVS members. Thus two of them must be less good than the third. and thus are well researched. since it is so loosely related to ground pressure. It will be seen that they use the factors which experienced vehicle engineers. For instance. Thus P/W has long been a useful guide despite its inaccuracies. VCI has been shown to be unsatisfactory. it is well known that quoted Power to Weight ratios must be used with care to allow for differences such as transmission efficiency and effectiveness. Such work has great value for improving understanding in detail of vehicle soil interaction. a digest of earlier work giving a full set of mobility criteria to control mobility standards for military vehicles. NGP has been proved to be inaccurate. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF KNOWLEDGE This article is concerned with the practical use of the output from earlier research studies which had been published through ISTVS. Such criteria must be readily understood by laymen such as users or treasury officials. rather than only taking them as far as is necessary for use as a tool to produce results that can have practical value. and simple to apply by professionals. The formulae for MMP (incorporating the recent modifications) are given at Table 1. or the mobility available to a particular vehicle when operating in various types of terrain. C.242 J. But the designer needs to know in broad terms what will be the change in performance of alterations to running gear. The three methods put vehicles into different orders of merit. the ground pressure criterion need not have clinical accuracy. these are minor compared with those of VCI or NGP. For many users. Both designers and users will know from experience how their existing vehicles perform in the places where they have already been used. and the ability to interpret the implications of various levels of each criterion could benefit from further research. intuitively take into account. or fine detail of soil interaction at each tyre lug or track link. whilst allowing for realities of life such as a few millimetres of rain in the last few days. However. These wheeled vehicle Numerics have also been subjected to further examination in trials by the British Ministry of Defence. LARMINIE limitations too (these are summarised near the end of this article). the definition of the standards. The MMP for tracks was derived from a considerable quantity of trial measurements. However. The user needs to know what will happen if an existing vehicle is asked to work in different types of soil or soil condition. Designers and users need to know the practical implications in service of changes in vehicle characteristics. and what will be the implications of these changes for his customer. Much the same applies for performance in mud. These standards have been used with considerable success for some time by the British Ministry of Defence for specifying the characteristics of future vehicles. MMP for wheels uses Vehicle Numerics (or Mobility Numbers). The author of this article published in this journal [4]. The criteria when used for such purposes do not need utterly precise accuracy. described by Maclaurin [5. and is actual ground pressure. or users. whose origins go back to work in the US Army at the same establishment which had developed VCI [3]. some of this work puts the emphasis on the detailed and thorough development of the research techniques as the aims of the work. or under various weather patterns. Much of the work of ISTVS members reported in this journal is concerned with deep research. the user. and is often used without reference to detailed computer models of output results.

generally on easier types of soils. the claims made for some wheeled fighting vehicles are clearly nonsense. and not in the wettest weather. It is aimed at two types of reader: (a) The designers. in the military field. primarily driven by efforts to reduce costs. This article is centred on military vehicles. through 9. As an example. whilst being easier to interpret and more convincing than VCI. There is a general desire. and users who already make use of MMP.00 × 20 tyres. 6]. Peacetime running is usually confined to a narrow range of conditions. But the gross weights have grown successively from 8. Various aspects on which further research is needed are described towards the end of this article. due to limited availability of training or test areas. to broadcast the improvement to the formula. Three generations have all had the same payload. the 4 Tonner.)] Tyre deflection One of the important components of the MMP expression for wheels is the allowance for tyre deflection (6). So. The improvements to it reported here have been validated by work at R A R D E [5. MMP was derived from detailed and deep research of the type referred to earlier. Vehicles of say 16-25 tonnes are supposedly capable of " G o o d cross-country performance". ground pressures have tended to rise. and the need to limit damage. MODIFICATIONS TO WHEELED MMP FORMULA [Fine-grained soils (clay. Thus reasonably accurate criteria are needed to ensure future vehicles will have adequate performance when ultimately it is needed in earnest. This is often based on detailed computer simulations. nor to military vehicles. (b) To researchers. Such failings are not confined to the British Army. etc. and allow standardised use of it. It is for all such reasons that the MMP ground pressure system is so useful: since it is much more accurate than NGP. to increase vehicle payloads (be it armour on tanks) without compensating improvements to running gear. It has shown itself in use to be a reliable guide. nor to trucks. and users themselves need to be able to pierce the fog of advertising to find out how some future vehicle will perform. with the plea that their work should take into consideration the practical application of their findings to reinforce the facilities available.45 t for the Bedford MK. but has many applications in the civil field. Bearing in mind that tracked armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) with ground pressures less than half that of the wheeled ones can themselves often find their mobility insufficient.2 t for the new Leyland-DAF of 1990.MEAN MAXIMUM PRESSURE SYSTEM 243 acting on behalf of the user.8 tonne for the Bedford RL of the 1960s. there is a need to know honestly what can be expected. it allows comparisons of tracks versus wheels. and the same roles and tasks: and the same 12. Realistic trials are seldom possible. The analyst must be able to tell the client designer or user which particular engineering attributes are the causes of differences in performance in the complex modelling. procurers. The soldiers were also sure that the first of these three had no surplus in cross-country ability. and has had considerable practical application. with tyres not big enough to give a reasonable ground pressure. despite having only relatively few wheels. A simple example is the British Army common work truck. In peacetime much reliance is placed on Operational Analysis. since the ground contact patch of the tread . to 10.

which were astride the current values as used in the MMP formula.) required the derivation of a new constant K in the formula. since quantitatively 6/d is much smaller than 6/h. There is also a modest increase in breadth. Thus. as well as military. MMP needs to allow for this realistically. The most pronounced changes will be in cases where there is the new fairer allowance for low-profile tyres. it was always potentially unsatisfactory because. The deflation of pneumatic tyres has long been an effective means of improving soft ground performance. and the results are described by Maclaurin [6]. rather. that is. Trials measured the soft-ground performance of a range of tyre sizes on a singlewheel tester. it serves as useful confirmation of the soundness of using The revision of the MMP formula for wheels using 6/d is minor. The current values are: b °~5 and d 1"15 These make the expression the equivalent to a pressure. the use of bid rather than 6/h seems better. there are good reasons for retaining them as they are. Recent work at R A R D E has confirmed the soundness of the use of the term bid. Derivation of constant K' The original constant K was presented by Rowland [2]. and both wheels and tracks to soil strength Cone Index. other symbols as in Table 1. for a given 6/h a change in tyre squatness of height d/h would give a different length of tyre in contact with the ground. Thus MMP calculated using the old formula will only change marginally when recalculated using the new. In recent years the use of low-profile tyres common on motorcars spread to military vehicles. The analysis of the trials results examined the "best-fit" Soil Numeric. This seemed satisfactory at the time. which can increase side-wall support with deep sinkage. the deflection in relation to tyre height. LARMINIE lengthens with increasing deflection.244 J.0497. The two Soil Numerics of prime interest thus are: Nd = C b°SSd 1"15 (6/d) °5 W and N h = C b°85d H5 (6/h) °'5 W where C = Soil Cone Index.0520 using 6/h for N h. The examinations included the study of values of the powers for tyre breadth b X and diameter d y. C. compared with 0. Deflection relationship The original MMP formula used the term 6/h. Its basis remains the relationships to tracks. such low profile tyres being credited with a ground pressure lower than they merited. These showed differing optimum values for traction and for resistance. etc. for agricultural and sports vehicles. the changes of the wheeled MMP for fine grained soils (clays. There is currently renewed interest in Central Tyre Inflation systems. However. deflection in relation to tyre diameter. There seems to be no case for varying these powers. and it remains in the same general form. The use of 6/d for Nd gives an improvement in standard deviation to 0. To implement this. The true relationship is Old. Although this is for only the particular circumstances of these trials. This gave misleading representations of ground contact length using 6/h. from a logical consideration of tyre footprint size. and was derived empirically from the results from trials of trafficability Go and N o G o limits: the onset of zero net .

The Sand Numeric. other symbols as in Table 1.81.7. the original data used in 1972. K 2.32.35 and Nh = 2.M E A N M A X I M U M P R E S S U R E SYSTEM 245 traction. This figure is confirmed by the fact that the tyres used in the R A R D E trials had an average value of d/h of 4. Thus (d/h) °'5 = (4. .08. the heavier the vehicle. [3]. and the many variables affecting ground conditions.3~ . due to its own limitations. [6] provided data subject to the limitations of the nature of the ground on which the trials had been done. However. giving a correction for K of 1. the deeper the sinkage. Accordingly.0.92. The tyre sizes used then had an average profile d/h of 3.5 = 2. and the sizes of tyres tested.81 This gives the ratios K~ . Thus there is a need for a criterion of ground pressure for such circumstances. due to surcharge.32) 0. Thus: K = 2. For a given ground contact area. The fact that it is a round figure is fortuitously appropriate. the sand MMP was published in Ref. there are vehicles with inadequate performance on clay. There were two sources for the new K ' . Weight factor. and thus it is necessary to be able to use MMP as a guide in optimising them for sand operation. and that from the recent trials. is given in Ref.1. with the new K ' values are given in Table 1. The mean of these two correction factors derived from the WES and R A R D E trials is 2. K' It is satisfactory to adopt this figure without trying to determine any weighting between the two sources. Since the trials by R A R D E were of a limited number. The recent work at R A R D E described in Ref. From these data comes the comparison for values of the numerics N where the coefficient of traction was zero: N d = 1. there are vehicles specifically built for use in arid country for which design priorities may be different from those for clay. Furthermore. It is now possible to take it to a further stage of development. and the tyres different from those used in the WES trial. a different correction factor for K could be expected from consideration of the earlier trials. and so the better the support given by the sand. Mobility on sand is less of a difficulty than on wet clay.08.2. since MMP is not an exact criterion. Ns. The new MMP for fine-grained soils. REVISIONS TO W H E E L E D MMP [Frictional soil(sand)] The long-term experience that has been gained using MMP for assessing performance on clayey soils has not been matched by that on sand. and is: 2m G (bd) 1"5 N s = 6 " h W where G = gradient of Cone Index (CI) with depth. [4]. The apparent strength of sand increases with depth.

Thus when the Numeric is reconstituted as an MMP. LARMINIE The heavier the vehicle. more trials are needed to define the M M P formula more precisely. This could be due to the effect of the wheel moving and shifting sand. (d) These requirements are met. this needs to be taken into account: MMP = S TW ~ kPa 2m b15dl"5 (Old) where S = constant of proportionality. values of S and x are needed so that the formula can be used now. (f) The calculation was made with tyres at cross-country pressures.3 times that for high speed on roads. Values of S and x for use Pending definitive research which would relate the wheels M M P in sand to CI.246 J. Thus evidently. The breadth to diameter ratio (b/d) of these normal cross-country tyres averaged 28%. There is insufficient information available from trials on which to establish the value of x. Additional values of S where there is not all-wheel drive are also shown. weight being taken into account by the power x. c.31 x = 1. (c) For ease of use. and thus the greater the relevant CI. these being in the same proportions as the values of the constant K in the M M P for clay. and for wheeled vehicles in British military service ranging from 2 to 32 t gross weight when: S = 0. deflection taken as 1. that is. on the premise that for sinkage to occur the sand must flow out from underneath the contact patch. thus suggesting some similarities in actual ground pressures under the tyres between the trials on the two types of soil. as justified below. These have been established on the following basis: (a) The tyre sizes from which the Sand Numeric was derived included those used for the Clay Numeric. However. and to M M P of tracks.5. it might be that revisions are needed to the powers of d and b. Thus initially. recent trials at R A R D E . 5 . with reasonable accuracy consistent with other variables..1 . making the Sand Numeric a density. (e) These values have been shown in the M M P sand formula in Table 1. This is a reasonable consideration for those vehicles which have relatively narrow tyres. However. . These powers are the same. At present both d and b are to the power 1. the deeper the critical depth. although of only limited scope. give an indication that there might need to be some greater power given to diameter c o m p a r e d with breadth. (b) Use and understanding of M M P would be simplified if M M P for sand and for clay for a particular vehicle were numerically the same. Then the units would become those of a pressure. x = power to account for G. These types of vehicles tend to have tyres of a breadth to diameter ratio generally narrower than tyres used on vehicles specifically designed for sand. T = tyre tread factor. Limited comparisons between vehicles in c o m m o n use in the British A r m y show that the order of merit of actual performance in sand is much the same as the order of merit predicted by clay MMP. the constant S should be the same for vehicles of all weight classes. it might be supposed that x .3.

and is reflected in MMP. so there is a temptation to quote MMP at very low tyre pressures. It cannot be used in conjunction with soil strength measurements until the value of the constant S has been examined further. W x. and such comparisons between these two forms of running gear should be done using the clay MMP. Deflation of the tyres improves soft-ground performance. special sand tyres have bid of some 40%. Revision of the powers of d and b may also be needed. However. Some examples of the range of MMP variation with tyre deflation are given in Table 2. Tyre deflection on sand The Soil Numerics deflection. pending further research as discussed in the next paragraph. tyre footprint relationship to tyre diameter shows that for sand than 6/h is justified. Further information is also needed on the relationship of the MMP for sand to the sand's CI. since b is raised to the power 1. It should also include "dust soils". Development is now needed to bring the MMP for sand up to the same usefulness. This will need trials on sands of various grain size. This conforms to practical experience gained long before these Numerics were derived. at such low pressures side-slope stability and ground clearance are reduced. and sharpness of the grains. and in its use for specifying vehicle designs of both tracked and wheeled vehicles when concerned with performance on clayey soils. This will require more accurate definition of the weight relationship. since the Consideration of the the use of 6/d rather for such frictional soils as sand emphasise the importance of tyre function is not subject to a square root as on fine-grained soils. It is hoped that soon other contributors to this journal will be able to report such progress. and are often found in very arid areas.MEAN MAXIMUM PRESSURE SYSTEM 247 Typically. of very fine grain. which behave in a frictional manner. and for the constant S. These include dry pulverised clays. These are sometimes mistaken for sand by those with the common misunderstanding that all deserts are sand. it can be used for comparisons over a narrow range. Future developments There has now been considerable experience in the use of MMP for the prediction of performance. It had been common to quote MMP with tyres inflated so that the deflection in relation to tyre height was 18%. as it was for clay. their fineness of grain makes them a particular mobility problem. as for instance comparing the options for tyres on a particular design. However. and G (gradient of CI with depth).5. in which case the MMPs for sand fall below those for clay. This is now unsatisfactory since differing designs of tyres can run at different deflections. or comparing rival vehicles of approximately the same gross weight. and the merit of increased suppleness of modern . STANDARDISED QUOTATIONS OF WHEELED GROUND PRESSURE It is useful when reading of vehicle performances if ground pressure could be quoted under standardised conditions. The sand MMP for wheels does not allow direct comparison against the MMP for tracks. Precautions in use: MMP for sand The MMP for sand is a temporary criterion.

Thus it can have a large deflection. It also has skid-steer. The Leyland-DAF has the 12. diameter. This w o u l d be a p p r o p r i a t e for typical military c r o s s .3 times the high s p e e d r o a d d ef l ect i o n .248 TABLE2. (4) Weights and tyre sizes of these vehicles are shown in Table 4.3 × 2 MMP kPa 380 303 489 448 350 262 564 473 60 km/h 2 cm 252 206 315 207 406 308 290 179 473 333 20 km/h 5 cm 207 140 Clay Sand Clay Sand Clay Sand Clay Sand Clay Sand Leyland-DAF Truck 4 t GS Bedford Truck 8 t GS For tyres on the vehicles above: Speed limits: Reduction in ground clearance (from normal of say) Panhard MI1 Scout Car Notes and comment: (1) Normal deflection is that for high speed on roads. T h e r e is a t e n d e n c y for vehicles to d e p l o y o f f r o ad s with tyres still at full high s p e e d inflation. and deflection in the two MMP formulae for clay and sand result in different relationships of sand and clay for the different tyre sizes. A l s o . (2) Deflation reduces stability and control on side-slopes. It is s u g g e s t e d that M M P be q u o t e d at 1. H o w e v e r . Tyre dimensions are those of products of Michelin Tyre plc.g r o u n d p e r f o r m a n c e .00R20 tyres Road normal 443 411 573 616 408 355 656 631 80 km/h nil (30 cm) 286 266 Deflection increase Tracks Soft × 1. b e i n g w h e e l . which is the smallest tyre of the first three vehicles shown above. T h e tyre m a n u f a c t u r e r ' s d e s i g n e d d e f l e c t i o n can be f o u n d f r o m t h ei r data sheets. LARMINIE IN MMP W I T H T Y R E D E F L A T I O N C L A Y A N D S A N D SOILS Vehicle AMX10 RC wheeled light tank on 12. small wheel in relation to tyre diameter). this gives a falsely pessimistic guide to p o t e n t i a l s o f t . Its breadth in relation to diameter is not exceptional. the revised M M P f o r m u l a r el at es d e f l e c t i o n to d i a m e t e r . o f t e n r e f e r r e d to as " t r a c k s " . so the old p e r c e n t a g e s of tyre heights are i n c o n v e n i e n t . both of which rate well in the sand MMP. (3) AMXI0RC has adjustable suspension and ground-clearance. with d i a m e t e r s and b r e a d t h s .e.00R20. (5) The different powers for breadth. and thus t h e r e is s o m e justification for using that for s t a n d a r d i s e d q u o t a t i o n s of M M P . T h e n o r m a l q u o t e d deflection is usually for the high s p e e d rating o f the tyre. Deflation is limited: AMX10RC by run-flat insert (Hutchinson) For trucks the need for bead-locks By risk of overheating or cuts to the tyre side-walls. which are all on 20 inch rims. IMPROVEMENTS J.6 5 k m / h d e p e n d e n t on tyre design.00R20 tyres on 14.a r c h c l e a r a n c e s r a t h e r than tyre d i m e n s i o n s . m a i n t a i n s r e a s o n a b l e . tyres s h o u l d show in M M P .c o u n t r y inflation p r essu r es for g r o u n d of m o d e s t severity. C. D i m e n s i o n s g iv en in t r a d e c a t a l o g u e s can be m i sl ead i n g . The Panhard Mll uses a tyre of tall section (i. Thus it has less breadth and less deflection. and thus this one tyre has a sand MMP worse than its clay MMP. D e f l a t i o n to this e x t e n t allows s p e e d of s o m e 5 0 . and so benefits greatly from deflation on soft ground.

and its accuracy depends on that of the trials from which it was derived. Thus for comparison with tracked vehicles. which often perforce have high ground pressure. yet also often can perform better than that ground pressure would imply. it will give reduced sinkage. Often there are variations. and thus the sample is relatively small considering the wide number of variables. For soft mud or sand a typical deflection would be twice that for roads. and running straight. speed must be limited to some 20 km/h. either wheeled or tracked. and thus cannot quantify the benefit of the reduced resistance. This shows a misunderstanding of the derivation of MMP for clay. (a) Soil depth MMP assumes soil or snow with a gentle and positive gradient of increasing strength with depth. LIMITATIONSOF MMP The use of MMP must be tempered by the appreciation of its limitations. the heavier appearing to bite through to firmer ground. or for assessment of normal movement. For tyre sizes common for military use the new quoted deflection of 1. There have been criticisms of MMP for this. (c) Axle loading MMP assumes axle loading is approximately equal. MMP has no factor for the reduction of sinkage with speed. and suggestions that MMP should be calculated using the weight carried by the heaviest loaded axle. Sinkage increases with successive wheel passes. yet enhances ride over harsh bumps as well as soft-ground performance to a significant amount. Tyre deflation to achieve such deflections is usually only practicable on vehicles with central tyre inflation systems.3 times that for high speed as on motorways is somewhat greater than the previously quoted deflection of 18% of tyre height. and they can reach down to firmer layers underneath. enough to justify revision of official standards demanded in mobility requirements. If one axle has reduced loading.MEAN MAXIMUM PRESSURE SYSTEM 249 side-slope stability and ground clearance. and vice versa. or when quite commonly there are soft slippery top layers on firmer underlying soil. Tyre side-walls also bulge vulnerably. as on salt-pans in the desert. MMP takes the mean. (b) Slipperiness Anomalies will occur where vehicles of high ground pressure will outperform those with lower. . It is empirical in origin. Tests were done at slow speed. Ground pressures quoted for still greater deflections should be assessed with caution. validity is restricted at such extreme deflation. These trials in turn have their limitations. since soil type and vegetation varies from place to place and occasion to occasion. Changes on recalculation can be significant. At such low pressures. This particularly applies to large vehicles. ground clearance is reduced. and handling and side-slope stability are impaired. To such large vehicles the softer surface layers of soil are relatively shallow. Such trials are restricted in extent. but a balanced design naturally tends to minimise them. Results can be misleading when exceptionally there is a hard crust. Other relevant matters are given below. or on snow.

The main validation of MMP for tracks was on fine-grained soils. of MMP between 100 kPa and 450 kPa. Some steering systems impose a penalty. since it can be assumed that tyres of a certain type will be used in some application. As a yardstick. and in due season it does rain even in many so-called deserts. and experience of its use has proved it to be a reliable guide. It is also the criterion that accords best with a logical and common-sense analysis of vehicle/terrain interaction. relating MMP to sinkage. VCI. It can thus be used with confidence. Ground pressure controls sinkage. (e) Usability It must be accepted that MMP has imperfections. A wheeled vehicle with more than one unsteered axle suffers the slewing force needed to move wheels on a bogie sideways. But it has been proved in use to be the least bad of the ground-pressure systems available. and tracks with wheels. or military vehicles. since such soils present the greatest difficulty. even arid countries are often of fine grained soils. civil road vehicles which seldom go off the road. and thus one of the main components of resistance which that traction must overcome. GRIP FOR TRACTION Any review of ground pressure must take into account the grip the vehicle can gain for traction. MMP does not include a factor to evaluate grip. Such vehicles will perform less well than their ground pressure would indicate (be it NGP. For tracks there can be a penalty that is highly significant. MMP FOR TRACKS The original formula for MMP for tracks was well researched. There are indications that this can be the equivalent to a change in MMP of about 40% of those ground pressures typical of medium to heavy-weight armoured vehicles. it may not always be the case that clay is the critical measure. resistance and CI. or MMP). and thus this must be taken into consideration separately. Furthermore. some 20 kPa is the minimum significant difference in MMP. LARMINIE (d) Steering Trafficability measurements are usually taken when running straight ahead. But again as explained above in the section on MMP for wheels. indeed almost catastrophic.250 J. For wheeled vehicles. Experience suggests that in the range common for military vehicles. (f) Accuracy Because of all these limitations. MMP must be used with due caution. such as most tracked and a few wheeled types. and so additional research coordinated to improve the knowledge about tracks in dry frictional soils would be useful. be it for agriculture. have a severe penalty since the inside track is providing a braking force. This is particularly so when the surface layers of the soil are weak. this is not much of a problem. this is generally satisfactory. and assuming the same types of steering systems and tyres or tracks of similar tractive grip.c. or there is slippery grass. Vehicles with skid steer. . vehicles with skid-steering need a ground pressure 20% lower than those with articulated or Ackerman steer. As discussed above for wheels. where a vehicle of quite high ground pressure is also hampered by a smooth grip due to rubber padded tracks.

(c) Table 5: the limit of ground pressures the user ought to accept taking into account the exigiencies of design and cost restraints. The standard for Low Mobility has also been altered . increasing sinkage. These recommended standards have been taken from what has been shown to be possible by the more able designs. This is reflected for wheels in the factor T in the MMP sand formula. Power to give speed. The required MMP for the common group of military trucks. The ground pressures shown in Tables 4 and 5 reflect the modifications to the MMP formula for wheeled vehicles. It will be seen that many of these are well above the pressures shown as being the limit in Table 3. of MMP of some 280 kPa. Centurion). was established as satisfactory only with tracks of an aggressive spud (grouser) with an all-steel track (e. tables are included (some being revised versions of those in [4]) to show: (a) Table 3: the maximum ground pressure tolerable to allow freedom of movement. the rubber pad is less of a disadvantage. For completeness in this article. Research would have to include the clogging effects of the soil. as exemplified by Leopard 1. rather than bellying. and a good suspension and responsive steering to allow that speed to be sustained. Tracks with rubber pads need to be down to less than 240 kPa. Thus the values have important differences from those published in earlier works by this author. it should be born in mind that the upper limit of ground pressure generally deemed acceptable for tanks in the British service. since it disturbs a surface layer. In dry weather they perform quite well. For the present. With the lower ground pressures possible in light AFVs. and the self-cleaning design of the track-link. Ground clearance must be sufficient. of vegetation. and the altered standardised way of quoting tyre deflection. They also include the benefit possible from more recent tyre designs giving greater deflections. For military vehicles severe tactical restraints are suffered by fighting and logistics vehicles. In dry sand. In peacetime the limitations do not come to the fore because of the restrictions in where vehicles can be run. OTHER FACTORS Considerations of ground pressure must be done with attention paid to other vehicle characteristics. allows soft patches to be charged by impetus. (b) Table 4: the actual ground pressures of various vehicles. but in the wet there are problems about which little fuss is made in war because there are more urgent things to think about. so that potential immobilisation will be due to insufficient traction to overcome sinkage resistance.MEAN MAXIMUMPRESSURE SYSTEM 251 However. and speed reduces sinkage in both fine and coarse-grained soils (clays or sands). an aggressive grip can be a penalty. REQUIRED AND ACTUALGROUND PRESSURES The importance of ground pressure is shown by the inability of agricultural vehicles to work in the fields in wet weather. little information is available about the subject. although grip can still be important. and in undeveloped countries civil transport can be disrupted on unmetalled roads softened by rain and churned by traffic and animals.g. as described earlier. the Medium Mobility Load Carrier (MMLC) has in Table 5 been reduced by 50 kPa compared with past versions of such statements [4].

CONCLUSION The recent modifications to M M P described in this article improve its ability to serve as a vehicle criterion for soft-ground performance. or it could be cynically said less bad. This reflects the more flattering M M P of such trucks when due allowance is made in the revised M M P for the flexibility of modern radial tyres. . wet fine-grain soil Ideal 120(150) 72(90) Satisfactory 160(200) 112(140) Maximum acceptable 240(300) 192(240) The figures in brackets (from Ref. For multiple passes: Number of passes: Multiply One-pass CI by: 1 2 5 1 1. Resistance from soil sinkage R = Resistance (kN) W = Weight (kN) (mass × 9. L A R M I N I E SOIL/VEHICLE RELATIONSHIP 1. clay) soils.252 TABLE 3. Trafficability limits" For fine-grain (e. But costs limits demand that M M L C must be cheap trucks based on civilian components which cannot meet this. particularly for clayey soils. MMP in kPa]. C. These figures assume level ground. fine-grain (e.827 MMP [Cone Index of soil strength in kPa.895 kPa by the same amount.81) M = MMP (kPa) C = Soil Cone Index in kPa Take CI = RCI 4. compared with skid-steering as used on most tracked vehicles.g.0. particularly during design.g. J. wet. Table 3 shows that to have this they would need an M M P at the most of only 300 kPa. [1]) show the heavier ground pressures practicable with normal Ackerman or articulated steering.53 10 1. M M P remains better.35 50 2.2 1. Note that the broad statement of requirement for such M M L C is that they "should have a genuine cross-country performance". or for procurement.85 25 2.8 i lbf/in-' = 6. The r e c o m m e n d e d standards must be kept as close to the ideal as is realistic. Desirable ground pressure M M P values MMP Levels with skid-steering (and articulation) and performance priority Condition Temperature climate. and thus are revised to reflect the latest developments. Such clay soils are the most critical for normal military vehicles.8 3. wet. 2. clay) soil Tropical. than other methods. for one pass: CI = 0. and a few wheeled ones. Some such criterion is essential for allowing judgements on capability.

.. ~'x x 0 ~ ~o'. ~ ... ... ~ "''~ ¢~ ~' ~ ....-.....-. ~ ~ ~ X x x ?:. . m ._ .-k ¢.. ] .....v < > .-."~ x".~ . _ . . ~ ~ .--....--.~ a~ ~ . . ~ . ~ ~ .~r.. .. = ° N < Z < .9....'.. . ~ I ~ tc'seel ~ d ¢. [- < ~l#b "-'. . ~ " I _~: o x ~ x x = ~ I ~xx -~ x ~ I .-.~=~ x x x x ~ ~ " ~ ~ N ~ ~ N x . .o x .0 .I ~ X x ~ ~ :~ . ~X [- o .--.. z~ m <~ ~. ~X > X~ ~ O X o .MEAN MAXIMUM PRESSURE SYSTEM 253 E [- ~'-:. o'h O'~ =. ~ ....4 #:.

J. Proc. [2] D. (3) The lighter the AFV. W. 1STVS. thus light vehicles. Calgary (1981). Engrs 205/75. [4]) Improved MMLC Low Mobility Load Carrier Main Battle Tank . Tracked (or skid-steer wheels) Wheeled (or articulated tracks) (b) Armoured wheeled carriers (minimum cost) 'B' Vehicles Desirable 230 Highly desirable 240 Essential 280 Note 2 Note 3 110 132 -- 140 168 -- 230 276 450 Ltd mob. the easier to meet better mobility classes. all-steel track or wheel chains. ISTVS. Proc lOth Int. MBT. Terramechanics 25 (3) (1988). LARMINIE. MACLAURIN. i. (2) For higher MMP (e. PEEL. MBT and ILMLC/LMLC) aggressive tread is especially important. REFERENCES [1] D. ABBREVIATIONS AFV HMLC IMMLC LMLC MBT Armoured Fighting Vehicle High Mobility Load Carrier (see Ref. Tracked vehicle ground pressure and its effect on soft ground performance. Proc. Maximum ground pressure for class: kPa HMLC IMMLC 350 450 450 MMLC 500 550 550 ILMLC 625 650 650 LMLC -Over Over (1) Utilities.254 TABLES. Proc 5th Int.[4]. B. [4] J.g. Standards for the mobility requirements of military vehicles. ROWLAND and J. MACLAURIN. L A R M I N I E RECOMMENDED STANDARDS FOR GROUND PRESSURE MMP Vehicle type Maximum ground pressure (kPa) Ground pressure and priority Armoured vehicles (i) Heavy AFV: above 30 t e. (2) Light AFV: below 30 t (a) Combat Vehicles. Stockholm (1972). C.e. to take account of recent advances in tyre design. Conf. [5] E. SP Arty. ROWLAND. (4) The lighter the vehicle. with levels for other important characteristics such as ground clearance and power (P/W). The effect of tread pattern on the field performance of tyres. and the ideal requirements shown in Table 3. A review of vehicle design for soft ground operation. ROWLAND. The use of mobility numbers to describe the in-field tractive performance of pneumatic tyres. and the way this is reflected in the revised MMP formula. Detroit (1975). Conf. being a very reasonable and pragmatic compromise considering engineering and cost constraints. B. the ground pressure due to scale effects. C. Inst. It trucks: Payload < 4 (Note 4) (2) Medium trucks: Payload 4-8 t (3) Heavy trucks: Payload > 8 t. Proc 4th Int.g. Mech. The ground pressures suggested are those the user should insist upon. Conf. the better can be. [3] D. J. 7th Int. Soft ground performance prediction and assessment for wheeled and tracked vehicles. ISTVS. Thus the user is more justified in asking for them. There have been slight reductions in the MMP values for some trucks from previous editions of these standards. Japan (1990). and needs to be. ISTVS. [0] E. Conf. Thus what is only Desirable @ 30 t becomes Essential for very small. 275 350 350 Notes: (1) These standards were originally published in Ref.

MEAN MAXIMUM PRESSURE SYSTEM MMLC MMP NGP SP Arty VCI Medium Mobility Load Carrier (characteristics in Ref. [4]) Mean Maximum Pressure Nominal Ground Pressure Self-propelled Artillery Vehicle Cone Index 255 See also Table 1 for symbols used in formulae. .