Why Do Buses Have Big Steering Wheels?

Rarely do we think about aspects such as these. We simply jump onto sites like How stuff works to know about scientific things that remain to be a mystery to us. However, it is a good spirit to always get to know about some additional information and be knowledgeable. Especially, if the information falls in the realm of our study or business.


The question that’s in discussion now is why do buses in India have big steering wheels? We have all seen this during our travel that bus companies in India have bigger steering wheels as compared to other vehicles like our cars or Light motor vehicles. What is the reason behind this? In this article we will look at the pointers about steering wheels and the mechanism operating behind it to clear the air about why top bus manufacturers in India have big steering wheels.

If you have to understand about the concept about why leading bus manufacturers have larger steering wheels, we first might have to become familiar with a terminology called torque. Torque is defined as the “It is the twisting force that tends to cause rotation. The point where the object rotates is known as the axis of rotation.



Mathematically torque can be written as T = F * r * sin(theta), and it has units of Newton-meters.”

Think of a situation where the steering wheels of the leading bus manufacturers are as responsive as a car. That is, a slight twist of the steering wheel causing a sudden motion on the bus wheels. In such a scenario, the bus will be swaying on either side as the driver sets on his ride. This is not a suitable scenario for driving a bus. Therefore the torque has to work at a different level in order to sustain a bus and operate it at a stable condition. A slight change in the steering wheel cannot cause a response on axles or the wheels of the buses, as that will turn out to be disastrous.


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The torque works in such a way, as the driver steers the vehicle, the axles and wheels are turned proportionately so that they are in sync and do not cause reckless motion of the vehicle. A little, say a 2 cm turn of the steering wheel would not cause any motion on the vehicle wheels. This provides a stable vehicle operating condition. Normally, the buses turn at zero velocity during full-fledged turns, otherwise, there is a chance that they topple down at high speeds.

Now, you can understand why the steering wheels of buses are bigger in size. They provide the optimum torque so that the buses are safe to ride at bends. 


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