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The first car in the world had only one front wheel because the inventor had difficulties with the steering of two wheels, although the Ackermann steering, normal nowadays, had already been invented at the time of the carriage. It offered a lower tilting tendency at sharp steering angles compared with the single-pivot steering, which would also be too difficult to operate in a motor vehicle. With the axle-pivot steering, each of the two front wheels is guided by its own steering-swivel axle when cornering, so that it rolls on its circular path without having to cope with strong lateral forces.

How it works

The connection between both steering knuckle arms is brought about, in rigid front axles, (trucks) by one, and in independent suspension, by two or three tie rods. If together, these are a little shorter than the front axle, they form, together with the axle when driving in a straight line, a (steering) trapezoid. The curve-inside wheel is turned at a sharper angle than the curve-ouside wheel. To avoid track differences during spring compression, the outer tie-rods in a three part construction are configured to precisely the same length as the wishbone(s). The rotation of the steering wheel is transferred through a steering gearbox with a transmission ratio of 14-20:1 in the motor car, and substantially higher in trucks, to the tie rod(s).


In the event of a frontal accident, the steering wheel may only be pushed a certain distance towards the driver. In addition, the steering shaft is provided with a length of corrugated piping or a disengage mechanism or it is articulated through normally, two universal joints. This, in addition, makes the adjustable steering wheel possible.

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