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June 24, 2023

These Amazing “Tilt Test” Photos From the Past Prove That Double-Decker Buses Were Safe and Not a Tipping Hazard

Before they’re allowed on the roads of London, all the iconic red double-decker buses have to put through their paces. To make sure the vehicle won’t tip over while making a sharp turn, the whole 10-ton chassis is tilted in a test of its stability and weight distribution.

The tilt test is a type of safety test that certain government vehicle certification bodies require new vehicle designs to pass before being allowed on the road or rail track.

The test is an assessment of the weight distribution and hence the position of the centre of gravity of the vehicle, and can be carried out in a laden or unladen state, i.e. with or without passengers or freight. The test can be applied to automobiles, trucks, buses and rail vehicles. The test involves tilting the vehicle in the notional direction of the side of the vehicle, on a movable platform. In order to pass the test, the vehicle must not tip over before a specified angle of tilt is reached by the table.

In the United Kingdom, double-decker buses have to be capable of leaning, fully laden on top, at an angle of 28 deg without toppling over before they are allowed on the road.


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