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|Title: ||A Study of the Local Design Modifications on Imported Heavy Vehicles in Ghana|
|Authors: ||Adedamola, Adewale|
|Issue Date: ||14-Jul-2009|
|Abstract: ||In Ghana, it is common practice to modify imported heavy vehicles to suit the owners intended purpose and sometimes the environmental conditions, nature and design of the roads. Some of these modifications include conversion from cargo to tipper truck, lengthening and shortening of trailer bed, reassembling or repair of cracked or broken leaf springs, increasing the bucket capacity of trucks, and modifying vehicle structure to work with available spare parts. This thesis presents findings of a study of the various design modifications on imported heavy vehicles at Suame Magazine in Kumasi, a large informal site where major vehicle modifications and repairs are carried out.
The motive for the modifications is mainly economic.
These modifications are carried out by artisans with little or no background in automobile sciences. Due to the very informal nature of the operations of the artisans and their general suspicion of researchers trying to study their activities, data had to be collected by observation supplemented by interviews in the few cases where the artisans agreed to be interviewed.
Some of the materials used were badly corroded and some had visible cracks. Welded joints were of poor quality due to the presence of cavities, cracks and solid inclusions that resulted from poor surface preparation before welding. The research also observed illegal act of welding leaf springs, mismatch of leafs during re-assembly and lack of compatibility checks among associated leaf spring assembly as common practice among the artisans and these practices could be causes of failure during vehicle operation. Modifications, involving lengthening of vehicle chassis, which are also illegal, were also observed. Where modifications were made to increase the gross vehicle weight the engine capacity was not increased nor the brakes redesigned to match the new weight.
Absence of proper documentation of the modifications done and the unavailability of the manufacturer’s vehicle documents make it difficult for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (the DVLA) to check the legality of most of the modifications. Comparison of the modifications done at Suame with international guidelines for heavy vehicle modifications showed serious implications for safety. There is little communication between the Ghana Standards Board, the Driver and Vehicle Authority and the artisans who carry out the modifications.|
|Description: ||A Thesis submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering,Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTERS OF SCIENCE,
Faculty of Mechanical and Agric Engineering,
|Appears in Collections:||College of Engineering|
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