How to calculate turning radius

Updated July 20, 2017

The turning radius of a vehicle is important to any driver. The turning radius determines how quickly a vehicle will pivot on its axles. A higher turning radius will result in better handling and a more mobile vehicle. For a car or similar vehicle, turning radius is measured in terms of its curb-to-curb turning radius (CCR), or turning circle. The CCR of a vehicle measures how far the vehicle's wheels will travel when making a U-turn. In order to calculate CCR, you need to know the schematics of the vehicle for which you wish to find the CCR.

Get the equation for CCR, which is CCR (feet) = WB (inches) * CF/OWC (°).

Find the number for WB in the equation. WB stands for wheel base. The wheel base is the distance from the front wheels to the back wheels in inches.

Find the number for OWC in the equation. OWC stands for outside wheel cut. The wheel cut is how great of an angle the axle can turn on the vehicle.

Find the CF for the equation. CF stands for conversion factor and is a number dependent upon the front wheel base, axle, wheels and tires of the vehicle. This number must be provided by the manufacturer.

Solve the equation. The ending CCR will be a measurement in feet of how far the vehicle's wheels travel when making a U-turn.

Things You'll Need

  • Vehicle schematics
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About the Author

Jason Stuchlik has been a writer since 2003. He began writing routinely in college and began writing professionally in 2010 for various websites. He received a Master of Arts in English literature with a focus in creative writing from Kansas State University.