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Tractor up a slope

  1. Nov 19, 2003 #1
    [SOLVED] Tractor up a slope

    The question is as follow...
    A farm tractor tows a 4300kgs trailer up an incline 26 degrees aboe the horizontal at a steady speed of 3.0m/s. What force does the the tractor exert on the trailer?

    I've read the section over in which this problem is included in...
    the section is over find the accerlation and force of in 2 dimensions.

    well if i'm not mistaken...the accerlation of this problem is 0. F=ma
    F=4300(0)=0? Doesn't make sense

    OR

    if the tractor is pulling this tailer...the tractor is obviously exerting the force of the trailer and then some if it's moving it by 3m/s

    Am I going in the rigth direction?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2003 #2

    Doc Al

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    Is the acceleration (of the trailer) = 0? YES!

    SO... does F = MA = 0? YES!

    But you need to understand what F=MA means. It really should be written as:

    Fnet = MA

    The net force is zero. But there are several forces acting on the trailer. What are they?
     
  4. Nov 19, 2003 #3
    Fy and Fx
     
  5. Nov 19, 2003 #4

    Doc Al

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    Good one! Now tell me the real forces. What's pushing or pulling on the trailer? Then we can break them into x and y components.
     
  6. Nov 19, 2003 #5
    In the Y direction, the total force is 0.

    But in the X Direction, the Force is 18472.960125691722371458233543339 N.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2003
  7. Nov 19, 2003 #6
    the tractor is pulling on it at the angle...
    gravity is pulling it down
     
  8. Nov 19, 2003 #7

    Doc Al

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    Correct. (The incline is also pushing the trailer.)

    So... what is the component of the weight along the incline?
     
  9. Nov 19, 2003 #8
    -FySin(26) + FxCos(26)?

    I don't know
     
  10. Nov 19, 2003 #9

    Doc Al

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    The weight of the trailer is (mass)x (g)= mg.

    The component of the weight along the incline is mg sin(26) pointing down. (Draw a picture!) That must be balanced by the force of the tractor pulling the trailer up the incline. So...

    Forcetractor pulling trailer = mg sin(26)
     
  11. Nov 19, 2003 #10
    18472.96n
     
  12. Nov 19, 2003 #11
    ... should've read my response.
     
  13. Nov 20, 2003 #12

    Doc Al

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    Actually, he should have ignored your response. Just tossing out an "answer" without any explanation is not helpful.

    Also, your answer was confusing: "In the Y direction, the total force is 0." Now, what did you mean by that?
     
  14. Nov 20, 2003 #13

    Doc Al

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    Yep!
     
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