Rolling Squares: Debunking the Myth of Square Wheels’ Smooth Drive!

An episode of the Mythbusters TV show, which aired in 2012, began with the question: Can a Square Wheels Provide a Smooth Drive if Driven Fast?

Adam and Jamie began by designing a pair of square wheels to hold the weight of a pickup truck, then cutting the treads off a pair of tires and fitting them on. They built up a test track using a heavy-duty truck outfitted with vibration sensors and drove a control run (on round wheels) at speeds of up to 60 mph. When the square wheels were installed, the ride was first harsh but smoothed out as the speed was raised. However, when one of the wheels’ fasteners cracked, it fell off after only a few seconds.

Source: Mythbusters for the Impatient / Youtube

While compared to round wheels, square wheels might provide an advantage when hill climbing

Source: Mythbusters for the Impatient / Youtube

Adam and Jamie constructed a dirt track with a straight length leading to a steep uphill run. They reasoned that the square wheels would relieve strain on the soft earth and/or help the vehicle dig in and get traction. However, because the vehicle traveled the same distance up the hill with either round or square wheels, they declared this myth debunked.

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