Please note: This website requires Flash and JavaScript to enjoy the full function range.
Please ensure that Flash and JavaScript are activated in your browser options. To download the
current flash plugin version please click here.

Locking Differential

Locking Differential

A differential compensates for the difference in wheel speeds on the driven axle.

The wheels on the same axle turn at different speeds when a vehicle is cornering because the wheel on the inside of the bend has a shorter distance to cover than the wheel on the outside, causing the outside wheel to turn faster. Compensating for this difference in speeds is generally the task of a bevel differential. A locking differential prevents either wheel from spinning freely, directing the power to the wheel with better grip instead. Speed-difference compensation can then be locked manually or automatically by up to 100 percent. This means that on slippery surfaces up to 100 percent of the engine’s power can be transmitted to the wheel with the best traction.

Vehicles with four-wheel drive require a transfer box which distributes the drive torque between the front and rear axles. Since the axles turn at different speeds when cornering, a differential is also required here to balance the speed differences between the axles. The system used in this case is known as a centre differential.