The Breakover Angle calculator computes the maximum angle that a vehicle can drive over without the ground touching the vehicle's undercarriage.
Breakover Angle(B), Wheel Base (wb)
and Ground Clearance (gc)
INSTRUCTIONS: Choose units and enter the following:
Breakover Angle (B°): The calculator returns the Breakover Angle in degrees. However this can be automatically converted to compatible units via the pull-down menu.
The formula for breakover angle is:
B° = 2 * tan-1 ( (2 * gc)/ wb)
Note: The default units are in inches(in). However other units (e.g. centimeters) can be selected via the pull-down menu on the right of the input fields.
α° = Approach angle: ß° = Departure angle
Camber Angle (Φ)
'''Breakover angle''' is the maximum possible supplementary angle (usually expressed in degrees) that a vehicle, with at least one forward wheel and one rear wheel, can drive over without the apex of that angle touching any point of the vehicle other than the wheels. Curbstone Clearance, Approach, Departure, and Ramp Breakover Angles.
Passenger Car and Light Truck: This definition is contingent upon the wheels being in continuous contact with the supporting surface(s). Breakover angle may also be referred to as "break-over angle" or "break over angle." Breakover angle is different from ground clearance in that ground clearance is the shortest distance between the ground and lowest point on the vehicle.
Breakover angle is a relevant performance metric in many common vehicle scenarios, including: Breakover diagram from Wikipedia
If a vehicle drives over a breakover angle larger that computed, the undercarriage of the vehicle will make contact with the ground. This can damage the undercarriage, impede the vehicle from movement or take weight off of the steering and/or traction wheels.
*HowStuffWorks: [The Physics of Off-Roading].