The effect of several wheel and rail profiles on the hunting behavior of three-piece North American freight truck is investigated by the method of describing functions. After replacing the nonlinear terms by their equivalent describing functions, the differential equations of motion are converted to a set of coupled nonlinear algebraic equations which are then solved by the Newton-Raphson method. It is shown that the wearing of the rail profile has a significant adverse effect on the dynamic behavior. It greatly lowers the critical speed for the onset of hunting and raises the frequency, thereby causing high acceleration levels. It is also shown that the modified Heumann wheel profile exhibits a superior dynamic performance for freight trucks than the standard new wheel profile used in North America. The effects of wheel wear and loads on hunting are also investigated.

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