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In both road and rail vehicles, the wheelbase is the distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels.


In automobiles, the wheelbase is the horizontal distance between the center of the front wheel and the center of the rear wheel. At equilibrium, the total torque of the forces acting on the car is zero, and thus the wheelbase is related to the force on each pair of tires by the following formula:
<math>F_f = mg</math>

<math>F_r = mg</math>
where <math>F_f</math> is the force on the front tires, <math>F_r</math> is the force on the rear tires, <math>L</math> is the wheelbase, <math>d_r</math> is the distance from the center of gravity (CG) to the rear wheels, <math>d_f</math> is the distance from the center of gravity to the front wheels (<math>d_f</math> + <math>d_r</math> = <math>L</math>), <math>m</math> is the mass of the car, and <math>g</math> is the gravity constant. So, for example, when one loads the truck with heavy goods, the center of gravity shifts rearward and the force on the rear tire increases causing it to sink to the extent that depends on the stiffness of the suspension.If the automobile is accelerating or decelerating, extra torque is placed on the rear or front tire respectively, and the equation relating the wheelbase, height above the ground of the CG, and the force on each pair of tires...
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