Approach and departure angles

Approach (α) and departure angle (β) of a vehicle

Approach angle is the maximum angle of a ramp onto which a vehicle can climb from a horizontal plane without interference. [1] It is defined as the angle between the ground and the line drawn between the front tire and the lowest-hanging part of the vehicle at the front overhang.[2][3] Departure angle is its counterpart at the rear of the vehicle – the maximum ramp angle from which the car can descend without damage. Approach and departure angles are also referred to as ramp angles.[4]

Approach and departure angles are indicators of off-road ability of the vehicle: they indicate how steep obstacles, such as rocks or logs, the vehicle can negotiate according to its body shape alone.[2]


  1. angle of approach, The free dictionary
  2. 1 2 "Angle of Approach". Retrieved 2014-12-04.
  3. "49 CFR 523.2 - Definitions.", U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Cornell University Law School, retrieved 2014-12-04, Approach angle means the smallest angle, in a plane side view of an automobile, formed by the level surface on which the automobile is standing and a line tangent to the front tire static loaded radius arc and touching the underside of the automobile forward of the front tire.
  4. Lane, Keith (2002). Automotive A-Z: Lane's Complete Dictionary of Automotive Terms. Veloce Publishing Ltd. p. 376.

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