Why is it so hard to control something that’s steered by the rear wheels?


Like a car in reverse or a forklift. What makes it feel so unstable?

In: 4

It isn’t. You’re just not used to it and haven’t practiced driving that way, so it feels foreign to you. If you backed up a car every day, or drove a rear-steer forklift every day, it would feel just as natural.

Short answer: perception.

It steers differently, but it isn’t inherently harder. It’s just not what you’re used to, so it takes a while to get your bearings

The physics are different. The weight distribution is different. You need practice to get used to it.

Can agree with others. It isn’t harder and in certain circumstances offers much more control. It’s all about geometry. Steering from the front produces a wide arc that’s much safer at high speeds. But this wide arc is super limiting at slow speeds in tight spaces. A much smaller radius is needed when picking loads from a narrow alley in a warehouse. Same with parking boats, it’s much easier when steering from the rear (although larger vessels will steer from the fore and aft using bowthrusters).

Basically, it’s:

Forward Steering = Good at Speed

Rear Steering = Good for Control at Low Speed.

It’s the same concept with driving as it is with your vision, or for example inverting the controls on your video game controller.