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Approach, Departure and Breakover Angles
Approach Angle - Is a method of measuring the steepest obstacle a vehicle can climb without the obstacle contacting the body. This angle is usually measure by using a large piece of plywood placed at the bottom of the front tires, and then lifted until it comes in contact with the frame, suspension, or body. This image will help explain.
 

 
Departure Angle - Is a method of measuring the steepest obstacle a vehicle can come down off of without contacting the body. It's basically the approach angle of the rear. This angle is usually measure by using a large piece of plywood placed at the bottom of the rear tires, and then lifted until it comes in contact with the frame, suspension, or body. This image will help explain.
 

 
Breakover Angle - Is a method of measuring the steepest to drive over an obstacle without contacting it. This is measured by using a straight edge from the tires up to the center of the vehicle at its lowest point. This image will help explain.
 

 
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