Engineering ToolBox - Resources, Tools and Basic Information for Engineering and Design of Technical Applications!

Forces acting on Body Moving in a Horizontal Plane

The forces acting on bodies moved in horizontal planes.

Moving body in horizontal plane - acting force

The force pushing - or pulling - a body along a horizontal surface can be expressed as

Q = F cos α                          (1)


Q = force moving the body in horizontal direction (N, lb)

α = angle between force F and horizontal plane

The force acting in vertical direction can be calculated as:

P = (F2 - Q2)1/2                       (2)


P = force acting in vertical direction (N, lb)

Example - Strong Man Pulling a Truck

Strong man pulling truckBy stu_spivack [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A "strong man" is pulling a truck by exerting a force of 1000 N. The force is acting 30o to the horizontal plane.

The horizontal force on the truck can be calculated as

Q = (1000 N) cos(30o)  

   = 866 N

   = 0.87 kN

The vertical force "lifting" truck can be calculated as

P = ((1000 N)2 - (866 N)2)1/2

  = 500 N

  = 0.5 kN

Horizontal and Vertical Force Calculator

The calculator below can used to calculate the horizontal and vertical forces:

Related Topics

  • Mechanics

    The relationships between forces, acceleration, displacement, vectors, motion, momentum, energy of objects and more.

Related Documents


Search is the most efficient way to navigate the Engineering ToolBox.

Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Extension - Online 3D modeling!

3D Engineering ToolBox Extension to SketchUp - add parametric components to your SketchUp model

Add standard and customized parametric components - like flange beams, lumbers, piping, stairs and more - to your Sketchup model with the Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Extension - enabled for use with older versions of the amazing SketchUp Make and the newer "up to date" SketchUp Pro . Add the Engineering ToolBox extension to your SketchUp Make/Pro from the Extension Warehouse !

Translate this Page

Translate this page to Your Own Language .

About the Engineering ToolBox!

Privacy Policy

We don't collect information from our users. More about

We use a third-party to provide monetization technologies for our site. You can review their privacy and cookie policy here.

You can change your privacy settings by clicking the following button: .


This page can be cited as

  • The Engineering ToolBox (2014). Forces acting on Body Moving in a Horizontal Plane. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Month Year].

Modify the access date according your visit.

3D Engineering ToolBox - draw and model technical applications! 2D Engineering ToolBox - create and share online diagram drawing templates! Engineering ToolBox Apps - mobile online and offline engineering applications!

Unit Converter