Objects in statics can be subjected to a wide variety of actions from an almost infinite list of sources. Having the ability to transform a system of many similar effects into a single equivalent behavior (called a resultant) is a truly handy skill.
Resultants aren't necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship. If you sit on a tiny, cushy kiddie chair (cause), the outcome (result) would likely be that the chair may be a bit lumpier (or in a few more pieces) than it was before.
In statics, the resultant behavior has a different meaning. Resultants represent a way of consolidating information. For example, if you sit on the kiddie chair and your friend comes in and sits on the chair at the same time, the statics resultant is that two people are applied at the same location (on your chair), or that twice the number of loads have been applied to your chair.
In this chapter, I show you several different methods for determining a statics resultant, each of which requires different techniques. Some of these methods can be labor intensive yet light on mathematical requirements, and others are more complex yet robust. However, being able to consolidate multiple vectors into one combined vector makes your calculations so much easier. Picture a statics problem ...