This isn't your father's pick-up truck. Instead, it's a concept truck intended to show the military just how tough a commercial truck can be as part of the U.S. Army's Commercially Based Tactical Truck (COMBATT) program. Based on Ford's F-350 Super Duty crew cab, this truck is structurally modified to handle gross vehicle weights of 12,700 lbs. Other modifications include enhanced axle differentials, an upgraded suspension, electronically-controlled shock absorbers, supplemental air springs, a central tire inflation system, and 37-inch tires with a run-flat system. The truck features an on-board computer with systems for GPS navigation, night vision, and collision warning, as well as an upgraded electrical system providing 12-, 24-, and 110-V power. To meet Army specifications, the truck must be able to ford 30-inch deep water and operate in temperatures from -50 to 120F. Unveiled at the SAE Congress in March, Ford's concept truck is joined in the COMBATT program by vehicles from Dodge and AM General.
A new fixings and fastening system for assembling structural, load-bearing composite components promises 54% better adhesion, plus less weight and better mechanical performance than current composite fixing designs.
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