Leveraging Advanced Manufacturing to Redesign Towing and Tie-Down Kits for Improved Availability, Reduced Maintenance, and Increased Safety

NCMS Project #: 141059

Problem: Recovery and towing of damaged, immobilized, swamped, stuck or overturned heavy vehicles is an inherently dangerous task whether it is a tractor-trailer, bus, tanker truck or another commercial vehicle.  The ability to safely and rapidly recover and move a heavy vehicle depends on specialized Towing and Tie-Down (T&TD) equipment to perform the task.  Equipment failures due to insufficient T&TD design, location strength, weldments and durability can be catastrophic.  These failures result in high replacement costs, financial penalties and life-threatening accidents.

Benefit: By reducing the number of failure points in the T&TD to manufacture components as one piece and eliminate weld joints, the strength of the components will be increased.  This will make the components less prone to failure during operations.  Key outcomes and benefits of the T&TD can be shared and applied across the commercial towing and vehicle transport industry.

Solution/Approach: Advanced manufacturing processes, such as near net shape (NNS) optimization and advanced fusion techniques, have the ability to produce complex components as one piece.  The overall objective of this project is to develop, fabricate, and demonstrate T&TD kits that are capable of safely recovering and transporting large vehicles.  An upgrade to the Army’s T&TD kit will serve as a test-bed for improvements to the T&TD kits used in the commercial industry.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduce risk and damage
  • Improve safety
  • Increase strength and durability
  • Decrease maintenance and sustainment costs
  • Expand warfighter readiness

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army, Program Executive Office – Ground Combat Vehicles

Industry Participation:

  • CLogic Defense
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Safety
  • Durability
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Additive/advanced manufacturing

Final Report