Vehicle Load Mapping to Reduce Maintenance and Sustainment Costs

NCMS Project #: 142104

Problem: Understanding the optimal design loads on vehicles is of paramount importance to optimizing vehicle performance and weight.  Making the most of freight vehicles and drivers is a constant challenge for all trucking companies, large and small.  Today, commercial systems consider millions of factors from vehicle capacity and trailer characteristics to individual load requirements and destinations to optimize transportation of goods and products.  Historically, military vehicles have had little knowledge of design loads.  This lack of knowledge has often led to overdesigning these vehicles to ensure they meet the performance goals.  Ultimately, this leads to producing heavier vehicles than may be necessary.  This added weight decreases the ability to leave available the trade space for future upgrades and optimization.

Benefit: The completion of these tasks will serve as a road map for commercial industry to determine how best to use vehicle load mapping to reduce transportation costs, maximize vehicle availability, prevent accidents and breakdowns, and improve operational efficiency.  The Army can utilize the lessons learned from this initiative to make informed decisions on how to apply the processes and tools learned during this initiative to other vehicle platforms.

Solution/Approach: Matching the right vehicle to the correct size load will prevent unnecessary breakdowns that require unplanned maintenance.  By using the correct vehicle design loads and information that tracks vehicle usage, this can help fleet managers to better utilize their fleet and help to predict future needs.  By developing a Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) model to organize and capture design loads data fleet managers will have an effective way to capture and standardize requirements and system boundary conditions.  These models will help to identify design load gaps and identify and improve design loads model confidence and reliability.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Enhance decision-making in uncertain environments 
  • Improve vehicle performance and design 
  • Reduce fuel and maintenance costs 
  • Increase warfighter readiness and safety 

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army-Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC)

Industry Participation:

  • North Dakota State University
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Safety
  • Maintenance management improvement
  • Energy efficiency
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement (hardware)