When it came to entering the military market, International Truck and Engine found that speed and safety were as closely intertwined in vehicle design as they are in the animal kingdom. Using a modular technique shortened time until shipments while also enhancing safety.
International entered the military vehicle market two years ago, leveraging its 7000 series heavy-duty truck chassis by adding a ruggedized capsule that sits atop it. This standardization makes it possible to replace a chassis or body easily, helping soldiers in the field while also helping the company get to market quickly.
“The military had urgent requirements; they couldn’t wait for a three- to five-year design cycle,” said Robert Walsh, Vice President of International’s military and government business.
International bolts body and armor panels together, providing benefits over conventional welding, partially because damaged panels can be replaced easily. This approach also helps absorb shock.
“Welded panels absorb energy; our panels move and disperse energy,” said Walsh.
The company also used partnerships to get to market quickly. For example, armor is provided by Plasan, an Israeli specialist in mine resistant ambush protection armoring.
Designers also assured that the 200-lb (90-kg) doors will not accidentally close on someone when they are opened after the vehicle has tipped over or is stopped on an incline. “The door is air-assisted, so when you let go it stops instead of closing on your hand,” said Walsh.