The only thing worse than being in combat, is being in combat and desperately needing to jump on the hood of your HMMWV. The only problem is, you are restricted from jumping on the hood! In fact, it states on the hood “Do not Step.” However, it is often necessary to “Step” or “Jump” on the hood and to sometimes even sleep on the hood because it may be the warmest and driest place available. During Army and United States Marine Crops (USMC) maintenance and logistic support efforts, HMMWV hoods were found to be cracked around the hood vehicle lift area.
During a Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC) meeting, a USMC Warrant Officer met Lori Luchak, President of Miles Fiberglass & Composites, and had an AHA! moment. He asked Lori, “Do you think there is some way to put together a repair kit for the guys in the field to fix the cracks on the hood?” Within a couple of hours, the team at Miles Fiberglass brainstormed a solution for the problem. With input from their raw material supplier, Composites One (another PNDC member), they created a reinforcement panel that attaches to the underside of the hood with high bond adhesive tape and pop rivets. A large problem is now solved. Instead of taking two soldiers 12 hours to replace the entire hood, one soldier (the panel both left and right side weigh less than 10lbs.) can apply and rivet the panel in less than an hour on-site.
Instead of costing over $1,000 in parts and labor to replace the whole hood, the (patent pending) reinforcement panels cost about 1/3 of that and prevents all future cracks from forming. The reinforcement panel kit comes complete with a non-skid step plate, encouraging the soldiers to “step here.”
Capital Projects and Miles Fiberglass stand ready to find solutions to many of the military maintenance issues, as that is what they are good at.
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