When the next generation of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) for the United States Army goes into production this year, the trucks will include a modification to the Dana Spicer Central Tire Inflation Systems (CTIS) that have been spec'ed into the 2.5- and 5-ton trucks. The modification — addition of a new automated “kneeling feature” — will significantly ease the Army's ability to load and transport the trucks for duty in Iraq and other sites abroad.
Dana Spicer CTIS are manufactured by the Commercial Vehicles Systems Division (CVSD) of Dana Corp.
According to Jim Beverly, chief engineer for the Advanced Chassis Control Systems Group at CVSD, the kneeling feature is used to depressurize tires to a point (about 10 to 12 psi) below even emergency operating pressure settings. The resulting reduced vehicle height simplifies and speeds up the loading of the trucks into C-130 transport planes. When offloaded, the tires are then automatically pressurized to whatever levels the local terrain calls for as selected via the CTIS control panel in the cab.
Dana Spicer CTIS, as well as Dana Spicer tire pressure control systems, are supplied on a range of North American heavy-truck models and configurations.