Time and time again, when I go out and inspect vehicles in the field, I am staggered to see that lack of attention and care given to the selection and fitment of critical parts for the armoured vehicle. To be sure, I cannot count the number of times I have come across a vehicle with a GVW in excess of 5,000kgs that still has original base vehicle OEM brakes and shock absorbers.
To put it very bluntly, it’s both irresponsible and dangerous!
The safety of all the vehicle occupants is greatly dependent on the brake and suspension system being suitable to the gross vehicle capability and mobility requirements of the vehicle. If the parts that are fitted are under rated and unsuitable for the increased weight, then you don’t have to be an engineering genius to know that their tolerance will be lower than required and so the vehicle’s mobility will be significantly compromised.
Now for sure, many operators and fleet managers may not understand this too well. In this case, there is an ongoing need for better vehicle and fleet management education. But there are other cases where it’s a question of not willing to spend the extra money to buy the required upgraded parts which are of course are more expensive.
When it comes to protecting lives, money is not the primary consideration.
The rule is to make 100% sure that the critical vehicle parts fitted to the armoured vehicle are totally aligned with the vehicle’s weight and mobility requirements. No short cuts and not certainly no cost savings!