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Design and Evaluation of a Towed Snow Plow for the Small Unit Support Vehicle (SUSV). Full-Scale Prototype Development and 1992 Field Tests.
COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER NH
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Light Infantry Division elements require a system to allow them to conduct semi-autonomous operations and limited self-resupply with existing wheeled vehicles in snow deeper than 15 cm. Since many roads and trails will not have been kept open prior to deployment, truck-mounted plows if available would be ineffective. In most instances, heavy tracked vehicles, which can cause extensive environmental damage, are required to move deep snow. Over-snow vehicles can be equipped with front- or rear-mounted plow blades. But to adapt a plow to the U.S. Armys only over-snow vehicle, the small unit support vehicle SUSV, would require major vehicular modifications. A towed plow assembly for the SUSV was proposed. To adapt the plow for this application, a unique four-bar parallel linkage towing assembly was developed, which bolts directly on to the SUSVs pintle hook mounting bracket. This assembly controls the pitch, and the plow geometry stabilizes the roll of an attached plow. The plow was constructed primarily of aluminum, has three plowing widths, and can be towed over the road minimum width 2.3 m. This report describes the design, operation and results of field tests of the towing assembly and plow. The SUSV successfully towed the plow through deep 85 cm unbonded snow, creating a path wide enough for a wheeled vehicle. In hard, dense, wind-blown snow the plow was less successful, requiring several passes to open a trail. No major failures occurred, although some minor problems were identified, and recommendations for design improvements are presented.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE