HOW DOES A ONE DOLLAR BOLT STOP A SEVEN MILLION DOLLAR TANK?
Todays armored vehicles are a direct
result of over fifty years of evolutionary development.
The lessons learned in battle have been combined with modern technology to produce the worldis finest armored fighting machines, as clearly demonstrated in the Gulf War. The armament system on the M1 Abrams is a marvel of electronics that gives it unparalleled targeting accuracy and firing capability. The powerful engines produce impressive speeds and the protective armor can withstand considerable pounding from the enemy. The design of the track and suspension have made the modern tank a truly all terrain vehicle capable of on and offroad travel. With all of the numerous developments that have taken place over time, there is still one area that has never been improved.
There remains one problem that, until now, has never been solved.
The solution is a lock that will prevent wedge bolts from rotating loose. This is the patented TRUE- LOCK safety fastening system:
The system consists of a retaining plate, a snap ring, and grooved wedge bolts. The system can be retrofitted to existing tracks or included into new vehicle designs. The wedge bolts have been adapted from those currently being used, except that a groove has been machined into each point to fit the thickness and size of the snap ring.
Each bolt is installed and tightened as normal. The retaining plate is then slipped over the head of the wedge bolt. Cutouts in the plate are similar to a socket wrench and match the hex head on the bolt. These cutouts are rotated slightly to allow for a high degree of adjustment and the retainer can even be flipped over to allow for a better fit. The retainer has two shoulders which fit into the recess on the top of the end connector. The retaining plate is then secured with the snap ring. The snap ring locks the retainer into the recess of the end connector and the retainer locks the wedge olt and prevents it from rotating loose. The time spent on constantly retightening the wedge bolts has been eliminated and the danger of a track related accident due to a lost end connector has been greatly reduced. Routine inspections of the track are still necessary, but they are far easier and can be done visually, because if the retainer is in place, the wedge bolt cannot be loose. TRUE LOCK eliminates the retightening of bolts.
TRUE LOCK has been successfully tested on M1 tanks by the U.S. Army in Boise, Idaho and by the Marine Corps at Twenty-nine Palms, California. The test results have shown that tanks with the TRUE LOCK system installed have not had any wedge bolts come loose and has significantly increased the life of the track.
The system also works extremely well on applications where the nut is used to secure an adjustable part, such as the axles and wheel bearings on vehicles like the Humvee.
This is time that could be spent performing needed maintenance and maneuvering on the range or training on the armament system.
Click here to view supporting documents on True Lock military application.