5 Reliability and Maintainability Issues with Low‐Volume, Custom, and Special‐Purpose Vehicles and Equipment

Edward L. Anderson

5.1 Introduction

There remain today many industries where reliability testing is not developed or used in the products they produce and deliver. In these industries, testing, if performed at all, consists of only functional, performance, or operational testing at the factory, followed by some degree of ad hoc product evolution through real‐world operational experience by the customer. This is especially true when dealing with manufacturers of low‐volume, unique, custom or special‐purpose vehicles and equipment. Testing that may be done is mostly functional performance testing. This author's experiences are primarily with custom automotive vehicles typically production‐line light‐duty vehicles modified for special vocational applications, medium‐ and heavy‐duty trucks, construction equipment, emergency response vehicles for fire, police, and EMT services, standby or emergency generators and fire pumps, and work or patrol boats. Figures 5.1 through 5.6 depict typical equipment of this type. In his career with the Port Authority this author has been the responsible engineer for the acquisition of over 5,000 such vehicles with procurements of vehicles and equipment costing over a half billion dollars.

Photograph of a typical airport snow and ice control equipment (author in the center).

Figure 5.1 Typical airport snow and ice control ...

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