AUSA Sustaining Member Profile: Hutchinson Industries, Inc

Army, June 2004 | Go to article overview

AUSA Sustaining Member Profile: Hutchinson Industries, Inc


Corporate Structure: Founded: 1852. Number of Employees: 150. President: Pascal Seradarian. Headquarters: Trenton, N.J. Web site: www.hutchinsoninc.com

Hiram Hutchinson, a New Jersey native, founded Hutchinson more than 150 years ago. The company's defense and security division has returned to his native state to lead the world's runflat and military wheel manufacturing industry. After World War II, the U.S. Army turned away from wheeled combat vehicles, such as the M-8 Grey-hound, to tracked vehicles. At the same time, many European armies continued their development of wheeled combat vehicles. Needing a means of flatproofing the tires on their wheeled vehicles, European manufacturers turned to Hutchinson, a well known rubber products manufacturer, to develop a runflat device for their wheeled military vehicles. Starting with the Panhard Engin Blinde de Reconnaissance, Hutchinson has been the leading manufacturer of runflat devices for military vehicles.

Hutchinson delivered its first runflat products to the U.S. armed forces when the Marine Corps purchased the MOWAG-designed and GM Defense license-built light armored vehicle (LAV-25) in 1979. The first runflats for the vehicle were manufactured in 1984. Hutchinson established its present offices in Trenton, N.J., to continue support of the Marine LAV and to begin production of its rubber variable function insert (VFI) runflat device for the AM General high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (Humvee). The VFI was selected to replace the original magnesium-based runflat.

Since then, Hutchinson has manufactured more than 500,000 Humvee VFI runflats for the United States and its foreign military sales customers. In addition to the LAV and the Humvee, Hutchinson produces runflats for the General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) Stryker light armored vehicle, the Textron armored security vehicle and the Advanced Vehicle Systems fast attack vehicle.

Hutchinson runflats are designed to meet U.S. Army or FINABEL (France-ltaly-Netherlands-Germany Allemagne]-Belgium-Luxembourg) runflat mobility requirements. These requirements typically approximate 30 miles at 30 miles per hour, but can be adjusted to meet any customer's requirements. Demonstrating their robustness, one runflat recently ran nearly 200 miles on a Humvee in Iraq before finally failing. Hutchinson runflats have also helped a number of vehicles ambushed in Iraq to continue to move and continue their mission despite damaged tires.

Falling in line with its rubber VFIs, Hutchinson developed a military dual beadlock for use on tactical trucks. The beadlock is an essential component for vehicles equipped with a central tire inflation system (CTIS) as it prevents the tire from coming unseated from the wheel at lower operating pressures and keeps the wheel spinning inside the tire at low pressure in extreme terrain. …

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