Case Construction Equipment welcomed guests from the U.S. Army TACOM (Tank-automotive and Armaments Command) to the CNH plant in Wichita, Kan., to commemorate its recent military skid steer production startup.
The Army’s first 25 M400W skid steers have come off the production line at CNH and are being prepared for shipping to troops in Afghanistan.
Case Construction Equipment celebrated the completion of these skid steers with plant tours, special guests and executive speeches. U.S. Army Col. Darrell Bennis, was on hand to meet the workers, who have had a hand in the production of these vehicles designed for Afghanistan.
The military M400W skid steer and M400T compact track loader are equivalent in size and general specs to the construction/farm models 420 series 3 skid steer loader and 420CT series 3 compact track loader, respectively. The machines are modified to the military’s special requirements.
Some of the modifications include: lifting and tie-down points for transport loading and securing, weapons rack and fire extinguisher, 24 volt starting and charging system to match all military vehicles, removable steel crawler tracks (M400W), a fuel injection pump that enables the equipment to use NATO (North American Treaty Organization) jet fuel, NATO slave cable receptacle that allows the machine to provide an electric jump-start to other military vehicles, ISO pattern joystick pilot controls, a minus 25 degree F cold start capability and a chemical agent resistant coating finish on all exterior painted surfaces.
Vehicle attachments are shipped with each machine in custom designed containers for security and rapid deployment. These machines have been tested to withstand parachute drop-offs and verified radiated electronic emissions to confirm non-interference with communications.
This Army contract ordered 3,400 units, all to be built at the Wichita, Kan. location. The long-term contract calls for as many as 1,900 skid steers and nearly 1,500 compact track loaders. The project is a boon to the Wichita plant, the local economy and has allowed furloughed workers to be called back to the plant.
The ceremonies celebrated both this new project and CNH’s history of supporting the U.S. military. Everyone wins with this arrangement—the Army gets customized equipment, the economy gets pumped, Americans are put back to work and the U.S. troops overseas get the tools they need to get their job done.
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