We have had some new deliveries in the last few days at AVID that have raised a few eyebrows in Cramlington. Lots of people asking me what is it and why have we got it. The truck in the picture is the latest addition to the AVID team and it is in the process of receiving a bit of a makeover.
AVID now has its own heavy-duty vehicle towing dyno capability, putting this 4×4 truck to good use for track testing heavy-duty vehicles such as buses and trucks. A high power eddy current retarder allows an infinitely variable retarding torque suitable for testing a wide range of heavy-duty and high-performance vehicles such as buses and trucks.
The unit is towed by the vehicle under test like a trailer on a test track and is used to simulate a load by applying negative torque through the power absorber. The load can be varied during the test cycle or can be continuous. It is accurately controlled using a strain gauge system in the drawbar. This is suitable for a wide range of tests such as cooling system sign off, engine and powertrain development and characterisation, fault finding and debugging etc. There are not many bits of kit like this in the UK so its a strategically important bit of kit for AVID.
As well as our own internal testing for customer specific programs, from Autumn our heavy duty towing dyno and technician to operate it is available for hire, we have access to a local testing facility or for more complex tests we can deliver the dyno to any of the major test tracks nationally. This complements our existing extensive test facilities and engineering services for custom thermal management system design, electric motor and controller development and Hybrid and Electric vehicle systems integration.
Why did we pick this particular truck? Its 4×4 system will allow us to apply a high pull force to the vehicle under test without suffering from tyre skipping that can sometimes be an issue with these bits of kit. Being self-powered it is easier to move around than a trailer style system and we can apply ballast to the flatbed. The fact that it is great fun and looks pretty cool had, of course, nothing to do with it! The original plan had been to paint it and apply AVID graphics but we all really love the patina of the camo, so it may just get graphics applied as it is (apparently we aren’t allowed to fit the laser cannons though!).
If you have vehicle development or testing problem, if no one else can help, maybe you can hire the AVID-Team!
Or if you are interested in opportunities to join our award-winning team take a look at our careers page.