A hydroformed stainless steel truck grab handle manufactured by East Tennessee–based metal fabricator Mills Products Incorporated has won the 2015 Paccar Inventor’s Award. The grab handle competed against submissions from Paccar’s global staff of 22,000 in the annual competition to identify the most inventive project of the year.
A popular option on Paccar trucks since its launch in March 2014, the hydroformed stainless steel grab handle significantly reduces wind noise compared to the standard grab handle offered on Paccar trucks, is equipped with contoured finger grips to aid drivers getting in and out of the cab, and can withstand over 4,000 lbs. of pull force, exceeding the OEM’s requirements by more than three times.
Mills contributed to the project by helping develop the design and by providing the manufacturing method — tubular hydroforming — that made its realization possible. Mills’s tubular hydroforming expertise not only facilitated the product’s noise-reducing aerodynamic shape and contoured finger grips, it also consolidated production’s tooling requirements into a single step, reducing Paccar’s overall tooling costs for the project by 32 percent.
Visit www.millsproducts.com to learn more about Mills Products’s manufacturing work for the heavy truck industry and the company’s advanced expertise with hydroforming, roll forming, and tubular stamping.