Overview for The Ugly Mule

Entry name: The Ugly Mule Team Leader: Bret Wooten Team: Just Me NOW!!! also Joslyn Wooten!!! PDF  PDF Ugly mule 2.pdf I was going to call this Reckless. But after looking at my CAD skills did not want to offend anyone at the USMC:) Reckless great story!!! Summary of Proposed Solution: I tried to find a way to give a solution that solved all the stated functions. I did this by breaking The Ugly Mule into 3 equal 3.5’ parts. Each piece being removable and easily replaced with another piece. Keeping the key elements the same such as the frame drive train and suspension. Although I think it would be beneficial to be able to remove the the cab as well, not only for maintenance but to be able to transform the chassis into trailer to be pulled by another unit. I kept these factors in mind when putting this together.
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Function
  • Capacity
  • Maintainability 
  • Key elements of design
  • One universal frame and drive train
Hackable 
  • Universal drive port to power equipment. This comes off Transmission. 
  • Easy to change configuration 
  • Maximize potential uses
  • I did not make any effort to make this look cool. “Function Over Form”
  • Side walls and drive where left out of some images to see how things fit together.  
  • Collapsible roofs seats and side walls can be added to any design to add to storage comfort or safety.
  • 2 or 4 wheel drive. Changeable rear axle.
  • Collapsible exhaust. 
  • Electric or Diesel driven
It was stated this would need to be transported by the V22 so weight is a huge issue. Most of the separate components could be made from fiberglass and aluminum or similar materials, saving on weight. Additionally I added a drive port off the motors transfer case to enable the units motors to be the power source for carried devices, such as generators, welding equipment, water pumps, hydraulics. This would not only cut down on the weight of the cargo but would allow for a reduction in maintenance because only the drive train of the vehicle would need to be maintained and only parts for it would have to be carried for maintenance and repairs. Instead of several different systems. “The most common failure of mobile equipment is the drive system.”   "I've worked in maintenance or engineering my entire life I guarantee you if you ask anyone in maintenance if they would prefer one system to maintain, over multiple systems, everyone would say one system would be awesome. So would the people in purchasing and warehousing." The uses of a umbilical could allow for multiple systems to have access to the motor drive port or used to move the system to a remote location. (Showed in Pic) The ability to switch one of these to a trailer could also save a huge amount of weight one units drive train could run the systems of a completely full trailer of equipment or carry a lot of people or supplies without the additional weight of a separate motor and drive train. The added trailer could have its batteries left in place or fuel tank to extend the range or run time of the unit. You will see that the unit motor is mounted on the front right hand side of the Mule. This would be covered with an easy to remove cover system. It would give almost four feet to install a motor. The motor and transmission could be mounted sideways balancing the Mule out a bit more or the drive train could be mounted under the seat for the driver. The placement will need to be determined by the amount of horse power the motor will need. Whatever is decided there is a lot of space. The only key part is that it is constant from unit to unit. So should there be an issue it could be removed and replaced quickly. After a chat with (Nowbreakit) I started thinking about the advantages of using a all battery approach. With a range of 50 miles and a top speed of 50MPH this is defiantly doable with modern batteries. nowbreakit also stated that a hub mounted mounted electric motors could open up a a lot of space. This is also an excellent option although it would eliminate the drive port. However it would open the space on platform. It would also lose the option of a diesel option. Lower mount for motor (electric). Better center of gravity, really you could even mount it in the center and move the batteries around to give better balance.  Low Center of gravity .png Here are some advantages to being able to switch drive from Diesel to electric
  •  Low to no noise.
  • No fumes
  • Low maintenance 
  • Could use the same drive system as diesel
  • Can be used indoors 
  • With the motor cycle system for steering it could be an easy change over.
  • Cost of operation 
nowbreakit Also suggested a truss fame and that is what I started with. However either my CAD skills suck or my software does not like it or both, most likely it is me:). This would save on weight over C channel but I cannot draw it. Still trying however. I went with a motor cycle steering system because it saves space and weight. It would also use cable connection to breaks, throttle and clutch. These systems could be easily disconnected if removal is needed. infocentrousmajac made a very interesting suggestion. Using a drive by wire system. I think this would be a net gain in weight but could be worth the weight, (pun intended) it takes to install. It would be much easier for change outs if all that was required was to plug in a cable. I have shown several different possible setups they could all be interchanged to make the vehicle that is needed for what ever may be asked of the the Corp.  After a chat with chrisblower it made me think more about the drive system. I added a removable rear axle so it can be used as front wheel drive or switched to all wheel drive if needed. This would cut down on weight when needed and give the flexibility to switch drive systems. Also cut down on maintenance. I think I would not make the front drive come off. You will still need front steering for trailer and brakes may also be needed. But still possible.  A great chat with A great chat with meganbrewster brought up some points I had not even thought about addressing. In reference to the switching out the modules.
  • Most modules could be changed out with two people.
    • The process to remove would be.
    • Remove the two pins that hold the module in place. 
    • This would be standardized for all platforms and chassis. These pins would drop in from the top and go through the platform and the top rail of the C channel locking in place with a cotter pin. 
    • I believe this could be done in less then 10 min.
The below image shows how components would slide together also introduces a new idea. A fold out rear panel on the universal mount system with the addition of the 2 wheel drive adapter mech.  How thy fit together.png  Fold out plus wheels fit together.png side pieces .png Heavier or bulky modules like the tool box set up or water tank. They could be removed with a forklift or what I would actual recommend a portable manual hydraulic trolly lift like a motor cycle lift. This could be rolled in front or behind and slide the unit off onto the trolley then use the mounting pins to hold them in place on the trolly for service or transport. I think this would take two people about 20 min. The drive module would be the the most challenging but still muck easier than changing out any motor I have ever seen. 
  • Remove the two platform pins 
  • Disconnect the drive by wire system. "The more I think about this the more I like it." Thank you for the thought infocentrousmajac
  • This system main controls would be left in the frame. That way if it where in "trailer mode the breaks lights signals and even the fuel or batteries could be used by the towing Mule.
  • Pop the quick disconnect for the fuel line.
  • Pull the drive pin from the transfer case. I see this as a pin that drops strait through the transfer case and into the drive system locking on the bottom of the drive system with a cotter pin.
  • Slide the drive platform onto the the trolley and lock in place with pins. This would take about 30 min and two to four people depending on the size of the motor.
  • Examples of lift.
I have been thinking about the pins.... They may have to be bolts it may add some time but might be worth the time for stability. Unless someone knows of the strong Pinning system that I'm not aware of. In reference to what it teaches Marines on how to hack it.
  • I tried to make the entire thing completely hackable but one platform is the most hackable having standardized mounting rails system that anything can be bolted to. Like side panels, doors, seats, ladder racks or other equipment. This will give them the ability to mount just about anything to the platform they can make a frame for. This give vendors the ability to make systems and mounts that will bolts right to these rails. "Needs and systems will change this will help build a standard base from this point forward."
  • Possible track for walls, seating and other attachable elements or yet to be thought of elements.
  • I have thought a bit more about hackable. In my mind to be really hackable without throwing away the baby with the bath water every time they make a one off. There must be basic guild lines like what was stated in this challenge, size, weight but beyond that an agreed on frame guidelines, drive train guidelines and connecting methods and spacing of mounts. At least that is what I was thinking before this moves off to the next phase or they could end up with a bunch of incompatible one offs.  At least that is my thoughts on it for what they are worth.:) Maybe for the next phase a templet design could be offered that wraps these elements up once a agreed on set is established. just another idea.:) 
In dealing with the challenge of climate and environment. I would recommend loose tolerances on the frame channel. But tight on the pins. The challenge will be sliding a really dirty platform off the top rail, if it has loose tolerances it will make it easy to shift it around a bit and get it moving. But a solid pin connection will keep it from moving around in travel. I also thought to make this 2 or 4 wheel drive. The 2 wheeled version will be much lighter and standard issue, but the option to switch to four-wheel-drive Will always be there. For unprepared Surfaces, rain, mud or god forbid  just some fun:)  In reference to the drivetrain and capabilities. This is an example of A 1000 cc diesel engine output. 38ft lbs of torque 2000 pound towing capacity. Light weight. https://www.kawasaki.com/Products/2018-MULE-PRO-DXT-EPS I kind of thought beyond what the challenge asked for on this part and thought about the weight of possible cargo and their drive systems.  I would actually recommend going with the largest Diesel motor possible. The reason for this is I recommend using Drive port off the transfer case, like you would find on a tractor, to provide power to carried equipment such as portable welders pumps generators or any variety the necessary equipment. The reason I believe this is significant is it may add to the weight of the base vehicle. However, it will remove a tremendous amount of weight and maintenance from the cargo. All of the above listed items could be driven off the same Motor and transmission that moves the vehicle. They can be connected via a umbilical with a universal coupler. (Like a tractor runs equipment.) I could easily see where one drive system could actually power Systems on two separate trailers or pull multiple trailers. Super awesome news!!! I have a team now my daughter stepped up today and helped me get one colored up. Way to go Joss!! IMG_0102 2.jpg Images show
  • Drive port on transfer-case
  • Removable rear transaxle front or all wheel drive
  • Staff car config
  • Diesel and electric.
  • Different angle many elements
  • Trailer and tool truck
  • Side by side seating long ways. Easy to get on and off with gear fits more people. 
  • Tool truck
  • As you can see there are many ways this could be put together.
  • Frame back piece sliding on with new element a fold out platform.
  • Frame and drive system Transversely mounted. 
Annotated pic shows
  • Work truck with tools and truck bed. (Diesel)
  • Flate bed with universal tie downs (Electric)
  • Equipment hauler plus trailer. (Diesel)
    • Equipment on universal tie down bed.
    • Space for 4 crew plus driver.
    • Shows drive umbilical for equipment.
    • Roofs could be installed for extra storage and comfort.
    • Depending on motor size may actually be able to pull another trailer. 
  Inspiration: The inspiration for this was the Marien corp itself. Marines are know for being the jacks of all trades. This may not currently be built for combat but it is without question a jack of all trades.   Team name: Tri-factor “ 3 pieces”:) I have a degree in industrial electronics and worked in the corporate world for 20 years. Then starting my own service company in Lewisville TX. So I could get more time at home with the wife and kid. Ps: This is the first time I have used CAD software so be kind. I’m just learning this stuff. I really hope this entry helps you reach your goal. CAD file included. Be Well

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