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NEWS | May 7, 2020

JLTV: Door Hazard Requires Caution

Soldiers drive Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) through a driving course
Photo by Russell Gamache
Soldiers are understandably excited to use the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), the Army’s replacement for the HMMWV.

But don’t let the excitement cloud this caution: use the handhold bar, not the B-pillar, when entering and exiting the JLTV!
The Problem

One of the cool features on the JLTV is its rear hinged doors. When first used on commercial autos, they sometimes flew open unexpectedly and spilled passengers.  

They work great on the JLTV, however, because they allow a lot more operational freedom. And they’re not likely to fly open because they’re hinged properly and weigh a ton.

But because they’re so heavy, there’s a possibility they could close unexpectedly if the door detent fails when the JLTV is parked on uneven ground.

The Soldier sitting in front or behind you could also close their door unexpectedly as you are entering or exiting the vehicle. You can imagine what happens if your hand is in the wrong place when that heavy door closes!
The Solution: Use The Handhold Bar

During the JLTV’s first fielding at Ft Stewart in early 2019, Soldiers showed a tendency to grab onto the middle B-pillar when entering and exiting the JLTV instead of using the handhold bar, NSN 5340-01-671-8345.

The handhold blends in with the JLTV’s interior, so it isn’t very noticeable. It’s also somewhat awkward to grab unless you know what you’re reaching for.

The B-pillar, right in the middle of the vehicle, is a convenient and natural grab spot. But don’t touch it!

Instead, reach for the handhold bar because it’s designed to provide additional leverage when entering the rear seat of the vehicle. It also allows Soldiers to maintain the three points of contact rule when entering or exiting the vehicle.
Three Point Rule
The Three Point Rule requires three out of four points of contact with the vehicle when entering and exiting. In other words, use two hands and one foot, or both feet and one hand.

Following this rule allows maximum stability and support as you’re entering and exiting, which reduces the likelihood of falls and other injuries.
Safety First
There’s a warning in the JLTV’s operator instructions in TM 9-2320-452-10 (Oct 18) that clearly spells out this safety hazard. Operators and maintainers alike need to be aware of the danger.

Whenever possible, park the JLTV on a level surface. Caution anyone entering or exiting the JLTV, whether for operations or maintenance, to use the handhold bar and not the B-pillar.

This applies to all the JLTV four-door design models M1278, M1280 and M1281, plus the prospective A1 models.
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