The term “off-highway vehicle (OHV)” encompasses any vehicle that can withstand off-road use. The broad product category includes agricultural equipment (e.g., tractors), construction equipment (e.g., bulldozers), and recreational equipment (e.g., ATVs). While they are designed and built for different applications than on-highway vehicles, they encounter similar heat challenges that can be resolved with the proper integration of insulation. However, since they are typically used in/exposed to more demanding conditions, the challenges are often exacerbated.
Industrial Challenges for Off-Highway Vehicles
Off-highway vehicle manufacturers face a number of challenges when creating their products to ensure a comfortable and safe experience for users and compliance with industry/regulatory guidelines. The primary ones include:
- Heat. OHVs generate a significant amount of heat during use. If the vehicle is not properly insulated, the temperature in and around it can rise dramatically, which can result in too high engine compartment, exterior surface, and surrounding environment temperatures. All three situations are not ideal; high engine compartment temperatures can lead to the vehicle overheating and failing, high exterior surface temperatures can cause burns to operators, and high surrounding environment temperatures can result in damage to nearby components and systems or injury to nearby people.
- Noise. In addition to heat, OHVs produce a substantial amount of noise during operation. If the vehicle is not properly insulated, the noise can be distracting or uncomfortable for operators. Additionally, high noise levels can cause auditory damage with extended exposure.
How Insulation Can Help
Insulation blankets are a perfect solution to the above industry challenges. By installing them around the engine and/or exhaust system, they help:
- Lower engine compartment temperatures. Insulation, when installed correctly, prevents heat from escaping the vehicle’s engine except through pre-established locations. Controlling the heat helps increase the energy efficiency of the engine as well as decrease temperatures with the engine compartment.
- Protect equipment from excess heat. Insulation blankets keep heat contained and isolated, which helps protect thermally sensitive components (e.g., hoses, wiring, and solenoids) that may be near the vehicle’s engine or exhaust from damage.
- Reduce surface temperatures. Keeping heat contained and isolated also reduces the vehicle’s exterior surface temperatures. As a result, the risk of burns and fires (caused by contact with hydraulic oil leaks/spray or combustible materials) is lowered.
- Decrease noise levels. In addition to thermal insulation properties, insulation blankets can offer sound attenuation properties. They can be used to muffle sounds generated by the engine, so operators and passengers within the vehicle’s cab are not exposed to excessive noise levels.
If you’re looking for high-quality insulation blankets for your off-highway vehicles, Firwin is the ideal source. We are an ISO 9001-certified company that specializes in the design and manufacture of removable insulation blankets. Our products are fully customizable so that we can meet the exact needs of our customers. We offer a range of customization options, including custom-built cutouts for non-standard support brackets and protrusions.