Mills Products’s Metal Hydroformed Heavy Truck Handle Grabs Inventor’s Award

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Discover how a metal machining company custom-designed an aerodynamic truck handle which helped consolidate production tooling requirements into a single step, reducing overall costs by 32 percent.

metal fabricrated heavy truck handle

Award-winning heavy-duty truck handle

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 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.

About Mills Products Incorporated
Mills Products is a Tennessee-based turnkey metal fabricator with a reputation for producing superior parts and making existing components stronger, lighter, and more affordable. With facilities in middle Tennessee and northern Mexico, Mills offers hydroforming, tubular stamping, roll forming, and finishing services. An industry leader since 1945, Mills Products was the first metalforming manufacturer to use hydroforming technology for appliance manufacturing. The company continues its legacy of creative innovation today from its headquarters in Athens, Tenn.


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Nicolette Beard
Industrial Strength Marketing (ISM)
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