Why Ford slams its van doors half a million times

The Ford Transit has the best-selling van in the UK for 46 years in a row, but each new iteration of the Transit is put through its paces before a new model goes on sale.

As the new generation of Ford Transit, the Transit Custom, nears release reliability tests are crucial. The heavy-duty conditions commercial vehicles like the Transit are expected to cope with, with the van favoured by labouring construction workers and delivery men, require similarly heavy-duty testing.

Ford has taken reliability testing that extra mile by slamming the Transit’s doors a total of 550,000 times. That’s 250,000 slams of the front doors, 150,000 slams of the sliding door and 150,000 slams of the rear cargo door.

These slams are carried out by specially calibrated machinery that replicates real-life force, which includes both regular and severe slams.

If that wasn’t tough enough, the tests are carried out in temperatures ranging from a freezing -40 degrees Celsius to a scorching 82 degrees Celsius and 85 per cent humidity.

Barry Gale, Ford’s chief commercial vehicle engineer said: “This is a modern-day torture test, more than half-a-million slams, in everything from tropical heat to Arctic cold.

“After our new vans have been through this, they are ready for anything.”

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The new Ford Transit Custom is expected to be released in the UK later in 2012 and has been described by Ford as a ‘completely new generation’ of van.

The new Transit offers a sportier appeal with a trapezoidal front grille and rising shoulder lines across its flanks, plus Ford’s acclaimed Ford SYNC hands-free voice-controlled technology.

But it stays true to its durable reputation with a payload capacity of up to 1,400kg.