The UK MoD Support Vehicle contract includes a requirement to supply and fit tail lifts to 28 of the MAN Support Vehicles, which are becoming an increasingly common sight across the UK MoD vehicle fleet.

As part of the process, Marshall Vehicle Engineering, part of Cambridge based Marshall Land Systems, undertook a thorough analysis of the different types of commercial off-the–shelf tail lifts available across the market. They then selected a cantilever design that exceeded the requirements and enabled the design to minimise the impact on departure angle, cross country mobility and fording ability, whilst still providing maximum protection against hostile environments.

As part of the analysis the solution’s electronic signature had to be minimal. This was achieved through the use of robust non-electronic control systems.

Peter Callaghan, chief executive of Marshall Land Systems, said: “These tail lifts will speed up logistic operations and reduce the deployed logistic footprint. MVE’s expertise in developing logistic solutions has been proven yet again with this contract and demonstrates the company’s ability to respond to customer requirements with a quality solution.”

The tail lift has a lift capability of 750kg, three times the stated requirement, with further growth potential and a significant safety margin. The design uses a standard load bed and cargo kit system with specific modifications to comply with legislation and maximise commonality. This will allow the tail lifts to be retrofitted, if required, to in-service vehicles.

A tail lift vehicle has been extensively tested at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, by the Army’s Combat Service Support Trials and Development Unit (CSS TDU), and by the RAF. In parallel there have been detailed operational, logistic and safety reviews conducted by the vehicle prime contractor, MAN, and by the MOD Project Team (GSV PT).

MVE will be displaying a tail lift vehicle as part of Marshall Land Systems’ display at DVD being held at the Millbrook Proving Ground on 24 and 25 June 2009.

MVE is the design authority for the load bed for the 6t, 9t and 15t Support Vehicles being supplied by MAN. Over 2,500 vehicles have already been supplied from the 6,600 cargo vehicles contract and these are in service across all geographical areas where British Forces operate.