Iveco Defence Vehicles has delivered the first specialist 6×6 Trakkers to ALC, an equal partnership created between Amey and VT Land to provide the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with its “C” vehicle fleet, covering its civil engineering and rough terrain mechanical handling capability.
The delivery follows the signing of a significant contract with Iveco in November 2008 to supply 206 off-road Trakker chassis, and marks the single largest Trakker order ever placed in the UK. It will see the 6×6 heavy trucks fitted with a range of different bodywork to support the “C” vehicle fleet, which comprises all earthmoving plant, engineer construction plant (ECP) and field mechanical handling equipment (MHE) in use by the armed forces. The first thirty three vehicles supplied will all be truck mounted loader (TML) variants, featuring a Terex rear-mounted lifting arm and Mackworth flatbed body fitted with twist locks to accept 20ft ISO containers. These vehicles offer a wealth of stowage space for camouflage nets and poles, soldiers’ personal equipment and lifting gear, together with other essential ancillaries required by the Army. Other task variants included in this order comprise two tipper models – the medium dump truck (MDT) and self loading dump truck (SLDT) – which are both in the final stages of acceptance trials. They will also be joined by bespoke well drill rigs and road/runway repair vehicles.
The first Trakker TML was officially presented to Hamish Knox, managing director of ALC, at the DVD Show, which was held at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. The presentation was made by Flavio Marchesoni, sales and marketing director for Iveco Defence Vehicles, after which the TML together with MDT and SLDT variants were made available for customer demonstration around Millbrook’s challenging off-road course. Commenting on the delivery, Marchesoni said: “Winning this contract highlights the true versatility of the Iveco Trakker chassis, which is built to operate across demanding terrain and enjoys an excellent reputation in both the civilian and defence markets. It also marks Iveco’s continued strength in supplying a wide cross-section of vehicles for operation by the UK MoD.”
The new fleet is based on the Trakker AD380T45W 6×6 chassis, with all vehicles – with the exception of the MDT – sharing the same length wheelbase. This uniformity provides the Army with maximum flexibility within the fleet to re-body vehicles if necessary to meet operational needs. This also ensures the most cost-effective and efficient parts and logistics support.
Scheduled for production and delivery between now and the first quarter of 2010, the majority of the vehicles are expected to enter service with the Royal Engineers, many on deployment overseas. Several of the variants being built will include protected cabs enabling the Trakkers to operate even in high threat areas, together with selected vehicles being modified by Iveco for extreme climate operation.
ALC is supplying the new fleet to the MoD as part of a major 16 year private finance initiative (PFI) which was signed in 2006. Under the terms of the agreement ALC is responsible for delivering the required capability to Army units when they need it, where they need it and for as long as they need it. The vehicles and items of plant are delivered serviceable and ready to use, backed up by a complete contractor logistic support package.