British Army C Vehicles

I have covered the Army’s C Vehicles in a number of posts over the years so this is a collation and refresh of those numerous posts.

So what is a C Vehicle?

When we look at vehicles the Army categorises them three ways; A, B and C

  • A vehicles are the combat vehicles such as Challenger 2 or SV Scout
  • B vehicles are not primarily designed for combat such as trucks, usually called the Green Fleet
  • C vehicles are engineering plant like JCB’s

It’s a very sensible classification system but does get a bit grey around the edges sometimes, like most things.

Although C Vehicles are generally speaking clustered around engineering plant it also includes a number of truck based equipment like tippers and specialist vehicles like bore drilling rigs.

The definition is

A wheeled or tracked item of earth moving equipment, either self propelled or towed; all self mobile, self steering, purpose-made cranes, cable laying ploughs; all industrial and agricultural tractors and rough terrain fork lift tractors, excluding warehouse tractors.

The terms Engineer Construction Plant (ECP) and Mechanical Handling Equipment (MHE) are also used extensively to describe C Vehicles and equipment.

The ALC C Vehicle PFI

Before the PFI, all the engineering plant was owned by individual units.

This resulted in much of the plant and equipment being extremely underutilised and it is, self-evidently, not cheap kit. With TA Royal Engineer Field Support (Plant Troops) and Plant Squadrons this was particularly acute and the number of manufacturers across the whole fleet was also an issue. Instead of taking all or most equipment from one or two large manufacturers the Army obtained piecemeal, a loader from Volvo here, a digger from CAT there and almost everything in between. The roll call of manufacturers was impressively long; Terex, Caterpillar, Volvo, Coles, Hydrema, Muir Hill and many more.

This disparate fleet led to an overly complex maintenance and logistics support system which hugely increased through life cost. With the constant change in requirements the amount of equipment being disposed of (and often bought back in another guise) was also significant and there was no overall defining strategy for small plant, large plant and other specialist equipment.

The objectives of the C Vehicle PFI were therefore to address these issues of fleet commonality and cost, attempting to do more with less.

Instead of equipment being dispersed it would be centralised in a small number of key locations with the users booking equipment when they needed it, much like an internal hire system.

The winner of the PFI would operate a helpdesk and respond to vehicle and equipment requests by delivering it/they to the unit within agreed Service Level Agreements. After use, the unit would arrange with ALC to recover it back to the central location so that it could be used by others.

Units would be responsible for first line maintenance but second line maintenance would be done by the provider, yet another cost reduction as personnel, facilities and spares could be consolidated. Instead of equipment sitting in units and unused for large periods of time it would be out and about, being used by any number of units and therefore increasing utilisation rates, ultimately lowering costs. Increasing the utilisation rate using Whole Fleet Management techniques would also allow the total inventory size to be reduced, again, driving down cost.

All legacy equipment would be transferred to the provider and as part of a longer term strategy would eventually be replaced by equipment from as fewer number of manufacturers as possible under the Equipment Replacement and Refurbishment Programme (ERRP)

All sensible stuff

In addition to Royal Engineers plant some Royal Logistic Corps equipment was also included in the requirement.

After a competitive tender process, the contract was awarded to the Amey Lex Consortium(ALC) in 2005

The 15 year deal was valued at approximately £600million.

Adam Ingram (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence; East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, Labour)

I am pleased to announce that the Amey Lex consortium has been awarded a contract to provide the armed forces with a new generation of heavy plant equipment, logistic support and construction machines, collectively known as C vehicles, under a private finance initiative deal. The contract is valued at over £600 million for the 15-year period.

The C vehicles will be used for earthmoving, digging, dozing, lifting and for transporting combat supplies around the battlefield. The great utility of this equipment has been seen on recent operations, building and maintaining the infrastructure for our troops.

Sourcing the equipment through a PFI deal will provide a more rapid fleet turnover, especially in the early years of the contract, which will allow changes in technology and fleet management processes to be introduced quickly, reducing the maintenance and supply burden thereby benefiting front-line troops.

The best elements of commercial practice will be used to support maintenance and repair, providing the opportunity to reduce spares holdings and to adopt a strategic pooling approach to the provision of the capability.

The original price (of course) increased with the final Approved Cost being £714 million.

VT subsequently acquired Lex Defence from the RAC and in due course Babcock would acquire VT so ALC are now owned 50;50 by Amey and Babcock, got that!

On contract commencement and as part of the agreement, ALC ‘purchased’ the MoD’s legacy equipment although it was rumoured at the time that acceptance criteria were so stringent the MoD had to spend considerable sums getting equipment ready for the handover and for the same costs it could have bought new.

The initial equipment fleet numbered over 3,800 items, at 380 locations and in 150 equipment types.

This was reduced to less than 2,000 items at 15 locations in the UK, Germany and Cyprus with the main Capability Service Centre at Bicester in Oxfordshire. ALC also provide equipment support contractors or Field Service Representatives into theatre under the Contractors Deployed on Operations (CONDO) regulations as defined by JSP 567 and training is a significant part of the service provision.

The reduction in spares has been significant; between the Truck Mounted Loader, Medium Dump Truck, Self Loading Dump Truck, Well Driller and Volumetric Mixer, against the existing equipment, there was a reduction in the spares span of over 2,500 items, a reduction in training of 50%, specialist tool sets and technical publications by over 80%.

Equipment is purchased on a Whole Life Cost basis which contributes to cost reduction outputs, these being included in the terms of contract where ALC have to meet 144 separate requirements. Some of the lesser used equipment is maintained in humidity controlled storage, the armoured wheeled loaders used for airfield damage repair and removing burning vehicles in riotous situations for example.

Some of the very specialist equipment such as rock crushing plant had been used so infrequently it was woefully out of date and more or less derelict, for these types of equipment the legacy fleet was simply disposed of and hire arrangements with civil hire equipment providers used instead.

ALC subcontract a number of elements such to PDM Training, Multipart Defence, TVSandDytecna

For Afghanistan a number of UOR’s were implemented using ALC as the fulfilment partner, a testament to its capability to deliver and the contract has been used to include the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy where equipment is common, the Rough Terrain Fork Lift (RTFL) for example, where PDM Training recently delivered a course on board HMS Ocean.

CRANE - Medium Crane Truck MTD 2030T Terex AC35 11
CRANE – Medium Crane Truck MTD 2030T Terex AC35 HMS Ocean

The In Theatre Support is interesting because commercial reality met aspirational planning. The original plan was to have ALC establish an in theatre equipment pool at Bastion, much like they do in the UK and Germany and manage it from there. Because spares, and therefore contracted availability SLA’s, could only be provided through the MoD supply chain ALC were obviously somewhat reluctant to sign on. In the UK and Germany they have control over their own logistics and can therefore underpin the SLA’s but when spare parts are stuck on a truck in Pakistan or bumped off an aircraft because of a higher priority load then they cannot be held responsible for meeting agreed SLA’s.

The solution was to enter into an arrangement that saw them provide a number of contractor man hours (6 people in total) under the direction of the military chain of command.

The next section will cover the span of equipment but rather than list all the legacy equipment that is either due to be or already has been replaced I am going to describe some of the newer equipment, or older equipment that is likely to stay in service.

Much of the descriptions are lifted from the ALC equipment datasheets with additional commentary where relevant. All the equipment can be viewed on the ALC website, click here

Equipment – Drilling Rigs

There are three drilling items; the Truck Mounted Well Driller, Drill Rotary EOD and Drill Utility.

FIVE Dando Watertec 12.8 rigs have replaced the 3 Edeco Truck Mounted Drill’s and 3 Truck Mounted Site Investigation Drill’s previously in service.

Truck Mounted Well Drill - Edeco
Truck Mounted Well Drill – Edeco
Truck Mounted Well Drill - Edeco
Truck Mounted Well Drill – Edeco

The video below shows a Dando 12.8 on a self-propelled tracked chassis but the basic operation and configuration is the same as that for the Royal Engineer version.

Dando Drilling Australia (Mintec12.8 Drilling Rig) Mineral Exploration Rig Australia

The fleet was trialed in Afghanistan, the other 4 units were subsequently modified following a number of lessons learned from this initial deployment.

Officially called the Truck Mounted Well Driller (TMWD) they can drill a 300mm diameter borehole to a depth of 300m or deeper with a narrower borehole diameter and are A400 and C17 air portable, air carriage being one of the major modifications to the off the shelf equipment.

Dando Watertec 12.8 Truck Mounted Well Driller (TMWD)
Dando Watertec 12.8 Truck Mounted Well Driller (TMWD)
Dando Watertec 12.8 Truck Mounted Well Driller (TMWD)
Dando Watertec 12.8 Truck Mounted Well Driller (TMWD)
Dando Watertec 12.8 Truck Mounted Well Driller (TMWD)
Dando Watertec 12.8 Truck Mounted Well Driller (TMWD)

From the ALC description;

The drilling system incorporates various, state of the art integrated units including a mud pump, water/foam pump, a Mosa Electrical Welder/Generator, CAT Hydraulic Power Pack. The drilling rig is also designed to work in conjunction with a drilling mud recycling system called a Mud Puppy, which is transported on a support vehicle

To support the drilling rigs FIVE Ingersol Rand compressors, mounted on a Chieftain trailer, have been supplied by Doosan Infracore, replacing the Compair Holman 255/17 and 24’s.

TOOLS - Compressor Well Drill C. Holman 25517
TOOLS – Compressor Well Drill C. Holman 255/17
TOOLS - Compressor Well Drill Ingersoll Rand 25300
TOOLS – Compressor Well Drill Ingersoll Rand 25/300

Also available is the Comacchio MC450, designated the ‘Drill Rotary EOD’, it is designed for soil investigations, core drilling and water well drilling where it can be used in rotary or percussive modes. Where unexploded munitions are deeply buried this drill is used for investigation and core drilling around the site.

Drill Rotary EOD - Comacchio MC450
Drill Rotary EOD – Comacchio MC450
QUARRY - Drill Rotary EOD Comacchio MC450
QUARRY – Drill Rotary EOD Comacchio MC450 on its trailer

There are FIVE of these as well.

These have replaced the two Howden T30 drills.

FIVE ‘Drill Utility (With Trailer) JKS Boyles QD22 Drill Utility’ can be used for augering through a variety of soil types to 30m to provide samples and it replaces three models from Dando, M-Trak and Howden Skidster. The rig is the MC205 Crawler Mounted variant from Commachio, essentially, smaller version of the MC450

QUARRY - Drill Utility Boyles Geo 205
QUARRY – Drill Utility Boyles Geo 205
QUARRY - Trailer for Drill Utility Boyles Geo 205
QUARRY – Trailer for Drill Utility Boyles Geo 205

Read more on military water supply here 

Equipment – Volumetric Mixing

Instead of traditional concrete mixers the Nurock Volumetric system was mounted on SIX Trakker 6×6 trucks in a contract worth £600,000.

From the Nurock website

The use of volumetric proportioning and continuous mixing is well proven and has many advantages over traditional drum type mixers that rely on batching plants.

The volumetric mixer is essentially a mobile batching plant. It carries all the ingredients of concrete in a number of hoppers which feed into a continuous mixer.

This method allows the operator to mix any amount of fresh concrete on site, to any mix design, with no waste. The mix design can also be changed instantly, producing different types of concrete from the same load.

Another major advantage is that multiple deliveries can be made from one load, making small deliveries profitable. Road traffic is also reduced compared to traditional ready mix resulting in environmental benefits and can reduce congestion charges.

Many contractors prefer volumetric concrete because a fresh mix provides improved workability. As mixing takes place on site there is no hydration or segregation during transit. This is particularly beneficial in hot climates or for deliveries to remote locations.

More British ingenuity and innovation.

SITE EQUIPMENT - Truck Mounted Volumetric Mixer
SITE EQUIPMENT – Truck Mounted Volumetric Mixer
SITE EQUIPMENT - Truck Mounted Volumetric Mixer
SITE EQUIPMENT – Truck Mounted Volumetric Mixer
SITE EQUIPMENT - Truck Mounted Volumetric Mixer
SITE EQUIPMENT – Truck Mounted Volumetric Mixer
SITE EQUIPMENT - Truck Mounted Volumetric Mixer
SITE EQUIPMENT – Truck Mounted Volumetric Mixer

These were originally intended for airfield damage repair where the precise and on demand mixing capability is well suited to rapid runway repair but they are also used in general construction.

Equipment – Trucks

The Iveco Trakker AD380T45W 6×6 was selected in 2008 with 186 supplied in three variants;

  • Truck Mounted Loader
  • Medium Dump Truck
  • Self Loading Dump Truck

Truck Mounted Loader

THIRTY THREE Truck Mounted Loaders were supplied, fitted with a Mackworth flatbed with twistlocks for securing 20ft ISO containers (mmmm) and a 5.3 tonne capacity TL C2 40 2E/A2 Terex Atlas lifting crane.

Because the lifting arm is mounted at the back of the load bed and has a long reach and high load capacity it can fulfil many of the traditional roles of the Grove Coles cranes such as lifting containers, loading MGB pallets onto their trailers and splitting BR90 panels for inspection and build.

CRANE - Truck Mounted Loader 6T Terex Atlas
CRANE – Truck Mounted Loader 6T Terex Atlas 02
CRANE - Truck Mounted Loader 6T Terex Atlas
CRANE – Truck Mounted Loader 6T Terex Atlas

Medium Dump Truck

SIXTY ONE Medium Dump Trucks which has a slightly longer wheelbase (3.82m) than the other variants have been obtained and they are fitted with a Thompson tipping body, TWO will also be provided in a winterised/waterproof variant. Offroad payload is 16 tonnes and on road, 10 tonnes.

DUMP TRUCK - Dump Truck Med 6x6 Trakker AD380T 45W 02
DUMP TRUCK – Dump Truck Med 6×6 Trakker AD380T 45W 02
DUMP TRUCK - Dump Truck Med 6x6 Trakker AD380T 45W
DUMP TRUCK – Dump Truck Med 6×6 Trakker AD380T 45W
DUMP TRUCK - Dump Truck Med 6x6 Trakker AD380T 45W
DUMP TRUCK – Dump Truck Med 6×6 Trakker AD380T 45W

Iveco Medium Dump Trucks will replace the Foden 6×6 dump trucks.

DUMP TRUCK - Dump Truck Med 6x6 A3-6RA (WW)
DUMP TRUCK – Dump Truck Med 6×6 A3-6RA (WW)

Self-Loading Dump Truck

SEVENTY ONE Self Loading Dump Truck are fitted with an Atlas Terex TLC105.2/A1 hydraulic lifting crane with digging bucket and Thompson tipping body made using Hardox steel from MTL

The bucket can carry 350L of material and the vehicle will be used for a wide variety of combat engineering construction tasks, replacing the well used Volvo FL12 Self Loading Dump Trucks.

DUMP TRUCK - Dump Truck Self Loading Iveco Trakker
DUMP TRUCK – Dump Truck Self Loading Iveco Trakker
DUMP TRUCK - Dump Truck Self Loading Iveco Trakker
DUMP TRUCK – Dump Truck Self Loading Iveco Trakker
DUMP TRUCK - Dump Truck Self Loading Iveco Trakker
DUMP TRUCK – Dump Truck Self Loading Iveco Trakker
Volvo FL12 Self Loading Dump Truck
Volvo FL12 Self Loading Dump Truck

In addition to lifting loose materials such as sand, gravel or hardcore using the bucket, the crane can also be used to engineer stores, pallets or any general materials up to 2.6 tonnes at 4.1m reach. A lower weight can be lifted out to a longer reach if needed.

Equipment – Engineer Construction Equipment

Medium Motorised Grader

THIRTY FOUR Volvo G930 Motor Graders were delivered in 2007 and designated the Medium Motorised Grader, replacing the existing Aveling Barford ASG113’s.

SITE EQUIPMENT - Grader Volvo G930
SITE EQUIPMENT – Grader Volvo G930
SITE EQUIPMENT - Grader Volvo G930
SITE EQUIPMENT – Grader Volvo G930
SITE EQUIPMENT - Grader Volvo G930
SITE EQUIPMENT – Grader Volvo G930

They are used to level and maintain areas, construct routes and ditches, maintain embankments, clear runways and in the route denial role.

Excavators

After trials in 2009 Volvo were awarded a contract for TWENTY THREE EC210C’s (twenty one tonnes) and TWENTY EIGHT EW180C’s (eighteen tonnes) excavators to be called the Excavator Crawler Medium and Excavator Wheeled Medium respectively. The EC210C’s will replace the Caterpillar 320B and the EW180C’s will replace the Caterpillar M318’s. 

 

EXCAVATOR - Excavator Crawler Mtd Volvo EC210C
EXCAVATOR – Excavator Crawler Mtd Volvo EC210C
EXCAVATOR - Excavator Whd Mtd Cat ADR M318
EXCAVATOR – Excavator Whd Mtd Cat ADR M318
EXCAVATOR - Excavator Whd Mtd Cat ADR M318 (AC)
EXCAVATOR – Excavator Whd Mtd Cat ADR M318 (AC)
EXCAVATOR - Excavator Crawler Mtd Cat 320B
EXCAVATOR – Excavator Crawler Mtd Cat 320B

From Volvo

The complete batch of EC210C’s and EW180C’s will be built at Volvo’s excavator manufacturing facility located at Konz, Germany during the last quarter of 2010 with deliveries and commissioning taking place by the end of Q1 2011. The machines are being supplied with Geith quick fits, black-out lighting capability and other minor modifications specifically for military use. The wheeled machines are also being supplied with an on-board compressor for tyre inflation.

Click here for an EC210C brochure and here for the EW180C

The smallest of the excavators is the Excavator Towed Ultralight, replacing the JCB 801.4 the new model (JCB 801.8) will be obtained in a quantity of THIRTEEN

EXCAVATOR - Excavator Towed Ultra Light JCB 801.4 01
EXCAVATOR – Excavator Towed Ultra Light JCB 801.4 01
EXCAVATOR - Excavator Towed Ultra Light JCB 801.4
EXCAVATOR – Excavator Towed Ultra Light JCB 801.4
EXCAVATOR - Excavator Towed Ultra Light JCB 801.8
EXCAVATOR – Excavator Towed Ultra Light JCB 801.8

Rollers

TWELVE Bomag BW 177DH single drum vibratory rollers have replaced the Puma 6T roller, click here for a brochure.

SITE EQUIPMENT - Roller Small SL Wacker RD27-100
SITE EQUIPMENT – Roller Small SL Wacker RD27-100
SITE EQUIPMENT - Roller Medium Single Drum Bomag
SITE EQUIPMENT – Roller Medium Single Drum Bomag
SITE EQUIPMENT - Roller Large HAMM HW 2410 SD
SITE EQUIPMENT – Roller Large HAMM HW 2410 SD
SITE EQUIPMENT - Roller Large Bomag BW213-DH4
SITE EQUIPMENT – Roller Large Bomag BW213-DH4
SITE EQUIPMENT - Roller Towed Bomag BW6
SITE EQUIPMENT – Roller Towed Bomag BW6

TWENTY EIGHT Roller Motorised Smooth Drum SPT Tandem Vib DSL Wacker RD27-100 will replace the existing Benford TV 1200’s

SIX Roller Vibratory Single Drum SP Rd Mob 12t from Bomag will replace the existing Hamm 2410SD’s

Wheeled Loaders and Tractors

Medium and Light Wheeled Tractors are used for a variety engineering roles; earth moving, excavating, mechanical handling trenching, dozing, grading and digging.

The TWENTY TWO Medium Wheeled Tractor Winterised/Waterproof is a JCB 436 EHT that can operate at a fording depth of 1.5m with an additional splash height of 0.5m. It is also modified to be able to operate in -46 degree Celsius temperatures and can be fitted with the Class 30 Trackway Dispenser and a number of other attachments.

Faun Class 30 Trackway with Ulrich Beach Dispenser
Faun Class 30 Trackway with Ulrich Beach Dispenser

The Medium Wheeled Tractor has also replaced the Case 721 CXT’s and Volvo 4400’s.

LIFT TRUCK - Case 721 CXT RTFL 8000lb (WW) 03
LIFT TRUCK – Case 721 CXT RTFL 8000lb (WW) 03
LIFT TRUCK - Case 721 BXT RTFL 8000lb (WP)
LIFT TRUCK – Case 721 BXT RTFL 8000lb (WP)
LIFT TRUCK - Case 721 CXT RTFL 8000lb (WW) 01
LIFT TRUCK – Case 721 CXT RTFL 8000lb (WW) 01

ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY THREE JCB 4CX ‘Tractor Wheeled Light Standard / Air Portable’ and an additional FIVE winterised variants have been introduced.

LOADER WHEELED - JCB 4CX Backhoe Loader 02
LOADER WHEELED – JCB 4CX Backhoe Loader 02
LOADER WHEELED - JCB 4CX (WW) Backhoe Loader
LOADER WHEELED – JCB 4CX (WW) Backhoe Loader

TWENTY ONE JCB 3CX ‘Light Wheeled Tractor All Arms’ have been introduced, replacing the JCB 3CX 4×4 Sitemaster.

The role of the LWT(AA) is primarily to provide Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), Infantry and Royal Artillery units with a versatile mechanical aid, with high output, capable of undertaking a wide variety of field defence tasks, handling defence stores and combat supplies. It is deployable to and between sites, capable of keeping up with supported units, and is both road-mobile and deployable on the In-Service plant trailer or Light Equipment Transporter. Additionally when used in Royal Engineer (RE) Units the equipment can be called on to fit and operate the Harrier Pin Extractor.

LOADER WHEELED - JCB 3CX (All Arms) Small Backhoe Loader
LOADER WHEELED – JCB 3CX (All Arms) Small Backhoe Loader

The Medium Wheeled Tractor (Protected) is a specially adapted Case 721 CXT designed for clearing burning vehicles and barricades in riot situations and these have been retained with a mid-life upgrade completed in 2008.

The Caterpillar 970G Loader is used for airfield damage repair where its additional protection is vital in an environment where there may be small cluster munitions and these may be retained in small quantities.

LOADER WHEELED - Caterpillar 970G Loader (Armd)
LOADER WHEELED – Caterpillar 970G Loader (Armd)
LOADER WHEELED ANCILS - Compactor for Caterpillar 970G Loader
LOADER WHEELED ANCILS – Compactor for Caterpillar 970G Loader

Dumpers

Replacing the Benford 3000 Ultra Light 3Tonne dumpers will be Dumper Ultra Light’s which are based on the Terex TA3 3 tonne dumper. The DUL will also be certified for Chinook under-slung carriage and can, if needed, serve as a lightweight cargo mover.

DUMP TRUCK - Dumper Ultra Light 3T 4x4 Benford 3000
DUMP TRUCK – Dumper Ultra Light 3T 4×4 Benford 3000
DUMP TRUCK - Dumper Ultra Light Terex TA3 02
DUMP TRUCK – Dumper Ultra Light Terex TA3 02

Crawler Tractors

Although the new Caterpillar D5N’s have a smaller blade than those they have replaced (Medium Crawler Tractor and Heavy Crawler Tractor, the Cat D6 and Liebherr PR 742B), the faster cycle time and greater reliability means they should complete the task sooner and greater strategic mobility (a greater variety of in service equipment can carry it) is an added bonus.

DOZER - Tractor Caterpillar D5N
DOZER – Tractor Caterpillar D5N
DOZER - Tractor Caterpillar D5N
DOZER – Tractor Caterpillar D5N
DOZER ANCILS - Ripper for Tractor Caterpillar D5N
DOZER ANCILS – Ripper for Tractor Caterpillar D5N
DOZER ANCILS - Winch for Tractor Caterpillar D5N
DOZER ANCILS – Winch for Tractor Caterpillar D5N

At just over 12.5 tonnes it could be carried on any of the equipment transports or even a DROPS’s type vehicle and THIRTY FIVE have been obtained.

Deployable Universal Combat Earthmover (DEUCE)

The DEUCE is an interesting vehicle, probably worthy of a post all of its own. Originally known (in US service) as the Caterpillar 30/30 Engineer Support Tractor) its history goes back to the early nineties when the prevailing military trend was rapid reaction. The US Army defined a requirement for an air portable earthmover to replace the Cat D5 that could not only be transported by C130 and air dropped but also, when deployed, move around an extended area without a transporter, transporters and trailers being somewhat difficult to air drop.

Caterpillar had been chipping away at the military with a Caterpillar Challenger derived product since the late eighties; their persistence and putting their own money where their mouth is paid off and by the end of the decade they had started to come into service with US forces. Only one 30-30 was ever produced, the prototype for the DEUCE, more history here.

As you can see from the pictures below, the DEUCE uses a continuous reinforced rubber band track from Camoplast.

Operators manual is here

It being a US product there is quite a bit of information, here, here, here, and here

And a quick video…

M105 Deployable Universal Combat Earthmover (DEUCE)

The MoD purchased 15 for testing/development and use with 39 Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers, the air support regiment and 9 Squadron RE.

They were used in Afghanistan during the very early stages, Camp Souter in Kabul for example.

DOZER - Tractor Med Combat Airportable Cat 3030
DOZER – Tractor Med Combat Airportable Cat 3030
Soldiers from 34 Airfield Support Squadron Royal Engineers repairing a crater at Kabul Airport
Soldiers from 34 Airfield Support Squadron Royal Engineers repairing a crater at Kabul Airport
LCpl Bobby Parker from Inverness serving with 34  Airfield Support Squadron RE driving a Deployable Universal Combat Earthmover (DEUCE) clears aircraft wreckage at Kabul airport
LCpl Bobby Parker from Inverness serving with 34 Airfield Support Squadron RE driving a Deployable Universal Combat Earthmover (DEUCE) clears aircraft wreckage at Kabul airport

Equipment – Small Plant and Miscellaneous

There are many new types of small engineering plat including;

TWENTY ONE ‘Mixing Machine Set 25Ltr Trolley Mounted (SCAB)’ used for mixing small batches of quick setting epoxy resins, adhesives and cement primarily used for airfield damage repair

TWENTY ‘Compactor Plate DSL Wacker DPU2540H’

SITE EQUIPMENT - Plate Compactor DSL Wacker DPU2540H
SITE EQUIPMENT – Plate Compactor DSL Wacker DPU2540H

FIVE ‘Compactor Plate Pedal Remote Control DSL Wacker DPU7060SC’, these are fitted with a narrow plate to allow compaction in the bottom of trenches

SITE EQUIPMENT - Plate Compactor Remote Control
SITE EQUIPMENT – Plate Compactor Remote Control

TWENTY TWO ‘Concrete Mixer 100 Litre DSL BELLE Premier 100XT’

SITE EQUIPMENT - Conc Mixer to 100 Ltr DSL Belle Premier
SITE EQUIPMENT – Conc Mixer to 100 Ltr DSL Belle Premier

TWO ‘Masonry Abrasive Disc Saw Wacker DFS1350H’

Masonry Abrasive Disc Saw Wacker DFS1350H
Masonry Abrasive Disc Saw Wacker DFS1350H
TOOLS - Saw 500mm Wacker DFS1350H
TOOLS – Saw 500mm Wacker DFS1350H

TWO ‘Melter Pourer Jointing Material Jacket Farvis Jointing Machine LPG C/W Oil’

SITE EQUIPMENT - Melter Pourer Jointing Machine LPG
SITE EQUIPMENT – Melter Pourer Jointing Machine LPG
SITE EQUIPMENT - Melter Pourer Jointing Machine LPG
SITE EQUIPMENT – Melter Pourer Jointing Machine LPG

EIGHT ‘Pressurised Water Distributor’

Pressurised Water Distributor
Pressurised Water Distributor
SITE EQUIPMENT - Water Distributor Trailer Mounted 4.9 Cu M
SITE EQUIPMENT – Water Distributor Trailer Mounted 4.9 Cu M

EIGHTEEN ‘Vibrator Concrete Internal Mechanical DSL Belle BGA’

SITE EQUIPMENT - Vibe Mechanical Poker DSL Belle BGA
SITE EQUIPMENT – Vibe Mechanical Poker DSL Belle BGA
SITE EQUIPMENT - Vibe Mechanical Poker DSL Belle BGA
SITE EQUIPMENT – Vibe Mechanical Poker DSL Belle BGA
SITE EQUIPMENT - Concrete Finisher PTL Belle Pro Tilt 900
SITE EQUIPMENT – Concrete Finisher PTL Belle Pro Tilt 900

FIVE ‘Elevating Platform (Trailer Mounted) Aerial Kwiklift K17 TC32’ to allow safe working at height

TOOLS - Elevating Platform Aerial Kwiklift K17T
TOOLS – Elevating Platform Aerial Kwiklift K17T
TOOLS - Elevating Platform Aerial Kwiklift K17T
TOOLS – Elevating Platform Aerial Kwiklift K17T

TWO Xcalibre Neptune D20-600 Core Drilling Machine

Xcalibre Equipment – Neptune Hydraulic Diamond Coring Trailer

Equipment – Material Handling

These are the most numerous of C Vehicle equipment and have a broad span of users replacing the Volvo 4440’s and JCB 410’s (both of which are not telehandlers but converted loaders). The requirement for loading and unloading ISO containers dictated some of the size and mobility specifications.

There are two models, the Telehandler 2,400Kg which is a JCB 524-50 and the higher capacity JCB 541-70 called the Telehandler 4,000Kg.

LIFT TRUCK - Telehandler JCB 524-50 (W)
LIFT TRUCK – Telehandler JCB 524-50 (W)
LIFT TRUCK - Telehandler JCB 524-50 (W) 04
LIFT TRUCK – Telehandler JCB 524-50 (W)

Each has a number of variants with the smaller version coming in standard (ONE HUNDRED and FIFTY), standard with sideshift (ONE HUNDRED and FIFTY), winterised (FIFTEEN) and winterised with sideshift (FOURTEEN)

The larger version has two variants, standard with sideshift (EIGHTY FIVE) and winterised (SIX)

LIFT TRUCK - Telehandler JCB 541-70 (STD) 03
LIFT TRUCK – Telehandler JCB 541-70 (STD)

Equipment – Cranes

The venerable Grove Coles cranes were becoming increasingly difficult to obtain spares for and after technical and user trials in 2007 they were replaced (in 2008 and 2009) with FIFTY NINE Terex AC35’s and SIX AC55-1’s.

Because there is a much greater number of lifting devices available elsewhere in the vehicle fleet, RTCH, DROPS and the Iveco Trakker Truck Mounted Lifter (TML) there is a much lower requirement for specialist devices like cranes which are generally much more expensive.

The AC35 has a 35 tonne lifting capacity and 33m boom length.

CRANE - Medium Crane Truck MTD 2030T Terex AC35 02
CRANE – Medium Crane Truck MTD 2030T Terex AC35
CRANE - Medium Crane Truck MTD 2030T Terex AC35
CRANE – Medium Crane Truck MTD 2030T Terex AC35

When the AC55 was specified the requirement to lift the new Army Work Boat MK4 (click here to view) was not included so when introduced it was unable to do so at the required span, a bit of a problem. However, with some software and other modifications Terex were able to accommodate this new requirement.

CRANE - Heavy Crane Truck MTD 20T Terex AC55
CRANE – Heavy Crane Truck MTD 20T Terex AC55
CRANE - Heavy Crane Truck MTD 20T Terex AC55
CRANE – Heavy Crane Truck MTD 20T Terex AC55
Work Boat
Work Boat

Equipment – Urgent Operational Requirements

A number of UOR’s have been delivered through the ALC C Vehicle arrangements although they are outside of the contract;

  • Multi Terrain Loader – Protected
  • Medium Wheeled Tractor – Protected
  • Light Wheeled Tractor – Protected
  • Self Loading Dump Truck – Protected

There is also an on-going improvement programme for these vehicles.

Multi Terrain Loader – Protected

Based on the Caterpillar 257B the protected variant also comes with a wide number of attachments such as a fork lift, auger, hammer and backhoe

Ultra Light Tractor Protected ULWTP Cat 275B
Ultra Light Tractor Protected ULWTP Cat 275B
Ultra Light Tractor Protected ULWTP Cat 275B
Ultra Light Tractor Protected ULWTP Cat 275B
Ultra Light Tractor Protected ULWTP Cat 275B
Ultra Light Tractor Protected ULWTP Cat 275B

Medium Wheeled Tractor – Protected

Based on the Caterpillar 938G the protected variant has had a significant redesign to provide sufficient levels of operator protection.

Medium Wheeled Tractor Protected MWTP CAT938
Medium Wheeled Tractor Protected MWTP CAT938

Light Wheeled Tractor – Protected

Based on the Caterpillar 434E the protected variant has also had a significant redesign to improve protection levels.

Light Wheeled Tractor Protected LWTP CAT 434E
Light Wheeled Tractor Protected LWTP CAT 434E

Self-Loading Dump Truck – Protected

In 2010, ALC contracted with Thompson’s to supply a tipping body for a protected 8×8 version of the Iveco Trakker to be called the Self Loading Dump Trucks (protected) or SLDT(P), with TWENTY FOUR being ordered in total. The protected cab was already developed for another customer (Germany I think) so was an off the shelf item but BOWMAN, ECM and the additional bar armour added considerably to the cost of the standard unit.

Self Loading Dump Truck Protected (SLDTP)
Self Loading Dump Truck Protected (SLDTP)
Self Loading Dump Truck Protected (SLDTP)
Self Loading Dump Truck Protected (SLDTP)
Self Loading Dump Truck Protected (SLDTP)
Self Loading Dump Truck Protected (SLDTP)

Iveco have also demonstrated a Trakker fitted with the EPLS system for handling containers and Class 30/70 Trackway handling equipment.

Issues and the Future

The driving force behind the C Vehicle PFI was cost reduction.

The vehicle (no pun intended) for this was relatively simple;

  • Reduce diversity in the fleet by consolidating on fewer equipment types from fewer manufacturers
  • Reduce fleet quantity by improving utilisation rates and matching fleet size to predicted usage

The general problem with PFI’s is that unless flexibility is built into the core of the contract they have difficulties reacting to change, especially in the underlying predictions on demand.

The C Vehicle PFI faces a number of challenges between now and 2020 when it expires.

Although ALC have massively reduced fleet diversity the pressures of operations have had a few unintended consequences. Money has been spent outside the contract delivering vehicles such as the Caterpillar protected wheeled tractors that have a great deal of similarity, in terms of basic functionality, with the JCB wheeled tractors in the new core fleet.

Delivering a protected version of the Alvis Unipower BR90 and the money expended on them means they are unlikely to be replaced any time soon, even though one might argue that there now exists a large number of surplus to requirements MAN Support Vehicles. The Iveco Trakker decision has no doubt reduced diversity across the C Vehicle fleet but we have a massive MAN Support Vehicle fleet, arguably too large in terms of the Army 2020 context.

I suspect the decision to specify the Iveco truck instead of the MAN SX/HX range was a result of cost and availability issues so entirely understandable but the end result is two fleets of trucks, plus a third, the Unipowers. One might argue that the Unipowers are such few in number and the Iveco’s are maintained as part of a commercially provided fleet and that is true.

However, on operations these issues become hugely problematical.

If one has two basic truck types in Afghanistan, no matter what the contract arrangements, two sets of spare windscreens, indicator arms or fuel pumps have to be shipped to theatre. The tremendous logistical challenges that Afghanistan and deployed operation in general exhibit means the impact of this, either in operational or cost terms, should not be underestimated. Any vehicle has thousands of parts that can all go wrong and if any form of vehicle availability is to be maintained, spares are needed at the point of use

In Afghanistan now, the British Army has to operate, maintain, provide spares and logistics at the end of a very long supply chain, deliver training, install BOWMAN, protection and ECM for;

  • Iveco Trakkers, various
  • MAN Support Vehicles, various
  • Alvis Unipower BR90 Bridging Vehicles
  • Oshkosh MTVR wheeled tankers
  • Oshkosh Heavy Equipment Transporters
  • Foden DROPS
  • Potentially, a few legacy vehicles like the Volvo FL12 SLDT’s

Some of these have nothing to do with the C Vehicle PFI and many are supported by contractors but the simple fact remains they are in theatre and need supporting so the more types we have the more it costs and the more personnel it needs.

As we draw down from Afghanistan it is unlikely that any transfer of the specialist equipment on the Trakkers and BR90 vehicles to the MAN SV fleet will happen, however sensible it would seem.

The second issue the contract faces is that of matching fleet size to need and location.

In 2005 was a complete move from Germany and a 20% reduction in Army strength (30% in the Corps of Royal Engineers) envisaged or factored into the contract?

I don’t know the answer but moving to Army 2020 will no doubt require a large degree of flexibility from ALC and possibly open MoD wallet.

Finally, as the contractual arrangements and risk balancing in Afghanistan have shown, the original concept of operating in theatre has had to be modified to reflect the reality of deployed supply chain issues meeting contractual SLA’s.

Reports on the ALC C Vehicle PFI have been extremely positive once the initial teething issues were resolved so this could be characterised as a PFI success.

The C Vehicle PFI with ALC has a few years left to run (out to 2020) and with the greater emphasis on contractors in the Total Support Force concept embedded in Army 2020 it is difficult to see any change to the structure, we might find the contract re-tendered but going back to plant and equipment being held by units seems a remote possibility.

None of the issues that face the C Vehicle PFI are insurmountable and ALC have shown a commendably flexible approach combined with very competent delivery capability.

It will be interesting to see how they are resolved.

About The Author

Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Mike W

TD

“The C Vehicle PFI with ALC has a few years left to run (out to 2020)”

I have visited the “ALC vehicles” site on several occasions and, while there was a time when production of new vehicles seemed to be going flat out, there now seems to be a marked lull in the production of such vehicles.

Do you think that we havve received all the major vehicles scheduled under the PFI and that the remainder of the ALC contract will be a rather gentle run down, with their producing only a few replacement vehicles from time to time?

I am interested in the following vehicle, which I believe is not part of ALC’s C vehicle PFI:

“In 2010, ALC contracted with Thompson’s to supply a tipping body for a protected 8×8 version of the Iveco Trakker to be called the Self Loading Dump Trucks (protected) or SLDT(P), with 24 being ordered in total.”

The reason for my interest is the protected cab. In these days the term “protected cab” often means one fitted with add-on armour of some sort rather than the cab being a purpose-built armoured one (i.e. manufactured from scratch as an armoured entity). Do you (or for that matter anyone) know which is the case here and how do you tell the difference?

Simon257

As a lorry Driver, I’ve driven all makes of UK trucks. Who ever selected Iveco, needs their heads examined!! Build quality is shocking. They start to fall apart as soon as you start them up! The electronics are overly complicated and Iveco rely on very thin wire throughout the system which breaks easily. The truck computer doesn’t know whether it’s going behave itself or commit Hari Kari. There not known as the Trabants of the Trucking World for nothing. None of the Big Hauliers use them, as they are just to much trouble. Small hauliers make use of them, simply because their cheap and do come with a good support network. If the MOD, needs trucks to work off- road and last the distance, they should only look at Volvo, MAN and Scania. As these 3 Truck manufactuers supply most of the trucks for the UK’s Tipper Fleets, you would think that, what the construction side of the road haulage uses; would be a good guide for the MOD.

I do believe that the MOD, place lots of small orders with different British Plant Manufactuers is simply for bargaining power over the vehicle manufacturers.

Mike W

TD

What a superbly comprehensive examination of the subject. Outstanding!

If what Simon257 says about Iveco trucks is true then the British Army, particularly its Engineers, has plenty of trouble stored up!

I read the other day that the Army is thinking about a DROPS version based on the Trakker. Perhaps, in the light of Simon’s criticism, they should stick to the MAN-based EPLS.

Gareth Jones

@TD – yet another excellent post!

Do we have a protected crawer bulldozer? From my reading on urban combat they are very useful…

Indeed, grand article that covers it all; even army green painted cement mixers :U

I would think that having some measure of protection would be near the top of the list of MoD attachments when this kit is purchased, will the UOR types set a precedent for future type?.

Swimming Trunks,

You’ve seen the several marks of ‘killdozer’ the Libyans created? A rather interesting means of sniper-removeal.

Gareth Jones

No – links? ;-)

Gareth Jones

Do mean this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIPt8PUDIik&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Steel and reinforced concrete?!?! “she’s an ugly little b***h but she’ll get you there”

Indeed! They weren’t pretty.
Idea is to pretty much tear the building from under the sniper… not sure if it ever happened in combat though.

Sadly a video from an american ‘independant journalist’ (who initially recorded events at a rebel field hospital …but eventually joined in the fighting with a rifle) which showed the internals, was removed from YTube. It wasn’t that one though, and had pintle HMG ports.

He had some epic vids on there.

kernowboy

It’s a pity that when these orders were all placed, from water tankers and tank transporters to specialised 8×8 support trucks, we simply didn’t place the order with one manufacturer as clearly there would be an interchangeability of parts at the very least – now we’ve got Oskhosh, MAN, and IVECO.

An ideal provider might have been Mercedes with:

Axor/Atego – up to 7 tons payload
Zetros – a specialised military truck
Actros – which can be uparmoured including IED protection
Actros Tank Transporter

we could even add some Unimog’s for specialist roles as required.

http://www.mb-military-vehicles.com/en/products.html

Keith

Is it just coincidence that just a few days after this is published, there is a very similar article published including a number of the same pictures @ http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/logistics-army-2020-requirements-and.html

Then again it doesn’t look like its the first time there seems to be something more than coincidence going on, as some parts of http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/towards-scavenger.html are word for word the same as a old article on here: http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/01/the-future-of-the-raf-07-istar-02/

wf

@Keith: yes, I noticed too. I think Gabby does a lot of detailed original work, but this is ridiculous. If he thinks TD’s work could be improved, he could always refer to the original article

Phil

What a fucker, the man is shameless. Oh btw it was me giving him a hard time about AW12 a few weeks ago, I couldn’t get the damn blog thing to give me a name.

Topman

It does seem very odd and a bit sad. Some things are unavoidable in clashing such as big defence announcements, but something like this so close together?

Likewise I wondered if it was someone off here, thought it might be you Phil.

Phil

You’re so serene about it TD! I wish I could have some of that mellowness!

Was it the arrogant, misplaced righteous pedantry that gave me away?!

twecky

Fantastic article. Agree the crane/mexe/iso plus a mexe engine was a top snap. Who’d have thought we needed so many wacker plates ?

Mike W

TD and others

With regard to the comments on here about two articles on “C” vehicles appearing on two different websites (this and on UK Armed Forces commentary) in close proximity, I would just state the following:

Gabriele had been talking about writing a post on “C” vehicles for some time. In fact there is a clear reference to the fact in an exchange of comments in response to an article he wrote entitled “The Infantry of Army 2020”. In that comment he writes: “I’m now working on a post on the C Fleet of vehicles, but I’ve already planned a few more instalments for this Infantry series.” That comment was date quite clearly the 24th July 2012. I’ve an idea that he mentioned it before that too but can’t be sure.

Then 3 days later, on the 27th July, TD’s article appears on “C” vehicles. I find all this very odd indeed. Baffling, in fact. I’m simply writing in the interests of what I see as fairness. I don’t like witchhunts and if there is clear evidence that Gabriele was working on the topic some time before the TD article, then I have to be fair to him. Was any prior notice that an article on “C” vehicles by TD was coming up posted on this site in “Upcoming Posts”, by the way?

Chris.B.

@ Mike W,

You think all of that in TD’s article appeared in three days? Maybe if he worked on it all day long he could pull it off. More likely TD put a notice in upcoming posts.

Everybody knows every third bod in RAF High Wycombe works for Think Defence. After producing chips for the Army and RN, producing TD is the MoD’s biggest expense. :)

Phil

I rather fancy writing about rations.

Gareth Jones

Re: Deuce. Very interesting. Air droppable; potentially useful for DR/HA operations?

kernowboy

Another option that should be considered is to standardise the fleet around MAN

We’ve already got the SX/HX series and now Rheinmetall/MAN have produced the monstrous HX81.

As they also produce the Medium Mobility Truck System based on the TGA model and in all likelihood share parts with the SX/HX series, surely this would be a sensible way to reduce costs.

The problem with the Military and the Public Sector in general, is they have become addicted to ‘competitive tendering’ which in the way it is carried out is anything but competitive and over the lifetime of a system or a PFI contract ends up being more expensive than it ever out to be.

ArmChairCivvy

Dave, quite right “The problem with the Military and the Public Sector in general, is they have become addicted to ‘competitive tendering’”
– the other effect that the cost of just qualifying as a bidder is so high that if you don’t have the solution 100% already, then just the first step becomes prohibitive for smaller companies
– and look how innovative companies, at some stage doing defence stuff, have been weeded out (or have re-oritented their activity)

Just wait for BAE to merge with LM and the dire straits of what’s left will become clear for everyone to see

Mike W

TD

“OK, let’s just put this to bed.” and “Lets close this matter now.”

That’s fine by me. I am not 100% sure of my facts over this and therefore have to be careful not to pronounce on it too categorically. I hope you understand, though, that I was directly involved in a discussion on the other website at a time that seemed critical to me and therefore felt that I had to add what could have been necessary evidence in the dispute/discussion.

Personally I enjoy both websites and think both of them are thought-provoking, stimulating and of a high class indeed in terms of knowledge and innovative thought. I contribute to quite a few websites and enjoy the cut and thrust of discussion when it concerns the military subjects directly. When the discussion deteriorates into the personal and sometimes barbed or unpleasant, then I find that mind-numbingly tedious. This last remark is not meant as a comment on this most recent dispute, by the way! It is just an expression of my attitude generally.

I hope I may be allowed to continue to contribute to your site. If not, well, c’est la vie.

I have read your updated description of the Deuce and enjoyed it. Can you, or anyone else, tell me why the tracks on that vehicle are raised towards the rear? Has it something to do with traction or to do with ground clearance or what?

Chris.B.

@ ACC,

“Just wait for BAE to merge with LM and the dire straits of what’s left will become clear for everyone to see”

I think that would probably be the sign of the apocalypse.

Mike W

TD

I would be triple-gutted if I were forced to stop posting on this site.

As you said you wanted to “close the matter”, in a previous post, I decided to abide by your edict. Had you not said that, I would have commented in greater detail, something that I shall now proceed to do (because it has been troubling me).

Firstly let’s get this business of plagiarism out of the way. Plagiarism of any kind is wrong, wrong, wrong and if you have suffered from it in the past, then that is thoroughly morally reprehensible and to be condemned utterly. Anyone who has suffered from it has every right to be incandescent with anger. Apologies for not mentioning it earlier.

However, in my post I was dealing with one particular question – namely, who had written the post on “C” vehicle first. I don’t know why you and Chris.B. leapt so immediately to the conclusion that I was accusing anyone. It might have had something to do with the unfortunate wording of my letter. My only purpose in asking the question whether you had placed any advanced notice of your purpose to publish that particular post in “Upcoming Posts” was simply to determine whether anyone could have discovered your intention.

If Gabriele had no means of discovering your intention, then he would have had no reason for mentioning on the 25th July that he was preparing such an article unless he was genuinely preparing that post.

I think it was almost certainly an authentic coincidence and I further think that you are going to have to reconcile yourself to an increasing number of such flukes. You both work in the same area. You have both been working recently on a series of articles concerning the British Army and, I think, articles about Logistics. You hint at coincidence when you say: “To be fair to the guy these posts don’t just happen so it is entirely plausible that we were working on the same subject and the timing is just a coincidence but the other stuff, well, I will let others judge.”

I hope that that has made clearer my reason for posting I did and I hope that I shall not be banned. Keep up the excellent work!

Mike W

TD

Yes, reconciled! Sorry for opening the whole thing up again but I just had to get it off my chest!

Now let us let the whole matter drop and I’ll get back to my innocent and often inane questions and points about vehicles, ships and planes!

Thanks

IXION

Mike w

If you really want to get TD happy get him a picture of a Container on a mexifloat…

Mike W

@IXION

Yes, over the years I’ve gathered that those are two of his main loves. Perhaps he should take all his holidays at Marchwood!

john hall

the iveco always seemed a wrong decision for an operational vehicle as it is so dependent on computers both to run and fix and with the added requirement of an emissions system that requires an additive it seemed an odd choice to have. we were told that it was so the company could boast that they had the first euro 5 emission truck into service for the mod.
how do i know!!! well i was a service engineer for 5 years with alc in from the beginning and before that i was the first mechanic on the oshkosh tank transporter project being the inspecting mechanic on the handover and acceptance of the new vehicles. loved the oshkosh. its a big tonka truck and i got to drive them brand new from bruntingthorpe to marne barracks and also down to bulford. 32 to each depot. anyone remember the pics of the challenger tank falling off the oshkosh caught by a sun mail photographer at the run through for a presentation of the truck to the mod??????

Simon257

So, I’m not the only who thinks Iveco’s are Shite!!!

Opinion3

I am troubled by leasing arrangements like the PFI ALC arrangement. I worked for Amey and I have no problem with their side of the deal I just think that once again we will be paying top dollar to finance debt that can pretty much always be had cheaper as Government debt. Amey/Ferrovial finance costs will be high. Furthermore I doubt these deals are hire purchase, suddenly finding yourself without any C vehicles unless you agree a new deal makes you a rather captive customer.

‘Suddenly’ will not be a surprise but it will be a single cut off point, like moving house changing your supplier and potentially all your C vehicles at the same time is very very disruptive.

john hall

the pfi does work in that it does things in a quicker time scale than when the mod bought the equipment and has improved the level of usable equipment available. it did reduce the spare capacity of machinery available making sure that what they have is used and working not held by units that never used it while other units were crying out for equipment. most of the equipment is owned fully by alc and they act as a plant hire company with the mod being the primary customer. there are all sorts of get outs built into the contract for the mod one of which is a grab back of the complete fleet and operation if certain actions are taken. major breach of security being one. in reality to suddenly take over the contract over night would be a near impossible move for the mod. in truth the mod were so happy that they had new equipment and more of it working than ever before when they needed it and delivered to site as well that it was an eye opener for them. the problem was the army way of vehicle management was stuck in the stone age with plant vor for the most stupid of things and some of it for months on end. bringing in commercial practice has shown the mod how a fleet can be managed. as we all know the army runs on procedures and they dont like to change them.now they get the plant to use and dont have to worry so much about maintaining it as they can use alc to side step the army way of doing things, its more a use and return procedure now. it saves on cost as when the plant is returned off hire it returns into a civilian way of looking after plant not the military way of over servicing. in a way it is hibernated out of the military environment until itis needed again. the down side for the army is they are now accountable for the costs of using and damaging the fleet the government liked that idea!!!!
the choice of ivecos seemed strange as the mod had gone for MAN but it seemed alc wanted to be different as you would being civilian company trying to prove you can do it better than the mod.its only a matter of time before the reme lads learn how to fix them and its great they get new kit to work on but only time will tell if they are too complicated for operational use. a new generation of technician is evolving who relies on a laptop. shouldnt army equipment be simple and rugged and easy to fix or maybe those days are gone.

wpDiscuz
↓