Although this post does not really have a military angle I thought it interesting enough to float, with a name like Sir Torquil Norman and a tenuous link to an ISO container and mexeflote it was irresistible.
Sir Torquil is a toymaker, adventurer and philanthropist, apparently.
But what this worth posting is I think this is a neat idea for our mystical dual use DFiD budget.
From the Global Vehicle Trust website
Sir Torquil Norman’s dream in building the OX is to provide a light truck designed specifically for use in developing areas of the world, such as Africa and parts of Asia, to benefit people living in the thousands of remote villages and townships. In such locations, the population are often living in poverty and are forced to collect drinking water on foot and with no way of transporting grain, fertilizer or materials to support their farming and other activities.
If provided, for example, as part of an aid program, the OX would provide an essential element of infrastructure to enable the local population to raise the community’s standard of living and to assert its independence by gaining control of its transportation needs and costs.
The OX would also be an enormous help in transporting medicines, doctors, patients and other goods, in emergencies and at times of natural disaster.
The modern world’s car industry has never produced a vehicle designed precisely for the rugged conditions found in Africa but has instead modified and adapted pick-up trucks and other vehicles designed for use in much more benign conditions. The result has been poor handling in rough terrain, short life spans and limited carrying capacity.
The OX is unique. Designed to a specification from the Norman Trust, it has been developed in a way that is unlike any other vehicle. As an all-terrain light truck it has no competitor – whether from a concept, performance or pricing point of view
So its a light truck, big big deal.
With an overall length similar to an average car, it has a payload of 2,000 kilos (more than twice most current pick-ups), on what is already a light vehicle weighing just 1,500 kilos.
Following EU size guidelines, it will seat 13 people or carry eight 44 gallon oil drums or three Euro pallets. It has a simple power take-off capable of pumping water, sawing wood or running a generator.
When unloaded, 73% of the weight is over the front axle and when fully loaded 53% is still over that axle. This contributes to excellent traction in both conditions.
With a robust 2.2 litre, front wheel drive, diesel engine, it is designed to be at home on the roughest terrain. It has a high ground clearance and short front and rear overhangs to tackle the steepest hills. Independent suspension allows easy transit over rough ground and an uncluttered underside to manage sand, mud and other hostile surfaces.
It will drive through 75cms depth of water and it has a very wide track so that it is extremely stable on badly rutted roads.
Simplicity in every aspect of its design is the guiding principle of OX. Most panels are interchangeable from one side to the other, the fewest possible components are used to give it a fast build-up time. It takes three men approximately 5.4 hours to assemble the flat pack in the UK prior to shipping. It then takes three people 11.5 hours to assemble the vehicle from flat pack at its destination.
Uniquely, it is capable of being flat-packed within itself – so there is no requirement for an expensive box or individual pallets, ensuring freight costs are kept to a minimum. Six OX vehicles, including engines and transmissions, will fit into a standard 40ft hi-cube container. In addition, assembly labour is transferred to the importing country, such as Africa, where local professional companies will be found to assemble and maintain the finished vehicles.
Hello cheeky, ISO container packing, 6 to a 40ft Hi Cube
It also has a power take-off for pumps, winches or other equipment.
Remember Haiti and Largs Bay
I am not suggesting there is a military use for these but this is the kind of automotive engineering that we need as a nation to get behind.
Now where is that DFiD Piggy Bank!