Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 6 (Multi Axle Skid Steers) 

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  • Post category:Blog / Vehicles
  1. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 1 (Introduction)
  2. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 2 (Motorcycles and ATVs)
  3. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 3 (UTVs and Load Carriers)
  4. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 4 (Medium Wheeled Vehicles)
  5. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 5 (Tracked Utility Vehicles)
  6. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 6 (Multi Axle Skid Steers) 
  7. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 7 (Uncrewed) 
  8. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 8 (Tractors and Trailers) 
  9. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 9 (Engineering Plant and Watercraft) 
  10. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 10 (Weapons and Systems) 
  11. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 11 (Comparisons) 
  12. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 12 (Discussion) 

Although not all of them are skid steer, this general type of vehicle design is derived from a need for improved mobility over traditional 4×4 designs, but without the maintenance issues and weight associated with tracks.

Most of their users are not in the agricultural sector and so the market size tends to be much smaller.

Many of these designs are also the base vehicles for uncrewed variants, e.g. The General Dynamics Squad Mission Support System is based on a Hydratek Land Tamer, the Rheinmetall Mission Master Silent Partner (SP) uses the Argo XV, the Hippo-X is based on the Mudd Ox XL, and the Hippo/Pardus HAWC now uses a Canadensys base vehicle.

I will cover some of these in the following posts in the series.

Argo

Perhaps best known of them all, Argo has been making this type of vehicle for several decades, with both three and four-axle models.

The smallest of their Professional line is the three-axle Frontier Pro 700 XT.

It has a payload of 200kg but is lightweight, at only 500kg.

The largest in their range is the Conquest Pro 950 XT 8×8

The unladen weight is 857kg with a payload of 549kg.

The towing capacity is 907kg and a tipping body is also available for the 950 range.

Different seating, load beds, and other accessories are available.

With bench seating and minimal cargo, it would be possible to carry six personnel.

Mudd-Ox

The Mudd-Ox XL is of a similar length to the larger Argo above but slightly wider.

As can be seen from the images, it has a shorter nose but places the engine in the middle of the vehicle, separating the driver and passenger from the load space.

The empty weight is 1,038kg and on land, it has a maximum payload of 907kg.

Maximum speed is 40kph, towing capacity is 1,134kg, and like the Argo Conquest, seating capacity is up to 6.

The design may be familiar, Hippo Multipower partnered with Pardus Defence and Security in the UK to offer it as the Hippo All Terrain Support Vehicle to the British Army, conducting trials in 2017.

With driver and passenger, and the Complete Equipment Schedule (CES), the usable payload was 750kg, enough for an infantry platoon for 72 hours.

Although they also demonstrated a teleoperated version of this impressive vehicle, Pardus and Hippo have now moved on from Mudd-Ox.

Canadensys

From Canada, the Canadensys HAWC was developed to be optionally crewed from the start.

A modern design, it has a hybrid power system (Kubota D92 diesel engine and lithium-ion batteries) that allows conventional and silent operation.

The kerb weight is 1,600kg and the maximum payload on the 1.5mx1.75m load bed is 750kg, not including the driver and a passenger.

Pardus and Hippo transitioned to this design from the Mudd-Ox and have continued to trial it with the British Army.

Supacat ATMP

The Supacat All Terrain Mobility Platform (ATMP), unlike the ones above, was conceived from the outset as a military vehicle, with a requirement rooted in operations, the 1982 Falklands Conflict.

It has entered service, left service, and re-entered service, twice, a complex back story.

Date:12 June 1999 Location: Kosovo. A Supercat vehicle carrying Paratroopers of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment moves along the Kannik road which lies on the route to Pristina

More recently, the development of autonomous and hybrid power systems has been carried out.

Kerb weight is 1,850kg with a payload of up to 1,600kg. The towing capacity is 2,500kg.

Over the years, ATMP has been fitted with ATGW firing posts, tipping load beds, pintle-mounted weapons, shelters and track kits. Given its military heritage, there are numerous features that whilst not obvious, are significant.

For example, integral loading ramps, can moved with a telehandler, and it is built around the size and weight of a NATO pallet.

There is a lot to like about ATMP and eATMP.

Scot Trac

Made in Scotland, Scot Trac manufactures a range of multi-axle ATVs for use in the forestry, energy and industrial markets.

The Scot Trac 2000R is a relatively compact design, but It would need a folding ROPS to fit inside a Merlin or Chinook

The width is just over 1.6m, a relatively quick and easy vehicle to load and unload.

The top speed is 26kph, it has a kerb weight of 1.56 tonnes with a payload of two personnel and 680kg on the rear load bed, or 4 seats.

Towing capacity is 2.5 tonnes and given its most common use, has front and rear three-point linkages and hydraulic power take-off.

Maxatv

Maxatv is another manufacturer, in the USA.

Agile Vehicle Technology (AVT)

Finally, the hugely impressive UK-based, AVT.

Minerva is available with two or four hydraulic motors and hydrostatic systems to minimise reliance on chain drive systems and in 6×6 or 8×8 configurations. It can tow 3 tonnes and carry 2.1 tonnes.

Various load bed options include a tipping body

Track over tyres improves traction and flotation.

The newer Trident model trades the four axles for three but uses larger wheels to support improved amphibious capability.

The most attractive aspects of AVT are the UK supply chain and IP, Big Bear Plastics manufactures the bodies, and Rotary Power the hydraulic power system, to name but two examples.

Data Table

VehicleLength (m)Width (m)Height (m)Kerb Weight (kg)Payload (kg)
Argo Frontier 700XT (1)2.621.541.97500200
Argo Conquest 950XT3.181.651.50857549
Mudd Ox XL3.121.721.501,038907
Cadensys HAWC3.901.651.501,600750
Supacat ATMP3.401.901.301,8501,600
Scot Trac 2000R (1)3.211.672.301,560680
AVT Minevea 8×8 4M (1)3.161.751.961,2002,100
AVT Minerva 6×6 2M (1)2.411.751.961,0651,600

(1), would need a folding ROPS

Load Diagrams

Merlin

Chinook

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