Vehicle Options: Bedford MT

 

Another bigger variation of the Bedford MJ. This replaced the TM and was the last of the Bedfords (Marshall). Sadly, although it looks to be a very capable truck, there are some drawbacks.

I have some pros and cons listed – and this list will be updated as and when new things are discovered – or if anyone out there has anything that they’d like to add – and I’d really appreciate that help.

Pros:

  • Simple to operate.
  • 4×4
  • Winch option.
  • Basic kit – Less to go wrong.
  • Tough as old leather. Proven in the battlefield.
  • Bigger version of the MJ – More to love!

Cons:

  • Can’t find one anywhere…
  • Spares availability is therefore an unknown.
  • Concerns over registering and modifications to make civilian road legal.

 

Vehicle Options: Bedford TM

 

A step up from the older Bedford MJ I am looking at. The bigger Bedford TM.

This has the power okay, but it has a big drawback that currently leaves it dead in the water (unless I can get a really cheap one to offset the fuel costs of this 10 mpg beast.

I have some pros and cons listed – and this list will be updated as and when new things are discovered – or if anyone out there has anything that they’d like to add – and I’d really appreciate that help.

Cons:

  • 10 MPG… Dead in the water idea.

 

 

Vehicle Options: Bedford MJ

I’ve always liked the old Bedford trucks. They are hard-working, simple beasts (I guess we have a lot on common).

The older Bedford trucks don’t have the power or strength to do the trip in question (without me worrying all of the time…), but the MJ has that little extra power over the earlier MK and it’s predecessors. They are simple (no electronics) and have a good proven track record in military service.

I have some pros and cons listed – and this list will be updated as and when new things are discovered – or if anyone out there has anything that they’d like to add – and I’d really appreciate that help.

Pros:

  • Simple to operate.
  • 15 – 20 mpg on a long trip. (The TM only does about 10 mpg…)
  • 4×4
  • Winch option.
  • Currently spares are not a problem.
  • Reasonable price – but rising fast. You could get a good one for £2000 in 2007. Now you are looking at £5-6000.
  • Basic kit – Less to go wrong.
  • Wealth of knowledge on the internet. (e.g: Buyers tips)
  • Tough as old leather. Proven in the battlefield.
  • I’ve always liked them… Yeah, the heart needs to be ignored…

Cons:

  • Becoming harder to find.
  • Spares availability is finite at present.
  • Concerns over registering and modifications to make civilian road legal.
  • Prices going up.
  • No power steering (can cause fatigue over a long journey).
  • Only a 2 seater (up front).
  • Small cab.
  • Load size.
  • Tricky engine access. No tilt cab.

access

 

Vehicle Options: Overview

POST MOVED TO PAGE: https://arcticviking.wordpress.com/vehicle-options-overview/

Please post any comments/suggestions on vehicles on the above link. Thank you.

 

Getting There. Part 1.

A major part of the move to Sweden is actually getting there with all of our belongings and pets.

The initial idea was for Chris to ferry/drive with Alex & the pets, with some essentials to set up house, and for me to follow a little later with a truck full of the rest of our gear. This is still our number 1 option.

The main ways of getting there are:

  • Sea & road (okay for pets).
  • Air & road (no good for pets).
  • Rail & road (need to explore this one further).
  • For our belongings we could possibly use a shipping company.

The truck would need to be simple, reliable & capable of the 1,500 miles (est) over roads of varying conditions, such as Tarmac &/or gravel. The thought here is an ex-military 4×4.

Top of the list is a Bedford MJ, then a DAF 45 4×4. I like the Bedford, and have heard the DAF has some problems. That being said, the DAFs are still in service, many are available as ex-military & apparently doing a great job in service – although they have various faults. The Bedford is as simple as they get, is no longer in service & is starting to become harder to find/buy. Additionally the Bedford is only a 2 seater, and ideally I want a 3 seater.

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Once moved to Sweden, the truck would be used for big shopping trips, removals, ferrying things around, camping trips etc in all conditions that the Arctic town can throw at us. So it has to do the trip & then be a family utility of epic proportions. If it can’t work for us, then it’s not worth it. That alone starts me erring towards the DAF (but my heart wants the Bedford!).

I think the DAF would be the best option for such a long drive, as it would be less fatiguing to drive & it has that much more power & torque so won’t be being pushed so hard.

IMG_5081.JPG

There are other options with more modern Scania, Man, Iveco, Mercedes, Volvo etc, but with those comes added complexity.

I could just go to eBay & buy a non-4×4 civilian truck, but I am concerned about how tough it would be & whether it could handle the road & weather conditions.

Either way, there is a lot of research to do on choosing the right truck.

For Chris & the pathfinder trip, a Ford Transit type van is required. That’s pretty simple to deal with. They are easy to find & can go on standard car ferries. The truck on the other hand has to go on a commercial RO-RO ship due to its size. They’ll both need the shipping routes sorted though, so that’s another bit of research to carry out.

If we have too much to take on one truck, we may decide to add a second truck, or get a shipping company involved. More research…

I think a sit down, cup of tea & a plate of biscuits is needed to write down all of the options.

Watch this space as they develop…

Jokkmokk Visit Summer 2014

In August 2014 Christine took her mum and Alex to Jokkmokk to see the place in the flesh, and to meet up with a chap from Future Jokkmokk, who made the move to Jokkmokk from the UK about 10 years ago, and now helps others do the same.

She was well and truly won over by the place – and not just Jokkmokk. She spent a little time in Luleå and a far amount of time on the road driving from Luleå to Jokkmokk, through some wonderful Swedish countryside.

Her overall impression was one of a modern, clean and friendly country that strives to give everyone an even chance to live a good life. Even out in the middle of nowhere in Jokkmokk there were full amenities and services – so much so that you could go out there and live off of the grid, but still have all the mod cons you are used to in a more highly populated area.

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One such example was the camping area she stayed in where she had a Facetime (like Skype) talk with me, as she took her phone around the site and down to the lake to show me on the video call what the place was like. Heck, if we leave the house in the UK we lose network connection, but she was walking through woods and by a lake and was streaming high definition video to me. Yup – out in the peace yet still able to connect to the world if you want to.

Anyway, Chris will be blogging about her trip at some point when she has some time – but meanwhile here is a link to the photo album of the trip.

PHOTOGRAPHS HERE

 

 

Ulysses

It’s a thought still to be fleshed out, but a thought with some grit and adventure to it.

Drive to the Arctic Circle from the south of England.

The idea that is forming is to take an old army Bedford MJ 4 ton truck and drive all of our gear to the land beyond the sunset (it’s in the Arctic… think about it). It’s a old truck and I’m not as young as I was, but as Tennyson put it in the :

‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world…
…for my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset,

If the truck idea is to be used, then the truck cannot simply be called ‘the truck’.  It would be deserving of a much greater name.

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
And there you have it. Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses‘ sums it up and gives the truck it’s moniker.

ULYSSES

Ulysses is the Roman translation of Odysseus. It was used by Tennyson for the poem of the same name, and in a twist, it was ‘Odyssey’ that was used by Finnish author Thomas Warburton in his Swedish translation of Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’..