I figure a few blog posts about vehicle possibilities would be better than a single rambling post. I plan to write a few ‘short list‘ examinations of potential trucks for the job. One thing I shall be doing if the truck option is green lighted is set up a Just Giving page to raise money for Help for Heroes.
What would be really useful is if a business lent me a truck. Emblazoned with a company name, raising money for Help for Heroes and then returning the truck once done with the trip… but back to reality…
The reality is a trip of around 1,000 miles over all sorts of road surfaces, with a 30 hour container ship/Ro-Ro ferry crossing thrown into the mix.
One key thing I want is ‘fixabity‘. For example, old Land Rovers are not reliable (I have experienced this first hand with our old Land Rover), but they will get you from one side of a desert to the other side due to the simple way they are built & can be roadside repaired. If a modern 4×4 breaks down, you are screwed. Even a dodgy engine sensor reading can cause the computer to halve your vehicle speed so you can limp to a garage to have a simple fuse fixed, or a wire plugged back in… Not great if you are in the middle of nowhere.
Over the years as vehicles have developed I have noticed a trend in simplicity, reliability, complexity and age. I have tried to simplify it in the following chart.
Reliability for me is: ‘Will it complete the journey if it has a problem?’ and not ‘Will it complete the journey in one go?‘.
Some basic requirements:
- The journey is going to be on a mix of tarmac roads, prepared gravel roads and some dirt tracks, so the vehicle needs to be robust.
- The truck will then be used to get supplies for the nearest city (about 2 hours drive away – each way) in all sorts of weather conditions, down to 30 degrees centigrade below zero.
- It may be used to help others if required. Recovery, transportation, taking people/supplies to destinations for skiing, fishing, hunting. This type of thing.
- A winch. Always a really useful bit of kit.
- Needs to be able to tow a vehicle on a trailer (the old Land Rover).
- It needs to be all in under £8,000 if possible… Ha ha ha!!!
- Reasonable fuel economy… Oh how I laugh!!!
- A civilian type truck could be used if tough enough.
- Other requirements to be added if needed.
Fuel cost/economy will of course come in to play. Here is a fuel cost comparison table for one of the potential routes:
I’ll keep a list of potential trucks here, with links to the reviews I carry out (as and when I carry it out).
The possible contenders.
- Bedford MJ (Info) (Review)
- Bedford TM (Info) (Review)
- Bedford MT (Info) (Review)
- Leyland DAF T244 (Info 1, Info 2) (Review)
- Saab-Scania SBA111 (Info) (Review)
Various info via: