Charge of the Heavy Brigade

Our MT pool seems to consist of 90% White Fleet these days, so this has probably come up before...?

We recently went on a walking weekend in the country, 13 up in a 17+1 seater LDV high-top minibus.

This required the 13 bergans to be stowed on the rear 4 seats, from seat to roof, plus any other spaces, and webbing etc to be crammed under the seats or in gaps.

Blokes and weapons wedged in the remaining seats and a happy 6 hours was had by all.

The problem we noted was that having all the kit up in the air put the centre of gravity too high, so there was a tendency for the van to start to "fish tail" at high speeds or sudden cross-winds e.g. from HGVs in adjacent lanes.

I'm not one for back-seat driving as a habit, but was happy to join the spontaneous chorus of "slow down you cnut!" on the occasions that our driver(s) forgot themselves and tried to push things up past Mach 1.

So the question is: Does anyone know what the Unladen weight / gross weight etc is for these white boxes? Couldn't find it in the Work Ticket and the makers plate on the door frame was stamped with five different numbers but no explanation of what was what. It would be useful to divide the payload by (bergan+webbing+weapon+fat knacker) to see just how many people should be aboard, max, but my maths isn't what it was.

Safe working load aside, there is still the issue of them being packed top heavy - could be helped a bit by removing the rear four seats to lower the storage space, but I can't see our fitters being happy to whip seats in and out to meet demand?

One solution (if we must use white fleet) would be to use minibuses to transport troops, webbing and weapons and insist on a panel van to shift the heavy stuff. Has been done in the past, but not always.

I intend to try and drop in to discuss with the MTO over tea and toast one day real soon, but would be interested to know if this debate has already occurred elsewhere and any sort of precedent set.

Oh and as it's white fleet, there were no tyre pressures marked or written down anywhere obvious, although I'm sure this was covered on FAM training. We estimated 48 front 42 (twin) rear, based on highest start readings on each axle.


Dont quote me but i think its a 1.5 tonne payload roughly 10 men and there kit
This is a concern at the ACF end of things too.

At present, we have our own dedicated 15 seat minibus and a box trailer (sorry, don't know the weights, etc.). We are not permitted to carry kit in the minibus (unsecured kit flying about in an accident), only in the trailer. If we require more space, we demand extra vans or trucks.

It works well IF we can find suitably qualified drivers.
Your MTO holds the answer - get him on board and he is the one to solve the problem here - hence being the MTO. I'd not be putting that much kit & personnel into an LDV at all - especially seeing how much crap you carry (weekend walking - carrying all of that?! Get on exped!).
Get a trailer for it ,but, make sure you padlock it driving back looking for kit gets dull .
woody said:
Get a trailer for it ,but, make sure you padlock it driving back looking for kit gets dull .
Sounds like the words of an experienced man.
One time looking for a norwegian on salisbury plain fortuntly the sf kit was at the back .One time flashed down by motorist as set of belt kit seen flying out .Eventually located in near by pub :!: "can I have a pint and a set of belt kit love" :D .Had to be kit monsters set not only made up of weird non issuse pouches
full of gadgets gps ir strobe etc.para helmet a bit battered .Fortunatly kit insurance paid for it all .
Trailers are great if you lock them and dont try and off road with them .
Just use the damn green fleet - what are we a civilian army these days?
Only need an Aircon and radio upgrade in them whats the matter with you lot? :)

Would love to use Green Fleet Baz, but we haven't found out where they've parked it!

Our MT Pool is a sea of white these days, presumably because some bean counter in MOD main building discovered that it costs less to run.

Linked questions: 1. That's fine for fuel economy, but WTF is the 4WD button and anti-IR paintjob when we get to the Tng Area?
2. WTF do we have to travel hundreds of miles to a weekend Ex, when we could probably achieve the same Tng objectives at another area a couple of miles away?

Bring back the covered waggon - at least you could eat the horse, if push came to shove!

Trailers sound a good idea, except no towbars fitted - have to change the Hire Spec I suppose as most of the vans seem to appear the day before they're needed. There would still be the issue of groos weight - with a trailer as well the temptation would be to cram 17+driver in, plus all their kit in the trailer, which would (I estimate) take the GVW way above safe limits. Still only got the same brakes!


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