Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by naguere, Dec 27, 2009.
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When did a three tonner become a four tonner?
We have 6 tonners now mate
They always were 4 tonners someone decided the Bedford RL should be re rated to 3 tons in Military service and so they became three tonners for a period of time until they were up rated again in the late 60's - early 70's
IIRC the HGV license only kicked in at 3.5 tons so maybe it was to get round that
Ask in the old and Bold or RLC they'll know
Some time in the mid 60s somone realised you could get 4tons of kit in a 3tonner so bobs your uncle, one day they were Bedford RL 3ton and the next they were 4tonners I dont remember any modifercations being carried out
They will still always be a helibedford (and yes i know they aint made by bedford anymore)...before you start !
HGVs came in about 1970 so you could well be right there
I think you will find that the designation changed when the military changed to a standardised euro pallet,which weighed in at one metric tonne,hence the change from a 3 Ton,to a 4 Tonne vehicle.
It also enabled 4 pallets to be loaded onto the flatbed evenly,making large outloads from ammo depots to gun lines,etc,much easier to plan.
I can remember my Dad and his mates talking about the change over while we were in Aden ( 1966/67). They used the Bedfords to transport Go-karts between the camps .
why? 4 tonners are unit tpt not an RLC specific veh
I thought there might have been somone over there who new about Army Transport and there are some old RCT bods who post in there
IIRC the change of designation came about because of the introduction of the HGV licence late 60's/early 70's. To hold an HGV a driver had to be 21 years old; this would have meant that the army lost most of its drivers so the 4 tonner was re-designated the 3 tonner, taking it out of the legislation zone.
A bit of unusual practicality from the MoD.
The MoD changed it at some point so they could hold a HGV at 17
I passed mine when you still got the little book separate from your car licence
Handy for getting into places when you were 17 and looked 12 but a quick I've got my licence and bank card here (careful to put thumb over MoD exempt bit and never ever get I'D card out
I think the MOD had some sort of exemption.
I passed mine in 1975 at the tender age of 17 in a Bedford TK, remember the old HGV license , cardboard with a sort of burgundy coloured cover.
IIRC. The change of designation from 3 to 4 ton was around 1968. It was, I think, purely a paperwork exercise, There were all kinds of rumours flying around regarding upgrading of rear springs and other mods. I reckon this was probably bollocks as the replacement of the the RL was imminent and some vehicles in need of major repair were being withdrawn early from service. It would make little sense to replace leaf springs on several thousand vehicles which were due for disposal.
With regard to the HGV licence,from day one, the Armed forces had an exemption from the 21 age bar. If my old brain remembers correctly, classes 2 and 3 could be passed at 17 and class 1 at 18.
I think the civvie version was the Bedford S type which was about 7 tonnes anyway
The Mod (IIRC) down rated the weight because of the single tyre and cross country need of the vehicles
IMHO it was the one thing Thatcher got wrong taking Leyland DAF over Bedford in an effort to prop Leyland trucks up
I would still take an MK / MJ or TM over a DAF anyday and twice on Sundays
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