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Mmlc drops

Nearly at the end of an era! DROPS is on its way to the breaker's yard in the sky, replaced by the teutonicly impossible to say EPLS. Teary farewell? Heartbroken are you? How do the operators and maintainers view its passing? Was it a POS, a arrse to work with? Or was it a loyal and trusted friend, a beast of burden?

How many hours did you while away on the autobahn? How many times were you dragged from a bog? What did you carry? And what, looking back, could you have improved??

Tell us your loves and hates ...

I remember three classic DROPS incidents:

I was on my way to XP B on Drawsko, running on convoy, the tyres singing their lullaby. As I rounded a blind bend over a rise, I spotted what looked like a huge herd of deer, their eyes glowing in the moonlight. They seemed to be stretching away from the dimly lit window of a roadside cottage, something just was not right. Though my senses were dimmed in the warm fug in the cab, the force was strong with me and I sensed great danger! I flicked the lights on and, in a flash identified the cottage as the convoy light on the trailer not 40 metres ahead! As I jammed on the anchors and screeched, almost sideways, to a halt, I realised that the "deer" were the side indicator reflectors on what looked like every DROPS in Germany, stuck nose to tail up the hillside away from me!!
This was the night of the ferry crossing when some genius decided to cross the Battlegroup before LogSp, a sensible enough decision. But to approach the hides along the same track, after it had rained????

On another trip I was called to investigate a certain DROPS squadron who had managed to RTA 6 wagons in a nose to tail prang. They had been travelling on convoy through a wood and had lost depth perception - first one braked and ....

And finally (be cool if she could own up), there was the case of the driver who fell from her cab at Kupres. She'd been talking to her mate and had slipped, allowing her vehicle to make contact with the DROPS in front. Her OC refused to charge her, saying she'd not been in the vehicle at the time of the collision!!

Look forward to hearing your anecdotes ....
I was in a DROPS that overturned on route to a REBRO station near Glamoc camp. It was a weird feeling seeing a massive shadow under the left hand side of the wagon. You can imagine how i laughed as the ****** slid towards the edge of the road/ steep drop !!!

DROPS are hard as nails, especially when the engine and wheels keep running when its on its side.
They were one of the prime reasons that drivers stated to get their C+E license at Leconfield after GW1. It was rather embarrassing to rush into service a very modern (regardless of the very long trial period) logistic vehicle only to find that no bugger could drive it due to lack of licenses down at the sharp end. Back then (80's) getting a HGV 1 license out of the army was an impossible task for any rank.
I remember seeing qualified guys getting pulled from cushy UK postings (25 Sqn RCT) to go out to Saudi to drive DROPS+trailers to keep the amount of stores/supplies/ammo moved to the forward areas running smoothly.
As Horrid stated you may of just lost yours but MM's are far from gone from Service. X-Country they are crap, and only slightly improved with some weight on the backend. On the road, one of the most boring vehicles to drive! The DROPS concept is good but the original thinking when someone stood up back when there were Viewfoils to do a presentation, when he went on about accountability for Flatracks probably didn't envisage the headaches later on!

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I did say "nearly".

Supporting the guns in an AMA we really didn't ever experience that many mobility problems; they were lively, but doable in Bosnia on the ice; fully get the boring on the autobahn bit. With an auto box, diff locks and pretty decent tyres, we coud get most places, provided we didn't actually try to chase the guns (OK the ferry incident proved the Medium limit to the mobility).

But what coud we have done to improve mobility? The IMMLC wasn't that much of a jump was it?

We could have fitted the cab with a buzzin stereo, given the driver a less boingy seat (which would have improved reliability, ridding us of the dreaded DROPS throttle blip, but what else?

I suppose we coud have followed up the Logtrac deadend, providing navaids and comms kit which might have helped Driver Snooks at least find Duss?!

I've always wanted to move the exhaust and could not figure out why it was not a dust mitigation measure after SS. I thought it might do well up the back of the cab, but it'd have to allow te cab to tilt still unless we get the oils and lubes on a marriage panel like on TM and Warrior (oh, and Toyota Previa!).

And there was me thinking DROPS would be left to rot on the park....... like those lovely TTF things.

I suppose with all the cuts they wouldn't need painting to death.
And finally (be cool if she could own up), there was the case of the driver who fell from her cab at Kupres. She'd been talking to her mate and had slipped, allowing her vehicle to make contact with the DROPS in front. Her OC refused to charge her, saying she'd not been in the vehicle at the time of the collision!!

Look forward to hearing your anecdotes ....
When did that happen in Kupres?

There was a time in '96 when it felt like you had more chance seeing a DROPS on its side than on its wheels around the Kupres/Sipovo/Slipper-Lipa area.

One of the more photogenic ones I saw was on the road going up into the hills at the Croat border. A wagon went arse over axle on a tight bend and lost the container it was piggybacking. Container bursts open with its contents tumbling away down the steep slope, a few thousand rolls of bogroll.

Was it true or one of them Army urban myths that the vehs were supplied by DAF with bunkbeds fitted in the cab but of course these weren't wanted/required. So instead of simply telling DAF not to install them they would just send each new veh back to factory to have them removed.
someone told me that years ago but the logic never seemed to make any sense.

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I wouldn't know, ......blah.
Dinger, mate.

Minor advice, but when you have nothing to say, say nothing. We understand your misfortune, but transport is a function of logistics, and fellows here should be able to enthuse about a transport workhorse that was rushed into service for Op GRANBY, and subsequently gave valiant service. Out of interest, did you go to school in Balderton? If so, your grievances with life are more likely to be understood. Your bit of the Corps is a minority function.

No one is sacred here. Not me, not you, not Maddie.

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