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Sixteen tons an what do you gee

8th March 1980, Page 71
8th March 1980
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Page 71, 8th March 1980 — Sixteen tons an what do you gee
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So go the opening Hnes of the familiar country song, and they also apply to this comparative test of eight -wo-axie Tigids carried out by Bill Brock and Tim Blakemore WE CHANGED our medium vehicle test route to take us into the West Country and Wales last year in order to provide better test comparisons, but at first we concentrated on maximum-weight tractive units round the Scottish test route. Now, in order to provide some basic data against which future vehicle performances may be judged, we have been able to test eight two-axle rigids.

Engine sizes, body lengths, wheelbase dimensions and unladen weights vary from make to make, but to get some semblance of uniformity we asked for all to be laden to the full 16 tons using a flat or dropside body. All the manufacturers obliged. However, at the last moment Mercedes-Benz was able only to supply a boxbodied vehicle.

THE 168M 16FL Magirus Deutz is distinctive in being the only vehicle in the group to be powered by an air-cooled diesel engine. Not all the power saved by the absence of a 'water pump can be used to propel the vehicle, for a belt-driven axial blower is needed to provide a continuous air flow to dissipate the generated heat.

The main advantages are in weight saving and arguably in a construction free from water jackets and galleries, while for operation in colder climates the benefits are obvious.

There would also appear to be some advantage for operation in Britain since the overall fuel return of 22.83 lit/100km (12.47mpg) was the best recorded during the week's testing. With a power output of 120kW (161bhp) at 2,650rpm, the lorry pulled well on the motorways, averaging 84.6km /h (52.6rnph) over the time section. A possible top speed of 102km / h (64mph) assured a comfortable cruising speed of 55-60mph without a downward gearchange before Aust services.

At these speeds, outside wind noise was only noticeable because the cab was relatively quiet. Interior trim is smart, and overall it is well appointed.

But it does have some drawbacks.

An engine tunnel divides the cab into two halves, whereas a flat floor giving through access from one side to the other is preferable if the vehicle is to be used on distribution work. The. driver's suspension seat w comfortable but lacked suppi beneath the thigh.

The steering wheel is adju able, but this really h novelty value only as mc drivers adjust to static steeril positions.

The steering was lig enough, but the lock appear to be less generous than many other vehicles teste er, indicator and screen h are all controlled by a le column-mounted stalk, he facia has clean lines and ;es a large glove box and a t instrument binnacle ining rev counter and tachotions working against a cranked gear stick gave a )ery feel with all five gear itions working against a "ig while first and third were 3ged at arms length. Clutch .e and throttle foot controls iired little effort to gain the cted response. Actuation of exhaust brake could hardly Jetected apart from pulling throttle back on the rack to )ff the fuel.

he Eaton two-speed electroumatically operated axle a positive asset to normal ling, but selection was too for it to be used to advanafter its initial use out of fifth.

Unning within the 40mph rictions — at about [Orpm just below minimum ue — gear changing was a stant requirement at Orpm, but half a gear often ced.

facia-mounted park brake r looks out of place and Id be more readily at hand de the seat. With stabilisers fitted front and rear, the ride proved to be good without much evidence of roll.

Two unevenly spaced steps are used on entry to the cab, and the second is a bit too high for comfort.

Outwardly, the cab styling is modern and uncluttered and features the trend towards bumper-mounted headlamps. There are points for and against this. It can be said that the bumper offers protection to the unit, but even a slight knock can put the lights out of alignment.

Cheshire Fire Engineering manufactures the 7m (23ft) aluminium platform, weighing just under half a ton.

Air coolLng means there's one less item to check each day, but the condition of the fan belt becomes more important to temperature control and inspection access is provided by a front-mounted hinged cover.

A hand-operated hydraulic tilt mechanism raises the cab through 52 should adjustment or closer inspection become necessary.

Seddon Atkinson INTRODUCED in 1975, the Seddon Atkinson 200-Series

has had some minor modifications since CM last tested one in 1976. When it was first launched there was no twospeed axle in the list of options but that was included in 1976,

More recent changes are to the cab .mountings and heater system. To give them greater strength, the cab mounting brackets are now integral with the cab instead of being bolted on as before.

Three heater control dials in the centre of the dashboard are retained but they now have different functions. The centre one controls temperature while the outside ones are individual distribution controls for the driver and passenger.

The blower is now more powerful, and while this improves heater performance the noise it made was enough to discourage its use. In fact there are two heater radiators and fans, one in each front corner of the cab replacing the previously centrally mounted radiator which was more likely to clog up with traffic dirt.

Eaton's 18200 two-speed rear axle adds £415 to the price of the basic chassis cab, and wiath a "highratio of 5.57:1 gives the Seddon Atkinson a maximum geared speed of 105km /h (65mph).

At. 60mph on the M4 this meant that the International Harvester engine was revving relatively fast at around 28130rprn, but this didn't cause excessive in-cab noise.

The steeper gradients on the motorway section pulled the speed down into the fifties but never low enough to use the low ratio of the axle. Average speed for the 50 miles of motorway at the start of our route was fairly low at 84.6km /h (52.5mph) but the Seddon Atkinson's motorway fuel consumption of 12.1mpg was bettered only by the Cummins-powered Ford and the Magirus Deutz.

After crossing the Severn Bridge we leave the motorway at junction 24 and head north on the A449. Running at the legal maximum speed of 40mph on this road I soon appreciated the Eaton two-speed axle which allowed the gentle gradients to be taken with only a "half gear" down change.

Preselecting low ratio, the best change could be achieved by disengaging and re-engaging the clutch quickly with a short sharp movement of the clutch pedal. Yet it was possible to be too abrupt with the pedal movement and not activate the corrector box for the tachograph. If this happened, the low-ratio warning light on the dash would not come on and another dab at the clutch pedal was needed.

The five-speed constantmesh gearbox is also an Eaton product — the 542 CMJ, with a reversed H-pattern for the top four gears, second and fourth to the rear, and third and fifth forwards. Even on the steepest hill on our route, the one in seven gradient out of Wantage, first gear wasn't needed as the Seddon climbed it in second low.

' The selection pattern was easy enough, but I couldn't find a comfortable way of gripping the gear lever, the top of which is shaped like a very large Smartie.

I was impressed by the positive "feelof the Burman power-assisted steering. The external ram type often isn't as

Many of the cab components are identical to those used in the 300and 400-Series, so there are unlikely to be complaints about the standard of driver comfort. But one notable omission from the instrument panel was a rev counter. The characteristics of the D-358 engine make it difficult to drive ''by ear", so fitting this instrument as standard would help operators to get the best from their vehicles..

Our test lorry was fitted with a 7.3m (24ft) alloy framed, timber dropside body by Alloy Transport Bodies of Manchester.

Retail price of the 5640mm (18ft 6in) wheelbase Seddon Atkinson R16 N358 chassis cab, including two-speed axle, is £.15,210. RATHER than be left out of the :16-ton test, Mercedes-Benz (UK) Ltd provided us with a 1617 fitted with a box body. It's impossible to say how much this affected the fuel consumption compared to flat bodied vehicles, but it must have made it significantly worse, even with an air deflector fitted.

Certainly it didn't cause the Mercedes to hold back on the motorway section, and the 168bhp turbocharged engine easily kept the vehicle rolling at 97km/h,(60mph).

There are no rear axle ratio options, but as from January this year, a single reduction hypoid axle with a 5.22:1 ratio has been fitted in place of the hub reduction one previously used.

The hub reduction vers.on is retained for tipper models where the half-shaft loadings are likely to be greater, but on haulage models the new dxle gives a weight saving of 40kg (881b).

When the 1617 was first brought into this country, it was fitted with air/hydraulic brakes and a number of operators would not buy it for that reason. Now the vehicle has a full air system with hydraulic actuation of the brake valve which is located behind the battery box on the nearside of the chassis.

Another recent change is the fitment of the -double H" system of range changing for the eight-speed gearbox.

I prefer a separate rangechange switch, but the new system is easy to use. When fourth gear is reached, high range is selected by moving the gearlever across a detent in neutral and ghen going through the H sequence again for 5, 6, 7 and 8.

A slight difficulty was that it was fairly easy to go back inadvertently into low range when changing from fourth to fifth. How will the system be after a few years in service when the linkages have worn and the gearchange is less precise?

More serious is that the heater controls, located on the nearside of the dashboard, are almost impossible to reach from the driver's seat. Obviously they haven't been moved in the conversion from left-hand to right-hand drive but they should be relocated for safety's sake. Any driver reaching across to adjust them could not remain in proper control of his vehicle.

In other respects the Mercedes cab was particularly comfortable. Ride and handling were first-class, and ZF power steering allowed the vehicle to be precisely positioned under all conditions, inspiring confidence. Even with a 7.8m (25ft 6in) body there was no difficulty in negotiating the tightest turns on our route.

Fuel consumption over the A and B road section was not far short of the motorway figure, and at least part of the reason for this must have been the ability of the powerful engine to carry the 16-tonner over gradients with the minimum number of gearchanges.

The one in seven climb out of VVantage needed a lowest gear of third while only one down change to seventh was needed for the timed climb at Monmouth. Both hills were climbed in fast times.

The rev counter is marked with a green band to show the most economical engine speed range and this showed that at 40mph, engine speed was right in the middle of this band at 170Orpm.

Another contributory factor to good fuel economy (as well as

saving on brake lining wear the exhaust brake which p the pump in the no-fuel posit when it is operated. It was p ticularly useful on downhill s tions of motorway to prevent' speed climbing above the le, limit.

Headlights on the Mercer are mounted in the front burnl and hinge outwards for main nance. While bumper-mount headlights may be fine foi

manufacturer, from operator's point of view ti must be the worst possit position for them since they E so susceptible to expensi damage.

One nice touch about t 1617's lighting systei though, is the way in which t dash warning lights a automatically dimmed when t sidelights are switched on th avoiding dazzling the driver night.

Retail price of the 161 5.9m (19ft 4in) wheelba: chassis cab is £.16.072 (spa wheel not included).

1, ME old D-Series? Yes, the b looks a mite familiar but th left-hand drive it provided a with the Continental's view driving on British roads.

The Cummins V504 norally aspirated eight-cylinder engine having a maximum net tput of 126.8kW (170bhp) at )0Orpm is one of the most rwerful fitted to a vehicle for leration at 16-ton gross.

Fitted with a (21ft) wooden opside body of uncertain orils the vehicle has an unladen aight of 5420kg (5.3 tons) d the base chassis cab weight some 898kg (17.7 cwt) hter.

Driving a left hander only esents problems when trying overtake.

But on the motorway there 3 s little difficulty as well 3hted mirrors give a good view traffic to the rear.

Travelling at around the aximum legal speed of 60mph an engine speed of 2600rpm lye plenty of time to move out. the A-roads it was a question hanging back a little to prole a better view of oncoming affic and the road ahead. acorded times for the journey dicate that little time was lost 'erall.

Just before the Severn idge at Aust we completed the ily intermediate fuel check to id that we were averaging most 13mpg. The subsequent road returns dropped off by Tiost 2mpg to 11.08mpg.

First indications are that the immins engine performs best orking harder at higher revs. Being equipped with a sixieed box and a single-speed ;le ratio selection is more iportant as there is less overp of gears than with a twoieed axle.

Over this type of route with many hills requiring only a slight geared reduction, fuel consumption benefits from split gearing. At 40mph in top the engine pulled at just 1600rpm, that is 200rpm below maximum torque.

The full-synchromesh sixspeed box should have had no vices, but the close spacing of the gates made selection unsure and from stationary first and second were difficult to engage at all times.

I have criticised the D-Series worm and peg power-assisted steering in the past for being 'heavy or stiff with little selfcentring action, and found no reason to change my mind on this occasion.

A new model, the Delta, should be announced by the autumn and this may be the last test by CM of a Ford fitted with the D-Series cab. Ford's sales strength is in the light end of the commercial vehicle market. The styling of the cab which has survived from the late Sixties with only minor facelights has made a major contribution to the success of the range, but it remained noisy to the end.

The basic problem is, as with all vehicles of this weight, that the cab is low on the chassis and there is only the smallest of gaps between the engine and the under side of the cab shell in which the engine noise can be dissipated.

But it's easy to enter, with a low step inside the door. A flat floor comes flush to the step which also makes cleaning easy, and striped fabric seat brighten the otherwise black interior.

The instrument panel is basic and functional and provides little room for additional guages or warning lamps. A suspension seat is a standard production Dption, a worthwhile investment at any time but on this occasion the more so as much of the day seemed to be spent driving in the gutter.

Twin exhausts from the powerful V-engine allow the in clusion of an in-line exhaust brake on each pipe and is one of the more efficient systems, but this is probably due to the power-to-weight ratio rather than the shutter design.

Fifty degrees of cab tilt exposes the engine and front axle for major inspection, but daily maintenance is made at several points about the front of the vehicle.

An hydraulic clutch reservoir is situated below the windscreen, the transparent header tank is most accessible behind the cab, while the engine oil level is in spected through an opening in the cab floor, behind the driver's seat.

The optional bumpermounted headlamp jetwash system had run dry, but failed to wash even after being topped up.

A cab dimension of 1.77m (5ft 93/4in) bumper to back of cab is short, leaving ample room for the body, without overrestricting driving comfort. DAF's FA2105 has a power-toweight ratio of 7.2kW per tonne (9.75bhp per ton) that puts it around the middle power range of 16-tonners in this country.

Apart from a little known 13tonner with a turbocharged 6litre engine, the FA2105 is the lowest-weight machine OAF offers and only two engines, 8.25 litres and 11,6 litres, are used from this weight right up to the 52 tons gtw 2800 OKS, with the power outputs being varied to suit the particular weight range of the vehicle.

Turbocharged and intercooled, the 8.25 litre in-line six-cylinder engine can develop as much as 169kW (227bhp), so it's obviously under no great stress in its naturally aspirated form in the FA2105, with a maximum power setting of

116.5kW (156bhp) at 240Orpm. Over the whole of our route it was noticeable from the driver's seat that the engine was never having to work hard,

Our test vehicle was fitted with the optional splitter gearbox in place of the standard six-speed direct top version. Changing up through the gears, the intermediate ratios were only needed once fourth gear had been reached — the DAF was quite happy to move off in second low and then go direct to third low and fourth low. Both the standard and optional gearboxes are now ZF synchromesh, not the constant

mesh variety that used to put fear in the heart of many drivers because so much concentration was needed to get a clean change with it. There are unlikely to be any complaints about the synchromesh splitter — I found it easy to use and it could pro Ade the right ratio for every road ind traffic condition. But care las to be taken to depress the :lutch pedal fully when using he preselect splitter or it won't ingage.

The argument in favour of :onstant mesh rather than ynchromesh is that there is less o go wrong (no synchroniser .ones, for instance) so constant nesh should be cheaper to laintain. But his argument falls 'own if the box requires more laintenance because of driver buse. From a driver's point of iew the synchro box must be referable.

The DAF cab is high and anular and although its aerodyamic characteristics can't be ood it is comfortable. I liked the igh driving position, and the ostrom suspension seat fitted s standard really can't be lulled.

Two controls that aren't so Dod are those for the heater )ntrols — difficult to reach in le centre of the dash — and the 9rking brake, with a delay on ; release (spring brakes actuars on the rear axle) that makes hill starts more difficult than they need be.

DAF's instrument panel is distinctive in having two control stalks sprouting from it, one on the right for indicators and horn, and one on the left for headlamp flash and dip.

I like the non-self-cancelling indicators which allow roundabouts to be negotiated without constantly having to reapply the flashers.

Steering lock and starter switch are kept simple by separating them,with the consequent disadvantage that two keys are needed; but a good safety feature is the interconnection of the steering lock and engine stop so that the steering can't be locked with the engine still running.

It's common practice to stop the engine with the exhaust brake, but this sin't recommended by DAF; there is a separate stop cable. The exhaust brake is very effective on the naturally aspirated engine and can hold back the 16tonner on many hills. It was used a lot on our test route.

Although mounted high, it's easy to get into and out of the cab because of well-placed steps and grab handles, but portly drivers may find it difficult to squeeze in behind the large diameter steering wheel.

Our test vehicle was fitted with a 7.3m (23ft 11 in) platform body by Chiltern Body Builders Ltd. Retail price of the DAF FA2105 5.05m (16ft 7in) wheelbase chassis cab is £.16275.

Since the date of our road test, DAF has made the ZF sixspeed synchromesh gearbox with splitter the standard gearbox for the FA2105. THREE PERKINS and one Mercedes engine are available for the Dodge G16 two-axle rigid giving a choice of power from 83.3kW (111.6bhp) to 126.7kW (169.9bhp).

Our test vehicle, fitted with a 5.3 litre (354cu in) Perkins sixcylinder in-line turbocharged power unit, is rated at 108.4kW (145.3bhp) at 2600rpm. A top speed of about 100km /h (64mph) allowed a comfortable motorway cruising speed of 55-60mph using sixth gear and the higher ratio of the two speed axle.

On A-roads there is ample power and torque for lower speed running at 40mph on level going. Where gradients are severe enough to pull the speed down, the lower axle ratio can be used to good advantage before a full gearchange becomes necessary.

All but the lowest of the gearbox ratios are equipped with synchromesh making gear changing for the most-part quick clean and easy.

Top gear, however, is engaged after a positive movement against a spring. Insufficient sideways pressure will result in a mistaken and unexpected down change into fourth and a reciprocal increase in engine speed.

A rev counter wasn't fitted and this is where the in strumentation could be improved and permit the engine to be used at about maximum torque.

The Hi-line cab is a little less than full width, yet the internal design allows the use of a dual passenger seat in addition to the well-padded drivers suspension seat. For and aft adjustment with backrest did not entirely satisfy my driving needs. The foot controls were well placed, but operation of the footbrake brought my knee in contact wi the column-mounted mul purpose indicator /headlan stalk.

Visibility through the fro

screen gave an unimpaired e, line. The header rail and tf windscreen post are sufficient narrow so as not to create blir spots. Rearward vision was ir pared slightly by a full-width 1. (5ft) high headboard. Extensic to the mirror supports was possibility, but we were alreac clipping hedges on the narrow, sections of the route.

A binnacle directly in front

the driving position houses a instrumentation, but th steering wheel shrouds half the tachograph to one side an the voltmeter on the other.

Loaded to the full weight wit

6 tons on the front axle, th in-line ram power steering gav adequate assistance and a re; sonable feedback, while th steering lock allowed sufficier manoeuvrability for the tighte; bends.

Open-topped storage boxe

are housed further along th facia. The heater demiste mounted centrally is backed b. a strong fan which helps ti circulate the incoming air am keeps the glass areas clear.

Unfortunately it shares IN same annoying characteristic a the Ford Cortina car in that th( air flow strikes the driver jus ove his eyes. Extra ventilation provided by adjustable vents each end of the facia and by larter lights and side winding ndows in the doors if needed. One grab handle is all that's eded as the steps, forward of a wheel arch, are set at a connient height.

Daily checks do not require e torsion bar assistance to tilt e cab to 45, for the oil filter id dipstick may be reached low the passenger seat while igine coolant is added to the acler tank to the rear of the b.

The British Gas Corporation tends to cancel noise em is)ns from one of its turbines by Iding noises of the relevant aquency. If the BBC can be irsuaded to co-operate by aying suitable music it could the best reason I have heard r fitting a radio — although iiet on the overrun, engine )ise made conversation diffiJlt while under load.

Braking, tested only under prmal road conditions, was -ogressive and adequate. An chaust brake can be fitted as an 3tion, but wasn't in this case. As supplied for test, the -iassis cab had a low weight of 448kg (4.38 ton), and after ie Pem Trailer aluminium and ood 7.36m x 2.4m (24ft 2in x ft) body had been added the nladen weight was given as 130kg (5 ton lcwt) to allow for total payload of 10 ton 1 9cwt.

t 16 tons gross. Bedford offers choice between the TM 1700, ith either the Detroit Diesel .)e-6 two-stroke or 500-engine, )d the less sophisticated (and ss expensive) TK with a -no


Since we conducted the 16 ton test the 500 engine has been replaced by a new one with , a similar configuration, a full description of which was in CM last week (p22). The 112kW (151bhp) 500-engine was fitted to our test vehicle.

Unlike many of the other 16 tonners on test, the TK didn't have a muktispeed gearbox or a two-speed axle, and we wondered how it would fare over the hillier sections of the route.

In the event it was really only on the steep climb out of Wantage that the Bedford suffered. I had to change down to first gear (synchromesh on the other four) and the hill climb time was consequently slow.

But the time for the less severe climb at Monmouth was respectable enough and the overall average speed was also reasonable. The biggest gap in the ratios seemed to be between third and fourth, and this proved to be a handicap on some hills where the engine would struggle to pick up after the up change from third. But generally the flexibility of the engine compensated for any lack of ratios.

A five-speed overdrive gearbox was fitted in place of the standard direct top version, giving a maximum geared road speed of around 103km /h (64mph) with the 6.17:1 realaxle.

At motorway speeds, the TK cab wasn't the quietest, but the most irritating noise on our particular vehicle came at slower speeds from the steering box.

When the wheel was turned, even slightly, a louder than usual hissing noise came from the box and was transmitted up and seemed to be amplified by the steering column.

Bedford's engineer thought that the probable cause was a small piece of dirt in a valve in the Burman integral power steering box, and we were assured that the noise is not corn mon on TK1630s.

The cab has a fairly spartan interior, but, being low mounted, it does give easy access and the driver's seat was comfortable.

A shelf behind the seats (dual passenger seat is standard) provides some useful stowage space, but the extra cab length reduces the space available for body fitment.

The instrument panel is simple with just two circular housings — one on the right for the speedo and the left one for air brake gauges, fuel and temperature gauges, and warning lights.

A TM-type steering wheel is now fitted to the TK range and gives an unobstructed view of the instruments.

You still can't tilt the Bedford cab, but reasonable access to both sides of the rear part of the engine is provided by the two flaps behind the cab doors and the front wings are hinged on over centre catches so that they can be lowered to allow a fitter to squeeze in behind the wheels. Any comments on braking performance has to be subjec tive since we were unable to take all the 16-tonners to MIRA for specific tests, but the Bed ford brake pedal did need a lot of effort. It was a little disconcerting on some downhill sections. My overall impression of the TK1630 was that it was very much a basic specification 16tonner but was still good value for money. We look forward to a full road test of the vehicle with the new engine.

The Bedford was fitted with a 6.1m (20ft) Reynolds Boughton platform body. Retail price of the 5283mm (208in) wheelbase TK1630 chassis cab is £13,310. With the 8.2 Blue Series engine (including mandatory heavy duty air cleaner) the new price is £13,526.

THE MASTIFF was the only vehicle in the group to be supplied out of service from an operator. Without an available demonstrator this was the only course open to Leyland.

Fitted with the normally aspirated Perkins V8 540 en

gine rated at 1 2 7kW (1 70bhp) driving through a five-speed overdrive box to a two-speed rear axle, Caffyns of Hove, who supplied the vehicle to A. W. Thomas of Wivelsfield Green, says it is a popular specification in the south-east and have named it the "Brighton Flyer-, It is however a combination of options that Leyland thinks more applicable to the Continent.

This is another vehicle which cruises comfortably at 5 5-60mph on the motorway in top gear. However the big \teeangine is more than a match for the limited noise insulation on the Super G Cab.

Once into Wales and onto the gentle gradients of the A449, gearchanging became more .egular. The two-speed axle was ?,asy to use and often only' a novement of the throttle pedal vas needed for an upward or iownwards change. The Mastiff s by now a well-established nodel but the position of the gear-changing, high and wellgack, is a remnant of older deigns.

Three seats and a low slightly grotruding engine cowl allows estricted cross-cab access, vhile a handle each side of the lnor opening and two wellgositioned steps in front of the vheel arch allows unobstructed ccess.

The driver's cloth suspension ype seat was very comfortable, asing many of the bumps and Pangs transmitted by the worst f the minor roads, but couldn't e adjusted for weight dif?rences.

Power assistance to the teering reduced the level of river effort to a point which, lthough not heavy, gave some )el of road conditions. Both the lutch and accelerator pedals were heavy in operation, but the brake pedal operation of the full air system was faultless.

The full-width, 1.2m (4ft) high headboard of the Freight Engineering Aluminium and hardwood body added to the frontal area of the vehicle.

A sleeper cab conversion providing a single bunk behind the seats limited the overall length of the body to 7m (2 3ft). Unless speed limit g are relaxed for major dual carriageway roads, the introduction of the tachograph in conjunction with a reduction in drivers' hours will increase demand for sleeper cabs on this size of vehicle.

Access to the engine involves using spanners for release of the cab before tilting. When new, this is not a great problem but as the vehicle becomes older cor rosion could make things difficult. The steering column must also be disconnected, but the whole operation takes only a few minutes.

Not surprisingly, though, provision has been made for regular inspections to be made with the cab in the down position. Dipstick and oil filler can be reached from within the cab, and water for the cooling system is added to the header tank at the rear.

The test vehicle was fitted with a 7 5-gallon fuel tank which, based on the figures obtained, gives a range of 850 miles.

The Mastiff is an easy vehicle to drive with good vision pro vided all round. The front scree is shallow but this is not a critii ism as glass, heavier than steo sheet, only adds weight.

Instrumentation could b improved though. A rev counte would allow even better use c the gears and two-speed axle.

The Mastiff is £14,900. priced a

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