Refresh my memory. I can't recall what I said about them compared to my Leyland comments.
AAh I think I know what you mean - buying the best available. Yes the Australian Defence Force has a very sad record in this area. The Navy has specialised in unbelievably expensive orphan junk. The Air Force is not too bad but buying an F35 fighter was the worst economic bargain in recent years.
The Army is a mixed bag. My area of Aviation went down hill after I left and some incompetent committee bought a flock of European rubbish that never came close to fulfilling the promise. Thank goodness they have scrapped the Euro Tigers and are replacing them with Apaches which they should have bought in the first place.
The Contractors were bought back in the day when British stuff was still acceptable to carry the WW2 era British Centurian tank, another maintenance nightmare. They only bought a handful for 90% dragging around the local area in Victoria and an interstate exercise was a big undertaking. Considering the British Leyland woes at the time I bet there was a financial deal that made them bypass the several superior (at least in service and parts availability) commercial vehicles available off the shelf at the local dealer.
We are so small we are only retail buyers so our testing teams can only make slight modifications of off the shelf items. The Army Landrovers were the last of the big volume just-for-Australia design and build. Our current Australian designed and built armoured personnel vehicles have been very successful. I think the current Mercedes G wagons and MAN trucks are a giant leap forward and both are used in their tens of thousands in armies world-wide.
I believe they are over legal max width........the 335 s in them are of course Scottish,and crack the taper nose crank....the back end is a very heavy hub reduction,one size bigger than the Hwt Hippo .... most trucks were cut for the bogie and exported to Malaysia .......the 335 and the tranny were pretty much unsaleable .....although I did sell a tranny and fluid flywheel etc to Torque power.....and supposedly the guy who got it off me was sacked for wasting money on junk!......the most saleable part was the Jake Brake off the Cummins.
John has thrown in a few ideas as to why but in terms of trying to get any part of the truck in Australia in the 70's to keep it going under harsh conditions (which luckily never came to pass in their service lifetime) it was almost impossible and waiting for a UK delivery was the only option.
You could say that about any big truck ...then and now.......heaviest Oz made was a bogie IH Acco with a 392 petrol,or a bogie Dodge with a 361.....even then both gearboxes were foreign made..............I think the biggest problem the Contractors had was the situation at British Leyland.....simply no spares ,and when spares did come,they were numbered wrong.......They were a bit odd,but only on the tranny,and there were plenty of Leylands about with the semi auto gearboxes......every bus had one for many years......I do know there were many breakdowns with the Leylands ,and often a convoy of floats would have a spare truck along.
The Scammells were the heaviest rated gear around at the time and were the byword in heavy haulage (though not claimed for high speed or long distance). There were probably more working on mineral road train work in Australia than went to the army so not an orphan at all. The torque converter box meant you could get lift off without damaging the drive line and old mate who gets his restored one towing a Centurian into Rocklea Showground proves they are capable in the trickiest of situations. Reliability problems probably said just as much about the drivers, mechanics and stores managers.
It was the Thorncroft Antars that were overwidth.
The following user(s) said Thank You: 180wannabe, Dave_64, Lang, PaulFH
That is Roy Larkin who has done a lot of research on military vehicles from WWl on, however has limited himself to pommy sources only. Scammell built in batches and to custom order so numbers were small and specs varied according to customer wishes rather than Roy's catalogue lift. The following model, the Commander, was Rolls Royce 600hp, and rated to 350hp never got into series production.