Trip Truck Project Homepage

Welcome to the section of the website that deals with the actual Trip Truck project. An introduction to acquiring the truck itself follows, whilst the links to the right - in roughly chronological order - deal with what we've done, and what we' re still doing...

The Base Vehicle

Having decided that we were going to take the plunge and convert our own vehicle we began the process of listing our exact requirements and researching the market to see what was out there. We decided that whatever we used as a base vehicle it had to:

  • Have the ability to travel on unsurfaced roads, roads in poor repair, and also - to a degree at least - ford rivers etc
  • Be rugged and able to take brushes with undergrowth without causing insurmountable damage
  • Be simple and easily repairable mechanically, electrically, and cosmetically
  • Offer a good platform for a conversion that would be as secure as possible from would-be criminals
  • Be reasonably priced
  • Be manageable size-wise to enable access to hard-to-reach places and smaller ferries etc
    • It became clear that if we were to achieve the points on our list that a mid-sized 4 x 4 truck would be the ideal platform. After much research the choice was narrowed to all-wheel drive trucks in the 9-12 tonne range and further refinement left us with a shortlist of an Iveco, a Mercedes, and a Leyland DAF.

      Further research led to a couple of visits to ex-military disposal agents and ultimately to a visit to Witham Specialist Vehicles in late September 2010. We received excellent service from this company and the owner himself, having listened to our requirements, produced from the vast collection of vehicles on site what was to become our very own Leyland DAF T244. The truck was actually earmarked to be taken to a show as it was a notably tidy example and in spite of being made in 1994 had covered only 509 miles. It was also evident it had been regularly serviced in spite of just sitting in reserve awaiting deployment.

      'Notably tidy' in ex NATO terms is not notably tidy in a showroom kind of way and the pictures below are a selection of how the truck stood in Witham’s compound. I could see the potential, but also the enormity. Still, a project is a project…

T244 (904) (Small)
T244 (901) (Small)
T244 (903) (Small)
T244 (902) (Small)
Trip Truck (106)
Trip Truck (105)

Witham's staff helped us out with a few useful items including a jack, a wheel nut cracker-bar and a cab jacking handle. They were also kind enough to supply a photocopy of an MoD operators' handbook which gave an overview, at least, of how to carry out basic checks for pressures and levels etc. Also included was an air line that attaches to a tap in the truck's air brake system that allows completely independent inflation of the tyres from the on-board compressor.

A week or so after purchase, the truck was delivered by low-loader and we were up and running. All I had to do now was build an overlander from scratch from a tatty 16 year old truck that was unknown to DVLA or DVSA (then VOSA), what could go wrong?...

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