The Wacky World

Land Rover AFRICA Magazine - - NEWS -

Look, we’ve fea­tured some strange-look­ing Landys in this sec­tion be­fore, but the Road­less 109 is right up there as one of the most pe­cu­liar-look­ing Land Rovers ever. Tech editor Ian Theron’s affin­ity for odd-ball Landys has led him to take a closer look at the For­est Rover or Road­less 109. The Road­less 109, or Se­ries IIA For­est Rover, was built by Road­less Trac­tion of Houn­slow, in the sub­ur­ban dis­trict of the Lon­don Bor­ough. Road­less Trac­tion mainly con­verted trac­tors to four-wheel drive ve­hi­cles. The United King­dom Forestry Com­mis­sion, a non-min­is­te­rial gov­ern­ment depart­ment re­spon­si­ble for forestry in Eng­land and Scot­land, was hav­ing some dif­fi­culty with its use of con­ven­tional Land Rovers. These Landys were prone to get­ting stuck on rut­ted for­est tracks and were ham­pered by fallen trees. The ma­chin­ery re­search of­fi­cer for the Forestry Com­mis­sion, Colonel Shaw, sug­gested that trac­tor-type tyres were used. Most of the 20odd rovers built from 1961-1964 was shipped over­seas, but a few re­mained in the UK. The 2.25-litre petrol and diesel vari­a­tions were used, the gear ra­tios were changed, and the ma­chine was ca­pa­ble of ap­prox­i­mately 48km/h. The For­est Rover used Stude­baker axles with plan­e­tary type hub re­duc­tions and trac­tor-type wheels. The front axle had a track 35cm wider than the rear to al­low suf­fi­cient steer­ing lock to re­tain ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity with a 12m turn­ing cir­cle. The For­est Rover fea­tures an im­pres­sive ground clear­ance of 430mm from un­der the diff. The de­par­ture an­gle is be­tween 40-55 de­grees depend­ing on the load bay. With all this, it also fea­tures an im­pres­sive wad­ing depth. The en­gine, clutch, gear­box, trans­fer box, pro­pel­ler shafts and steer­ing box are all stan­dard 109-inch.

FOR­EST ROVER

(Road­less 109)

SUS­PEN­SION: Heavy-duty Se­ries II leaf springs

SHOCKS: Heavy-duty dou­ble act­ing

CHAS­SIS: Re-en­forced 109-inch

FRONT AXLE: Spe­cial Track 75-inch with diff ra­tio 3.63:1 hub re­duc­tion 3.67:1.

REAR AXLE: Spe­cial Track 61-inch with same diff and hub ra­tio as front axle.

BRAKES: Hy­draulic with 14-inch drums

TYRES: 11 x 28-inch or 23 x 28-inch

PAY­LOAD: Max­i­mum three-quar­ter ton

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