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Mastering the MAN of the future

16 September 2016

Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) John Morrison, of the Land 121 Training Team, said they aimed to safely convert drivers in the shortest time so they could return to units and pass on skills.

“We teach anything that’s different with the new vehicles they haven’t been exposed to on the old fleet,” he said.

“There’s a new method of removing a wheel; we expose them to that. They demonstrate competency but we don’t need to see a soldier undo wheel nuts like they’ve been doing for their whole careers.”

Soldiers are taught to deal with the trucks’ increased size and weight compared to the old fleet and understanding the 2-3-tonne difference between protected and unprotected variants.

“The fact they run at 2.5m wide also means that soldiers need to be ready to put these things on the road as an oversized vehicle under a permit,” WO2 Morrison said.

“Overall, we’re trying to acknowledge the driver’s skill base at the start of these courses.”

One of the students, Private (Pte) Matthew Brock, of 2/14 LHR (QMI), said he was impressed with how much of a smooth ride the new trucks were.

“It’s like driving a normal car except you’re a lot bigger and you have a couple more axle groups,” he said.

“You have all the seating adjustments; you can modify it to suit you.”

WO2 Morrison said the younger soldiers on course were excited by being the first to learn about the new trucks.

“They love the technology and anything that’s moving towards the future,” he said.

“You can see them thriving because they’re being exposed to the vehicle, understanding what’s going on instead of hearing it second- or third-hand off someone else.

“They come on course and say ‘This isn’t that bad, this is pretty cool’. I hope they go back to their units and spread the word to their mates.” 

Despite being greeted with an array of new buttons and switches when he got behind the wheel, Pte Brock said things soon became clear.

“You’re thinking ‘What does this one and that one do?’, but you jump in and they explain it to you,” he said.

“Sitting at a screen does nothing for me.

“Getting in the vehicle, doing everything there and having guys walk you through is 100 times better.”

Pte Brock said he was also impressed with the truck’s integrated load-handling system.

“Loading and unloading is a hell of a lot quicker than what you could do with a Mog, where you have to lift everything on,” he said.

“With these vehicles you just use the back, hook it up and chuck it on.”

Courses covering the HX77 heavy variant and 40M medium variant run for two weeks, while courses for the 40M run for one week.

Up to 24 students can attend each course with 20 courses run each year.

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Last updated
5 December 2016
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