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Tarland

Post War British Military Bulldozers - Fowler Challengers? Vickers Vigor?

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Are there any good sources of information out there on the crawler tractors/bulldozers employed by the Royal Engineers in the 1950's/1960's?

 

Got a copy of Terry Gander's book on the Royal Engineers hardware but this only covers from the late 70's to mid 1980's

 

Theres been various Fowler challengers - 33 and 3M3's - up for sale recently on the various online Auction/Sales Websites.

 

Anyone able shed some light on the subject? Fowlers get a mention on the classic plant websites/forums but not in great detail.

 

A New Zealand article on the Vigor:

https://web.archive.org/web/20081014160053/http://www.contrafedpublishing.co.nz/Historical/Rugged+reliability+The+Vickers+VR180+Vigor.html

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I have an E.M.E.R. which covers the C6SFL as fitted to the Vigor, it mentions a size 1 Vigor mk2 with 190bhp and a mk3 with 210bhp.

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On 8/27/2016 at 10:03 PM, Tarland said:

 

 

 

 

Theres been various Fowler challengers - 33 and 3M3's - up for sale recently on the various online Auction/Sales Websites.

 

Anyone able shed some light on the subject? Fowlers get a mention on the classic plant websites/forums but not in great detail.

 

 

According to the Army's Equipment Regulations, Nomenclature & Coding dated 1968, there were 7 variants of the Fowler Challengers in military service at that point.

One of the lighter dozers in service in the Seventies was the Track Marshall TM70, we regularly had one in with steering clutch problems, it worked on a coastal range and I think the beach was hard on its running gear.

regards, Richard

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Posted (edited)

There several developments of the Vickers Tractor starting with the Shervick, then the in house designed and for the time high speed VR180 developing through the Vigor range, closed front to later high open front. These had mainly C6SFL engines but also C6TFL and Cummins. Both used either dry clutch or torque convertor drive. Giving 6 forward speeds and 2 reverse. Early ones had manual slewing clutch and brake with later ones going on to hydraulic powered servo assistance. Also produced was the smaller Vicon range and a development larger tractor with a C8FLT engine. All had Christie type suspension.

Edited by john1950

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Agreed John but the OP was asking about RE plant and it looks like they had the Rolls powered versions.

The turbo C series were TFL not FLT, Turbocharged,  Ferrous block & heads,  Left hand build.

There are a couple of good videos on YouTube with Vigors racing around with scrapers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuJ6No-0tN4

 

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Sorry I got my letters mixed. Most had C6SFL 101 series engines with the Roots blower running at twice engine speed, around + 8psi manifold pressure. there were very few built with the other engine types. Rolls Royce C range oil engines were designed to be assembled omni directional using the same parts. This was mainly for the marine environment. To give Left and Right hand propeller options.  Also some were built with Aluminium blocks. I think I have also seen Fowler tractors with both the C6 and Leyland 0.600/680 options.

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Posted (edited)

A few pages from the civilian operators guide dated 1958. Depicts early closed front tractor.

SAM_1426.JPG

SAM_1427.JPG

SAM_1428.JPG

SAM_1429.JPG

Edited by john1950
addition

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John,

First time I've seen the civilian operator's manual.  Looks well illustrated.

I have the Military equivalent, issued by the Directorate of Royal Engineers Equipment, WO Code No 18395.

Tractors, Crawler, Size 1, Vickers Vigor

Angledozer, Hydraulic Vickers,

Cable Control Unit, Vickers VGRCU

Winch, Single Drum, Vickers VGTW.

Contracts 6/P & EQ/23873 & 24334

USER HANDBOOK 1959.

Mick

Vickers data.jpg

Vickers transmission.jpg

Vickers Controls.jpg

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35 minutes ago, Mick Norton said:

John,

Some copies of Terence Cuneo's great paintings covering the Vickers Vigor.

Mick

Complete with mice??

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

First picture shows one of its achillies heels the final drive transfer gear. It was uprated but to no avail the bearings still collapsed. Great paintings I have not seen them before, even a rare front mounted winch, and different scrappers. A nod to Yorkshires  "Mouseman" perhaps. A few went to Africa on the Ground Nut scheme. I have not seen the military manual.

Edited by john1950

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10 hours ago, radiomike7 said:

 

That's what I was wondering as well lol

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Posted (edited)

I have a few different Vickers Vigor manuals all well used but I think they should be availlable to read, Maybe in a Museum. Most of my Vigor/Vikon photographs are with a friend near Kettering who is coppying them.I have some brass cannon and ships bridge layouts made by a now passed local model maker George Chapman in the Blyth battery exibit. I will start a civvy thread instead of putting pictures on this Military one.

Edited by john1950

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