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Bedford 3-Ton/4-Ton (RL) Field Artillery Tractor


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There really doesn't seem to be a whole lot of information out there about the RL Field Artillery Tractors, unless I'm missing something really obvious. My first run-in with any mention of the RL in a FA tractor role was stumbling across supplement 5 in EMER F-172, issued May 1962: "BODY, TRACTOR, 3 TON, FIELD ARTILLERY, 4 x 4, BEDFORD, MODELS RLF and RLW"

Wikipedia makes mention of them in a single bullet-point:


Bedford 4x4 Gun Tractor – UK, introduced in the late 1950s to tow the 25-pdr

The EMER supplement lists them as "a quantity of Cargo vehicles [...] converted to the Field Arty. role; [...] conversion effected by REME." (I would like to attach the 6 page PDF of the supplement, but don't know if that'd be frowned upon.)

In summary, however:

  • A locking device on the cab left-hand door, to lock the door in the open position
  • A grip handle above the left-hand door.
  • Modified towing attachment bracket to strengthen and lower the towing hook
  • Stowage cabinets added on both sides. The upper cabinets' compartment doors replacing the two forward body panels; and stowage cabinets slung under the body platform. Additionally, a pair of "normal MT stowage boxes are located at the body front" on the left-hand side, and a cabinet between the body front and cab rear on the right-hand side.
  • Doors in the body sides, with steps. (On the RLW, metal steps provided on the right-hand side, but only a tread in the lid of the underslung cabinet on the left-hand side.)
  • Fuel-can carrier from LHS and tool-box from RHS both removed.
  • Spare wheel mounted on a pedestal on the front of the body, removed down a folding ramp thing on the LHS.
  • Bench seating, for members of the gun crew (presumably), at the rear of the vehicle body on the RLW conversions

Does anyone have any pictures of these in use? Any interesting stories about one? *grin*

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1 hour ago, REME 245 said:

Like on this thread unless this is you under a different name?   Years ago I saw what I thought was a Bofors Gun Tractor Body on an RL but may have been one of these.   The late Don Wilmot had it in his garden.

That's not me, not even under a different name. :) Doesn't seem like he had much luck hunting them down, either! Were they used to test some sort of invisibility generator for artillery tractors, or something? :ph34r:


1 hour ago, Richard Farrant said:

Here is a photo of one of the RL gun tractors at Woolwich Academy, it has the London District sign on the cab.

RL gun tractor.jpg

Thanks! That's a nice little picture... at least proves they weren't invisible to cameras. xD

Attached, for some semblance of reference -- I guess -- are the figures from the EMER supplement.






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