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Sand ladders......


Jack
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PSP Perforated Steel Planking was used extensively in WW2, sometime known as Marston matting it was used extensively as individual pieces for vehicles, as sand mats, and in their thousands joined to make temporary airstrips and beach unloading areas.

 

The LRDG did indeed carry them as did other desert operators. Often painted on the reverse side in contrasting Red and White, so that they doubled as an Air Recognition signal in the event of emergency.

 

Sand mats were also used, these tended to be locally produced and varied in design length and materials. The basic design was a canvas strip reinforced with what ever, and rolled up when not in use.

 

"The Desert My Dwelling Place", by Lloyd Owen...would be a good start

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Hi,

 

Sand ladders were used in WW2 and can be seen secured to several types of vehicle however they are totally different to the modern versions. The type generally seen today is PSP (Perforated Steel Planking) which was originally designed for the construction of roads, hard standings and even runways for harrier jump jets.

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Thanks Russ and great link Karoshi.

 

Has any one got any images of the WW2 v post war ladders?

 

We used have thousands of them around one of the farms that I worked as we used as a pig race.

 

Cheers

 

jack.

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I think the term PSP is correct for both modern and wartime sand ladders but the postwar type has the connecting hooks running along the side, if you look at the web link the sand channels are PSP but more 'U' shaped and dont have the side hook. I believe the Desert raiders group had some of the wartime planks reproduced a few years ago due to th lack of correct avalible planks.

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I think the term PSP is correct for both modern and wartime sand ladders but the postwar type has the connecting hooks running along the side, if you look at the web link the sand channels are PSP but more 'U' shaped and dont have the side hook.

 

Russell,

 

Pierced Steel Planking (correct title, not perforated) had side hooks originally during WW2 as it was intended for airfield use. It is highly likely that for vehicle use by desert patrols, they would have cut off the hooks as they are prone to hooking in clothing, cam net, etc. when regularly handled.

 

Richard

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Seems a bit of a grey area, i had always thought that PSP was bog standard PSP, as you say originally intended for temporary airfields etc, but having needed a piece for a vehicle restoration i got talking to the Desert raiders group that explained about the differences including the size and spacing of the holes....... I'm now under the impression that PSP and sand channels are two different items....

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i got talking to the Desert raiders group that explained about the differences including the size and spacing of the holes....... I'm now under the impression that PSP and sand channels are two different items....

 

Hi Russell,

 

I have had a close look at a couple of LRDG websites. What they were using were in fact "channels", formed to stop the wheel riding off the edge. PSP or Marston matting is relatively flat. There are three rows of equal sized holes, between each row, a pressed vee rib facing down, with outer edges turned down formed in to hooks which locate in slots along upper edge. British armoured cars and scout cars, such as Daimler and Humber carried channels and they were rigid enough to support the vehicle over ditches or soft patches without bending. Proper PSP would have deformed by doing this. So the conclusion is that their is a difference between PSP or Marston mat and sand channels.

 

Richard

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Hi Richard,

 

Thats exactly what i'm looking for to fit onto my Dingo, any ideas where i can pick up a section of sand channel???

 

 

 

Hi Tim,

 

Ahhh, now we're getting to it :):) Dingos are my subject, not many restored ones have them on, as they were made specifically for that vehicle. I did see a private owned one at an event at Bovington years ago and the owner had some made, probably from a photo as reference, in alloy. The steel ones would have been noticable on the steering no doubt. I would think it very unlikely to find any originals, so copies would be the only way to go. As you may know they are channels with the outside edge formed in a upturned vee so the two stack together and to give rigidity when crossing ditches, there are only two holes, those for the clamping screws.

 

Richard

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Hi Richard,

 

You've just added another spanner!!!!! I thought that the Dingo had the 'Sand channel' secured to the front, but i've just been looking at some early pictures of the Dieppe dingo's and can see what you mean about the 2 securing holes and that they are like steel loading ramps as opposed to sand channels.......

 

 

Well back to the drawing board!!!!

 

Cheers,

 

Tim.

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This extract from "The Long Range Desert Group" by Bill Kennedy Shaw may be of interest to some:

 

In the western desert during the war thousands of Army cars carried slung alongside them a pair of these perforated steel channels yet probably not one man in as many thousands knew their origin, so for sake of history I record it here.

 

In the spring of 1926 Bagnold ( Major R.A.) had been up in Jerusalem,........After unsuccessful experiments with corrugated iron beaten into channels Bader discovered, by nosing round among the old-iron shops of Cairo, a stock of strong rolled-steel troughing designed in the war for roofing dug-outs. We bought a couple of these, five foot long, to carry with us.

 

Then in 1929, in the eastern edge of the sand Sea near 'Ain Dalla:

 

Every few miles one or other of the two lorries would get stuck in the soft ground........ If it had not been for these old steel channels we must have given up......They were the salvation of the expedition.

 

Taken from: Middle East General Order No 108 4:2:1944

 

INVENTIONS:

 

In accordance with para 3 Standing Orders for War M.E.F. it is recorded that (now) Brig R.A. Bagnold developed, in collaboration with other officers as stated below, the following inventions or applications of existing principles to military purposes:

 

(a) Sand Channels

 

Devised in 1929 and subsequently adopted, with modifications, as standard desert equipment.

 

(b) Sand Mats

 

Devised in 1929 in collaboration with Major P.A.Clayton in the form of rope ladders with bamboo rungs, subsequently modified by the substitution of canvas for rope, and adopted as standard desert equipment

 

The pictures which appear in this 1945 publication shows sand channels in use and clearly shows FIVE rows of holes.

 

Jack you'll have to change to "Super Singles" to warrant carrying sand channels on a GMC!

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  • 15 years later...

Hi 

I am trying to make some sand matts but there appear to be diffrent types.

the LRDG pictures show a flexible matt.

1448027706_E12396a.jpg.8b7d9979a670dfb1d2cff6eef3edc752.jpg

this barn find had rope inserts (bad pic ) as I could see the rope ends.

1442833329_lrdgimg102_3.thumb.jpg.b249f3e00b87accac5d49d556de55b9b.jpg

AWM  pockets with rope inserts

IMG_3143.thumb.jpg.58202e00588a0dbe6232100439ad6c43.jpg

I have made a set but i fitted 2 1/2" X 1/2" ply strips in they look great, but wrong,

the pocket size in the LRDG pics appear to be about 3" wide X 17",

 there is rope in them,but with large gaps hence my error.

first type (i found not by manufacture)

271942444_2233746886773188_4582412176375101380_n.thumb.jpg.6111f1874b2c9baf84f1f7699dcf2f01.jpg

271921608_1236424076845564_983680131660082728_n.jpg.b61db11e1eba1f92003882c6db54b2b7.jpg

second type

IMG_9099.thumb.jpg.430443f174cf651f517b0a13aed594b0.jpg

these have rope inserts easy type used bamboo,

the ones in ICA are a bit sort on length as i calculate they should be wheel base plus two wheel diameters or more,

they also have the canes protruding, and are wired in, I think this was to produce a better effect for when they were ejected from under the wheels, i.e. sand everywhere.

regs

Rupert

 

 

 

 

Edited by rupert condick
better information
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