Airsoft Action 07 - Mar 2012 - Page 42

THE BEDFORD MK/MJ SERIES 4-TONNER Ever fancied pitching up to an airsoft site in a military truck? The Bedford MK could be just what you need – Ratty has the lowdown I f you are of a certain age or have ever lived near a military camp or town then two British military vehicles will stand out as familiar sights on the roads. Firstly Land Rovers, which I covered a while ago – and the other would have been the Bedford four-tonne truck. The Bedford MK and later MJ models were far from glamorous (they were indeed rather basic and antiquated), but for nearly 30 years were the heavy workhorse of 042 March 2012 British Forces. Used by all three services in a manner of roles, from general service (GS) wagon through to fuel bowsers and mobile workshops. It’s still in service with some units today, a testament to its timeless design and simple engineering. History Bedford Vehicles (normally shortened to Bedford) was a subsidiary of Vauxhall Motors, itself a British subsidiary of General Motors (GM). Bedford was established in 1930 and constructed commercial vehicles. For several years it was GM Europe’s most profitable branch, becoming a leading truck manufacturer, exporting its light, medium and heavy trucks throughout the world. Bedford had already won the tender in the early 1950s to supply a medium lorry. The Bedford RL was based on the Bedford SCL, a civilian petrol-engined seven-tonne truck. The military version had all wheel drive and bigger wheels to increase ground clearance. It became the British military’s main medium truck and was built from the mid 1950s until the late 1960s. Many specialist variants of the RL were built, including workshops and radio vans and the ‘Green Goddess’ fire