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Old 14 May 2013
B77 B77 is offline
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So trucks......

It's been 10 years since my last big trip, all round europe in a Bedford MJ and before that I took a 1957 RL to the Congo and have always travelled around as opposed to staying still. Now since being static in France since 2007 I'm getting serious wanderlust again and would like to either hit Africa which has been done or possibly Russia/Mongolia and back. The question is that there is a larger choice of trucks available now, so which to go for ?

Renault TRM 4000 Diesel

ZIL 131 Petrol

Leyland Daf 244T Diesel

Bedford MJ Diesel

Ural 375D either

There are pros and cons to each and I know which direction I'm leaning in but would appreciate any advice.

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Old 14 May 2013
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An important choice for me is availability of spare parts. So if you're heading East the two vehicles that stand out would be the Zil or Ural. But you'll find next to no spare parts in most of Africa...
On both continents MAN and Mercedes are common, so they might also be a good choice.
Depending on how deep you intend to head into the boonies truck size becomes a factor, bigger not being better - tight turns and low overhangs tend to throw a spanner in the works for bigger trucks. Many use 6-8 ton trucks for that reason.
Lacking experience with Bedford or Leyland (being from the continent ) and an inherent distrust of French automotive contraptions I'm afraid I have no useful comments about those...
Check our current adventure: tenhoope.net
Not all those who wander are lost. Usually, however, I am...
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Old 14 May 2013
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The russian trucks are basically still RL to MJ era . The Daf , and Man are next generation , but not too modern ,to be into emissions control territory , which is whole another can of worms . Parts availability has greatly improved in the period not due to better dealer network or stock holding but due to improvements in courier networks . Hope these are helpful points .
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Old 14 May 2013
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Thanks for the replies, looks like we'll be heading east. Thing is all the trucks have their charms, such as

Ural & Zil, cheap, power steering, spares in Russia no prob but hideously thirsty and notoriously unreliable and will need registering in the UK or France, France is a nightmare for that.

Renault TRM, very reliable, power steering, parts available from any Renault garage and overseas support, ok consumption but mechanically complex and parts aren't cheap.

Bedford, pretty indestructible, great parts resources worldwide, good consumption but no power steering, crap cab heater and appaling ride also long journey to pick one up.

Leyland Daf, good consumption, power steering, quite comfy apparently reliable but poor parts sources, totally unknown quantity as I never driven/worked on one 32000km round trip to the nearest road registered one in good nick for sale as opposed to delivery to my door with the Zil & Ural or about 300km for the Renault.

Decisions decisons.
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Old 22 May 2013
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Magirus/iveco Deutz?

Very reliable, simple, aircooled engines with spares available all over the world. Other parts are more difficult to obtain, but many things can be manufactured in machineshops in the middle of nowhere. The locals have to get around too :-)

Available in 4x4 with diff lock from germany at very good prices.
Peter Kongsbak
South East Asia, USA, Central and South America and Scandinavia.
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Old 22 May 2013
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Where do you live?
If in Asia what about an Isuzu, Hino or Mitsubishi?
That "32Kkm to the nearest..." got my attention. There are many reasonable low km Leyland/DAFs at MOD surplus in the UK.

Unimog U500 w/Unicat
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Old 22 May 2013
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ivecos aircooled or otherwise can be got at good prices

If you are heading to Russia / Mongolia then a russian truck would seems sensible.

What about M.A.N's too ?

Iveco Turbo Daily 4x4 40-10
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Old 23 May 2013
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A forum for Russian trucks:

Russian Military Trucks | The English Language Russian Truck Resource | For everything GAZ, ZIL, URAL, MAZ, UAZ & More!

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Old 23 May 2013
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Personally I would not put good money into a Bedford, too old, no PS as mentioned and horrible ride, the Leyland Daf is better but built to a price and not very capable off road, the clutch is weak IMO and there are much better options.

Renault is served well in Europe, parts of Africa and South America, but not anywhere else the TRMs have been going a long time and I would take a newer model over the British vehicles.

Magirus build very good trucks with generally excellent off road ability, they are also very well engineered, would be fairly high on my list.

MAN or Steyr - its difficult to get past these, a friend did a very nice conversion of a Steyr 12s 4x4 from a grit spreader to an overland truck and it was an excellent base vehicle, extremely capable in the Sahara and very reliable

Mercedes, Ive driven a lot of them and they are good vehicles, they have good spares worldwide though I find them quite heavy, but should not be overlooked, the V8 diesels are very good engines and I much prefer them to the turbo straight 6 for power and reliablity, though with my money I would choose a MAN or Steyr base vehicle. The Unimog/Overlook have great off road ability and are excellent vehicles but not everyones cup of tea for an overlander.

Zil/ Ural sorry never driven or worked on them, if you are going to be driving through Russia in colder weather the gas/petrol engines are the way to go - as long as you can afford the fuel here in Europe - (buy in Russia/sell or store in Russia?)

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