Multidrive has built its reputation as a specialist All-Wheel-Drive vehicle design and engineering company over 40 years, when, fed up with the limitations of articulated trucks and rigid frame trucks, logging contractor and Multidrive founder, David J.B. Brown (DJBB) CBE, decided to develop an articulated tractor, for his own use.
Before long DJBB was developing underground mining machines, tractors, 8×8 logging forwarders and wheel loaders. From there he formed DJB Design & Engineering to design and manufacturer articulated trucks using the innovative Multidrive Drive-Line Technology system. Two years later and Caterpillar acquired the design rights….and, the rest, so they say is history.
Articulated trucks are recognised as being the most efficient means of transporting heavy goods on highway.
Off highway, however, they have severe limitations due to a large proportion of the gross weight being carried on the non-driven axles, the tractor front steering axle tends to lift on adverse grades and manoeuvrability is restricted due to trailer cut-in.
Rigid frame trucks offer improved traction but lack payload capacity and suffer from poor manoeuvrability.
The Multidrive driveline system fitted on to an articulated tractor unit overcomes these limitations and provides a robust, proven system that combines the payload benefits of the articulated configuration with higher traction than that of the rigid frame truck and with immensely improved manoeuvrability. It can be fitted to a wide variety of standard tractor units where off-highway performance is just as important as it is on-highway.
From the tractor unit a through drive rear axle extends the drive line with a permanently engaged constant velocity drive shaft system to the rear trailer bogie. The system allows for vertical and transverse oscillation between tractor and trailer. The rear bogie is coupled through a self and regenerative-steering arrangement which maintains the constant velocity drive-shaft geometry and turns the trailer wheels to track with those of the tractor unit. The system has been extensively proven on operational service with the United Kingdom Armed Forces in the Gulf, Bosnia and Kosovo and Afghanistan in addition to its commercial applications in the construction, agriculture, forestry and mining industries.