Flexible Frame

The Multidrive Flex Frame is a unique system that allows drive between a rigid truck and trailer, allowing for 8x8, 8x10 and 10x10 drive configurations.

The Flex-Frame coupling system delivers a drive from the rear tractor through drive axle to the leading tandem trailer axle. When compared to a rigid vehicle of similar proportions this system dramatically improves mobility, manoeuvrability and agility.

In addition to allowing drive to the trailer unit the design also enables:

  • Unlimited oscillation between tractor and trailer, which improves wheel to ground contact, enhancing traction
  • Increased axle spacing giving a wider spread of traction
  • Enhances lateral stability in all yaw and pitch circumstances
  • Smallest turning circle in its class with only one steer axle and minimum cut-in

The Multidrive Flex-Frame has three planes of movement to achieve:

  • 50 degrees up & down
  • 50 degrees side to side
  • 360 degrees rotation
  • Channels that protect all hoses, pipes and cables (hydraulic, air and electrical)
  • Easy disconnection
  • Easy maintenance
  • Utilises standard vehicle steering
  • legal and safe throughout the total use spectrum

The design solution compromises:

  • Heavy duty Drive-Line and bearings
  • Low stress – increased chassis life compared to a long chassis rigid
  • Proven active, fail safe stability
  • Active optimisation of all axle loadings, particularly on second axle
  • Improved strategic and tactical mobility
  • Improved wheel/groun contact
  • Legal GVW/GCW allowing for high payloads
  • Wide spread of traction
  • Improved lateral stabiity in all yaw and pitch circumstances
  • 40 degree ramp profiles achieved with reduced stresses
  • Unlimited oscillation between tractor and trailor
  • Lower overall chassis stresses – minimising chance of load or chassis feature
  • Safe high speed characteristics
  • Smallest 17M turning circle in its class achieved with only one steer axle and minimum ‘cut-in’
  • All-wheel-drive toque split, with cross and longitudinal axle differential locks

Specifications

Driveline Flex-Frame 8X8
Engine / Power Caterpillar C-12Euro III 450 bhp
Cab Multidrive Stealth crew / Sleeper cab
Transmission Allison HD 4560(P) 6 Speed
Transfer case MAN VG1600
Axle Front Axle Tech ISAS
Axle Rear SISU
Axle Rear Tandem SISU
Suspension Front ISAS independent suspension
Suspension Rear Naway Air Suspension
Suspension Rear Tandem Walking beam rubber suspension
Brakes Full air dual circuit disc front drum rear with ABS
Steering Recirculating ball integral power assist
Steering Rear Pasive Flex-Frame
Frame (Front & Rear) Bolted construction high tensile ladder frame
Tyre 16.00R20
Cooling System Water cooled radiator pack
Fuel System 350 Litre steel tank
Electrics 24 Volt
Temperature Minus 26 to Plus 49 Deg C (unprepared)
Humidity up to 100% at 30 Deg C
Altitude Designed for 2,500 Metre
Weight & Load
Payload (inc Body) 25,500 Kg
Curb Weight (Chassis cab) 13,500 Kg
GVW 39,000 Kg
Dimensions
Length 14,320 mm
Width 2,550 mm
Height 3,000 mm
Cargo body floor height 1,500 mm
Drive mode 8X8
Cab 1 + 3 / 4 & Kit (depending on requirement)
Tactical Mobility
Highest Speed 96 km/hr
Acceleration 0~60 Km/hr 29 Sec
Min Turning Dia 17 Metre
Continuous driving range 600 km (As requested by MoD)
Approach angle 40 degree
Departure angle 38 degree
Minimum ground clearance 495 mm
Max slope climbing 60%
Max side slope Static Tilt 28 Deg

A Design for Stealth & Ballistic Protection

Shown Above – Future Fuel Vehicle (FFV), Qinetiq Hybrid & Future Cargo Vehicle (FCV)

Design Features

Provide a structure with 3 planes of movement that achieves:

  • 50 degrees up and down
  • 50 degrees side to side
  • 360 degrees rotation

Various pictures of the Flexible-Frame Trailer to demonstrate its integration into the truck/trailer chassis’s, heavy duty structure/cylinder configuration and articulation capabilities whilst maintaining drive to the trailer axles.

  • Through which a high torque of 20,000 nm driveline can pass through providing constant velocity at all times
  • Simple structure at least as strong as the chassis to which it is attached
  • Uses proven components
  • Protected channel for all hoses, pipes & cables (hydraulics, air & electrical)
  • Easy to disconnect
  • Easy maintenance
  • Utilises standard front steer
  • Legal and safe throughout total use spectrum

Solution – comprises:

  • Heavy duty driveline and bearings
  • Conduit trunking
    • Hydraulic ram hoses (2)
    • Air brake pipes and hoses
    • Electrical cables (vehicle lighting)
    • Pump control cables
    • Additional service capacity
  • 2 side-mounted cylinders, performing 2 functions
  • Shock absorbers
    • Damp out weave
    • Reducing force and speed of impact to stops
  • Regenerative steering
    • Centralising steering force
    • Reducing tendency to jack-knife
    • Prevents oversteer
  • Upper cylinder with 4 functions
    • Acts as stop
    • Acts as damper
    • Transfers weight
    • Resists roll-over of tractor and trailer
  • Delivering
    • Low stress – increased chassis life compared to rigids, long chassis
    • Proven, active, fail-safe stability
    • Active optimisation of axle loadings, particularly on second axle
    • Regenerative steering negates oversteer

Improved strategic and tactical mobility

  • Improved wheel/ground contact
  • Legal gvw enabling large payloads
  • Wide spread of traction
  • Improved lateral stability
  • 40 degree ramp profiles achieved with reduced stresses
  • Better lateral stability in all yaw and pitch circumstances
  • Lower overall chassis stresses – less chance of load or chassis fracture
  • High safe speeds
  • Smallest turning circle in its class achieved with only one steer axle and minimum ‘cut-in’
  • All wheel drive torque split with cross-axle and longitudinal differential locks

 

 

Incorporates commonality

  • Independent suspension axle system, electronic steering systems and 16.00r20 wheel & tyre equipment (FCV, FFV and HCV)
  • Crew or sleeper cab to meet stealth and ballistic protection
  • engine, transmission, transfer case (FFV and HCV)
  • Run-flat, central tyre inflation system and 21r24 wheel and tyre equipment optional (FCV, FFV and HCV)

 

Flex-Frame 57 feet (17.4M) Turning Circle

Alternatively there is the heavy cargo vehicle 8x8x8 rigid conventional chassis:

Survivability

  • Integrated roll over protection system (rops)
  • Integrated signature reduction

Agility

Steering 3 modes

  • Front wheel (normal)
  • Contra (14.4m turning circle –between kerbs)
  • Crab
    • 20% increase in gradeability
    • Superior ditch and hump crossing

Heavy cargo vehicle (HCV) 8x8x8

Incorporates commonality

  • Independent suspension axle system and 16.00r20 wheel & tyre equipment (FCV, FFV and FFT)
  • Electronic steering system (FCV)
  • Crew or sleeper cab to meet stealth and ballistic protection (FFV and FFT)
  • Engine, transmission, transfer case (FFV and FFT)
  • Run-flat, central tyre inflation system and 21r24 wheel and tyre equipment optional (FCV, FFV and FFT)

Driven semi trailer – multidrive tractor

  • Proven driveline components on HCV 8x8x8 and FFV 8x8 configurations
  • Commonality of major unit installation and components from heavy cargo vehicle (HCV) and future fuel vehicle (FFV)
  • Option to use any 4x4 tractor unit with matched rear tandem drive axles
  • Improved turning circle
  • Low 5th wheel position
  • Integrated winch and moveable 5th wheel

Multidrive configuration to drive and steer the Trailer axles on an articulated vehicle

Trailer driveline technology is adaptable

  • Articulated 8x8 and 8x6 driveline for tractor/trailer
    • Proven on-off highway performance
    • Maximises weight on driven wheels
    • Excellent turning circle
    • Minimises trailer ‘cut in’
    • Reduces tyre scrub
    • Utilises standard 4x2 or 4x4 oem’s tractor units and tandem axles to offer 8x6 or 8x8 specification