Over the weekend the International Committee of the Red Cross tweeted a video of three MAN KAT 1 cargo trucks slogging through a “road” that looks more like a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The trucks are towing each other, and seem to be moving under their own power at the same time.
From the onlooker’s reaction in this video, I’m guessing that it’s pretty rare to see vehicles make it through that part of town.
The KAT 1 is a particularly robust heavy hauler, though. These German diesel-powered utility machines come in four, six and eight driven-wheel’d versions that have been working in military, construction and humanitarian situations since the 1970s. The last time I was in Birdsville, Australia there was a privately owned one waiting for calls to rescue people from the Simpson Desert.
I don’t think anybody would be too impressed with a KAT 1’s horsepower figure but, its gearing is aggressive enough to let the trucks get through pretty much anything... eventually.
The drivers of these particular trucks weren’t taking any chances though, as you can see they’re already roped together like elephants holding tails-in-trunks. I can’t say I’ve ever seen vehicles this size use such a strategy, but I guess it makes sense. Between three vehicles biting for traction, any one of them could be preemptively yanked forward if it starts to get a little stuck.
Anyway, the Congo looks like a pretty tough place to drive. Hopefully these MANs made it where they were going without losing too many boxes.
Hat tip to Jason!