OX: the flat-pack truck designed for developing nations
May 21, 2013
OX is a lightweight, high-payload truck invented by toymaker, adventurer, and philanthropist Sir Torquil Norman with the aim of providing a simple, robust and cost-effective work-horse in developing nations. The 1,500-kilogram (1.6-ton) truck can be assembled from a flatpack package within a day and is capable of transporting 13 people, eight 44-gallon oil drums, or a total of 2,000 kilograms (2.2 tons) in weight.
Manufactured by UK-based Global Vehicle Trust (GVT) – a charitable subsidiary of the inventor’s own Norman Trust charity – the OX was designed from scratch to be amenable to quick-and-easy repairs. Most of the truck’s panels are interchangeable from one side to the other, and the fewest possible components were used to speed up the time needed for assembly from flat-pack.
Six ready-to-assemble OX flat-pack units (including engine and transmission) will fit into a standard shipping container, and, according to GVT, it takes three people around five and a half hours to fold the truck into a flat-pack. On reaching its eventual destination, OX then requires another trio of local professional mechanics to expend approximately 11.5 hours to get it road-ready.
OX sports a wide track and independent suspension to facilitate stability on poor-quality roads. High ground clearance and a 2.2-liter diesel engine should add to OX’s off-road readiness, and the front-wheel drive vehicle can motor through up to 75 cm (30 inches) of water. When unloaded, 73 percent of the truck’s weight is placed over the front axle, and even when fully loaded this amount is still 53 percent – a weight distribution that lends itself to good traction.
OX also features a power takeoff that allows the truck’s engine output to be routed for tasks such as pumping water, sawing wood, or running a generator. As the vehicle is still in the prototype stage, there are no measurements available yet, nor more detailed specs. However, the company has likened its length to that of a typical car.
Though OX is primarily focused toward serving as a transportation solution for developing nations, GVT anticipates interest from European farmers, estate owners, and other similar parties. All profits from the sale of fully-assembled vehicles will be used to further develop OX and similar products for charitable purposes. OX will reportedly cost £10,000 - £15,000 (roughly US$15,000 - $22,000) when it reaches market.