This vehicle is currently on display at the Museum
The post-war requirement for 3 ton 4 x 4 GS vehicles grew when the projected CT range was cancelled and it was beyond the capacity of any one British truck manufacturer to produce them all. There was also a need to avoid dependence on one manufacturer whose factory might become the victim of conflict, strikes or other disaster.
Accordingly the contracts were spread between Bedford, Ford and Commer. A few cargo carrying Commer Q4s were built but most were made as specialist vehicles. The most common and long lasting were the workshop trucks but there were also several tippers built, for use on Royal Engineer projects.
The Commer workshop trucks carried a box body, usually with side windows and a central rear door. There was a resemblance to the box body on the Bedford RL. In the case of the Commer, the bodies were built with external steel straps with lifting eyes at the top so that they could be lifted clear of the chassis. This gave the bodies the appearance of detachable containers but they were not in fact used in this way and remained part of the vehicle.
There were several variants of this vehicle differing only in the body installations. External appearances did vary slightly, many having a roof locker and some having a fixed ladder at the rear of the body to give access to the roof. Most carried a detachable set of steps at the rear for use with the rear door. Some had provision for the attachment of canvas side shelters.
Some box bodies carried special Royal Signals installations but the more common workshop types included:-
||Radio and other electronic equipment (Acc 1975.2141)
||Small arms and machine guns
|Fuel Injection Equipment Repair
||Fuel injection equipment used mainly in the Conqueror tank engine (Acc 1984.2755)
||Optical and other precision instruments
||Electrical equipment eg starter motors etc
||Precision work on gun recuperators
The need for such a wide range of separate repair vehicles was gradually eroded as certain types of equipment were superseded. The new equipment designs relied for front line maintenance more on fault diagnosis and component exchange. The repair of components was then a base workshop task.
Those repair functions still needed in front line workshops were eventually condensed and a range of repair containers came into use. These had the advantage that they could be carried on any suitable flat bed truck and if necessary, could be operated at ground level, making concealment easier.
The entire Commer workshop truck range was designed for use with external power sources. Their bodies were fitted with electrical circuits and connectors to receive current from mains or generators. All these and earlier workshop trucks, designed to use electric current, were intended to be earthed before use and carried an earthing cable and steel spike. The first job on setting up the vehicle for work was to camouflage it and then to hammer in the earthing spike making the vehicle's mains circuits safe to operate.
Most of the vehicles carried a secondary lighting system running off the vehicle's own 12 volt electrical system.
Among the longest living of the Commer workshop trucks was the Telecommunications Repair variant, some being used into the late 1980s or later. The Museum has an example of the Telecommunications Repair truck which is complete and illustrated above. This features a screened cage area where work can be carried out on electronic equipment without receiving or causing interference with neighbouring equipment. The other museum example is the Fuel Injection Equipment Repair truck.
||6.70 m (22 ft 6 in)
||2.26 m (7 ft 5 in)
||3.25 m (10 ft 8 in)
||4.24 m (13 ft 11 in)
||Commer 6 cylinder