The contract required MAN to install and integrate a new pallet and container loading system (enhanced palletised load system, or EPLS) on to the four-axle HX trucks, vehicles that MAN delivered to the MoD under a separate contract signed in 2005.
To ensure both quality control and timescale were met, MAN Truck & Bus UK recruited an entirely new team of over 40 skilled and qualified technicians for the contract period of 32 months. Full product training across the team had to be completed within eight weeks for production to begin. This project was and remains, the first of its kind to be commissioned by the UK MoD.
Once stripped down, each of the 382 vehicles was re-engineered and fitted with a 2,500 component ‘retrofit’ kit, including the top hamper ILHS System. The vehicles now meet the UK MoD’s requirement to efficiently load both standardised 20-foot containers and their pallet loading system.
The conversion programme also included MAN Truck & Bus UK sub-contracting the waxing and painting of all vehicles to a third-party specialist paintshop. This process also had to meet timescale and go through MoD security protocols.
The final vehicle, EPLS 382, was delivered back to the MoD on 18 March 2021, meeting the contract completion date.