Amphibious All-Terrain Vehicle Fat Will Pass through Mud, Blizzard, and Water
The swampy marshes and desolate Arctic expanses of Russia inspired our engineers to create the Sherp ATV and its six-wheeled trailer. Canada has similar inhospitable, impassable northern terrain, and also has its own all-terrain Fat Truck from Zeal Motor in Quebec. The Fat Truck family with huge 65-inch dirt track tires and an enclosed passenger van has been added to the 2.8P model, a versatile truck hauler. The all-terrain vehicle is designed to haul materials and equipment in harsh off-road and water conditions that would be disastrous for an average pickup truck.
Zeal Motor launched the industrial Fat Truck 2.8C in 2019 for mining and energy companies in Canada, the United States, Scandinavia and Australia. The big-wheeled amphibious truck is designed to meet the very specific needs of customers in certain industries. In the case of the new 2.8P, those needs come from the utility industry and require a vehicle that can carry people and payloads separately from each other and move confidently over soft, treacherous soils and deep standing water.
Instead of a full-size cab in the 2.8C, the 2.8P has a short, two-seat cab mounted in front of the platform with rear door access. Although the cargo area is fairly narrow because of the wide tires on both sides, two long flats over the 61-cm tires add options for accommodating loads weighing up to 1,000 pounds. In addition to carrying tools, equipment and other cargo, the 2.8P can serve as a chassis for special equipment: a foam firefighting unit, a high-speed winch or a crane-manipulator.
The Fat 2.8P is equipped with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel Caterpillar engine, which develops up to 67 hp at 2800 rpm and torque of 207 N/m at 1400 rpm. Engine power is transmitted through a hydrostatic synchronous carbon fiber belt drive.
The Fat Truck 2.8P is joystick-controlled and can travel at speeds of up to 40 km/h on land and 5 km/h on water. It can also drive on slopes with up to 75% gradients and can turn on the spot. Even when fully loaded, the huge 65-inch low-pressure tires exert only 0.11 kgf/cm2 of pressure on the ground, which is five times less than the pressure exerted by a human. This allows the all-terrain vehicle to navigate on soft ground without sinking. The onboard control system adapts tire pressure to different soil types.
The Fat 2.8P has a height of 2.6 m, ground clearance of about 53 cm and a length of 3.7 m. It’s shorter than the two-door Mini Cooper. The two front passengers get into the all-terrain vehicle through the folding windshield and the lower front hatch with integrated ladder.
The Fat Truck 2.8P will be shown this week at the Utility Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, which opens Tuesday and runs through Thursday. The manufacturer has not yet announced pricing, but looking at the six-figure prices of the 2.8C, it’s safe to assume that the price-utility ratio is beyond reasonable for all kinds of consumers except industry, for whom the rover was specifically designed.