Bedford RL

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bedford RL
Bedford RLgreenred.jpg
Manufacturer Bedford Vehicles
Production 1953–early 1970s
Body and chassis
Class Commercial vehicle, military vehicle
Body style chassis cab, flatbed, troop carrier, fire engine, recovery vehicle
Layout Longitudinal front engine,
rear-wheel drive (2x4), or
four-wheel drive (4x4)
Related Bedford RLHZ Self Propelled Pump, aka Green Goddess
Engine 4.9 L 110 bhp I6 petrol
Transmission 4-speed manual
Wheelbase 3.962 metres
Length 6.36 metres
Width 2.39 metres
Height 2.602 metres (at cap)
Kerb weight 4.4 tons (empty)

The Bedford RL was the British military's main medium lorry (truck), built by Bedford Vehicles, from the mid-1950s until the late 1960s. They superseded the Bedford OY.


The Bedford RL was based on the Bedford SCL, a civilian 7-ton truck. The military version had all wheel drive and bigger wheels to increase ground clearance. Originally conservatively rated at 3 tons, all RL GS (general service) trucks in British Military service were, at a late stage in their service lives, re-rated at 4 tons without any mechanical modifications; the weight referring to its rated cross country payload weight. The last RL rolled off the production line in the early 1970s, and all together a total of 74,000 being produced.[1]


The RL was powered by a 4.9 litres (299.0 cu in) petrol engine producing 110 brake horsepower (82 kW; 112 PS), although some were fitted with diesel engines.


Bedford 4WD chassis cab with a chassis mounted drilling rig by Ruston-Bucyrus

Many specialist variants were also built; including recovery vehicles, mobile workshops, radio vans and cable layers. The Green Goddess fire engine was also based on the RL.

The RL and variants continued to serve alongside the later Bedford MK and Bedford TM trucks until well into the 1990s.

The Home Office also purchased a large number of these vehicles, kept in reserve for any national emergency. All have now since been disposed of, many having less than 2,000 miles (3,220 km) on the clock.


  1. ^ JANE's Military Vehicles and Ground Support Equipment, 1985, page 436 and 437

External links[edit]