The E.O. Truck (Agent Orange).

The design of the truck is very important to the enjoyment of an EO trip.

Our truck "Agent Orange" was a two wheel drive Ford Cargo (not a four wheel drive Bedford "M" type as shown in the brochure). On balance this was probably an advantage on this trip. We did get stuck on a couple of occasions that would not have happened with four wheel drive, but we were able to cruise 15kph faster than we would have been able to with an "M" type.

Our truck had had eight forward facing seats in a raised section at the front, these seats had good forward vision, four rearward facing seats and ten inward facing seats. With only eight people traveling in the back (one person usually traveled in the cab with Michael) we had complete flexibility about where to sit. We were able to change seats at will. We were also able to keep our day packs on the spare seats. I would not have wanted to do this trip had the truck been full.

Agent Orange (Right)
Agent Orange (Left)

The camping equipment was of good quality and generally in good condition. The truck layout was well thought out. The truck carried 250(?) liters of treated water in the main tank and six 20 liter "Jerry" cans.

Tents, fresh food, tables, lighting and cooking equipment were accessible from outside the truck. Tinned food and "dry" stores were kept under the left hand seats. The truck was equipped with a small safe (for documents only) the key to which was held by an "elected" member of the group.

The trailer was used to carry our main luggage, sleeping bags and tent poles. The trailer was usually opened for half an hour each morning and evening and watched over by one or more of the group during this time. At other times the trailer was locked. Three or four members of the group had keys to the trailer and the side compartments of the truck.

Cooking was done on a large four ring gas (butane) hob. This was normally used outside but when very windy could be used inside the truck.

There was also an oven (made from an oil drum) that could be used on an open fire.

Agent Orange at lunch time
The view forward from the front seats
Used to store luggage and sleeping bags

During our trip Agent Orange had the following mechanical problems, none of which caused us any significant delay.

  • Worn trailer bushes
  • A leaking air hose
  • An exhaust leak
  • Radiator mount loose
  • Fifth gear chipped
Agent Orange serviced at Luxor

Postscript

A 1972 Encounter truck (a Bedford RL)

Just for comparison on the right is "my" (Stephen Stewart's) Encounter Overland truck from 1972 being driven onto a ferry in Zaire.

The truck (a Bedford RL) is being guided on to the ferry by Tony Jones one of the founders of Encounter Overland in 1964.

Tony now runs Himalayan Encounter in Nepal.


Home pageLast updated 10th March 2000.