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The Gun - Mechanisation: Towed Field Artillery

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FA Tractor and the Quad

In 1935 the RA adopted the Model 1935 Morris Commercial 6x4 to replace Dragons Mks 1 and 2. Designed as a gun tractor, it was fitted with a winch, seats fir the detachment, and lockers for their gear, tools, etc. For a time the Morris was unofficially known as a dragon but its correct name was Field Artillery Tractor - or FA Tractor for short. The RNZA received six FA Tractors late in 1938.

FA Tractor Morris 6x4 FA Tractor hooked in to an 18-pr Mk 2 P (P='pneumatic-tyred'), together with trailer converted using the Martin Parry kit. Note how close the point of the spade is to the ground: it was found necessary to fit an adapter raising the position of the spade on the trailer hook to prevent it digging in during cross-country movement. The consequent reduction of weight on the trailer hook tended to reduce the stability of the carriage on the move.

As previously stated, experiments by the RA with other tractors had continued, and resulted in 1937 in their adoption of the Guy Quad Ant, so-called because it was first made by Guy Motors, Wolverhampton, UK. It became universally known as the Quad. The Quad was a 4x4 tractor, shorter and handier than the Morris, and with provision for carrying the 25-pr gun platform on its roof. With larger wheels than the Morris giving it greater ground clearance, and with trak-grip tyres over which chains could be fitted, it was a better cross-country performer. The Quad was made chiefly by Morris and General Motors, Canada as well as by Guy, and was still in service with Commonwealth artilleries until the early 1960s. The vehicle illustrated is a Ford with V8 engine.

Quad The Quad.
This illustration is taken from a 16 Field Regiment RNZA photo taken during the campaign in Korea (1950-53).

WL Ruffell, 1994
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