Going Down The Road

Cendana Auto FFR. BTDM

SHAH ALAM: Going down the road. As you are all aware, the bulk of the Army one-tonne 4X4 vehicles – from GS Cargo , ambulance, and FFR variants- used to be the Land Rover Defender 110s. These have been supplemented within the last 10 years or so by the Weststar GK-M1 light tactical vehicles also in the GS Cargo, FFR, Weapon Carriers and Anti-Aircraft variants.

Within the last two years, however, other one-tonne 4X4 vehicles have also been purchased from Go Auto, Deftech and Cendana Auto which may finally allow the Army to retire the elderly Land Rovers. At the moment, the Army continue to operate the smorgasbord of one-tonne 4X4 vehicles for its operations. Fortunately, the recent vehicles procured are basically the Toyota Hilux, modified to meet the Army operations.

A Land Rover LFRV from 7th Workshop Brigade undergoing inspection. BTDM

Anyhow, a check on the Eperolehan website, showed an interesting tid-bit on how the Army maintenance ringgit are being used. As the Defenders and GK-M1 are currently the most numerous and no longer under the warranties of its manufacturers, we can look at the cost of their maintenance.
A Land Rover Light Forward Repair Vehicle which is equipped with a crane. It is one of the dwindling number of specialty Land Rovers still in service with the Army.

Three latest quotations involving the maintenance and overhaul of three Land Rover Defender 110s cost RM26,460; RM31,400 and RM34,500, respectively. Note that this were contracts published and awarded, separately this year. A cursory checks on similar contracts showed that none of the single vehicle contracts had went above RM40,000 for the last two years.
The Weststar GK-M1 weapon carrier vehicle fitted with the M134D Gatling gun. The GK-M1 is expected to be offered for the tender exercises issued by the Defence Ministry within the last two months.

Meanwhile three contracts for the maintenance and overhaul of three Weststar GKM-1, also published and awarded separately, this year, cost RM59,200; RM122,000 and RM85,300, respectively. It must be noted that the job specifications involved more work on the GKM-1s including checking the wiring through-out the vehicles as well checking various items including the air-conditioning system and other equipment faults. The specifications for the Land Rovers are mostly overhaul of the engine and repair or repair of various items.
The latest Army FFR vehicle is the GK-M1 from Weststar. RSD picture

Based on the unscientific survey above, the Weststar vehicle, despite being less than 10 years old needed, more work and more expensive to be repaired compared to the older Defenders some of which may well be some 20 years old. There were also various MRO contracts for five or six Defenders which cost less than the cheapest GKM-1 contract, highlighted above.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2184 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Enough of “syok sendiri” trucks that underneath is basically a normal hilux.

    Just buy a hilux and be done with it! At most just do something like the GO Auto with just the rear tub is customized. Do not change the body as even the new body is not bulletproof, same as the original.

    Toyota is one of the most reliable brands out there, which is why it is the gold standard for anyone who wants a tough reliable pickup truck.

    But when you hack it up, put in questionable wiring, replace parts with questionable origins, fabricate body panels that is not fully ED coated like a production hilux does, it will break down much more easily than a stock standard hilux.

    Also rather than doing the repairs ad-hoc, it is better to do a batch “reset” to take into account the economies of scale. The army should learn from RMN on how to do the SMART Refit and apply to the repairs of army vehicles to save cost. It is better say just to pre-emptively replace all lower arms, balljoints, bushings, absorbers at one go rather than doing it piecemeal.


  2. I believe the Cendana Auto truck is based on the Toyota Land Cruiser Series 70, not the hilux

  3. If include wiring diagnostics then yeah it can be justifiable on the higher costing, but a Toyota Hilux based truck should be quite simple and straightforward job. I can see why TDM are trying others Hilux based competing offerings. That way no one supplier can kaw markup the servicing costs as it can be somewhat compared with other makes using Hilux as well.

  4. @rebuild
    “it is better to do a batch “reset””
    The adhoc repair contracts are actually maintenance for earlier vehicles out of warranty. To do a one all, will need to have all of them be out of the warranty period.
    TDM could and might even have a lifecycle management for their vehicle fleet but sometimes shit happens and premature wear & tear do occur. For those within warranty they are covered but those no longer warrantied will have to foot the repair bill.

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