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Phoenix, Arizona-based TOMCAR arrived at this conference with its vehicles in use with defence and security forces around the world. While company policy precluded it from disclosing customers and details of contracts or co-development programmes, it was divulged that TOMCAR vehicles have been utilised by the United States Border Patrol, US Coast Guard, a US intelligence agency, the British Ministry of Defence, and Israeli Army/Israeli Defense Force.

Tony Hamblin, Product Development Manager at the company, shared the requirements it is receiving from current and prospective customers for lighter-weight vehicles in this competitive sector. The industry expert first pointed to, “the demand for aggressive lightweight tactical vehicles with very high payload capacities reaching 1:1 (payload capacity equal to unladen vehicle weight),” and continued: “Modern special operation groups seek a robust platform to transport personnel and technology into the field via rotary wing aircraft such as the Bell Boeing V22 OSPREY and Sikorsky (a Lockheed Martin company) CH-53 STALLION. Buyers are starting to search for stealthy hybrid electric vehicles and innovative auxiliary power for communications electronics, defensive radar systems, and even lightweight portable missile systems.”

Asked what differentiates TOMCAR vehicles from other brands in the space, Mr Hamblin first replied, TOMCAR vehicles are engineered for safety, ultimate durability, and ease of maintenance. But, “the biggest difference of TOMCAR versus similar ‘consumer grade’ ATV or side-by-side product, is the fully welded, all-steel frame, fixture welded in house, and warrantied for life. Rigid chassis construction is the foundation for an off-road vehicle. We hand build each chassis with quality assurance at various stages of construction. We then finish that chassis with an industrial grade powder coat to inhibit corrosion and ensure a long life in any environment,” he added.

But is the community, and TOMCAR specifically, literally and figuratively at a “tipping point” for vehicles to be light and agile, for off-road and other purposes, and still meet the demand to be a platform for some of its end-users’ weapons and other payloads? The corporate executive replied TOMCAR vehicles are an engineered solution for serious off-road mobility. He also remarked: “By spending time with potential and existing customers, understanding their needs and clearly defining the requirements, we can choose materials and construction methods that exceed the specification. TOMCAR believes its new TX line of all wheel drive vehicles fits market demands for something between consumer grade off- the-shelf ATV / UTVs (utility vehicles) and expensive trucks and SUVs. TOMCAR’s are said to be a lightweight but strong platforms to perform work in the field. Whether you have a border to secure, a pipeline to inspect, or a ranch work to complete; the TOMCAR TX offers value in allowing customers to haul more, go farther faster, simply accomplish more per day than any other product available. The simplicity and ease of maintenance built into the design also makes it attractive as a fleet vehicle where staff mechanics can easily perform preventative maintenance and repairs with basic hand tools,” according to Mr Hamblin.

TOMCAR TX4 vehicles begin shipping to customers this July and both TX3 and TX5 models available in September which should be of great interest to MONCh and SOF community members. “A fully electric version will be available in January 2020. Work on 60in (1.5m)-wide units is underway to satisfy V-22 and CH-53 air transportability requirements of the US military,” Mr Hamblin concluded.

Marty Kauchak

TOMCAR's TX4 vehicles begin shipping to customers this July. (Image: TOMCAR)

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