SAMIL Trucks

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SAMIL Trucks

SAMIL Trucks (South African MILitary) are the standard logistical transport vehicles of the South African National Defence Force (and its predecessor the South African Defence Force), re-manufactured by Truck-Makers in Rosslyn, Pretoria, Drakensberg Truck Manufacturers in Wallmannsthal, N1 Trucks in Wallmansthal and Transvaal Motors in Boksburg. The civilian versions of these trucks are called SAMAG (South African MAGirus). Production of these vehicles ended in 1998.



Type: Deutz F10L 413F direct injection normally aspirated air cooled

Cycle: 4 stroke

Cylinders: 10 arranged in vee formation 90deg. apart

Bore Stroke: 125 mm x 130 mm

Displacement: 15953 cc

Max power: 235 kW @ 2500 r/p

Firing order: 1,10,5,7,2,8,3,9,4,6

Idling speed: 600 r/min


Disc diameter: 420 mm

Disc thickness: 10.8 mm

Method of operation: Hydraulic self adjusting


Gearbox type: ZF S6-90  6 speed synchromesh

Input rating: 850 Nm

Mass: 225 kg

Oil capacity: 13 l.


The output drive from the transfer gearbox is continuously coupled to the front and rear axles. A differential is incorporated in the transfer box to adjust for differences in front and rear axle drives.

High range ratio: 1.095 : 1

Low range ratio:                1.767 : 1  Longitudinal lock and high/low selector are pneumatically actuated


Front axle: Banjo housing type driving axle with steer-able, hollow stub axles driving trough planetary reduction in wheel hubs.

Axle ratio: 3,103 : 1

Hub reduction ratio: 1.85 :1

Overall reduction ratio: 5.74 :1

Differential lock: No

Rear axle: Banjo housing type driving axle with planetary reduction in wheel hubs

Axle ratio: 3.111 : 1

Hub reduction ratio: 1.867 : 1

Overall reduction ratio: 5.808 : 1

Differential lock: Yes – pneumatically actuated


Service brakes: Dual, full air

Parking brake: Spring actuated, acting on rear wheels

Exhaust brake: Pneumatically operated on both exhaust manifolds by foot control valve


Semi – elliptical leaf springs front and rear axle.

The center of rear springs are secured to trunnion bearings and the ends of springs support the axle on slipper pads

Shock absorbers: Two hydraulic double – acting, telescopic shock absorbers are fitted to the front axle.


Batteries: 2 x 12V 120 A/h

Starter: Bosch 24V

Starter output: 6.6 Kw

Alternator: Bosch 28V,35A


Hydraulically assisted by engine driven hydraulic pump.


Tyre size: 1400 x 20 x 18 ply Single wheels are fitted to all six hubs


Wheelbase: 5250/1380 mm

Front wheel track: 2002 mm

Rear wheel track: 2048 mm

Total length: 9248 mm

Total width: 2500 mm

Total height: 3000 mm

Ground clearance – front: 355 mm

Ground clearance – rear: 359 mm

Fuel tank capacity: 2 x 200 Lt

Max speed: 90 km/h

Angle of approach: 32 deg

Angle of departure: 28 deg


The SAMIL 20 is an upgraded Magirus Deutz 130M7FAL 4×4 2-ton (load) truck.

SAMIL 20 Mk I light utility 4×4 truck based on the Unimog chassis which were imported as farm implements from Magirus Deutz with original air-cooled Marirus Deutz engines. Reports that this engine struggled with the heat and dust in South West Africa.

Cargo/Personnel Carrier -Cargo area seats up to 10 troops.

LAD – Light Mobile Workshop vehicle for general repairs and vehicle services

FCP – Artillery Forward Command Post vehicle

Lappiespomp – Refueling vehicle

Battery Charger vehicle

Tels Repair

Field Office


SAMIL 20 II Due to sanctions-era restrictions imposed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 418, the SAMIL 20 Mark II was fitted with a lighter South African-manufactured water-cooled ADE 352N which was a licensed built Mercedes-Benz OM352 engine. It also had a lighter fuel tank and a modified transmission.

SAMIL 20 Kwevoel – Armoured Mine Resistant cargo vehicle

Bulldog APC – Mine Resistant Armoured Personnel Carrier based on the SAMIL 20 chassis similar to the Buffel APC

Ystervark Self Propelled Anti Aircraft with 1 x 20mm GAI-CO1 20mm AA gun on back of a SAMIL 20 Kwevoel

Rhino APC – Mine Resistant Armoured Personnel Carrier based on the SAMIL 20 chassis


The SAMIL 50 is an upgraded Magirus Deutz 192D12AL 4×4 5-ton (load) truck.

SAMIL 50 Mk I – Medium 4×4 5 ton truck

Cargo/Personnel Carrier – it has a canvas cover over a steel framework around the cargo area; seats for up to 40 passengers may be installed along the sides or down the center, back to back.

Communications vehicle

Battery-charging vehicle

Bridge Transporter

Field kitchen vehicle

Field office

Flatbed Container transporter with ISO locks

Fuel Tanker

Mobile Shower Unit vehicle

Mobile Welding shop vehicle

Radio Bin

Refrigerator Pantry Unit

Refuse Collection vehicle

Technical Bin

Water tanker

SAMIL 50 Mk II – As with the SAMIL 20, the initial SAMIL 50 Mark I model was air-cooled, but the later SAMIL 50 Mark II was fitted with a lighter water-cooled ADE motor, a lighter fuel tank and a modified transmission. The Mark II has the same range of variants as the Mark I.

SAMIL 50 Springbok – Recovery vehicle

SAMIL 50 Kwevoel – Armoured Mine Resistant cargo vehicle


The SAKOM 50A is a 7-tonne 4×2 version of the SAMIL 50. The SAKOM 50 uses a SAMIL 20 cab and is employed on second-line duties.

All-around armoured version – SAMIL 100


The SAMIL 100 is an upgraded Magirus Deutz 320D22AL 6×6 10-ton (load) truck. Classified as a heavy truck, it is made of pressed steel with the cargo area (capable of carrying up to 50 passengers) having drop sides and a tailgate. Variants include an all-around armoured version, a dump truck, a tanker, an artillery tractor, a field kitchen, a refrigerator truck, an ambulance, a recovery vehicle, a carrier for a multiple rocket launcher as well as a carrier for a 23 mm anti-aircraft gun. The cargo carrier version has a crane with a 1.2-ton capacity.




Forschungsmitarbeiter Mitch Williamson is a technical writer with an interest in military and naval affairs. He has published articles in Cross & Cockade International and Wartime magazines. He was research associate for the Bio-history Cross in the Sky, a book about Charles ‘Moth’ Eaton’s career, in collaboration with the flier’s son, Dr Charles S. Eaton. He also assisted in picture research for John Burton’s Fortnight of Infamy. Mitch is now publishing on the WWW various specialist websites combined with custom website design work. He enjoys working and supporting his local C3 Church. “Curate and Compile“
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