Rather than create an all-terrain vehicle that doesn’t need a road, a company in Wales designed a truck that carries its own road surface, lays it down, and then picks it back up. Faun Trackway—the name of the company as well as its amazing truck—utilizes a series of thin aluminum extrusions to roll out a temporary roadway capable of supporting vehicles weighing up to 70 metric tons. This unique function allows the truck, and other vehicles in its party, to travel across otherwise impassable terrain such as mud, sand, and ice.
The Trackway was built in 50-meter lengths, comprised of a series of aluminum extrusions linked together and rolled around a spool. Similar to an invisible tape dispenser, the truck can let out the track and essentially create a road where there was none, providing an easier way to reach destinations that would otherwise be out of reach without, say, a helicopter. Although originally intended for military use (and currently used by 30 military forces around the world), Faun Trackway has another obvious application: disaster aid.
Because of its ability to create a temporary, passable roadway just about anywhere—even while partially submerged—the Trackway would be incredibly useful in helping aid units traverse washed out roads, mudslides, and other obstacles that typically follow earthquakes, tsunami-induced floods, and other natural disasters. Reportedly, the truck can roll out all 50 meters of its roadway in six minutes, making it possible to reach people in need much faster than other post-disaster convoys. Once the vehicles have crossed, the Trackway truck can roll the roadway up just as easily, ready to move on to its next challenge.
Images via Faun Trackway