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11 Feb 00
The T-16 Carrier
THE U.S. FORD T-16 Carrier was an offshoot of the Ford of Canada Universal. While general layout and appearance is very similar, in actual fact it is a completely different machine.
A first glance will show the most immediate, and significant, difference with the standard Universal - the road wheels. Whereas the rear bogie on the Universal consists of one road wheel per side, the T-16 sports two, as with the front bogie assembly on both carriers. This permitted greater stability with a heavy load, or when towing the 6 pdr anti-tank gun, which in fact became the T-16's prime role in Canadian service.
When the Mk.II* Universal was fitted with the Stacey Towing Attachment and used by the anti-tank platoons, it was found that the increased wear on the running gear and drivetrain rendered the carrier marginally useful at best. The T-16 (and later, the Windsor) was an attempt to overcome this natural shortcoming of the Universals.
Also significantly different was the steering mechanism. Whereas the Universals (and Windsor) used a combination of track-warp and brake steering initiated in stages through the turning arc of the driver's steering wheel, the T-16 used a more conventional brake-only steering initiated by tiller bar levers as per most tanks. Instead of two, however, there were four; I'm told that the outer two were used for minor changes in direction, and the inner two for hard turns. Apparently the T-16 was more difficult to operate due to this rear-only steering.
This is as good a time as any to admit that my knowledge of these machines is limited. I have seen very little on the T-16 in print, nor have I seen a T-16 manual. I do know that there are a lot of T-16s surviving in the United States; perhaps someone with practical T-16 experience would care to email me and fill in the gaps? I'd be particularly interested in some production history as well as background. Why, for instance, was the carrier concept so completely re-engineered for U.S. production, versus upgraded as in the case of the Windsor? Any comments welcome!
I'd be interested in more photographs of restored T-16s as well, should anyone care to supply them.

T-16 T-16 Carriers
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