our world of automobiles we have always been impressed with cars and SUVs that are
fitted with smart 18 inches tyres and the vehicles that boast of a ground
clearance of around 7 to 8 inches. But then when a vehicle fitted with 71
inches tyres and a ground clearance of around 24 inches drives in, you bow you
head in absolute reverence. Yes, I am talking about the Sherp All Terrain
Vehicle from Ukraine.
we landed up in Manaser in the state of Haryana to experience the Sherp N 1200
model that had been specially brought in from Ukraine by the duo of Jaskirat
Singh and Vivek Gujral, we were met with shock.
tyres of the two Sherp models were completely deflated. We wondered how long it
would take to fill them up and what if they were punctured? But when 38 years
old Alexey and 24 years of Sergay met us to demonstrate the capabilities of
Sherp, our fears were laid to rest when they mentioned that they tyres are
filled with exhaust gas and all it takes are a few seconds.
got into the vehicles, started the engine and switched on a button and within
moments the tyres were fully inflated. Interestingly, while car tyres require
30 odd psi of air pressure, guess what the air pressure in these massive tyres
are? It’s just 3, yes three psi. Alexey
also mentioned that even if these tubeless tyres are punctured and have nails
stuck in them, they can still be inflated and the vehicle can ply normally.
WHAT IS THE SHERP ALL ABOUT?
Sherp all terrain vehicle or ATV is the best an ATV can ever be. When I landed
up in Manesar for the Sherp experience, I kept staring at its mammoth shape and
structure. It’s not one of those fancy vehicles with some modern styling and
some flashy features, it’s a vehicle which is a best described as a tin box
fitted on four mammoth tyres.
the Sherp has one and only one purpose. And it’s a serious purpose, to take you
across almost all kinds of land and water. Yes, it’s amphibious and can slip
into water like the way a duck takes to water. Its mammoth tyres keep spinning
and because of the tyres’ very unique design, they enable the vehicle to move
forward in water.
informed that the vehicle has its origin in Russia and is now being built in
Ukraine from where it is exported to several countries. He and his colleague
were in India to showcase the abilities of the product to India’s military and
para military forces. After each of their demonstration, the defence folks in
India realised that there is no such machine so capable that can carry their
unit for search and rescue operations. Be it the coastal areas or the plains or
the mountains or the rocky hills, this vehicle was simply a genius.
Vivek Gujral who spoke to Motown India
mentioned that the Sherp can easily be localised in India and once that is
partly done here the vehicle can be made available at prices around Rs 50 to Rs
60 lakh onward.
the current Sherp can operate in temperatures ranging from minus 40 deg C to +
40 deg C. It can climb an incline at a 35 deg angle or go over a 3 feet
obstacle. It has a ground clearance of 24 inches and can travel at a tilt of 30
for its overall dimension, the vehicle has a length of 4002mm, width of 2520mm
and a height of 2852.5mm. It weighs around 1200 kg and can accommodate a driver
plus 8 passengers with load at 2400 kg.
Sherp is not about speed or acceleration, rather it is about overcoming
hurdles. Since it has a maximum speed of 40kmph over grass, gravel, sand, peat,
moor, marsh, sand, dunes, rocks, snow, ice, climbing from water into the ice
etc, there is no speedometer among its several dials. When it comes to moving
on water, whether it is ponds, lakes, rivers, , etc the speed is around 6kmph.
The Sherp’s engine is not one of the
powerful turbo charged giants you are expecting from such a monster vehicle.
Rather it has a very ordinary engine, Doosan D18, an eco-friendly engine
that meets Stage 5/Tier-4-final emission standards. It is a 1.8 litre, 3 cylinders diesel engine that
produces a peak power of 55hp and a peak torque of 190Nm which in turn is mated
to a 6 speed manual transmission from Renault. It has a 140A generator and has
a fuel tank capacity of 95 litres. Besides this fuel tank, the Sherp also
carries 4 fuel canisters of 58 litres that allows you to drive more than
65 hours of autonomy and 19 hours non-stop running with main fuel tank.
boxy body is hardtop and the body material consists of steel (frame and bottom,
hot dripped galvanized) and aluminium (cabin). As for driving the vehicle
around, there is no steering wheel in this vehicle. Turning and braking is done
by the two levers that sit on the left side of the driver. The vehicle has a
left hand side steering. The tyre size
is a mammoth 71x23x25 inches. The tyres are tubeless and have extra low
pressure. The vehicle has pneumatic suspension. The Sherp can achieve a maximum
speed (at the top gear) of up to 40kmph and a max speed at low gear or around 2kmpl.
THE DRIVE EXPERIENCE
Sherp can go where extreme 4x4 vehicles may just not dare to go. In fact, it’s fair to say that the journey of
a Sherp starts where the journey of a 4x4 off roader ends. We experienced the Sherp in the rocky terrains
of Manesar on the hills of Aravalli. The rains had battered the soil and exposed
the rocks and boulders around it.
we drove deep into the hills, we came across freshly formed ponds that could
drown a vehicle if it dared to pass through it. But for the Sherp it was a cake
walk. It simply used its amphibious skills to wade through the large ponds and
with equal zeal climbed on to the hard surface and onto to a steep incline
towards another equally challenging terrain.
Sherp is a fun vehicle, no doubt. It can definitely do some dune bashing or
some extreme level of off roading. But this vehicle is ideal for our para military
forces who protect our snow capped terrains and our vast shores. Since it’s far
more capable that any vehicle that is available on Indian soil, it can prove
itself as a great search and rescue vehicle or for transporting an elite rescue
team across the worst terrains. It’s time our defence forces think of the Sherp
as their friend.
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