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Glossary

Name
Loadmaster - HL-31-M Heavy Lifter

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Vehicles

Vehicle Name
Loadmaster - HL-31-M Heavy Lifter
Vehicle Type
Heavy Loader / Lifter
Vehicle Height
4.11m (13.48ft)
Vehicle Length
3.97m (13.02ft)
Vehicle Width
3.34m (10.95ft)
Vehicle Weight
21,000kg (46,200lb)
Vehicle Speed
16.1kph (10mph)
Vehicle Powerplant
Henschel LL2-l sealed turbine
Vehicle Range
32.2km (20miles)
Vehicle Crew
1 x Driver, 1 x Operator
Vehicle Passengers
None
Vehicle Armament
None
Vehicle Description

The 'Loadmaster' Heavy Lifter can be traced back to the civilian vehicle of the same name, used in shipping ports and warehouses for loading heavy cargo.

Inception

The military variant (designation /M) was adapted by the Exiles to fulfil a requirement for handling the huge shells used in the heavy plasma artillery guns, but quickly became a useful general-purpose lifter for the handling of all types of supplies, as well as vehicular recovery and maintenance.

The drive system was replaced with a modified sealed turbine unit, capable of operating in the Heavenfield, and the driver's and operator's cabs were given a rudimentary sealant and life-support system.

Although slow and ponderous, the Loadmaster's ability to lift incredible loads, coupled with its relatively low pressure footprint, made it an indispensable vehicle for Exile military engineers.

Heavenfield -- Heavy Loader

Operation

The cabin structure and stabilising pylons are mounted upon an independent core, with the legs upon a pivot-ring. This allows the cab and lifting arms 360 degrees of horizontal traverse.

To turn the loader, the four stabilising pylons are lowered until they lift the vehicle, raising the legs off the ground. This outer leg structure can then be traversed through up to 360 degrees to place them in the required direction of travel. The pylons are then retracted, lowering the legs to the ground once more, allowing the Lifter to proceed in the new direction.

Artillery Support

The Loadmaster was one of the few units capable of lifting the enormous 550mm Charge-Shells fired by the Patton Artillery Guns. These were carried in Ammunition trailers kept a little way from the Artillery guns, and serviced by the Loadmasters, which could deliver a new round to the guns roughly every 3 minutes. To counter this slow reload, artillery commanders would often keep a small store of ready-rounds beside the guns - a risky strategy, but a necessary one.

Heavenfield -- Artillery Support Vehicles - Heavy Loader