Pinzgauer- the newest mechanical horse in our army

Transport vehicle with 1 ton loading capacity- All-wheel-drive- Aircooled 90 or 87 h.p. petrol engine- 100 km/h road speed

Automobil Revue Article

This article was largely an announcement from SDP about the Pinzgauer and it's upcoming purchase by the Swiss Military. 

(Much thanks to Peter Farrer for the original brochure, which I scanned and edited)

Automobil Revue

Reprint from No 25-1971

Pinzgauer- the newest mechanical horse in our army

Transport vehicle with 1 ton loading capacity- All-wheel-drive- Aircooled 90 or 87 h.p. petrol engine- 100 km/h road speed

The army will soon take large-scale deliveries of a new cross-country vehicle from the Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch works.The model is called “Pinzgauer" - which has the same origins as the Haflinger.Both names were well-known as Austrian farm horses of sturdy build, high endurance and good mountain-going abilities.The following technical data indicate that these horse-like characteristics have been incorporated in the new cross-country vehicle.Like the Haflinger, the Pinzgauer finds its way to the public through deliveries to the army.The original design of the new model differs from conventional army vehicles and in view of the intended introduction to the civilian market at a later date it is of particular interest to note that this vehicle can be driven with a group A driving licence.

The design of the Pinzgauer

The "Pinzgauer" is a further development of the "Haflinger", well-known for its cross-country driving ability. Its basic design principles have been proven in practical use.The“Pinzgauer" is constructed on the same lines, having the following characteristics:

  • Centre frame chassis with independent axles
  • All-wheel drive with selective front wheel drive, identical front and rear axle drives; selective differential locks
  • Air cooled petrol engine
  • Fully synchronised multispeed gearbox and selective additional gearbox
  • Steering in front of engine and loading platform support.

Air-cooled petrol engine

For general use, even a purpose-designed cross-country vehicle must have a sufficiently fast road speed. 100 km/h is acceptable but requires at least an 85 h.p. engine for such a vehicle.The need for a robust engine needing little maintenance calls for air cooling because an air-cooled engine fulfils this requirement better than a water-cooled type.Since no suitable engine was in the production range or available from other sources, an air-cooled, four-cylinder in-line engine has been developed to suit the special needs of the Pinzgauer.

It is a horizontal, four-cylinder, 2,5 litre in-line engine.The bore ist 92 mm and the stroke 94 mm.The maximum output of 90 h. p. (or 87 h. p.) at 4000 rpm is achieved with a compression ratio of 7,8 : 1 - high grade petrol (or 7,5 : 1 - low grade petrol).Maximum torque of 18,5 mkp is at 2000 rpm.The engine has finned separate cylinders and finned aluminium cylinder heads with semi-spherical combustion chambers and overhead valves.The valves are controlled by pushrods and rocker arms.The engine casing is light alloy, holding the five-bearing crankshaft.Lubrication is by gear pumps of the suction and pressure type.The suction pump delivers oil from the front of the engine sump to the oil container and the pressure pump sucks the oil from the oil container and feeds the crankshaft bearings and cylinder heads, through drilled lubricating channels passing through a thermostatically-controlled oil cooler and an inline fine mesh oil filter.Carburation is by two inverted carburettors which are not position sensitive and have a choke arrangement.The combustion air is cleaned in a micro air filter.Electric power supply is by a 28 V, 650 W alternator.An axial fan provides engine cooling.The well-dimensioned, single-disc clutch is hydraulically operated.

Standard and additional gearboxes

The specified top speed and the need for low speed call for a wide gear ratio (approx: 1 : 10).For comfortable control, a five-speed gearbox is used with a sufficiently big ratio (5 : 33) to prevent the need to select the five-speed additional gearbox in normal road or cross country use. The gear ratio of the additional gearbox in road and cross country use is 1,92 in order to achieve a total ratio of 10.6. All gears, including supplementary gears, but excluding reverse, are synchronised.

This gear arrangement permits a top road speed of 100 km/h as well as continuous low speed at full engine power of 4 km/h.

The engine-gearbox unit is fitted in the conventional direction below the front seats, immediately behind the front axle and in the highest possible position.To reduce engine space, the cylinder axis is at an angle.This position protects the engine as far as possible against damage or dirt. A short, exposed drive shaft connects the flexibly mounted engine-gearbox unit to the auxiliary gearbox. The auxiliary gearbox housing, together with the central frame tube and both axle housings, provides a strong, distortion-free backbone. An auxiliary drive can be fitted to the supplementary gearbox.This drive is on the far side of the engine and points forward.The five-speed gearbox provides for different auxiliary drive speeds, and, if necessary, the drive can be selected during driving.


The two or three axle (6 X 6) configurations are of the jointless crossshaft type with two pairs of bevel gears, each wheel being driven by one pair.

A further normal gear train is fitted to the wheel hubs.This design permits increased ground clearance.The homo Kinetic drive joints of the front axle are completely enclosed.External damage is not possible.These two joints are the only transmission joints between supplementary gearbox and wheels.All drive shafts are completely protected inside the central tube and the half axles.

The front wheel drive is selective. The differentials of the rear axles can be manually locked separately or together with the front axle.The front wheel drive and the differential lock can be operated while driving without interruption of power transmission by depressing the clutch or reducing acceleration.

Selection is by driver-operated manual levers hydraulically controlling the units without auxiliary power. Brake fluid is used for the hydraulically operated brakes.All bores of operating cylinders are chromium plated to prevent rust.

Wheel suspension, shock absorbers and steering

As already mentioned, the axle housings are a rigid part of the central frame tubes (one tube for 4 X 4, one additional tube for 6 X 6 between the rear axles) and are the backbone of the chassis.

In front of the rear axle (centre axle on 6 X 6) is the two speed supplementary gearbox.

Suspension is by frictionless coil spring having cross sections and varying pitch to cope with increasing loads.The springs are complemented by rubber sleeves.This guarantees correct suspension over the full vehicle loading range.Well dimensioned telescopic shock absorbers ensure stability. To obtain then necessary width to load standard pallets (800 mm wide) between the rear wheels, the four-wheel models (4 X 4) have two smaller diameter coil springs fitted for each rear wheel.These springs again have a progressive characteristic and are fitted in conjunction with rubber sleeves.

The six-wheel models (6 X 6) have a balance type leaf spring on each vehicle side between the two rear wheels.These springs are of the parabolic type for best shock absorbtion and the maximum upward spring movement is limited by rubber sleeves.

Steering is of the rack and pinion type using split control rods ensuring correct steering movement regardless of suspension travel, The control rods are fitted with maintenance-free universal joints.The front-wheel drive parallel joints are fitted inside the front axle and are lubricated from the central lubrication system.

Servo brakes

The brake drums have a diameter of 285 mm and a lining width of 76mm.The brakes are scaled against dirt.Front wheel brakes are of the duplex type, rear wheel brakes are duo servo (equally efficient in either direction).Operation is hydraulically assisted by a vacuum brake assisting unit.A two circuit system is used.One circuit controls the front wheels, the other the rear wheels.

The hand-brake acts mechanically on the rear axle drive shaft and to all wheels if front wheel drive is engaged.The actual brakes are completely sealed disc types remaining fully efficient even after driving through water.

Simple Maintenance

The Pinzgauer is designed on a module system to simplify maintenance, repair and spare parts stockholdings The drive shaft components with jointed cross axles are the same, so are the gear wheels, wheel flanges, bearings and brake drums as well as the covers with brake carriers.

No greasing points are allocated to the suspension.The coil-springs press on to hardened half-spherical shells resting on spherical-beaded bolts without lubrication.The centres of the rear springs of the Pinzgauer 6 X 6 rest on rubber blocks (silentbloc), the leaves press on to rubber mountings resting on the same type of spherical headed bolts as fitted to the front springs of the Pinzgauer 4 X 4.


The bodywork rests on the chassis with seven rubber mountings, two on the cross member of the front centre member, two on the rear crossmember and one below the rear door on the trailer coupling flange.To prevent cross movement, the bodywork is further secured by a rod from the front foot recess to the chassis.The rigid tubular chassis protects the bodywork from twisting or damage due to shocks from the wheels on very rough country.

The front steering gives the best view for the driver and permits a large loading area for this relatively small vehicle.The full loading floor is available to transport goods.To carry personnel, seats can be fitted to the floor and legroom is available in the recesses provided.The module system is also used for the bodywork.Only two types of bodywork are intended: the first is a three-door type with two conventional and one rear door for cabin access from the loading platform.The floor of the loading platform is recessed between the wheels to a width of 825 mm to tak6 standard pallets.The floor extends on both sides full length above the wheels.

The second type is a five-door model.The two additional doors are on both sides between front and rear wheels.The floor area between these doors is at the same level as the centre loading space.Various additional body structures can be fitted to both types.The body is self-supporting and can be removed from the chassis in one piece.After removing the driver and front passenger seat, a large cover can be hinged up to give easy access to the engine.

The Pinzgauer in our army

The Austrian-made Pinzgauer will be with our troops in the next few months.This is a new cross-country vehicle as part of the necessary replacement of army machinery.

Of course, the authorities do not intend to extend the present range of military vehicles.The EMD (Defence Ministry) has for years pursued a clear policy of fulfilling a multitude of army requirements with a minimum of vehicle types.

The introduction of the Pinzgauer is a further step in the miltary vehicle replacement programme.The new vehicle replaces older types which are no longer economical to repair.

The Pinzgauer is by design a typical multi-purpose vehicle.It will replace a number of out-of-date army vehicles.These are mainly the Dodge weapon carriers and commando cars purchased 25 years ago as American war-surplus material, and since then in constant hard use.In a few years, the almost 20-year-old Mowog will need replacing.The Pinzgauer will also be the intended replacement.Therefore, two vehicle types are replaced by one.

There are further long-term possibilities of using the Pinzgauer as a replacement.The one-ton Unimog will have to be changed in due course.

Another problem has been the large number of commanding officers who at present have just a jeep with hardly any room for weapons and equipment apart from the four seats.And access to the rear seats is not very practical.

If a CO intends to use a driver, a radio operator, a runner and some advisers, the Jeep is no longer suitable.The Pinzgauer is the answer because there is room for nine passengers, excluding driver, and space for material.More equipment can be loaded if there are fewer passengers.With the Pinzgauer, a CO receives a very mobile but small one-ton vehicle hardly larger than a Land Rover but with good cross-country ability because of the basic design: all four wheels have cross-country characteristics.Incidentally, the Pinzgauer is manufactured by our EFTA partner, Austria.

To complete the story, it must be said that such a design is not a recent development but originates from the designer Ledwinka Senior, who has constructed such vehicles in the thirties with Tatra in Czechoslovakia.Ledwinka moved to Austria in 1948 and found new challenges at Steyr.His son is today chief engineer of Steyr and ensures the further success of the original design of his late father.

The 6 X 6 version of the Pinzgauer will soon follow.Engine, transmission, suspension, etc., are the same as on the 4 X 4. The additional rear axle assembly permits a 500/o extension of the load floor giving room for 12 people (loading capacity approx 1,5 ton).The total weight of the Pinzgauer 6 X 6 is limited to 3.5 tons to permit driving by holders of normal passenger car driving licences.R. V.

Production release from an Austrian point of view

Messrs Steyr-Dalmler-Puch, registered in Vienna, main plants in Steyr and Graz and subsidiary plants troughout Austria, are known abroad mainly as commercial vehicle producers.In 1959, the company introduced a light cross-country vehicle, the Haflinger, which was a big success in the military and civilian sector, although the production was relatively small as is normal with such special purpose vehicles.This vehicle is widely used in the Swiss army as a cross-country transporter.

The firm introduced the Pinzgauer on 17 May 1971 in Graz.As for the Haflinger, the name Pinzgauer originates from a famous breed of Austrian cart horses.The day was a new cornerstone for the Graz works.'Production of cross-country vehicles is extended and future demands are sure. it is intended to produce approx 10,000 Pinzgauers over the next five years.The total production of the next few months will be supplied to the Swiss army.The management states that the Pinzgauer will only be available for civilian use in 1972.The small Haflinger will still be produced in the new plant in Graz together with the large scale production of the Pinzgauer.

The history of the Pinzgauer goes back six years.Market research indicated sufficient demand for large-scale production of such vehicles.Possible customers, among them the group for military supplies in Switzerland, received prototypes at an early stage of development.Steyr-Puch points out today that this vehicle has been designed from the marketing viewpoint.For instance, a first picture of the Pinzgauer with radio equipment was published in the ,AR" No 24 in May 1968, introducing the vehicles of the armament programme.

 The economical importance of the Pinzgauer production decision must have been influenced by the Swiss army contract.It is regarded by the SteyrPuch plants as strengthening the image originating with the Haflinger and also the fact that this is a true group product.All Austrian Steyr plants helped by supplying parts or assemblies to finalise the product.Involved were, Apart from the Graz plant, the Vienna plants in Simmering - the previous Austrian Saurer Works - the plants in Steyr being the original works for armaments, ball-bearings and heavy goods vehicles, and the plant in Hittenberg/Kromag.Production of the Pinzgauer has also been influenced by other Austrian suppliers like the Semperit tyre producer which developed the 245-16 universal tyre for road and country specially for the Pinzgauer.

The Steyr works are rightly proud to have scored again with the Pinzgauer, the design of which is based on experience from the Haflinger and which has been accepted immediately abroad. EWS