Russia Has an Amphibious Monster Truck—And You Can Buy One
Erin Green posted on March 08, 2016 |

Imagine being able to go just about anywhere in an oversized Tonka truck.

That would appear to be the premise behind the SHERP ATV, a wonderful and crazy vehicle from Russian automotive engineering firm SHERP.

Check it out:

The SHERP ATV is actually an amphibious off-road vehicle, despite how it looks and drives an awful lot like a tank (even according to Top Gear).

It comes in two models:

  • The standard model comes with a removable soft-top over the bed.
  • The Kung model (no, we don’t know why it’s named that) comes with a hard-top in a range of colors, including camouflage.

Both models use a 44.3-horsepower four-cylinder diesel engine and a five-speed manual transmission to reach a maximum speed of 28 mph (45 km/h) on land and 3.7 mph (6 km/h) in the water.

The best part? It’s actually available for purchase. So if you have a budget of USD$65-70K, you could drive one around your own frozen pond. At just over 8 ft. wide, however, it won’t fit into your office parking lot.

 

Amphibious Capability

The SHERP ATV's unique tires keep it afloat and let it climb out of icy waters. (Image courtesy of SHERP/YouTube.)

The SHERP ATV's unique tires keep it afloat and let it climb out of icy waters. (Image courtesy of SHERP/YouTube.)

The most notable feature about the SHERP ATV is the same one that gives it its toy-like appearance: its tires.

Those massive, patented tires (1600 x 600 x 25, to be exact) are essentially tubeless, ultralow-pressure buoys. Distinct paddle-like ridges let the vehicle pull itself through the water and even up over broken ice—an innovation in and of itself.

The size of the tires also let the truck climb over obstacles up to 27.5 in tall.


How the SHERP Measures Up

In spite of how it seems, the SHERP ATV really isn’t as large as you’d think.

The truck weighs in at 1,300 kg (2866 lbs) and has a payload of 1,000 kg. Compare that to Ford’s 2016 F150, which weighs anywhere between 1,800 and 2,100 kg depending on the model and has a payload of up to 1,400 kg.

However, it has one important advantage: we’ve yet to see a normal pickup truck carry anything across water without sinking.


Military Applications?

The SHERP ATV already has a very militaristic appearance, so it’s only natural to assume that it could have military applications.

Sink or swim: the SHERP ATV could have applications as an all-terrain military transport truck. (Image courtesy of SHERP/YouTube.)

Sink or swim: the SHERP ATV could have applications as an all-terrain military transport truck. (Image courtesy of SHERP/YouTube.)

Its light weight would suggest that it isn’t armored, but the vast majority of military trucks are specifically used for transportation.

The SHERP would be able to carry supplies through water, ice and just about anything else with ease.

Various militaries have already made attempts at amphibious vehicles with the GM/Sparkman & Stephens DUKW and the VW Schwimmwagen—both of which were active during the Second World War and have since been retired from service.

The SHERP ATV could theoretically replace older models like these. Traditional amphibious vehicles float with their bodies, not their tires—so they don’t have the same leverage to climb over broken ice.

For more information, check out the SHERP website.

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