The Registry Of Ex-Military Land-Rovers Au, NZ, etc Australian Army


The Australian No.5 1/2 Ton Trailer 

Many Australian ex-military Land-Rover enthusiasts also have a ½ ton trailer hooked up behind. The trailers were engineered and made under the supervision of the Army Design Establishment:

  • The earliest '½ ton trailer' with 7.50-16 tyres would appear to have had the ARN '107-701 (ref. B.B.B.).
  • The B.B.B. also tells us that hundreds of the No.5s (most of the supply contract), were delivered in 1966.

The ADE tested the trailers on the "Mount Charlie" circuit and Maribyrnong environs and worked up an improved pintle hook mechanism. If you look at the lower edge of the pintle hook itself you will see the A.D.E. "brand" in the casting.

The following info is from Stephen Stansfield's Guide to Australian Military Land-Rovers:

"The general service trailer (Aust. No.5 MC2 census code 78000) is box type, constructed of steel, with a single axle specially designed for towing by all Land-Rover variants, and still in service today".

"It's role is to transport general cargo and equipment up to 500kg both on road and cross country. The suspension is semi-elliptic leaf springs with standard Land-Rover wheel studs (but non-Land-Rover parallel bearings in the hubs) and 7.50-16 wheels".

Dimensions are

  • overall length 3180mm
  • overall width 1550mm
  • internal cargo length 1850mm
  • internal cargo width 1320mm
  • internal cargo height 475mm
  • ground clearance 330mm
  • departure angle 21 degrees
  • turn over angle 43 degrees

Ownership hints

The following hints come a Kevin Hicks, a long term owner of a No 5 trailer:

  • use fishoil underneath etc,
  • neoprene spring bushes are a good idea,
  • waterproof/mudproof the loom and solder the connections,
  • lower tyre pressures when towing empty (esp. on dirt)
  • a minority of trailers, the earliest ones, have been known to part company from the Land-Rover in front (with disastrous results) because the pintle ring assembly (not the pintle hook - the pintle ring) used a nylock 1" nut to secure the ring shaft to the drawbar/steel tubing & flange (the one with 6 nuts on threaded rods and a grease nipple) whilst the majority of trailers use a split pin to secure the big nut. If in doubt, check.
  • its always good policy to regularly service the nipples -they are there for good reasons.
Some Sjeds with No.5 Trailers

Some Photos


Click to expand

Kevin Hicks, Phil Lloyd, Tim Dee: trailer trio
(L-R: No 5, Recovery, Workshop)

Click to expand

 Kevin Hicks: Trailer, half ton, G.S. No 5
(full canopy, office stores?)

Click to expand

No 5 Trailer
(with 110)

Click to expand

No 5 Trailer
(rear light detail)

Click to expand

No 5 Trailer

Click to expand

Modified No 5
(example of rear tailgate mod)

Click to expand

No 5 Fire Service Trailer

 Click to expand

Click to expand

A No.5 Trailer in current service.

They had standard NATO pin connections (verified) wired for 12v or 24v Ref LRO Nov. 1990:

  • Pins C & A & H -convoy- red/blue
  • Pin B & J - stop lamps - green/purple
  • Pin D -earth- black
  • Pin L -earth- black
  • Pin E -tail light- red/orange
  • Pin F -blackout stoplight- green/orange
  • Pin K -auxiliary - purple
  • Pin M -lefthand flasher- green/red
  • Pin N -righthand flasher- green/white

PS: "Your tax dollars at work" - the No 5 is able to be used as a bath when filled with water, and as a water carrier/tank when fitted with the rubber bladder and hand pump (late 1960's). Some No 5 trailers have had the rear panel cut 'n shut to make a tailgate that drops down and acts as a ramp when the drawbar is elevated... And the award for the most unusual application for the No 5 is--(drumroll)--as a makeshift dinghy! When empty jerry cans are lashed to the drawbar, servicemen can row it - or even use a portable outboard on the rear of the trailer...

Intrigued, we searched the internet and found more interesting news about the good ol' No 5...

(notes from Janes Navy Annual)

In summary, the freeboard is adequate, but the draft--and the "Bar Treads" acting like twin keels-- limit performance to less than 15 knots. A recent RAN appraisal of this design created a stir after extensive 'in theatre' trials conducted off Jervis Bay. It concluded that sea use would be hazardous without the mandatory additions to the CES such as navigation lights, bilge pump, EPIRB, life jackets, etc. In another part it said that neither battleship grey or olive drab had showed any comparitive advantage regarding anti-fouling and anti-corrosion of the No 5 hull. The real meat of the report, however, remains classified at ADI. RAN rumours are circulating that the No 5 appraisals off Jervis Bay, conducted with the participation of the majority of the RAN fleet, revealed hitherto unknown advantages of this trailer-dinghy design. Guided "x" class torpedoes were evaded by 7 out of ten of the trial half-ton trailers on the exercise. In addition, the rumour mill has it that in the first month of the trials, a RAN Captain's resignation was hushed up after a Collins class sub blithely surfaced at night under a lone "SAS modded" No 5 and returned to port with it lodged on the comms tower. This was reputedly the "serendipity" incident that explains how the RAN happened onto the advantage of the No 5's low radar profile. Hence covert RAN long-range Orion deployment by parachute would seem to be a likely and obvious outcome of this No 5 development.


Go to   CLOSE down this page