| The founder of the factory for tractor was Ernst Meili built a 6x6 pitch articulated revolutionary tractor, the Flex-Trac with Ford diesel engine 108 hp for a payload of 3 tons, a mass of 4.5 T and a speed 65 km / h. Meili sold the patent to J.C. Bamford, Rocester, who presented for sale to the Geneva Motor Show in 1960.
The patents also sold to Kassbohrer Gelanderfarhzeug AG, Ulm-Donau, served to build the Flexmobil prototyp in 1960 almost identical to Meili Flex-Trac with a few modifications and a Ford V8 engine of 91 hp. The name of Flexmobil, taken by Kassbohrer for later tracked vehicles, still exists. Mr. Haug, head of R & D of Kassbohrer, still in office in the 80s, had helped Ernst Meili to build the first Metrac. From 1969, the factory produced articulated milling snow, 4x4 wheeled or tracked. A milling salt prototype crawler was built that same year, but weight problems could not be overcome.
In 1975, the succession of Ernst Meili was provided by Erika Meili and her 3 son but as soon as 1974, Viktor Meili, the youngest brother, disagree with his brothers, had already established his own business : the manufacture of tracked mowers from 1970 for maintenance of wetlands in the Zurich area by E Meili AG was taken over by the company of Viktor Meili, Meili AG, become manufacturer of special communal machines and construction, wheeled or tracked. Among them, we could see the heavy 6x6 truck VM 9000 7 t payload, maximum 2 m wide, for transportation in the mountains, the tracked carrier was the first tracked vehicle manufactured by Viktor Meili and called today 'Carrier VM-1500'.
Ernst Meili Jr. and his company E. Meili AG were on verge of bankruptcy in 1984 but his brother Viktor Meili managed to save it.
Specialists from the U.S. Army, working tirelessly at that time (1960) for maximum ground mobility were very impressed by the Metrac, especially since it really innovated in this area. They tested it at Aberdeen in 1961 as an improved version, the Flex-Trac, but still under the name Metrac. This confirmed their initial impressions and they decided to build the Clark Equipment Company, Battle Creek, Michigan, who bought the patents, 2 copies (one 1 T and the other 2 T), amphibians,'Flex-Trac' with a Jeep engine, a little weak with 72 HP on a vehicle of 1500 kg payload and 2500 kg empty mass. A copy was sent to Fort Knox for testing.
The tests were so conclusive that it was decided to build by Chance Vought Corp., Dallas, Texas, Division of Ling-Temco-Vaught, Inc. LTV/KID ( - Kinetics International Division, ATV - All Terrain Vehicle Kinetics International Division, division LTV Aerospace Corporationn) since 1962, a articulated 6x6 but without hydraulic system and thus without positive pitch control. Chance Vought, aircraft manufacturer, diversified, like all manufacturers of that time in all-terrain vehicles.
1974 Viktor Meili founded V. Meili SA for construction and special vehicles.
In 1984 the company E. Meili SA construction vehicles Schubelbach had to close its doors and sell the property for financial reasons . 2001 home V. Meili SA areussie through how to work tirelessly to redeem the property of the founder. So it is again in possession of the Viktor Meili family.
|Roger L. Gamaunt (1921-1987), had the idea in 1947 to an articulated 6x6 and filed a patent for the Gama-Goat in April 1960. Articulated in pitch and roll with the addition of a spring suspension on each wheel, unlike Meili Flex-Trac articulated only in pitch whose longitudinal arms absorbed roll in addition to their work of suspension, the first prototype was completed shortly after . William (Bill) Janowski also contributed to the project until 1966. After many tests, including two in Thailand in 1962 and 1965 , the vehicle took its final form in 1963 whose the U.S. Army ordered two other prototypes in early 1963 as the XM561 , and 14 others. it replace by the HUMMER in 1985 after producing more than 15000 copies between 1968 and 1972 by Condec, Consolidated Diesel Electric Corp., Charlotte, NC.|
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