The Fordson WOT was a military truck made by Ford of Britain during the Second World War at its factory in Dagenham near London. From 1939 to 1945, a total 130,000 WOTs were produced, with almost half being WOT 2s. The abbreviation of WOT stands for War Office Truck.
Fordson was originally a separate company from Ford that produced tractors. Starting with independently developed commercial vehicles by Ford of Britain Fordson was used as the name for the British vehicles from Ford. Before the start of World War II, Ford of Britain built about the Fordson Thames 7V and the Fordson E83W. The Fordson WOT was developed in Dagenham being built from from mid-June 1940 with about 130 trucks being made a day.
Generally it was unarmored vehicled that came in five models with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8. Models 1 to 3 were equipped only with rear-wheel drive, while the WOT 6 and 8 had all wheel drive. The latter two models also differed by a forward-control cab. All vehicles were fitted with the same water-cooled Ford side-valve V8 petrol engine with a displacement of 3621cc and a power output of 85hp at 3,800rpm. The transmission was a four-speed manual unit. The all-wheel drive models had an additional reduction gear.
The WOT 1 was introduced in 1940 being based on the Fordson E88 and the Ford Barrel Nose truck. The short version had a wheelbase of 4.2 meters and the long version, also known as WOT 1A had a wheelbase of 4.5 meters. Most of the models were delivered to the Royal Air Force, only 120 vehicles were used in the British Army. The most common version was a tanker. Many vehicles were also specialised for the transportation of staff, being fully equipped mobile dentist, a mobile searchlight and also as a fire engine. The WOT1 had a payload of 3 tons and reached a maximum speed of 72 km/h. Between 1940 and 1945, 9151 vehicles were built in both wheelbase variants.
- Length: 7.09 m
- Height: 3.10 m
- Width: 2.13 m
- Empty weight: 3.5 tons
The WOT 2 was the smallest version of the six models with a payload of around 750 kilograms. The WOT2 was built as a flatbed or van . In the six-year construction period improvements were constantly being made, with the model gaining a designated letter. These ranged from A to H. The A model had an open cab with a canvas roof and small windows that were not completely sealed off. The E model had partially closed metal doors but no windshield. The electrical system was originally 6 volts but was increased in later versions to 12 volts. In total about 60,000 WOT2s were built and there were in use up into the 1950s.
- Length: 4.50 m
- Height: 2.30 m
- Width: 2.00 m
- Empty weight: 2050 kg
- Fuel tank capacity: 104 litres
The WOT3 was mainly by the Royal Air Force having a payload of around 1360 kg . Between 1939 and 1944 18,000 units were made. Apart from the usual truck version, there were also special military constructions and a tractor with a shortened wheelbase.
- Length: 5.80 m
- Height: 2.60 m
- Width: 2.20 m
- Empty weight: 2950 kg
The WOT 6 was essentially a WOT 8 with a longer wheelbase and a double payload of 3 tons. The WOT6 also received an additional reduction gear so that the ride quality improved. The WOT 6 was used closer to the front line and in the cabin, many of the vehicles had an opening on the roof for the operation of machine guns. Between 1942 and 1945 nearly 30,000 units were produced with various special versions in addition to the standard truck. The Danish army used the WOT 6 after the war until 1974.
- Length: 6.10 m
- Height: 3.20 m
- Width: 2.30 m
- Empty weight: 5400 kg
- Fuel tank capacity: 160 litre
- Range: 450 km
The WOT 8 was produced between 1941 and 1942 with approximately 2,500 units being made. The British Army used the model as an artillery tractor in North Africa. During the war, 868 units were delivered to the Soviet Union under the Atlantic Charter, of which only 731 reached their destination. The Red Army used the WOT 8 as a launching pad for the Katyusha rockets.
- Length: 5.10 m
- Height 2.70 m
- Width: 2.30 m
- Empty weight: 3850 kg
- Fuel tank capacity: 160 litres
- Range: 450 km
- Maximum speed on road: 70 km/h