The fully amphibious all-terrain Tinger Armor 8x8 ST is the perfect mix of overengineered durability and no-nonsense functionality
I caught up with Jeff Gibbon from Tinger ATV Australia to test it out and get an idea of how this awesome all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is riding high in its class.
On first impression the Tinger Armor ST looks like a mix of a supersized quad bike and an eight-wheeled miniature army tank. Sometimes first impressions aren’t far off the mark.
It’s clear from the start that the whole aim of the game here is to get you where you want to go, whatever the terrain.
The machines are Russian designed and are manufactured to perform as well in the freezing northern winters as they do in scorching summer environments.
The machines have been in high demand in the agricultural sector, as they offer farmers the ability to get to parts of their properties where other vehicles simply can’t go.
Whether it is spraying country that can’t be driven on by either self-propelled units or heavy tractors and machinery or being able to fit neatly between rows to spray grape vines, the possibilities for customising the Tinger Armor are almost endless.
The Tinger Armor ST operates essentially like a skid steer machine which is operated by handlebars inside the cab of the unit.
Because all wheels are essentially diff-locked it will turn in a circle on itself, meaning it can manoeuvre in extremely close quarters without difficulty.
And after taking the machine for a test run, trust me, it will turn in a circle without a worry in the world.
The Tinger Armor ST isn’t all grunt and no flair. Equipped with a ROPS certified roof frame and front bucket seats with seat belts, safety is of paramount importance.
It also comes with accessories which may be classed as extras in other units, including a steel Bull bar with electric winch and steel frame with hard top – both powder coated – as well as a windshield and electric wipers, side mirrors, high and low beam headlights and brake lights.
A tow bar with ball, bilge pump, double row drive chain, 12V DC outlet and a 9mm full length under belly skid plate help complete the package.
It all, though, this machine is not your family SUV designed for a quite drive around country bitumen roads and the occasional trip to the city… for one thing, this ATV can swim.
The Tinger Armor 8×8 ST is fully amphibious with sealed bearings all round and can travel at about 5km/h in water.
“No matter how deep the water is, you can just drive straight into a dam or a river and come out the other side,” Gibbon says.
The functionality of the vehicle is quite simple and not overthought, and it is clear from the start upon viewing and driving the Tinger that despite its size, it’s built to move.
This Tinger unit is powered by a powerful and reliable 3-cylinder fuel injected 57 horsepower (42.5kW) liquid cooled motor. The gearbox is a commercial grade, 3 speed transmission with high, low, and reverse gear.
“These are commercial grade transmissions, and in the thousands we’ve sold we have never had any issues – they are literally tough as nails,” Gibbon says.
At the heart of the Tinger Armor’s performance is the constant 8-wheel drive, allowing it to crawl or barge its way through or over obstacles impassable by a traditional 4×4 vehicle.
Though it has a top speed of 45km, included is a great carrying capacity of up to 500kg and a towing/pull capacity of 1,000kg, not to mention rubber tracks can be added for extra traction if one really wants to get serious.
Another feature is the very low ground pressure to weight ratio, as the weight is spread over all eight wheels and has over 300mm ground clearance.
This is not only a positive attribute environmentally but from an agricultural perspective it causes less damage to crop and pastured country where heavy machinery would make a mess in wet conditions.
Whether it is property repair work, rounding up stock, delivering feed and water, vegetation management and spraying, hunting, or transporting fuel and equipment to remote locations, it’s easily navigated by the Tinger Armor ST.
In heavy mud, wet or swampy conditions, deep scrub and bush land, rocky or hilly terrain, soft sand – even over snow the Armor ST is unstoppable.
This adaptability and durability in harsh environments has made the Tinger Armor a sought-after exploratory vehicle for mining applications, with some groups retrofitting smaller drilling rigs to the rear of the machine to work in hard to get to environments.
In recent times the units have been recommended and used as an emergency response vehicle, transporting injured people out of areas where stand- ard emergency vehicles are unable to gain access.
The passenger seat is often taken out and replaced with a medical stretcher bed which is easily accessed from the rear bench seat.
Another destination for the Tinger Armor ST is the hunting and recreational market. As we have stated, the machine will go almost anywhere driving over most obstacles and terrain.
It will climb up to 40-degree gradient, navigate up to 30-degree side slopes and overcome obstacles up to 40cm high
– covering country from waterlogged paddocks to creek crossings and it can
even take a joy ride through the lake. Quite possibly the most impressive feature that stounds out upon investigating further into the attributes of the Tinger Armor ST, must be its ability to be adapted to suit such a range of applications, scenarios, and environmental situations.
Sure, it’s a simple enough machine on first appearance, a no-frills workhorse. But when have you been able to put a tiller steer outboard motor on the back of your four-wheel drive and go fishing in that perfect spot you could never even drive to in the first place?
Now we’re talking not only functionality but well… fun.