Driving the Ferret

Like most things, when you get used to it, driving the Ferret is not difficult. There is one thing to get used to, and two things to remember. You must get used to the steering wheel sloping the ‘wrong’ way, to fit behind the glacis allowing you to reach the pedals. When driving you feed the steering wheel through your hands. The User Manual cites a list of DONT’s – actions to be aware of. This information is also given in the instructions in the sidebar.

  • You have to remember that the Gear-change pedal (GCP) is NOT a clutch. Once you get your head around pre-selecting the gear and remember instinctively that the gear-change pedal is not a clutch, then gear-changing is FAR easier than in a manual car.
  • It is also important to remember because there is no clutch the fluid flywheel therefore does not lock the drivetrain through the transmission when in gear. This four ton vehicle will roll down any slope – even one that appears horizontal – unless it is chocked or the parking handbrake applied.
  • Although the pictures on the banner above shows the Ferret on the motorway, please be aware that motorway driving will cause wind-up!


First Actions

Before setting off, work your way through the brakebands. Select each gear with the gear selector lever, pump the gear change pedal (it is NOT a clutch) 8-10 times in each gear vigourously. Failure to do this will result in the box not being able to auto-adjust and the premature failure of your gearbox. This activity should be performed on a daily basis. Worn brake bands results in slipping, or non-selection, of the gear selected. You will find that the GCP moves furthest, and springs up vigorously in first gear, yet hardly at all in fifth gear.

Starting up

Comprehensive driving instructions are in the Driving Instructions sidebar. Briefly:

  1. Check the handbrake/parking brake is on.
  2. Check the forward/reverse lever (transfer box: left-hand side) is in the appropriate position.
  3. Select 1st gear (gearbox: right-hand side). The button on the gear selector lever is depressed to go past the gate holding the selector lever at 2nd
  4. Fully depress and release the Gear Change Pedal (GCP) at least six times. Repeat for each other gear in turn. This adjusts the brake bands in the gear box.
  5. Select neutral position with the gear selector lever and fully depress and release the GCP. It will stay down.
  6. Turn the master ignition switch on.
  7. Pump the throttle, four to five times.
  8. Press down on curved lever of the starter switch (engine crank switch) and blip the accelerator to assist the engine firing.
  9. Release the engine crank switch when the engine fires. Release after 5-10 seconds if the starter motor turns too much without firing the engine.
  10. If the engine doesn’t fire, wait until the engine stops turning over before trying again with the starter lever.
  11. Put the footbrake on. Check forward/reverse lever.
  12. Select 1st gear on the gearbox. Actuate the gear with the GCP. Take the footbrake off.
  13. Release the handbrake/parking brake, press on the accelerator pedal and move off.
Parking – Stopping the Ferret rolling away by itself

Use the parking brake (the big sticky-uppy thing between your legs).  And read these notes!


Its always best to low-load. If towing is unavoidable, minimal distance-minimal time. No more than 15 miles at 15mph. Read these notes.


Driving Instructions

Army Users Handbook
driving instructions