|1959 to 1992|
|Also called||MK (military model)|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Commercial vehicle, military vehicle|
|Body style||chassis cab, flatbed, troop carrier, tipper, recovery vehicle|
|Layout||Longitudinal front engine,
four-wheel drive (4x4)
|Engine||103 bhp 6-cylinder diesel|
and 3.404 (tarpaulin)
|Kerb weight||5.1 ton|
|Predecessor||Bedford S type|
The Bedford TK is a truck that was produced by the Vauxhall Motors-owned Bedford Vehicles company. Launched in 1959 to replace the Bedford S type, the TK was scheduled to be replaced by the Bedford TL in 1981, but manufacturing of the TK continued as a cheaper alternative. A military 4x4 version called the Bedford MK was also produced. After Bedford's Dunstable factory was sold in 1987 to AWD, the TK restarted production for military only use until 1992 when AWD went into receivership.
History and use
The TK range replaced the S type in 1959, and served as the basis for a variety of derivatives, including fire engines, military, horse boxes, tippers, flatbed trucks, and other specialist utilities. A General Post Office (later British Telecom) version used for installing telegraph poles was known as the "Polecat".
1960s Film. Bedford TK trucks-coca-cola logos
Available with an inline four or inline six cylinder petrol and diesel engines - the TK was the quintessential light truck in the UK through most of the 1960s and 1970s, competing with the similar Ford D series. It was available in rigid form, and also as a light tractor unit normally using the Scammell coupling form of semi-trailer attachment.
In 1981 Bedford introduced turbocharging to the "Red Series" 3.6-litre and 5.4-litre diesel engines, now producing 72 bhp and 102 bhp respectively.
Bedford MKs - a 4x4 variant of the TK - are still used by the British Armed Forces. The Bedford MK was introduced to replace the Bedford RL. It was very successful and by year end 1977 a total of 11,700 units had been produced for the British Army and overseas military services. The MK has been produced in many variants.
MK in popular culture
Bedford - RL (1953-71)
The Bedford MK has had many appearances over the years, in TV such as Doctor Who, the Saint and Heartbeat. can often be seen in films from the 1960s.
Bedford TK in The Fast Lady Movie from 1962