I am interested in finding a way to facilitate constant 6-wheel drive utilising a centre differential that splits the torque from the gearbox between the 3 axles while allowing them to vary in rotational speed from each other.

  • $\begingroup$ What size vehicle are we talking here? What is the differential set up? For example, all left wheels ganged together and all right wheels ganged together separated by a differential? Or only each left and right wheel pair connected by a differential? Or something else? The two mentioned are fairly straightforward. For the first, a regular differential driving a chain or belt drive on each side. For the second two end differentials with the middle differential having having a duplicate input shaft so there is one on both sides to drive the end differentials. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    May 27 at 6:05
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the query. I have in mind a mini bus/mobile home, forward control, aprox 7 metres in length x 2.1 metres wide with 3 evenly spaced axles (not the usual rear tandem), all wheel steer - giving many options, Tare weight aprox 3.2 tonnes, GVM 6 tonnes. Bus style rear mounted engine driving a vario (Fendt ADCO) primary gearbox driving a differential that in turn outputs to the 3 left wheels and the 3 right wheels $\endgroup$ May 28 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ If you have 3 axles, then have a diff in each axle - that needs less equipment than trying to drive 3 left and 3 right… $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    May 28 at 4:22
  • $\begingroup$ Kinda sounds like you would want a through differential, but I'll be damned if I know where you can get one with matching end differentials. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    May 28 at 6:16
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the comments guys. I have been thinking about this for some time and the simplest way I can come up with is a Electric Hybrid - as you have no charging facilities in the bush, Diesel to generator then 6 individual wheel motors. I would prefer a mechanical drive. I want to be also able to drive the left/right wheels in opposite direction for almost pivot steering (similar to two track tractor) BUT as you can appreciate because of the differing turning radiuses there is a need for each wheel to be driven in relationship with the other 5 wheels. Hydraulic motors are inefficient $\endgroup$ May 29 at 5:54

1 Answer 1


Drive each wheel with a hydraulic motor.

Each can then be independently be controlled to match conditions at that wheel ie slip etc

To have a really good mechanical system will involve LSD's as well. Another configuration is an H rear axle with a chain drive to each pair of wheels.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry mate, not quite what I had in mind $\endgroup$ May 28 at 0:55

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