The Auroch is an eight-wheeled multipurpose vehicle. It is very popular among traders and explorers as it can carry large payloads at high speeds, even over bad terrain. Aurochs normally travel in convoys for protection against raiders, and clashes between merchant clans and their lawless adversaries have often decided the fate of remote Wasteland settlements.
- During normal operation, the four rear wheels are powered and the four front wheels are used for turns. This system is mechanically complex, but drivers need no specialised training; Aurochs handle much like trucks, and are considerably more forgiving than articulated transports. On steep slopes or in bad terrain two forward differentials can power the front wheels, resulting in an eight-wheel drive.
- The heavy Kevlar-belted tyres are largely puncture and bullet resistant and offer less rolling resistance than tracks. Outside a battlefield context they are also much more durable which further lowers running costs.
- The raised hull offers good ground clearance, helps the Auroch ford small rivers, and provides some protection against pre-Schism landmines and the cruder improvised explosives some raiders plant on convoy routes. Angled chassis plates shield the forward differential and help to deflect blasts away from the Auroch’s occupants.
- The forward cab improves the payload-to-volume ratio and aids road visibility. Aurochs can shrug off small arms fire, though in more dangerous territory, some crews fit extra steel plates and/or anti-rocket screens. Most Aurochs also have dual controls to give drivers an instant backup. In less lethal situations this also lets a second driver keep the Auroch on its course when one is tired or distracted.
- The large diesel engine is centrally mounted to increase road stability. Crews can conduct minor repairs without leaving the vehicle – another useful attribute if stranded in hostile territory.
- The fully enclosed rear compartment gives cargo more protection. Additional equipment can be carried on external rails. More optimistic Auroch crews sometimes refit vehicles with flatbeds, collapsible cages or trays. These can carry more again, but offer less security.
- Aurochs rely primarily on their escorts for defence, but most carry their own weapons on revolving turret rings. This Auroch’s 14.5mm machine gun can stop lightly armoured vehicles; the secondary 7.62mm uses common rifle ammunition, provides backup if the main gun jams, and can be easily removed if crew are forced to fight on foot.