The Daihotai Tractor was a commercial off-road vehicle designed for use on extraterrestrial colonies. Its unusual suspended 8x8 wheel arrangement allows it to traverse hostile, uneven and unprepared ground, such as is commonly found on recently colonized extrasolar planets. The cab is large enough to fit five with room to spare.[1] The vehicle is also equipped with a tow cable and spotlights.

A tractor of this kind was notably used by Russ and Anne Jorden to locate the derelict ship near the Hadley's Hope colony on LV-426.


The Daihotai series of tractors were all based around a similar 8x8 wheeled layout, with a 6.59 meter wheelbase and a track of 5.86 meters, a configuration designed to give stability over the roughest terrain. The wheels are arranged into four two-wheel bogies, each of which is connected to the chassis by two swinging-arm Anderson suspension units.[2] These units are cantilevered at the chassis bearings and sprung internally on torsion bars. Dampening is handled by telescopic shock absorbers, while hydropneumatic rams control the whole suspension assembly. A central computer processor monitors the suspension assembly as it travels on rough ground and instructs the rams to alter the configuration of the Anderson units to provide the best stability and traction over uneven terrain.[2] This system can also adjust the ground clearance of the vehicle to account for the prevailing terrain, allowing for clearances between 1.48 and 0.90 meters, and lowers completely to allow easy access to the vehicle's cabin.[3]

The Daihotai is designed with modular modifications in mind, and can accept a wide array of external attachments, including (but not limited to) mechanical diggers, cutters, cranes, bore drills, core samplers, spring stampers, welders, waldoes and bulldozer blades.[1] The ruggedness and versatility of the Daihotai chassis allows almost any heavy duty function to be carried out, and its ubiquitousness has made the type a popular purchase for corporate fleet buyers everywhere.


Powerplants vary from model to model on the Daihotai series. however, the most common types fitted are the J-160 and J-180 series gas turbines, generating 140-150 kW.[1] Power is transmitted from the plant to the wheels via a drive train that runs directly through the struts of the Anderson units to the bogies. Each wheel has its own individual independent transmission system which is computer controlled to provide optimum traction; the antilock braking system is also handled by the central processor. Road speeds for the Daihotai are typically around 110 km/h, and the off-road capabilities of the tractors are equally prodigious, thanks in part to its ability to tackle vertical obstacles up to 1.10 meters and gradients of over 70%.[1]


On most models of tractor, a fully-enclosed cabin comes as standard. All cabins are self-contained biosystems with life support capability, sealed against poisonous atmospheres, biohazards and low-level ionising radiation. Cabins are configured around a central living area, incorporating a galley and berths for up to five people. These living spaces are basic, although economical use of space does allow plenty of stowage for equipment and supplies. Each central cabin is reinforced by a steel roll-cage and can be sealed fore and aft by a sliding bulkhead door.[1]

Forward of the central cabin is the driver's cab, which can also double as an airlock while travelling in hazardous environments. At the rear of the tractor is a workstation cab, which also incorporates duplicates of the driving controls in the forward cab, allowing the tractor to drive as effectively backwards as it does forwards. These controls will also operate all external tools and attachments mounted on the tractor.[1]

Daihotai Advertising

"The Daihotai company, known for their long line of all-terrain tractors. The Daihotai tractor has an 8 x 8 wheel configuration, with a 6.59 meter wheelbase and a track of 5.86 meters. Each of the 4 two-wheel bogies are connected to the chassis by two swinging-arm Anderson suspension units. A central computer processor unit monitors the suspension assembly, and it instructs the rams to alter the configuration of the suspension units to provide the best stability. The Daihotai tractor can modify its own ground clearance, allowing between 1.48 and 0.90 meters. Power is provided by gas turbines, which is transmitted from the plant to the wheels via a drive train. Each wheel has its own individual transmission system, which is computer controlled. The Daihotai has a maximum road speed of around 110 km/h, and can handle vertical obstacles up to 1.10 meters in height and gradients of over 70%. Common attachment tools mounted on the tractor include mechanical diggers, cranes, core samplers, bulldozer blades, welders, or waldoes." — Daihotai brochure

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  • The Daihotai Tractor model used in Aliens: Colonial Marines has many details which are actually in 2D (instead of in 3D like the prop used in Aliens).



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, p. 155 (2012), Titan Books.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, p. 154 (2012), Titan Books.
  3. James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens Special Edition (1991), 20th Century Fox [LaserDisc].
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