Last Updated on February 17, 2022
Military trucks have been serving the country since World War I, an event which began less than a decade after the first trucks were invented. Then by WWII, the number of truck manufacturers and types of trucks exploded. Army trucks and other military vehicles came in many shapes and performed a diverse array of duties. Here, we cover 11 roles military trucks serve today, along with an example for each.
1. Light artillery
The Oshkosh M-ATV Assault is a small-to-midsize truck supporting offensive and defensive operations. The vehicle features a fully configurable and integrated C4ISR system, allowing for advanced situational awareness and operational versatility. It is also equipped with the TAK-4 independent suspension system for excellent off-road mobility across tough landscapes. The truck is capable of transporting up to 11 crew members. Another function is acting as an assault vehicle with a weapons platform that features Javelin missiles and a M249 5.56 mm machine gun.
2. Rocket launcher
The Lockheed Martin/BAE Systems’ M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a truck to behold. It is a flat-faced, 6×6, five-ton vehicle with a rear that swings up similar to a dump truck. However, instead of dirt, it launches either six M270 rockets or one MGM-140 ATACMS missile. The three-person lightweight rocket launcher can reach a top speed of 53 miles per hour and damage targets up to 186 miles away. Being fairly easy to transport, the truck can be brought into areas that larger rocket launchers can’t. It is ideally suited for supporting joint early and forced entry expeditionary operations.
3. IED and mine detection
The QinetiQ Raider I Engineer is a small, four-wheel-drive, jeep-like unit. Inside the vehicle are two seats and a small bed. It’s machine type is a mule. The truck is designed for support activities in various missions and can be operated autonomously or tele-remotely from up to nearly 1000 yards away. It can be configured into the Raider I Engineer Mine Roller by adding a boom with four wheels to the vehicle’s front. Then add a pair of four-wheel trailers for detecting mines and IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
4. Crossing hostile territory
The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle has come to be known as a Humvee. This truck is the most well-known military vehicle by civilians. It is so popular that civilian models of Humvees have been on the market for three decades. Though unlike the civilian models, military versions come in armored and unarmored variants. The Humvee was first used in Panama in 1989 and during the Iraq War. Since then, the military has determined that they don’t have enough armor and will replace them with either a MRAP (mine-resistant, ambush-protected) or a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). They are also considering converting them into drones.
5. Armoured carrier
The Land Systems OMC RG-31 Nyala is a boxy-looking all terrain vehicle with a long wheelbase and high ground clearance. It transports nine passengers and one driver. This truck is mine-resistant and features protections against small-arms fire and roadway bombs designed to take out tanks. Late-model variants like the Mk6 offer mine-resistant seating inside the RG-31. These 4×4 vehicles run on Cummins diesel engines, capable of over 400 horsepower in the most powerful trim.
6. Autonomous transport
The Oshkosh Autonomous TerraMax is a single-row cab, short bed, light truck that is capable of transporting two passengers and a small payload. Uniquely, the truck can transport without someone in the cab needing to drive. This is possible by integrating high-power military computers, intelligence, drive-by-wire technology, and state-of-the-art distributed sensing systems. This type of truck is used to make deliveries into risky territories while saving military personnel from potential attacks, and for reconnaissance.
7. Equipment recovery and assistance
The Oshkosh LVSR (logistics vehicle replacement system) MKR15 Wrecker is a large, five-axle truck designed to support combat vehicles. Wrecker is another word for tow truckIt can be used to service vehicles in the field or to tow vehicles that have broken down or become stuck. The truck does this using a series of hitches and a material handling crane. On paved surfaces, it can tow vehicles up to 50 tons. For vehicles that can’t be towed, the MKR15 can lift and carry vehicles up to 43 tons. Two smaller recovery vehicles remain onboard the truck and can be deployed from its rear.
8. Heavy equipment transport
Tanks help forces on the front line, but they need help getting there. That is when the U.S. Army brings in the OshKosh Global Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET). This 6×6 vehicle seats the driver, co-driver, and four personnel. The arrangement allows the tank operators to sit in the cab. It runs on a 700-hp Caterpillar C18 engine, features a payload capacity of 72 tons, and is long-term armor strategy-compliant (LTAS). Protection level of the cab can be tailored depending on the threat and mission requirements.
9. Damaged vehicle retrieval
A regular tow truck is not enough to retrieve damaged vehicles. Militaries use very specialized vehicles like the Oshkosh MMRS Demonstrator. MMRS stands for multi-mission recovery system. This 10-wheel-drive truck is capable of traveling across rough terrain. It has a heavy-duty winch for towing and a 50-ton rotating boom that extends out more than 40 feet to reach damaged vehicles.
The Oshkosh P19-R Aircraft firefighter is designed for putting out fires, especially when planes crash. That is their primary function. It is capable of transporting 1,000 gallons of water and 130 gallons of foam agent, hoses, other firefighting tools, and several personnel. The Command Zone integrated control and diagnostic system increases the crew’s situational awareness and safety.
The BAE Systems M9 Armored Combat Earthmover (ACE) is a highly mobile, armored, tracked, amphibious tractor, dozer, and scrape, combined into one machine. The vehicle resembles a tank without a turret and instead has a dozer blade equipped to the front of it. Although large, it’s operated by a single person. The truck can be used in non-combat situations, such as grading rough terrain to make paths for vehicles traversing rough terrains. Or it can be used in combat situations, such as smashing through walls.
A Military Truck for You
There are a multitude of ways trucks serve the country’s military, from reconnaissance to the transportation of people and supplies. How the military uses these trucks will only increase with time as new technology is innovated. Eventually, there could be other vehicles like the Humvee that become so popular, even civilians try to acquire one of their own.
Does owning a Humvee interest you? If so, with Veterans Day right around the corner, now is a great time to find a vehicle or any other military-themed item for yourself or as a gift for someone else. Find ways to celebrate your country and passion for vehicles today.