Heavy Equipment Transport System

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Heavy Equipment Transport System (abbreviated as HETS) is a term applied (primarily) to a U.S. Army logistics vehicle transport system, the primary purpose of which is to transport the M1 Abrams tank. It is also used to transport, deploy, and evacuate armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery, armored bulldozers and other heavy vehicles and equipment of all types.

The current U.S. Army vehicle used in this role is an Oshkosh-built M1070 tractor unit which is coupled to a DRS Technologies M1000 semi-trailer. This combination replaced the earlier Oshkosh-built M911 tractor unit and M747 semi-trailer.


An M1070 and M1000 loading an M88 Recovery Vehicle in southern Iraq
A Fox NBC-detection vehicle is transported by a HETS trailer

To meet a US Army requirement for the transport of the M1A1 Abrams main battle tank (MBT) Oshkosh Truck Corporation (now Oshkosh Defense) proposed the M1070. A contract for 1044 M1070 was placed, with production commencing in July 1992.[1]

The final U.S. Army contract for the original A0 version called for 195 vehicles. These were delivered between March 2001 and March 2003. U.S. Army deliveries of A0 versions totalled 2,488.[1] Following extensive use, some M1070 have been Reset to original build standard by Oshkosh.[1]

The M1070E1 model was developed in the mid-1990s in conjunction with the U.S. Army as a possible Technology Insertion Programme (TIP) for the M1070. No orders were placed.[1]

In March 2008 Oshkosh Defense announced the award of a contract from the U.S. Army to begin engineering and initial production of the next-generation of HET.[1] Oshkosh announced in October 2010 its first delivery order for the M1070A1 HET. Production of the M1070A1 concluded in August 2014, with new vehicle production totalling 1,591.[1]

The trailer used with the M1070A0 and M1070A1 is the M1000.[2] The M1000 was originally developed as a private venture by Southwest Mobile Systems (later Systems & Electronics Inc (SEI), now DRS Technologies) as a response to a possible US Army requirement for transporting M1 and M1A1 MBTs. A production order for 1,066 M1000 units was placed by the U.S. Army in 1989. By July 2009 more than 2600 M1000 trailers had been ordered.[1]

The M1070 and M1000 are both air-transportable by C-5 Galaxy or C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.

The M1070 replaced the Scammell Commander as the British Army heavy tank transporter in 2001. The UK version (M1070F) is compliant with European legislation on emissions (EURO III).

Previous heavy equipment transports[edit]

M25 Tank Transporter[edit]

Main article: M25 Tank Transporter
M25 Tank Transporter
M26 tractor
Place of origin  United States
Service history
In service 1941-1955
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Knuckey Truck Company
Manufacturer Pacific Car & Foundry Co.
Weight 22 tons
Length 7.7 m
Width 3.3 m
Height 3.2 m
Crew 7

Armor front 3/4 inch
sides, rear 1/4 inch
.50 cal M2 machine gun
Engine Type 440 6-cylinder gasoline engine
240 hp
Suspension 6×6
400 km
Speed 26 mph (42 km/h)

The M25 Tank Transporter was a heavy tank transporter and tank recovery vehicle used in World War II and beyond by the US Army.

Nicknamed the Dragon Wagon, the M25 was composed of a 6×6 armored tractor (M26) and 40-ton trailer (M15).


In 1942 a new 40-ton semi-trailer tank transporter was required. This was to offer better off-road performance than the M9 24-small-wheel trailer, and greater capacity than the 30-ton 8-large-wheel Shelvoke and Drewry semi-trailers, then in use with the Diamond T tractor unit. This new trailer was designed by the Fruehauf Trailer Company (based in Detroit, MI).[3] A new tractor unit was required, as this heavier trailer was more than the Diamond T could cope with.

The M26 tractor was designed by the San Francisco-based Knuckey Truck Company. When Knuckey's production capacity proved insufficient the Army awarded production to the Pacific Car & Foundry Co. of Seattle, Washington.

Designated TR-1 by Pacific Car, the 12-ton 6×6 M26 tractor was powered by a Type 440 240 bhp 6-cylinder gasoline engine developed exclusively for it by Hall-Scott (although also used to uprate the Diamond T). Some 2,100 Type 440s were built.[clarification needed] Baxter[3] notes "over 1,300" M26 and M26A1 being built.

Unusually, the tractor unit was fitted with both an armored cab and two winches with a combined pull of 60 tons.[3] The intention was that as well as hauling the tank transporter semi-trailer, the tractor unit could itself be used for battlefield light recovery work.

A later unarmored version of the M26 tractor was designated the M26A1. An experimental ballast tractor conversion was experimented with by the British Fighting Vehicle Proving Establishment (FVPE)[3]


The M26 entered service with the US Army in Europe in 1944-45.

U.S. Nomenclature[edit]

In the nomenclature system used by the U.S Army Ordnance Corps Supply Catalog this vehicle is referred as the G160.


  • Crew-7
  • Armament 1-.50 cal. machine gun
  • Armor, front-3/4", sides, rear, 1/4".
  • top speed-26 MPH
  • fuel cap, 120 GAL.

M746/M747 - M911/M747[edit]

M911 tractor and M747 trailer with M60 Patton tank
Oshkosh M911 tractor hauling a load

Prior to 1993, the U.S. Army employed the Commercial Heavy Equipment Transporter (C-HET), which consisted of either the M746 or the M911 truck tractor and the M747 semitrailer.

  • The M746 was an 8×8 22 1/2-ton tractor built by Ward LaFrance from 1975 to 1977. Approximately 125-185 were built.
  • The lift axle 8×6 Oshkosh M911 superseded the M746 after 1977.[4]

During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm the M911 vehicles were employed primarily to haul M1 Abrams tanks. However, they demonstrated poor durability when loads exceeded 60 tons. Some are still serving as heavy transports of other military equipment, such as cargo handling equipment.

General Characteristics[edit]

M911 tractor M746 tractor M747 trailer
Length: 30 feet 27 feet 48.2 feet
Width: 9.5 feet 10 feet 11.5 feet
Height: 11.8 feet 10 feet 6.8 feet
Weight: 26.3 tons 25.8 tons 17.1 tons
Speed: 43 miles per hour 38 miles per hour N/A
Range: 614 miles 200 miles N/A
Crew: 2 2 N/A
Engine: 430 hp Detroit Diesel Series 92 (8V92TA) 12 cyl Detroit Diesel 12V71T, 600 bhp @ 2500 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed automatic N/A


See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Oshkosh M1070 and M1070A1 (8 × 8) Heavy Equipment Transporters (HETs) and M1000 semi-trailer". IHS Jane's Shaun C Connors & Christopher F Foss. 2015-08-27. Retrieved 2015-09-22. 
  2. ^ "TECHNICAL MANUAL OPERATOR'S MANUAL FOR TRUCK, TRACTOR, 8X8 M1070 A1 NSN 2320-01-564-6882". US Army. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  3. ^ a b c d Baxter, Brian S. (1989). Breakdown: A History of Recovery Vehicles in the British Army. HMSO, for REME Museum. p. 51. ISBN 0-11-290456-4. 
  4. ^ "Fort Snelling Military Museum". Archived from the original on 2006-09-21. Retrieved 2006-11-15.