M939 series 5-ton 6x6 truck

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M939 series
US Marine Corps 030224-M-XT622-034 USMC M923 (6X6) 5-ton cargo truck heads a convoy departing Camp Matilda, Kuwait crop.jpg
United States Marine Corps M923
Type5-ton 6x6 trucks
Place of originUnited States
Production history
ManufacturerAM General
Specifications (M925[1])
Mass22,750 lb (10,320 kg)
Length25 ft 7 in (7.80 m)
Width8 ft 2 in (2.49 m)
Height9 ft 7 in (2.92 m)

EngineCummins NHC-250
Cummins 6CTA8.3 (M939A2)
240 hp (180 kW)
Transmission5 speed auto. x 2 range
SuspensionBeam axles on leaf springs
350 mi (560 km)
Speed63 mph (101 km/h)

The M939 Truck is a 5-ton 6×6 U.S. military heavy truck. The basic cargo versions were designed to transport a 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) cargo load over all terrain in all weather. Designed in the late 1970s to replace the M39 and M809 series of trucks, it has been in service ever since. The M939 evolved into its own family of cargo trucks, prime movers, and recovery vehicles, with about 32,000 in all produced.[2]


All models of the M939 share a common basic chassis, cab, and hood/fenders. The basic truck is a 6×6 (three axles, six wheels, all of which are powered) medium truck. Early M939s were rebuilds of M809 vehicle chassis by AM General, with a new automatic transmission, cab, and hood/fender. Suffix –A2 are new production by Bowen-McLaughlin-York/BMY with later model Cummins engine. The vehicles have a wide variety of configurations and weights.[1][3]

Note that the motor and tire specifications, along with other improvements, apply to the A2 versions (and A1 versions) of each base model listed below. There is an M928, an M928A1, and M928A2.


The M939 and M939A1 models use a Cummins NHC 250, a 855 cu in (14.0 L) naturally aspirated inline 6 cylinder diesel engine developing 240 hp (180 kW) at 2100 rpm and 685 lbf⋅ft (929 N⋅m) of torque at 1,500 rpm. This was the standard engine of the M809 series. The M939A2 models use a newer and smaller Cummins 6CTA8.3 504 cu in (8.3 L) turbocharged inline 6 cylinder diesel engine developing 240 hp (180 kW) at 2100 rpm and 745 lbf⋅ft (1,010 N⋅m) torque at 1,500 rpm.

All models have an Allison 5 speed automatic transmission with a two speed transfer case. The front axle was engaged in low range.[1][3]


The M939 uses 11:00 R20 tires with two tires per side per axle in the rear (rear tandem duals). The M939A1 and M939A2 series use oversized 14:00 R20 tires and rear tandem "Super Singles". M939A2 series vehicles use a central tire inflation system (CTIS).


There are three wheelbases (measurements are from the centerline of the front axle to the centerline of the rear tandem). The short, used for tractors and dumps, is 13 feet 11 inches (4.24 m), the long ("standard"), used for cargo and wreckers, is 14 feet 11 inches (4.55 m), and the extra long, used for long cargo and expansible vans, is 17 feet 11 inches (5.46 m).


Cargo Truck M923-M928[edit]

M925 Cargo truck
M928 Cargo truck

The M924 (M926 w/winch) was the standard cargo version of the series. It had a 7 ft × 14 ft (2.1 m × 4.3 m) low sided box with a bottom hinged tailgate. Side racks, troop seats, and overhead bows with a canvas cover were standard.

The M923 (M925 w/winch) had a body with drop sides so it could be loaded from the side by forklifts.

The M927 (M928 w/winch), with an extra long wheelbase, had a 20 ft (6.1 m) long box. There was no drop side version.[1][3]

Dump Truck M929/M930[edit]

M930 Dump Truck

The M929 (M930 w/winch) was a dump truck used to haul sand, gravel, dirt, rubble, scrap, and other bulk materials. It had a dump body with cab protector and a tailgate that could hinge at either the top or bottom. They could be equipped with overhead bows, tarpaulin, and troop seats, but the relatively small size of the body limited their passenger or cargo load.[1][3]

Tractor Truck M931/M932[edit]

M932 Tractor Truck

The M931 (M932 w/winch) was a semi-tractor used to tow semi-trailers up to 37,500 lb (17,000 kg). A front-mounted winch was optional.

Expansible Van M934/M935[edit]

M934 Expansible Van Truck

The M934 (M935 with a hydraulic lift-gate) had a 17 ft (5.2 m) van body with a slide out section on each side. When the sections are extended the working floor was almost 14 ft (4.3 m) wide. The body could support 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) of communications equipment.[1] [3]

Medium Wrecker M936[edit]

M936 Medium Wrecker Truck

The M936 was a wrecker used to recover disabled or stuck trucks and lift large components. A rotating, telescoping, and elevating hydraulic boom could lift a maximum of 20,000 lb (9,100 kg). Although the truck was not meant to carry a load, the boom could support 7,000 lb (3,200 kg) when towing. They had 20,000 lb (9,100 kg) front and 45,000 lb (20,000 kg) rear winches, outriggers, boom braces, chocks, block and tackle, oxygen-acetylene torches, and other automotive tools.[1][3]


The M939 to M945 were chassis with cabs, meant to carry specialized bodies. They were available in long and extra long wheelbases, and with or without front winches.[1][3]


Model[3] Wheelbase Length Width Height Empty Weight
M923 Cargo long 25 ft 7 in (7.80 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m) 21,600 lb (9,800 kg)
M924 Cargo long 25 ft 7 in (7.80 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)

23,337 lb (10,585 kg)

M925 Cargo long 27 ft 5 in (8.36 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m) 22,360 lb (10,140 kg)
M926 Cargo long 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m) 24,060 lb (10,910 kg)
M927 Cargo extra long 31 ft 11 in (9.73 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m) 27,749 lb (12,587 kg)
M928 Cargo extra long 33 ft 8 in (10.26 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m) 27,811 lb (12,615 kg)
M929 Dump short 22 ft 9 in (6.93 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m) 25,880 lb (11,740 kg)
M930 Dump short 24 ft 6 in (7.47 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m) 23,990 lb (10,880 kg)
M931 Tractor short 22 ft 9 in (6.93 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m) 22,089 lb (10,019 kg)
M932 Tractor short 23 ft 10 in (7.26 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 112 in (280 cm) 22,841 lb (10,361 kg)
M934 Expansible van extra long 30 ft 5 in (9.27 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 11 ft 4 in (3.45 m) 29,946 lb (13,583 kg)
M935 Expansible van extra long 30 ft 11 in (9.42 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 11 ft 4 in (3.45 m) 31,851 lb (14,447 kg)
M936 Wrecker long 30 ft 2 in (9.19 m) 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m) 39,334 lb (17,842 kg)




The safety of the M939 series of trucks has been criticized, especially braking performance and stability when loaded. In 1999 the U.S. Army began retrofitting anti-lock brake systems to the M939 trucks. Until the trucks were modified, they were limited to a 40 mph (65 km/h) top speed by an Army-wide safety order.[citation needed]

Prior to that improvement, 26% of all Army vehicle accidents and 53% of all Army vehicle accident fatalities were in M939 series trucks. From 1987 to 1998 the series made up 9% of the total U.S. Army vehicle inventory, but accounted for 34% of all fatal accidents.[8]

The problem seemed to be that the torque converter would "lock up" in 2nd gear, and would not unlock easily. When the driver attempted to brake hard, often in a sudden or 'panic' stop, and accidentally locked the brakes (no wheel movement, tires skidding), this would kill the engine; this also killed the power steering, and the driver would suddenly be unable to steer. Too often, the truck would veer sideways and either hit something or roll over.[citation needed][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Doyle, David (2003). Standard catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles. Krause Publications. pp. 202–203, 205. ISBN 0-87349-508-X.
  2. ^ "M939 - General utility truck". Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "TM 9-2320-272-10 Operator's manual for Truck 5 ton, 6X6, M939 series". US Depts. of the Army and the Air Force. 25 July 1984. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Ejercito Argentino REO M931A2 03 Octubre 2014". Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 December 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Annex C Appendix II". US Army Technical Manual of Foreign Military Sales: Battlefield Damage Assessment and Repair (PDF). Washington, D.C. 18 December 1987. p. 263 (C-3). TM 9-2320-356-BD. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 June 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ M939 series information page at globalsecurity.org Archived 5 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Accessed 5 Dec 2014
  9. ^ "Military Safety: Army M939 5-Ton Truck Accident History and Planned Modifications". GlobalSecurity.org. US General Accounting Office. 4 September 1999. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.

External links[edit]