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M116 Chassis, Cargo, 3/4 Ton

The M116 Chassis, Cargo, 3/4 Ton has been used as the base for many specialized 3/4 ton trailers, such as mobile power generators, radar sets or tool collections. The M101 3/4 ton cargo trailer uses the M116A2 chassis to carry the M101A2 and the M116A3 chassis for the M101A3. Unlike the other M116 series trailers, the M116A3 has a load rating of one ton.

HMMWV towing an M116 series trailer with MEP generator set, equipment for Marines assigned to Bn Landing Team, 2nd Bn, 2nd Marines, 24th MEU, aboard USS NASSAU (LAH 4), during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 28 Mar 2003
HMMWV towing an M116 series trailer with MEP generator set, equipment for Marines assigned to Bn Landing Team, 2nd Bn, 2nd Marines, 24th MEU, aboard USS NASSAU (LAH 4), during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 28 Mar 2003.

Today in WW II: 23 Sep 1940 After just seven weeks of development, American Bantam delivers the first prototype jeep to Camp Holabird, MD.   

M-116 Chassis: Trailer, 3/4 Ton, 2-Wheel

The use of the M116 chassis as the basis of specialized trailers is widespread in the U.S. military. As examples, here are some specific cases:

  • The Equipment Trailer Group (ETG) and the Antenna Transceiver Group (ATG) for the AN/TPQ-36 weapons-locating radar are based on M116A3 trailers while the Trailer Mounted Auxiliary Generator for the same radar utilizes the M116A2.

  • Mobile Electric Power (MEP) generator sets in the most popular sizes are commonly towed on M116 series trailers. The HMMWV typically is the prime mover for these trailers while carrying additional equipment. With the maximum load rating of the M116 at one ton, HMMWV-towable power is limited to a maximum of 10 kW of power, usually either two 3 kW generators or one 10 kW generator.

  • The Tool Outfit, Pioneer, Portable Electric Tools, Trailer Mounted (NSN 5180-00-289-9569 or 5180-00-914-2572) is housed in a rounded-top tool enclosure mounted on an M116A2 trailer.

M-116 Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 ton Specifications

Length, overall147 in. (373.38 cm)
Width, overall71.3 in. (181.1 cm)
Width, track71.3 in. (181.1 cm)
Height, chassis30 in. (76.2 cm)
Weight, empty780 lb (354.12 kg)
Weight, maximum3160 lb (1434.64 kg)
Note: Dimenstions are based on the M116A2E1 variant.

Differences Between Models of the M116 Trailer

Differences between M116 series trailers consist of configuration variations in the electrical system, axle, brakes, wheels, frame, and suspension, as presented in this table:

ModelFSN/NSNAxleInertia Brake SystemWheels/TiresFrameSpring Leaves
M1162330-542-5987StraightNoTubes??3 in.5
M116A12330-898-6780StraightNoTubeless/Radial3 in.5
M116A22330-01-101-8434StraightYesTubeless/Radial3 in.5
M116A2E12330-01-333-9773StraightYesTubeless4 in.6
M116A32330-01-359-0080OffsetYesTubeless/Runflat/Radial4 in.6

The above information is from TM 9-2330-202-14&P (May 1997). However, TACOM RD&E Center Technical Report No. 13556 (November 1991) presents the following table of model differences which is not the same as the TM:

Table 1: M116-Series Trailers

M116A28740054 ??
M116A2E1Improved Springs (7 vs. 5 Leaves)
Improved Frame (4" vs. 3")
M116A2E2Offset axle
Increased Track Width to 72
HMMWV Wheels and Tires
M116A3Improved Springs (11 Leaves)
Reinforced Frame
Adjustable Wheeled Landing Leg
Two Rear Landing Legs
M103 Shock Absorber

M116 trailers are equipped with a chassis wiring harness that terminates at a covered junction box on the roadside drawbar. The intervehicular cable is fixed to the trailer. The trailers are equipped with a two-light composite stoplight-taillight configuration that may have standard lamps or LEDs. The trailers have both handbrakes and an inertia-actuated hydraulic brake system.

The M116A2E1 and M116A3 are variants of the M116A2. Heavy-duty axles, four-inch frames, and heavier spring assemblies allow for a greater payload than the M116A2. In addition, the M116A3 uses the HMMWV radial runflat wheel and tire assemblies.

Manuals for the M-116 trailer, that also cover the M101 cargo trailer, include TM 9-2330-202-14&P (August 1962, 7 October 1993, May 1997, or 1999). Other manuals for equipment based on the M116 chassis, such as generator sets, also include relevant information about the M116 platform utilized. For example, see TM 5-5180-220-12&P for the Pioneer Tool Trailer (NSN 5180-00-289-9569 or 5180-00-914-2572).

M-116 Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 ton Photo Gallery

M-116A2 Chassis: Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 ton.  Photo: Government Liquidation.com
M-116A2 Chassis: Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 ton. Photo: Government Liquidation.com.

M-116A2 Chassis: Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 ton dataplate.  Photo: Government Liquidation.com
M-116A2 Chassis: Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 ton dataplate. Photo: Government Liquidation.com.

MEP003A 10KW generator set (NSN 6115-00-465-1030) carried by M-116A2 Chassis: Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 ton. Photo: Government Liquidation.com
MEP003A 10KW generator set (NSN 6115-00-465-1030) carried by M-116A2 Chassis: Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 ton. Photo: Government Liquidation.com.

Antenna Transceiver Group (ATG) of the FireFinder AN/TPQ-36 weapons locating radar on M116A3 trailer, 161st Target Acquisition Battery of the Kansas National Guard, Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, 20 April 1996
Antenna Transceiver Group (ATG) of the FireFinder AN/TPQ-36 weapons locating radar on M116A3 trailer, 161st Target Acquisition Battery of the Kansas National Guard, Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, 20 April 1996.

M116 series trailers with MEP generator sets, USMC equipment park
M116 series trailers with MEP generator sets, USMC equipment park.

Tool Outfit, Pioneer, Portable Electric Tools, Trailer Mounted (NSN 5180-00-289-9569) mounted on Chassis: Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 Ton, 2W, M116A2.  Photo: Oshkosh Equipment Sales, LLC
Tool Outfit, Pioneer, Portable Electric Tools, Trailer Mounted (NSN 5180-00-289-9569) mounted on Chassis: Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 Ton, 2W, M116A2. Photo: Oshkosh Equipment Sales, LLC.

Tool Outfit, Pioneer, Portable Electric Tools, Trailer Mounted (NSN 5180-00-289-9569) mounted on Chassis: Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 Ton, 2 Wheel, M116A2.  Photo courtesy John Colwell, Vintage Military Trucks
Tool Outfit, Pioneer, Portable Electric Tools, Trailer Mounted (NSN 5180-00-289-9569) mounted on Chassis: Trailer, Cargo, 3/4 Ton, 2 Wheel, M116A2. Photo courtesy John Colwell, Vintage Military Trucks.

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