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M915 Truck, Tractor, Line Haul 50,000 GVWR 6X4

The M915 Line-Haul Tractor (Truck, Tractor, 14-ton, 6x4) is used primarily in active and reserve component transportation units for the rapid, efficient transport of bulk supplies from ocean ports to division support areas within a theater of operation. It was type classified Std. A in 1979.

In Europe, the 37th TRANS. COM. used these tractors with M872 trailers. Both tractor and trailer were custom modified, according to this information provided by dennyb from Iowa who was in 53rd Trans BN HQ during the period:

37th Trans modifications of the vehicles and trailers were done in Europe only to the 37th's equipment. The European style curtain side trailer conversions were done to a large portion of 37th's M872 trailer fleet, but not all. Many remained in their original M872 stake and platform "box trailer" configuration, others were used as flatbed trailers. As I remember it, the curtain side conversions were for the most part done in Kaiserslautern by the Germans at the Army repair and maintenance facility behind Panzer Kasserne.

The wind faring, on top of the M915 tractors, and pogo sticks (curb feelers) at the ends of the bumpers are also specific 37th Trans. Com. mods.

Other than the first few training units, 89 TC, 53rd Trans Bn. under the 37th Trans Group began receiving their first issue M915's in late 1979. The 501st TC of the 53rd Trans BN was the only company in the 53rd that had M915A1's and they took them to Desert Storm #1. When 501st's A1's returned from Desert Storm they were so badly beaten-up by the roads down there, that they seemed nearly ready for the bone yard.

M915 Truck, Tractor, Line Haul Variants

AM General produced M915-series variants M915 and M915A1, then Freightliner produced the M915A2 through M915A5, based upon Freightliner's commercial FLD120 tractors. Model differences include:

  • M915, M915A1: Delivered 1978-1982 based on AM General tactical trucks.
  • M915A2: Automatic brake system (ABS) equipped, delivered 1990.
  • M915A3: Electronically controlled Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine, Allison World transmission, Freightliner's "TufTrac" off-road suspension, a/c, collision warning system, delivered 2000.
  • M915A4: Retrofitted M915/M915A1 to include M915A3 design features.
  • M915A5: Armored upgrade of the M915A3.

To retrofit a target truck to the M915A4 standard, the original engine and rear axle bogies are salvaged and then installed in a new production "glider kit" cab and chassis assembly. The M915A4 costs only about 2/3 the cost of a new vehicle. The U.S. Army contracted with Freightliner to retrofit 1,857 M915s and an additional 2,200 M915A1s may be upgraded.

In September 2009, Freightliner, as a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA), was awarded a contract to produce 1,780 M915A5 6x4 line haul tractors, a block upgrade of the M915A3 model. The major change in the M915A5 is the inclusion of armor protection, using the Army A-kit and B-Kit design strategy. DTNA partnered with BAE Systems to develop and integrate an armor package design into the M915A5 line haul tractor. BAE will provide DTNA with an A-Kit for each M915A5 produced on the military production line in Portland, OR. BAE will also produce B-Kits for trucks as requested from the U.S. Army to meet combat requirements. In addition to enhanced armor, the M915A5 features a larger cab to store combat gear, personal weapons and ammunition. The larger cab, combined with an upgraded electrical system, also provides the space and power for the robust C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence) packages now utilized on line haul trucks in combat.

The M915A5 deliveries were planned for late 2009 and 2010.

The M915 Line-Haul Tractor is used with trailers:

  • M871 semitrailer (flatbed, 22.5 tons)
  • M872 semitrailer (flatbed, 34 tons)
  • M1062 semitrailer (7,500-gallon tanker)

The M915 had full nomenclature Truck, Tractor: 14-Ton, Line Haul, 6x4 50,000 GVW. It had a 2 1/2 inch kingpin (M915) and is transportable by highway, rail, marine, and air modes worldwide.

Table of Variants of the M915 Line Haul Tractor

Model NSN Engine Transmission GVWR
M9152320-01-028-4395Cummins Model NTC-400
400 bhp@2100rpm
Big Cam I
Caterpillar 7155 Semi-automatic 16fwd, 2rev50,000 lbs
M915A12320-01-125-2640Cummins Big Cam IIAllison HT-750 CRD50,000 lbs
M915A22320-01-272-5029Detroit Diesel Series 60
430hp, 1450 lb-ft torque
Allison HD4560P
6 speed automatic
52,000 lbs
M915A32320-01-432-4847Detroit Diesel S60Allison HD4560P52,000 lbs
M915A42520-01-458-1207M915 or M915A1 engineAllison HD4560P52,000 lbs
M915A52320-01-552-2922Detroit Diesel S60
500hp, 1650 lb-ft torque
Allison 4500SP
6 speed automatic
120,000 lbs (GCWR)

Maximum gross combined vehicle weight (GCVW) of the M915 when operating with the M872 semitrailer is 105,000 lbs.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M915 Truck, Tractor, Line Haul 50,000 GVWR 6X4 at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

M915 Truck, Tractor, Line Haul 50,000 GVWR 6X4 Courtesy: Government Liquidation LLC
An 837th Transportation Battalion worker directs two upgraded M915 line-haul tractors to the stern ramp of the USNS Watson at Gwangyang Port, South Korea, 7  December 2010. The tractors were downloaded, upgraded, then returned to the prepositioned stocks aboard the vessel.
M915A1 14-ton tractor pulling a flatbed trailer as it moves through the town as part of a convoy during Operation CROCODILE, a training exercise for medical, decontamination and chemical reaction team personnel, 21 Aug 1990.
M915A5 (of the M915-Series Line-Haul Tractors), based upon Freightliner commercial Western Star tractors and incorporates transport industry technologies for safety, fuel efficiency and low operating costs per mile.
Members of 2nd Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery, load an M163A1 Vulcan self-propelled anti-aircraft gun onto a Semitrailer, Low-Bed, 4-Wheel, M172 pulled by an M915 line haul tractor-truck in preparation for shipment back to the United States at the conclusion of SPEARPOINT 84, a phase of Exercise REFORGER 84, Germany, 15 August 1984.  Ramp in foreground appears to be a section of AVLB.
Truck, Concrete-Mobile Mixer: 22 1/2-Ton, 8x6, 8 Cu Yds, M919, part of the M915 series of vehicles. Courtesy eBay seller guentherkim1qaw.

M915 Line Haul Tractor Photo Gallery

M915A3 Truck, Tractor, Line Haul 52,000 GVWR 6X4
M915A3 Truck, Tractor, Line Haul 52,000 GVWR 6X4. Photo courtesy Freightliner LLC.

M915 Truck, Tractor, Line Haul 50,000 GVWR 6X4
M915 Truck, Tractor, Line Haul 50,000 GVWR 6X4.

Dataplate for M915A1 Truck, Tractor, Line Haul 50,000 GVWR 6X4.  Photo: Government Liquidation.com
Dataplate for M915A1 Truck, Tractor, Line Haul 50,000 GVWR 6X4. Photo: Government Liquidation.com

76th Trans Co. M-915 Tractor with M872 trailer loaded with medical supplies from the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center in Pirmasens, West Germany, 28 December 1989.  Both tractor and trailer have 37th TRANS. COM. modifications of the time.  Thanks to dennyb from Iowa for proper ID
76th Trans Co. M-915 Tractor with M872 trailer loaded with medical supplies from the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center in Pirmasens, West Germany, 28 December 1989. Both tractor and trailer have 37th TRANS. COM. modifications of the time. Thanks to dennyb from Iowa for proper ID.

62nd Transportation Company M915 tractor with flat bed trailer, Ft. Bliss, TX, 12 February 1987
62nd Transportation Company M915 tractor with flat bed trailer, Ft. Bliss, TX, 12 February 1987.

89th Trans Co, 6th Trans Bn M915A3 Light Equipment Transporter on railroad flat car, Fort Eustis, VA, 24 February 2002
89th Trans Co, 6th Trans Bn M915A3 Light Equipment Transporter on railroad flat car, Fort Eustis, VA, 24 February 2002.

M915A4 Glider Unit.  Photo courtesy Freightliner LLC
M915A4 Glider Kit. Photo courtesy Freightliner LLC.

M915A5.  Photo courtesy Daimler Trucks North America LLC.
M915A5. Photo courtesy Daimler Trucks North America LLC.

M915A5.  Photo courtesy Daimler Trucks North America LLC.
M915A5. Photo courtesy Daimler Trucks North America LLC.

Thanks to James Grein for help with this page.

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