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Palletized Load System (PLS)

The U.S. Military Palletized Load System (PLS) performs line haul, local haul, unit resupply, and other missions in the tactical environment to support highly mobile combat units. PLS provides rapid movement of combat configured loads of ammunition and all classes of supply, shelters and containers. PLS entered service with the U.S. Army in 1993.

The Palletized Load System (PLS) consists of two 10x10 prime mover trucks with an integral self-loading and unloading capability, a payload trailer, and flatracks (demountable cargo beds). The PLS prime mover trucks carry payloads on the flatracks, inside 8x8x20-ft International Standards Organization (ISO) containers, or shelters. The prime mover truck and trailer form a self-contained system that loads and unloads its cargo using a hydraulic mechanism in the truck body, without the need for forklifts or other material handling equipment.

PLS cargo trucks & trailers with ISO containers
PLS cargo trucks & trailers with ISO containers.

Today in WW II: 26 Nov 1942 Battle of Brisbane: American and Australian soldiers fight in Brisbane, Australia with multiple fatalities [26-27 Nov].   

Palletized Load System (PLS) 10x10 Trucks and Trailer

M1075 Palletized Load System (PLS) cargo truck with M1076 payload trailer.
M1075 10x10 Palletized Load System (PLS) cargo truck with M1076 payload trailer.

The PLS trucks have been called "Truck, Cargo, PLS," "Truck, Tractor, PLS" "Truck, Palletized Loading," or "PLS Truck" interchangeably. The three models of the Palletized Load System (PLS) 10x10 Trucks and Trailer are:

The M1074 is equipped with a variable reach Grove PLS Material Handling Crane (MHC) to support forward-deployed artillery units. The M1075, without MHC, is used in conjunction with the M1076 trailer in support of transportation line haul missions. Without leaving the cab, the driver can load or unload the truck in less than one minute, and both truck and trailer in less than five minutes.

The M1076 Palletized Load System Trailer (PLST) is a three axle trailer designed to carry an 8x20-ft. M1077 flatrack (NSN 3990-01-307-7676) with a 16.5 ton payload. The flatrack is interchangeable between truck and trailer. PLST can accommodate both full and partially loaded flatracks. Guides laterally position the flatrack on the trailer while rear stops and locks secure the load and prevent the load from sliding rearward. The PLST is equipped with a two position adjustable drawbar and intervehicular connecting cables that attach the trailer to the towing truck.

The PLS prime mover features a central tire inflation system (CTIS) that significantly improves off-road mobility. Current NATO agreements require PLS to maintain interoperability with comparable British, German and French systems through the use of a common flatrack.

Two additional pieces of equipment enhance PLS flexibility. The M3/M3A1 Containerized Roll-in/out Platform (CROP) is an A-frame type flatrack which fits inside a 8x8x20-ft ISO container. A container handling unit (CHU) enables PLS to pick up and transport ISO containers without using a flatrack. Flatracks and CROP are interchangeable between PLS and the HEMTT-LHS.

Other types of bodies and specialized equipment are carried by the PLS trucks, based on standardized Engineer Mission Modules (EMM).

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the Palletized Load System (PLS) trucks at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

M1074 Palletized Load System (PLS).
Palletized Load System (PLS), a 16.5-ton payload tactical truck with a flatrack. It is a 5-axle, 10-wheel drive vehicle with a 500-hp Detroit Diesel engine, an Allison automatic transmission and a CTIS. PLS comes in two mission-oriented configurations: the M1074 and the M1075. The M1074 is equipped with a variable reach materiel-handling crane (MHC) to support forward-deployed field artillery units. The M1075, without MHC, is used in conjunction with the M1076 trailer to support transportation line-haul missions.  (This TACOM photo only shows 4 axles, but is clearly designated as PLS ??? Could be M1120 LHS?)
US Army SGT Kendrick McCallum, right, guides SPC Thomas Jones, left, both from 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, to pick up a Water Buffalo (sterilized water tank trailer), Combat Outpost Rabiy, Mosul, Iraq, 7 February 2009.
M1977 Palletized Loading System (PLS) Common Bridge Transport (CBT) places floating bridge segment into the water.
M1074 Truck, Palletized Loading, 10x10 with Concrete Mixer module.
Palletized Load System (PLS) revolutionized US Army logistics during the 1990s when it replaced aging legacy truck systems.  PLS consists of a five-axle M-1075 truck, a M-1076 trailer and two cargo beds typically called flatracks. The innovative aspect of the system is its capability to rapidly trans-load cargo using the integral hydraulic load handling system built into the truck chassis, bypassing the need for any external material handling equipment, such as a forklift.

PLS Specifications

 M1074/M1075 TruckM1076 Trailer
NSNM1074 NSN 2320-01-304-2277
M1075 NSN 2320-01-304-2278
NSN 2330-01-303-5197
Length36 ft 8 in (440 in) w/flatrack & ISO container27 ft 3.4 in (327.4 in) including trailer tongue, w/flatrack
Overall length of PLS truck/trailer combination w/towbar extended is 742.8 in (61.9 ft)
Width96 in.95.7 in
Height174 in. w/ISO container 
Wheelbase224 in 
Weight (Vehicle)M1074 55,000 lb
M1075 50,000 lb
16,520 lb
Weight (Gross)88,000 lb49,520 lb
Payload16.5 tons16.5 tons
Engine500 hp V8 trubocharged Detroit Diesel 8V92TA (DDEC II and DDEC III), 2 stroke, fuel-injected, electronically controlled 
TransmissionAllison Model CLT-755 push-button automatic, 5 fwd, 1 rev, mated to OTC Model 55000 Series 2-spd transfer case 
Tires10 in service plus one spare, tubeless, radial traction non-directional tread, 16.00xR20, Load Range MSix in service and one spare, same tires as the truck
Ground clearance24 in24 in
Fording48 in.48 in
Air transportabilityC-5A, C-17, C-141 (with preparation)Same

All vehicles in the PLS family, including the M1076 Trailer, are manufactured by Oshkosh Truck Corporation of Oshkosh, WI.

Manuals for the Palletized Load System (PLS) series of trucks are numbered TM 9-2320-364-xx where the xx represents the maintenance level. The M1076 Trailer manuals are numbered TM 9-2330-385-xx. All together there are dozens of multi-volume manuals for the series of vehicles.

Palletized Load System A1 Variant (PLS-A1)

In February 2011, the 730th Transportation Company was the first unit to be equipped with the Palletized Load System A1 Variant (PLS-A1). Sixty PLS-A1s were delivered to them at that time. PLS-A1 incorporates a 600-horsepower Caterpillar C-15 engine and Allison 4500 6-speed transmission, which meets on-road EPA requirements, and an independent steel spring front suspension system. The truck also features improved heating and air-conditioning, an electrical system capable of future support of diagnostic and prognostic maintenance systems, and an antilock brake system with traction control.

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