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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: 28 Aug 1941 Massive concrete Dneproges Dam and electric plant at Zaporozhyee on the Dnieper River [Dneprostroi Dam] are partially destroyed by retreating Soviet troops to prevent German capture [Operation Barbarossa].  More 
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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:

A Palletized Load System (PLS) vehicle is loaded onto a Heavy Equipment Transport (HETS) assigned to the 129th Transportation Company, at Forward Operating Base Marez, Iraq, 12 September 2011. The 129th is assigned to haul equipment out of closing bases as part of the withdraw of U.S. Forces from Iraq before the 31 Dec 2011 deadline.
Oshkosh 10x10 PLS loads equipment at the rail marshalling area during a deployment exercise, at Fort Stewart, GA, 2 Aug 2001
The Logistics Readiness Center in Lexington, KY, installs additional armor and electronic accessory kits to a variety of heavy and medium tactical vehicles bound for service in Afghanistan. A few of the vehicles prepared for shipment were (from left): the MTV, M1083A1P2 Cargo; MTV, M1086A1P2 Cargo; HEMTT, M985A4 Cargo W/B-KIT; HEMTT, M984A4 Wrecker W/B-KIT; PLS, M1075P1 Palletized Loading System; HEMTT, M978A4 Fueler W/B-KIT; HEMTT, M1120A4 LHS W/B-KIT; MTV, M1079A1P2 Shop Van; MTV, M1088A1P2 Tractor.
U.S. Army SPC Tyler Baxter backs up a Palletized Load System (PLS) cargo truck to a trailer during a motor transport operator skills competition at Camp Liberty, Iraq, 10 April 2011.  Baxter is with Company D, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
1st Marine Division PLS Platform Truck, (Dragon Wagon) with ISO container used to provide protection to forces while still maintaining maximum geometry of fire for two .50cal M2HB machine guns, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 28 May 2004
Oshkosh PLS vehicle.

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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