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M-35 Series 2 1/2-ton, 6x6 Trucks (G-742)

The M35 series of trucks were first fielded in the 1950s and became one of the most successful and long-lived series of trucks ever deployed by the U.S. military. They served in Vietnam and continued to serve with various modifications into the late 1990s in scores of configurations. The M-35 series replaced the Korean War vintage M-135 / M-211 series of 2 1/2 ton trucks and remaining WW II vintage 2 1/2 ton cargo trucks.

A U.S. Army M-35 6x6 cargo truck at the head of a convoy, 1 October 1974
A U.S. Army M-35 6x6 cargo truck at the head of a convoy, 1 October 1974.

Today in WW II: 31 Aug 1944 Major fighting ends in New Guinea after Australian and US forces complete a series of successful engagements against the Japanese.   

M-35 Series (or M44 Series) 2 1/2-ton, 6x6 Trucks (G-742)

These trucks are called the M35-series because the M35 Cargo Truck was the most widely utilized model. Its formal name was the M44-series, named for the bare chassis model. Its standard nomenclature designation is G-742.

Photos and further data about individual models of the M35-series trucks are linked from the table in the next section.

History and Models of the M35-series of 6x6 Trucks

The M35-series of 6x6 Trucks began with the M34, a design developed by Reo for the U.S. military in 1949 and manufactured starting in 1950. The M34 was equipped with 11.00x20 single wheel tires and had wheel wells intruding into the cargo body. The M34 was quickly followed by a new design from Reo, which became the M35, very similar to the M34 but with dual-mounted 9.00x20 tires in the rear and a flat-floor cargo box with folding troop seats. The M35, and its body type variants and improvements, were eventually manufactured by ten different companies through the late 1980s, including these models:

ModelNomenclature
M34Truck, Cargo, 2 1/2 Ton, 6x6 w/single rear wheels
M35Truck, Cargo, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, with or w/o winch
M35CTruck, Cargo, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, drop side, with or w/o winch
M36Truck, Cargo, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, XLWB, with or w/o winch
M44Truck, Chassis, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, with or w/o winch
M45Truck, Chassis, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, with or w/o winch
M46CTruck, Chassis, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, with or w/o winch
M47Truck, Dump Truck Chassis
M48Truck, Tractor
M49Truck, Tank, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, Fuel Servicing, with or w/o winch
M50Truck, Tank, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, Water, 1000 gal., with or w/o winch
M57Truck Chassis
M59Truck, Dump
M60Truck, Wrecker, Light
M108Truck, Crane, 2 1/2 ton, 6x6
M109Truck, Van, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, Shop, with or w/o winch
M132Truck, Medical Van
M185Truck, Van, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, Shop Repair, w/o winch
M275Truck, Tractor, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, w/low mtd 5th wheel, with or w/o winch
M292Truck, Van, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, Expansible, w/hydraulic liftgate, w/LD 465 Engine
M342Truck, Dump, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, with or w/o winch. Replaces M47, M59, M215
M387Truck, Guided Missile Launcher, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6. For Lacrosse Guided Missile, based on M44 chassis.
M398Truck, Guided Missile Launcher, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6. For Lacrosse Guided Missile, based on M45 chassis.
M756Truck, Maintenance, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, Pipeline Construction, with winch
M763Truck, Maintenance, Telephone
M764Truck, Maintenance, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, Earth-boring Machine & Pole Setter, with winch

Variants with a suffix (e.g. M35A2 or M46A2C) have modifications from an earlier base model (e.g. M35 or M46C), as further explained below.

The length (w/winch) of the M44 Truck, Chassis model was 277 inches. Wheelbase measured from the centerline of the front axle to the centerline of the last rear axle was 178 inches. If measured to the centerline of the rear tandem, the wheelbase is 154 inches. Height to the top of the cab was typically 95-105 inches while ground clearance was 11-12.5 inches and fording approximately 30 inches without a fording kit. The turning radius was 36 feet. Maximum speed of the M35-series trucks is 55 to 60 mph depending on model. Dimensions of M35 models and variants differed depending on the configuration.

Manuals for the M-35 (G-742) series of trucks were first produced before the modern system of manual numbering was introduced. Some of the original manuals were:

  • TM 9-819 (June 1950) M34 only
  • TM 9-819 (January 1952) All models
  • TM 9-1819A (June 1951) Power Train, Body and Frame
  • TM 9-8022 (January 1954)
  • TM 9-8023-x series (1955-1956)
  • LO 9-819 Lubrication Order

Manuals from the new system will be numbered TM 9-2320-209-xx where the xx represents the maintenance level. All together there are dozens of multi-volume manuals for the series of trucks.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M-35 Series (or M44 Series) 2 1/2-ton, 6x6 Trucks at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

M35 2 1/2-ton 6x6 cargo truck at the New York City Veterans Day parade, 11 November 2013. Photo courtesy Phil Gilson.
Marine performs maintenance on an M35 truck, aboard the tank landing ship USS FRESNO (LST-1182), during exercise Team Spirit 82, Apr 1982. M151A2 jeeps to the left. The M35 is equipped with a deepwater fording kit. As a Marine truck, it was probably equipped with Detroit Locker locking rear diffs to improve traction in sand for beach landings. The small exhaust stack indicates a naturally-aspirated LD-465 multifuel engine, as opposed to the later, much more common turbocharged LDT-465, or the older LDS-427.  Thanks to Ken Berry for adding details to this description.
M35A2 2 1/2 ton 6x6 cargo truck.
Convoy of South Korean M-35 2 1/2-ton 6x6 cargo trucks, followed by M38A1 jeeps, crosses a ribbon bridge during the joint South Korean/U.S. Exercise Team Spirit 88, 31 March 1988.
M35A3 Truck, Cargo, 2 1/2 Ton 6x6.  S/N: 500884, Mfg: AM General, cargo, Yr: 1986.  For sale by State of Missouri, 24 June 2011.
A Marine M-35 2 1/2-ton truck is too heavy for the soft wet Red Beach and sinks in the sand. The 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade is participating in the NATO exercise Northern Wedding, Sep 1978.

M35 Series Evolution

As the M35-series vehicles evolved, the engine and other aspects of the basic configuration were improved. This table applies to most of the trucks in the M-35 series and will be indicated by their A-level suffix (e.g. A1, A2 or A3).

 M35M35A1M35A2M35A3
Engine Type (6 cyl)Reo-Continental OA331 GasolineLDS-427-2 Multifuel (FSN 2815-897-5061)LDS-465-1 Multifuel (NSN 2815-00-075-0087) upgraded to LDT-465-1C turbo (NSN 2815-00-134-4830) and later LDT-465-1D (NSN 2815-01-214-8820)Caterpillar 3116 Diesel, in-line, 6-cyl, 403 cid (6.6 L), turbo
Engine Horsepower127130140/210225
TransmissionManual-4Manual-5 w/overdriveManual-5 w/overdriveAutomatic

M35-Series Extended Service Program (ESP)

From 1994 to 1999, M35s (and other trucks of the M35/M44 series) were upgraded under the Extended Service Program (ESP). No new trucks were produced, rather existing trucks of the M35-series were completely disassembled and the parts inspected. Reusable parts were rebuilt as required. Trucks were then reassembled using a combination of new and rebuilt parts including completely new components and systems:

  • new Caterpillar 3116 ATAAC (Air to Air Aftercooled) diesel engine (meeting 1993 EPA emission standards)
  • new Allison 1545 automatic transmission
  • new cooling system, reworked axles and transfer case
  • new electronically controlled central tire inflation system
  • super single radial tires
  • air-assist steering
  • improved independent circuit air/hydraulic brake system
  • three-point seat belts
  • new ergonomically designed driver's seat
  • electric windshield wipers and washer
  • improved heater and defroster system

M35 cargo trucks remanufactured under the Extended Service Program were designated M35A3. Further production was terminated in FY1999, superseded by the FMTV: Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. ESP was very successful. Overall, the remanufactured vehicles met 95 percent of the performance requirements at 60 percent of the cost of a new FMTV.

Truck, Cargo, M35A3 w/winch.  Photo: eBay seller airliftparts.
Truck, Cargo, M35A3 w/winch. Photo: eBay seller airliftparts.

Recommended Book about M35-series Trucks

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