M-128 Semitrailer, Van, 12-ton
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M-128 Semitrailer, Van, Cargo, 12-ton, 4-wheel (G750)

M128A1C 4-Wheel, 12-Ton van semitrailer, manufactured by Dorsey Trailers, Inc. Courtesy: Government Liquidation LLC
M128A1C 4-Wheel, 12-Ton van semitrailer, manufactured by Dorsey Trailers, Inc. Courtesy: Government Liquidation LLC.

The M-128 Semitrailer, Van, 12-ton, 4-wheel is intended for use in transporting military supplies and general cargo. The M128 Semitrailer Van was designed to be towed by an M52 5-ton, 6x6 truck tractor or similar vehicle equipped with fifth wheel, air supply, and a 24-volt electrical system. If a 24-volt electrical system is not available, an alternate towing vehicle with a 12-volt electrical system may be used with the M128. The towing vehicle supplies brake air pressure and control of brakes.

The M128 van is based on the M126 semitrailer chassis. The chassis frame is welded into a single integral unit, with an upper fifth wheel plate and king pin coupling at front. The two rear axles are on leaf-spring suspension. Two foot-type retractable landing legs are provided for front end support when the semitrailer is not attached to a truck tractor.

The 12-ton payload can be carried by the M128 semitrailer van at 50 mph on a highway or cross-country at 20 mph.

The M128-series vans are used as cargo carriers and therefore the body does not have windows or ventilation openings other than a ventilation fan.

The M128 series semitrailers have two doors at the rear of the body. A stepladder is provided to aid in climbing in and out of the van body. The stepladder hangs on the left rear door when not in use. It is held in place by removable pins fastened on a chain to the body. A chain holds up the retractable step when not in use.

The M128A1 is the base model of the M128 semitrailer van series of vehicles. These features apply to the M128A1 and M128A1C:

  • Air-over-hydraulic brakes
  • Military standard axles, hub and drum, air chamber (bogie assembly and brakes)
  • Military lights, service, tail and stop
  • Military type blackout lights
  • 4-wheel internal brakes located within brake drum, consists of 4-hydraulic operated FR2S-type wheel brake assemblies self-centering
  • Equipped with lifting rings for hoisting the semitrailer
  • 24-volt electrical system and a separate 12-volt lighting system
  • Non-insulated body

The Model M128A2C Van has these differences:

  • Later design of bogie assembly and service brakes (axle, spring seat, U" bolts, torque rods, hardware and brakes)
  • Two tail, stop, turn and marker lights in each voltage, 12-volt and 24-volt. Marker lights in 24-volt.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M128 Semitrailer Van at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup.

M-128 Semitrailer, Van, Cargo, 12-ton, 4-wheel Characteristics

Overall length 28 ft 8 1/4 in.
Width 8 ft
Height 11 ft 7 3/8 in
Loading height, empty 4 ft 10 1/2 in
Payload 24,000 Ibs
Weight M128A1 15,480 Ibs
Weight M128A1C 15,600 Ibs
Weight M128A2C 15,600 Ibs
Tires Eight 11.00x20 Military NDCC
Brakes Air-over-hydraulic
Blackout lights Yes
Departure angle, loaded 50

Table data is basaed on the M128 Semitrailer, from TM9-2330-207-14.

Manuals for the M-128 Semitrailer, Van, 12-ton will be in the TM 9-2330-207-xx series, where the xx represents the maintenance level. The first parts list is ORD 9 SNL G-750, dated 13 April 1953. The NSNs for the M128 variants are:

Model NSN
M128A1 2330-00-679-5581
M128A1C 2330-00-752-9751
M128A2C 2330-00-788-6296