M-809 Series 5-ton, 6x6 Trucks

The M-809 series of 5-ton 6x6 trucks are utilized to transport equipment, material and or personnel. Similar to the M-39 (G-744) series of 5-ton trucks, over 92,000 of the M-809 series trucks were produced by Kaiser Jeep (later AM General Corp.) from 1969 into the 1980s.

Truck, Dump, 5 Ton 6x6 M817
M-817 Truck, Dump, 5 Ton 6x6. Photo: Government Liquidation.com

Today in WW II: 11 Dec 1941 Germany and Italy declare war on the United States and US reciprocates.   

US Military M-809 Series 5-ton, 6x6 Trucks (G-908)

M-813 Truck, Cargo: 5-ton, 6x6 transferring from Utility Landing Craft LCU 1644 to the amphibious transpost dock USS Austin (LPD 4) during the multinational joint service Exercise Bright Star '85, August 1985
M-813 Truck, Cargo: 5-ton, 6x6 transferring from Utility Landing Craft LCU 1644 to the amphibious transpost dock USS Austin (LPD 4) during the multinational joint service Exercise Bright Star '85, August 1985. Note the machine gun ring mount and the extended air intake tube.

There are many variants of the M-809 Series 5-ton, 6x6 trucks including:

Click on the link in the table for more information and photos of individual models of the M-809 series of trucks.

All of these models were produced with or without a winch, excepting the M820 Van. The M813A1 Truck, 5-ton, 6x6, Cargo with tailgate and dropsides was produced as a product improvement of the M54 Truck, Cargo to be compatible with and to replace the M35A2C 2 1/2 ton 6x6 Cargo Truck. The M816 Wrecker is a product improvement of the M543 Truck, Wrecker, Medium. The M820A2 Truck, Van: 5-ton, 6x6, Expansible was equipped with a Hydraulic Lift Gate. The M812 has two special modifications/variants:

  • M812A1 "Transporter Bridge Floating" was a modification of M812 used to carry sections of a Ribbon Bridge. The truck was fitted with a flat bed and light crane.
  • M812A1 "Chassis, Rocket Launcher" was a modification of the M812 used with the Roland all-weather short-range air-defense system to transport and fire the missile.

There were three wheelbase variations supporting all the models of the M-809 series trucks:

  • Short: 167 inch (M-810 Chassis, M-817 Chassis and M-818 Dump)
  • Long (Standard): 179 inch (M-809 Chassis and, for example, M-813 LWB Cargo)
  • Extra Long: 215 inch (M-811 and M-812 Chassis and, for example, M-814 XLWB Cargo)

The M-809 series trucks were powered by the 6 cal. 250hp@2100rpm Cummins NHC-250 diesel engine, the main difference between this series and the M-39 series of 5-ton trucks. The engine air intake of M-809 series vehicles is mounted on the left front (drivers side) fender, the opposite of the M-39 series trucks.

The cab was the same design used in both the M-39 series and the M-35 series of 2 1/2 ton trucks, while the frame, hood and engine compartment are longer than the M-39 series in order to accommodate the M-809's bigger engine. For example, the M54A2 has an overall length of 297 inches while the M813A1 reaches 301 1/4 inches, both without winch. The M-809 series trucks are equipped with a manual 5-speed transmission and 2-speed transfer case.

The M-939 series of 5-ton trucks superseded the M-809 series beginning in 1983, but both types of trucks continued to be used for several decades. In the U.S. Army the 5-ton medium tactical vehicles (MTV) of the FMTV series replaced remaining M-809 series trucks in the early 1990s, while in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) superseded both the M-809 and M-939 series of trucks after 1999.

Manuals for the M-809 series of 5-ton 6x6 trucks will be numbered TM 9-2320-260-xx where the xx represents the maintenance level. All together there are dozens of multi-volume manuals for the series of trucks.

Thanks to MSG J. Durham for help with this page.

Recommended Books with more about M809-series Trucks

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