Logistics: Big Trucks In The Back Country

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June 16, 2010: The U.S. Army is buying another 480 HEMTTs (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck) vehicles, for about $288,000 each. Another 140 are being refurbished, at a cost of about $242,000 each. Many HEMTT were worn out, and occasionally shot up, in Iraq and Afghanistan. HEMTTs were designed to move cross country, which comes in handy in Afghanistan, where some of the roads are like driving cross country in Iraq.

The army has nearly 14,000 of these eight wheeled vehicles, which form the backbone of its transport force. HEMTT come in five different configurations, the most common being the cargo carrier (ten tons carried in the truck, plus another ten tons in a trailer) and tanker (10,500 liters/2500 gallons). The vehicle weighs 19 tons, has a max speed of 90 kilometers an hour and a range (on one tank of fuel) of 480 kilometers (less if moving cross country.) There are also 2,000 HET (Heavy Equipment Transporters). These are 42 ton semi-trailers that can carry up to 70 tons. Their main job is hauling M-1 tanks long distances. But HETs can also carry supplies, and often do.

The latest HEMTTs (the A3 model) use their diesel engine to drive a generator, which produces over 100 kilowatts of power. Normally, this electricity runs electric motors that move the truck. But put the truck in park, and the power is available for other uses, like powering a military base in a remote location. In 2005, a HEMTT A3 prototype was sent to New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina hit, and provided power for a hospital. This new “Propulse” technology is being installed in other models of army trucks as well.

 

 


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