The last article about military surplus vehicles I saw at the Oshkosh 2010 air show is about the Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) (click here to see other articles about the Oshkosh 2010 air show). This may sound like a boring vehicle to read about, but they’re actually pretty cool.
As the name suggest, the Heavy Equipment Transporter is used to move extremely heavy equipment. What kind of equipment? Mostly tanks and other large artillery units. A Heavy Equipment Transporter is just made up of a large truck and a trailer to carry its payload. The purpose for these behemoth vehicles is to move other military surplus vehicles to different locations to prevent wear. This allows the vehicles to be in the best condition possible for combat.
The military originally used either the M746 or M911 truck with the 747 trailer, but now it uses the M1070 truck and M1000 trailer. Those designations may not mean much to you, but basically, the latter set of models are just an updated version of the first two. The newer versions were first used in 1993.
The main vehicle carried by the Heavy Equipment Transporter is the M1 Abrams tank. This transportation system was very handy in Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East. However, the transporters exhibited poor performance with loads of over 60 tons (an Abrams tank weighs about 67 tons). That’s why the newer versions of the truck and trailer were made. The M1070 is about 30 feet long, and the M1000 trailer is about 51 feet long.
I didn’t get to see the M1000 trailer while at Oshkosh, but the M1070 truck was good enough for me. The truck looks huge in person! It’s interesting to note that the Heavy Equipment Transporter is made by Oshkosh Corporation, which is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin — the site of the air show where I saw the vehicle.
Written by Craig Kent, member of the Best Military Surplus team.