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Trailer, Ammunition and Fuel. Part 2.


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The_Chieftain #1 Posted Apr 18 2014 - 22:44

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A couple of weeks ago, I took a look at the US Army's opinion of Rotatrailer. It wasn't exactly an overwhelming success, and though Ordnance knew that Rotatrailer wasn't the answer they were looking for, they still had some bizarre concept that a trailer would be a good idea. They had already tried testing the General Motors Caisson, T8, but that wasn't the end goal either. So, between May and September of 1942, they tested Trailer, Armored, T32, manufactured by Deere and Company.

The description stated: "Ttie vehlcle is of' the two wheel unsprung type weighing 2450#. It is designed to carry a load of approximately 22OO# in an armored cargo box. The cargo body is of the rectangular form and is nounted centerly between the two wheels. [...] The tongue is provlded viith a lunette for coupling to prime movers and a retractable prop to hold lhe tongue up in a raised positlon when the lunette ls uncoupled. The vehicle is equippecl vrlth 2 wheel hand brakes, rear mounted reflectors and black-out lights. The vehicle is also equlpped vith a towbar for coupling the vehlcle to various tanks and it can be convenientiy carried on the tongue when not being used." The front and top were 1/4" armour, the sides and rear 3/8."

It looked kindof like this.

To test it, they towed it behind an M3 Medium, an M7 HMC, and an M3 Light.

The road test consisted of approximately 1,400 miles of operation, of which some 900 was conducted on secondary roads, and 500 cross-country. All tests were conducted at the normal operating speeds of the prime movers. The vehicle did not show any signs of weaving or swaying, but the vehicle did bounce considerably. We'll come back to that...

During a test at 20mph, the towing tank missed the curve, and slid into a ditch. The trailer slid in after it, bending a wheel hub. It was also discovered that the trailer's hubs were starting to crack with the use. Strengthening was added, the bent hub replaced, and testing continued.

"When the trailer is couple to a tank and drawn over muddy terrain, considerable mud is accumulated on the top of the cargo compartment, the tongue frame, and the tongue frame attachments which are the battery boxes, light switch and the hand parking brake lever assembly. The mud on the top of the cargo compartment can easily be disposed of by opening the top coveres and allowing the mud to fall off. This isn't objectionable. However, the portion that is accumulated on the tongue frame and its attachable members is objectionable: It greatly increases the tongue weight, the mud has to be cleaned off to apply the parking brakes and light switch, and if they're not cleaned they will corrode. Finally it works its way into the battery boxes."

Neither did they learn their lesson about backing up with a tank, after the incident with the Rotatrailer.

"While conducting a portion of the road test at night, the vehicle was damaged. The operators were backing the tank with the trailer coupled to it when the trailer turned sideways and the tank track hit the tongue members. The left member was bent down approximately 2" and twisted. The right was twisted slightly. The vehicle was repaired, but the tongue remained slightly bent."

It wasn't the only tank reversing problem. When attempting to couple a tank to the trailer, it reversed too far and again damaged the tongue.

Things didn't get much better for the cargo. For 200 miles, the vehicle was operated with 95 rounds of 75mm ammunition in cloverleaf containers. There was no means to secure the ammunition in the vehicle, so they just piled the ammo loosely in the cargo compartment. In addition to being bounced around, the cargo compartment also accumulated some mud and water through the gaps by the doors. This is what it looked like after only 40 miles.

By the end of the test, the ammunition containers had been jostled so much that some had broken, the ammunition damp, both damaging it, and making it hard to remove from the containers. On the  plus side, there were footman loops so that 5-gallon cans could be secured, 54 could be carried. That test was found satisfactory.

The brakes were not great, only able to hold the loaded trailer still on a 12% slope. 

Overall, though, the vheicle generally passed the tests. It was recommended that, with the addition of some modifications, the veheicle be adopted as a suitable fuel and ammunition trailer to be towed behind tanks. The tongue needed to be strenghthend, some modifications to the brakes, the cargo compartment doors enlarged to reduce mud intake, and the battery boxes relocated.

So what happened? Honestly, I'm not sure. The only time I've seen photos of US Army tanks towing trailers, they were the open-topped M8 and M10s, and I've only ever seen them being towed behing the 105mm howitzer armed tanks.

The flame thrower tanks were not averse to using trailers, of course, witness Crocodiles, but with that notable exception, gun tanks tended not to use trailers until the 1950s, when it was looked at again as a method of increasing fuel range. British variants, unpopular as they were, entered service behind Centurions, whilst US attempts were, perhaps blissfully, discarded

.



karnage666 #2 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 11:39

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Bob does not work unfortunately ...

kd7fds #3 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 15:04

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Yep, Bob is confused today.  He just takes us back to the top of the article.

 

It is pretty obvious to me that the Army thought they had a logistics problem with tanks.   They used too much fuel and armor for the supply train to keep up.    Hence, lets give them trailers so they can drag some of their own supplies with them.

 

Eventually, they must have spent enough money on trucks and fuel tankers to fix the problem, so the idea died.

 

If I am not wrong, there were not any specialized fuel trucks in WW2.  The only pictures I have seen are 2 1/2 ton trucks full of 55 gallon barrels of fuel.   Guys with hand pumps transferring the fuel to the tanks.   Much cruder than today's modern HEMMTT fuel trucks 

Picture of HEMMTT



The_Chieftain #4 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 17:29

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Bob has been disciplined.

Starlinator69 #5 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 17:39

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Bob worked for me.

SMScannonfodder #6 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 17:40

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Apr 19 2014 - 11:29, said:

Bob has been disciplined.

Bad Bob, bad!

Bob is good now, good boy Bob.



NBornKilla #7 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 18:06

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☻/ This is bob. Copy and paste him so he can take over world of tanks.
/▌
 /\

Dago_Redd #8 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 18:42

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Sorry Chieftain, but it has to be done :blinky::

 

ve·hi·cle

noun \ˈvē-ə-kəl also ˈvē-ˌhi-kəl\

: a machine that is used to carry people or goods from one place to another

: the thing that allows something to be passed along, expressed, achieved, or shown

 

(Is this a direct quote from the document or did the goddess of spellcheck fail?)

 

((Oh yeah, strengthened)

 

(((No, not a spelling freak, just couldn't resist ;) )

 

 

View PostThe_Chieftain, on Apr 18 2014 - 13:44, said:

 

 

Overall, though, the vheicle generally passed the tests. It was recommended that, with the addition of some modifications, the veheicle be adopted as a suitable fuel and ammunition trailer to be towed behind tanks. The tongue needed to be strenghthend, some modifications to the brakes, the cargo compartment doors enlarged to reduce mud intake, and the battery boxes relocated.


Edited by Dago_Redd, Apr 19 2014 - 18:43.


doonglerules #9 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 18:50

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Usually Chieftan threads would be piled in pages.

 

not this one...



zloykrolik #10 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 18:50

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View Postkd7fds, on Apr 19 2014 - 07:04, said:

Yep, Bob is confused today.  He just takes us back to the top of the article.

 

It is pretty obvious to me that the Army thought they had a logistics problem with tanks.   They used too much fuel and armor for the supply train to keep up.    Hence, lets give them trailers so they can drag some of their own supplies with them.

 

Eventually, they must have spent enough money on trucks and fuel tankers to fix the problem, so the idea died.

 

If I am not wrong, there were not any specialized fuel trucks in WW2.  The only pictures I have seen are 2 1/2 ton trucks full of 55 gallon barrels of fuel.   Guys with hand pumps transferring the fuel to the tanks.   Much cruder than today's modern HEMMTT fuel trucks 

Picture of HEMMTT

Google ww2 fuel trucks, there are examples for most nations. Usually based on the most common medium truck.



The_Chieftain #11 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 19:52

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View PostDago_Redd, on Apr 19 2014 - 18:42, said:

Sorry Chieftain, but it has to be done :blinky::

 

ve·hi·cle

noun \ˈvē-ə-kəl also ˈvē-ˌhi-kəl\

: a machine that is used to carry people or goods from one place to another

: the thing that allows something to be passed along, expressed, achieved, or shown

 

(Is this a direct quote from the document or did the goddess of spellcheck fail?)

 

((Oh yeah, strengthened)

 

(((No, not a spelling freak, just couldn't resist ;) )

 

 

 

It is a direct quote from the document.



Eagle_Peak #12 Posted Apr 19 2014 - 19:57

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View PostNBornKilla, on Apr 19 2014 - 13:06, said:

☻/ This is bob. Copy and paste him so he can take over world of tanks.
/▌
 /\

 

just... no.

 

This is bob:

 



chainer2150 #13 Posted Apr 20 2014 - 01:24

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Another wonderful Article about the crazy things people think tanks should be able to do thank you :D I wonder when people will learn that the only thing you should add to a tank is a boiling vessel.



Xlucine #14 Posted Apr 20 2014 - 01:37

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It would be cool to see a US report on a BV

favrepeoria #15 Posted Apr 20 2014 - 02:54

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View PostXlucine, on Apr 19 2014 - 19:37, said:

It would be cool to see a US report on a BV

Would be interesting to know their opinion in it



The_Chieftain #16 Posted Apr 20 2014 - 03:02

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We must have liked it. We have one which is basically identical to the British one in the Abrams and Bradley. I think Stryker has it as well.

Dago_Redd #17 Posted Apr 20 2014 - 05:20

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Apr 19 2014 - 10:52, said:

 

It is a direct quote from the document.


Nice to know those of an even older generation then mine couldn't spell either!

 

Put another way.....looks like not much has changed in government service ;)



zloykrolik #18 Posted Apr 20 2014 - 23:11

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Apr 19 2014 - 19:02, said:

We must have liked it. We have one which is basically identical to the British one in the Abrams and Bradley. I think Stryker has it as well.

 

Since when? I don't remember any BV in M1A1. Although the last time I was in an M1A1 was 1998. :smile:

 

The gas turbine engine was all the water/MRE heater we needed. Dangle your MRE in the exhaust for a couple of minutes and it was toasty hot.



BravoTwoOne #19 Posted Apr 21 2014 - 00:25

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Even though it probably wasn't officially designed for this, when I was a squadron maintenance officer in Germany in the 1980's we would pull 1/4 ton Jeep trailers behind our maintenance M113's because it was easier for one of them to drag the thing through the mud than if we had hooked it to one of the jeeps.

 

No matter how many vehicles the Army gave us, we always seemed to have more stuff to carry than would fit. The phrase "gypsy caravan" was used a lot.

 



The_Chieftain #20 Posted Apr 21 2014 - 09:22

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View Postzloykrolik, on Apr 20 2014 - 23:11, said:

 

Since when? I don't remember any BV in M1A1. Although the last time I was in an M1A1 was 1998. :smile:

 

The gas turbine engine was all the water/MRE heater we needed. Dangle your MRE in the exhaust for a couple of minutes and it was toasty hot.

 

I'm thinking it showed up in the A1AIMS. It is on the turret floor, in front of the loader. In the Brad, it's by the ramp, left side






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