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M8A1 Cargo Tractor
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Hellfish6
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:33 pm
Post subject: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

Does anyone have info/pics of one of these? I can only find some model kits for it, but I think its a really interesting vehicle. I didn't even know it existed until two weeks ago. When was it in service with the US? What was the basis of issue (artillery units)? What was it's primary purpose (prime mover)?
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:34 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

Hi HF6! Hi Folks!

The M8A1 Cargo Tractor? What's that? Surprised

There seams to be very little info and almost no photos of that vehicle in use. I remember seeing one photo of one setting in a junk yard of military vehicles.

As for info, I found the following in "Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles, 1940-1965" by Thomas Berndt. ISBN: 0-87341-223-0. Page 258.

Used for general cargo transportation and as prime mover(PM) for artillery equipment.

Payload 17,500 pounds
Towing capability of 39,000 pounds
When used as an artillery PM, a large hydraulic hoist at the rear was used to raise and lower the generator set used with the towed artillery piece.
Some vehicles were equipped with a removable hydraulic dozer blade.
45,000 pound hydraulic Garwood winch mounted in the rear, under the cargo deck, with an access door just above the pintle hitch.
225 gallon fuel tank, compressed air system, and power take-off-driven hydraulic system also located under the deck.
Chassis of the M8A1 was made from components from the M41 light tank.
(My note: until I ran acrossed this item, I though it was based on the M26/M46 tank hull)
Engine: Continental flat-opposed six-cylinder AOS-895-3 OHV, OHC with Allison CD-500-3 cross drive transmission.
Top speed 40 mph. Cruising range 180 miles.
This tractor replaced the M4, M5, M6 high-speed tractors used during WWII.
Number produced: Unknown
Originally designed by Buick Division of General Motors in the mid-1940s. Production by Allis-Chalmers from the late 1940s to the late 1950s.

I have one of the very old Nitto kits. I was hoping someday to use it to make a nice 1/35 scale model, but I haven't ran acrossed good photos of this vehicle.

Good luck with your hunt HF6!
Spot Report!
Sgt, Scouts Out! Smile

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Hellfish6
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:39 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

Thanks for the info! I still have no idea when it was phased out of service, though. Still, I gotta say it's becoming one of my favorite vehicles, if only because it seems to be a rare find.

These are the only pics of the real thing I've been able to find, and I suspect that they're the junkyard pics you're talking about:

www.m201.de/armytrucks...index.html

Actually, my Google-fu is improving:

www.panzerbaer.de/help...m8e2_a.htm

And I was able to find the technical manual, for $40:

216.149.148.18/Merchan...t+TM9-764A
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binder001
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:53 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

I can't say all of the uses of the M8-series tractors, but I remember seeing one reference to a "Skysweeper body" version that was obviously meant to tow and support the 75mm automatic "Skysweeper" AAA gun.

I agree that these were interesting vehicles. I remember many years ago having and building the old Aurora 1/48th M8 tractor and 8in howitzer. Boy was that FUN! Actually having a prime mover to pull the gun (and I was old enough to get the moving parts of the gun and tractor done right, so there was a lot of "play value" in that model).

I think the M8 went out of the system about the same time as the M41 light tank, which shared many components.

Gary
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Hellfish6
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:41 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

So... late '60s? IIRC M41s were used in Tet, right?
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:10 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

- Hellfish6
So... late '60s? IIRC M41s were used in Tet, right?


....by the ARVN only. Saw use right up the end, not just during Tet '68. Some were lost in Laos during Lam Son 719 in '71.
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Sabot
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:23 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

This vehicle is in the Hunnicutt book about the Bradley. It covers personnel carriers (Gavins) Wink , self-propelled howitzers, and support vehicles like the M8A1. Not much info or pictures on it though.

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Garry_Redmon
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:07 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

I believe the M8A1 was used as the basis for the vismod T-72's in the movies Red Dawn and Rambo III or IV or whatever.

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Hellfish6
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:31 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

I always thought they used old Swiss tanks for Red Dawn.

I wonder why this cargo tractor is such a mystery. Nobody has ever seen one at a museum or anything??
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Sabot
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:47 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

Not really a mystery. There have been a few model kits of the M8A1. I know Aurora did a 1/48 scale one, Revell (later Life-Like reboxed) did one in 1/40 scale and Nitto did one in 1/35 that was later reboxed by Blue Tank and Modelcraft (with ficticious tracks). Airwaves made a PE set for the Nitto kit.

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Hellfish6
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:51 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

Anyone happen to have the painting guide for a model of one of these that they'd be willing to scan?
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:55 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

The Allis-Chalmers, La Porte Works (Indiana) produced the M8 High Speed Tractor.

When the M50 Ontos went into production in 1955-1957, it was produced in the same facility.

La Porte is no stranger to military vehicles. The plant produced the M-6 during World War II and the M-8 during the Korean conflict. These units were ‘prime movers,’ or tracked, armored vehicles for towing guns and carrying troops into battle.
While some of the components for ONTOS are made in the same shops as parts for La Porte’s harvesting machinery line, final assembly of the weapon is made in a $2,500,000 building originally erected for M-8 production.
(from Dec 1956 Article in 'A/C Scope Magazine')

(Link: Allis Chalmers Quote) Mr. Green

I've seen many photos of the M8 HST, but don't have any on hand.

Don

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dhaugh
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:09 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

OK guys, here goes a potted history on the M8A1 Tractor. Developed in the late 40's early 50's from the T42 Tractor with a final design using the M41 family of running gear, engine, transmission, etc. First real development of the M8 to progress to final stage are the M8E1 and M8E2 (which become the M8A1 and M8A2). There isn't any external difference I can see, the A1 and the A2 having slightly different engines, but performance was pretty much the same. Built by Allis-Chalmers, 480 of each version were ordered in 1950 and completed by 1955. The rear body was interchangeable depending on the current mission. Basic stats, Length 265 in, Width 130.5 in, Height 117 in.

Pictures below (if I get them posted correctly) are: M8A1 with Roll Along fuel carrier, Alaska 1962. M8A1 with M62 wrecker body, Alaska 1962. M8A1 with shelter on cargo body, Alaska 1962. M8E2 with T8 dozer and ammunition T53 body, circa 1950.

Hope this helps, Dave Haugh
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dhaugh
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:19 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

Almost got them all, here's the missing fourth scan of the M8E2. -dave
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Hellfish6
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:43 pm
Post subject: Re: M8A1 Cargo Tractor

Awesome. Thank you very, very much.

Lemme get this right - those fuel bladders would be full as they're towed behind?
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