High speed tractor
HIGH SPEED TRACTORS (continuation)
Depending upon the weapon involved, the ammunition stowage on the M6 was 24 rounds of4.7 inch, 20 rounds of240mm, or 24 rounds of 8 inch. Production of the M6 was at the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company from February 1944 through August 1945 for a total of 1,235 vehicles.
OCM 26899, dated 8 March 1945, recommended the development of the full-tracked, high speed tractor, crane T9 for use with the 240mm howitzer Ml and the 8 inch gun Ml. The procurement of two pilots was not approved until March 1947.
At that time, a contract was negotiated with the Milwaukee Excavator Company to construct the two T9s. The T9s were converted from the 38 ton high speed tractor M6 by replacing the rear cargo boxes with a 20 ton capacity crane and telescopic outriggers. The first pilot was shipped to Aberdeen Proving Ground in October 1947 for testing. The second was completed in early 1948.
LOW GROUND PRESSURE VEHICLES
A number of snow tractors were evaluated during World War II for use in Alaska and along the Alcan Highway. However, only one was standardized. The snow tractor M7 was a half-track vehicle with front wheels that could be replaced by skis. With a crew of two, the vehicle weighed 3,049 pounds and the ground pressure on skis was only 0.75 pounds per square inch (U.S. Army).
Using the standard engine and transmission from the 1/4 ton truck, the vehicle could reach 40 miles per hour. The M7 could be used with the 1 ton snow trailer Ml9 which could operate on either wheels or skis. Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company built 291 M7s from February through August 1944.
The snow tractor T36 was approved for limited procurement in September 1944. Another two man vehicle, it was driven by the same 99 horsepower engine used in the Dodge 3/4 ton truck. With a loaded weight of 7,500 pounds, it had a ground pressure of 1.73 pounds
per square inch. A total of 36 of these snow tractors were built by the Iron Fireman Manufacturing Company during 1944. A few other snow tractors were procured for evaluation. These included 6 T26s, 13 T27s, 12 T28s, 6 T29s, and 6 T30s. None of the snow tractors were suitable for combat use and were mainly employed in rescue and supply operations.
The requirement for good mobility over snow covered terrain resulted in the development of an excellent low ground pressure vehicle. In May 1942, the Studebaker Corporation was requested to design and build such a vehicle in time for use by the Special Service Force in Norway during the Winter of 1942/43. In response to this request, Studebaker developed and tested the T15 cargo (tractor) carrier later standardized as the M28. Although the operation in Norway was canceled, the M28, named the Weasel, was used during the occupation of Kiska in August 1943.
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