American Motors M109A3 Shop Van - Texas Air Museum, Slaton, TX
Posted by: kb7ywl
N 33° 29.236 W 101° 39.536
14S E 252953 N 3708472
Quick Description: American Motors M109A3 Shop Van mounted on an M35 2 1/2 ton 6x6 chassis s/n 0532-11680
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 2/26/2012 2:19:03 AM
Waymark Code: WMDV82
The M109A3 2 1/2 Ton 6x6 Shop Van is part of the M-35 Series of Cargo Trucks.
The M35 family of trucks is a long-lived vehicle initially deployed by the US Army in the 1950's, and subsequently utilized by many nations around the world. A truck in the 2½ ton weight class, it was one of many vehicles in US military service to have been referred to as a "deuce and a half." The M35 was a basic cargo truck which had many modifications for specialized applications. The M109 Shop Van is one of these modified M35's. These vehicles have a large van in place of the cargo bed, and are largely used for electronic repair and communications shops.
The M35 started out in 1949 as a design by the REO Motor Car Company as a 2 1/2 ton truck designated M34. It was quickly superseded in military usage by the M35, the major difference being the M35's 10-tire configuration versus the M34's 6-tire "super-singles" configuration.
The M35 series was introduced into the US military to replace the GMC CCKW and M135 families of cargo trucks still in service at the time. The M35 would not completely replace the M135 family until the middle of the 1960's. The M35 quickly became the dominant truck in its class in the US military, serving with all the services in various capacities. They served in Vietnam, in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and continued to serve into the late 1990's.
Although the A2 version is by far the most common, there are four different models: Standard, A1, A2, and A3. These changes mainly had to do with the engine and transmission components.
In 1994 the A3 variant was introduced as part of Extended Service Program. No new vehicles were built; all vehicles were upgrades from previous configurations with many new systems including new diesel engines, automatic transmissions and air-assist steering. Three serviceable A2 trucks were used to build two A3 trucks during the rebuild process. The exception to the rule was some A3 non-cargo variants, such as M109A3 shop vans, which are A2's that received new engines. Thus there are some A3's that still have the A2 appearance.
While the basic M35 cargo truck is rated to carry 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) off road or 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) on roads, they have been known to haul twice as much as rated. Some trucks are equipped with a 10,000 pound (4,500 kg) PTO-driven front winch.
None that I am aware of-I visited while the museum was closed. The museum is located at Slaton Municipal Airport, Slaton, TX. The museum is open on most Saturdays. For more information go to the museum website - http://www.thetexasairmuseum.org/.
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