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The M915 Line-Haul Tractor (Truck, Tractor, 14-ton, 6x4) is used primarily in active and reserve component transportation units for the rapid, efficient transport of bulk supplies from ocean ports to division support areas within a theater of operation. It was type classified Std. A in 1979.
AM General produced M915-series variants M915 and M915A1, then Freightliner produced the M915A2 through M915A5, based upon Freightliner's commercial FLD120 tractors. Model differences include:
M915, M915A1: Delivered 1978-1982 based on AM General tactical trucks.
M915A2: Automatic brake system (ABS) equipped, delivered 1990.
M915A3: Electronically controlled Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine, Allison World transmission, Freightliner's 'TufTrac' off-road suspension, a/c, collision warning system, delivered 2000.
M915A4: Retrofitted M915/M915A1 to include M915A3 design features.
To retrofit a target truck to the M915A4 standard, the original engine and rear axle bogies are salvaged and then installed in a new production 'glider kit' cab and chassis assembly. The M915A4 costs only about 2/3 the cost of a new vehicle. The U.S. Army contracted with Freightliner to retrofit 1,857 M915s and an additional 2,200 M915A1s may be upgraded.
Used with trailers:
M871 semitrailer (flatbed, 22.5 tons)
M872 semitrailer (flatbed, 34 tons)
M1062 semitrailer (7,500-gallon tanker)
The M915 had full nomenclature Truck, Tractor: 14-Ton, Line Haul, 6x4 50,000 GVW. It had a 2 1/2 inch kingpin (M915) and is transportable by highway, rail, marine, and air modes worldwide.
The M915 is almost a carbon copy of the commercial tractor-trailer truck and weighs 14 tons. In 1999, the M915 FOV Integrated Products Team (IPT) began the M915 Line Haul Extended Service Program to upgrade 800+ late-1970's vintage M915A0 truck tractors in the Army inventory to what became the M915A4 truck tractor.
On 18 September 2000 fielding of M915A4s to ARNG began at Camp Dodge, Johnston, IA. These were the first of the M915s operated within the ARNG to be upgraded under the glider program. The program addressed the primary maintenance cost drivers and reasons for non-mission capable readiness: corrosion, electrical, and transmission.
Assembling an M915A4 simply involved removing the engine, bogy, and pintle from a donor M915 and installing these serviceable components on a glider. A glider is typically a truck without a drive train and rear axle/suspension assembly (or 'bogy'). Gliders are being acquired under a multi-year contract with Freightliner, Inc. With this concept the Army was able to upgrade the M915 at about one-half the cost of a completely new truck.
The all new M915A4 glider includes an air conditioned cab mounted on a frame with front axle, wheels and tires, muffler, radiator, fifth wheel, Allison automatic transmission, and front-rear axle hubs (with ABS components installed). It needed only the retained components to be installed to make the M915A4 truck tractor.