M54 (truck)

M54 (truck)

The M54 Truck, officially designated Truck, Cargo, 5 Ton 6x6 M54, is a heavy cargo truck developed by, and deployed primarily with, the United States Armed Forces. The vehicle is a member of the M39 series of trucks. It is rated for five-ton cargo loads, making it a heavy truck. The basic M54 is fitted with a Continental gasoline engine, whereas variants had different engines (see below).

The vehicle is approximately 25 feet long and weighs approximately 10 tons when empty.

The M54 was the primary heavy truck of the US Army and US Marine [See, eg., Gilbert et al, "US Marine Corps" 35] forces during the Vietnam War. It was used to haul cargo, and was also modified to serve as a gun truck by adding armour and various weapons, including double or quad 50 caliber machine guns. The truck was also used by the US Navy and US Air Force, and was deployed by ARVN forces in Vietnam as well.

Although most noted for its extensive use in Vietnam, the rugged, reliable M54 continues to serve in armed forces around the world to the present day.

There are two main variants of the truck, the M54A1 (fitted with a Mack diesel engine) and the M54A2 (fitted with a Continental multifuel engine). Other than the different engine types, the two trucks are identical. The truck was modified to serve as a dropside cargo vehicle as well, these being designated M54A1C and M54A2C, and wrecker and tractor variants of the M54 were also deployed. Service variations existed as well, the most notable of which was the tall intake on the air cleaner of M54s deployed by the US Marine Corps.



Gilbert, E., Gilbert, O., and Anderson, D. "The US Marine Corps in the Vietnam War: III Marine Amphibious Force, 1965-75". Osprey Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1841769878.

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