Specific: A total of 11
vehicles were delivered as part of the MDAP 1951 - 55. Shown
vehicle is probably a 1942 series 2.
Historical: The common layout for US military
trucks had been established in the 1930s and the favoured
design was a normal control (long bonnet) truck with, in
most cases, 6 wheel drive. Load capacity was usually
underquoted to allow a large overload in emergencies.
Dual rear wheels were the norm.
A huge range of such trucks was produced in load
capacities ranging from 2½ tons to 12 tons. The heavier
trucks often filled the role of tractors for artillery or
in some cases tank transporters.
One such heavy duty 6 wheeled truck was built by Ward
LaFrance (1941 - 45) and, unusually, only a recovery
variant appeared. The first type, the M1 which was
standardised in July 1941, used a civilian pattern sheet
metal cab (designed by Brockway) but a later version
produced from 1943, the M1A1, used an open cab with folding canvas top.
With the arrival of the M1A1, the M1-version was
classified as "limited standard".
The M1 was produced in four different models (Series 1, Series 2, Series
3 and Series 4). The Series 1 used 11.25 - 20 tires and lacked the rear
drag winch. The Series 2 had its spare tires mounting changed to one
diagonally behind the cab and the other on the passengers side of the
crane base. The Series 3 which lacked the front and rear trailer
connecters found on earlier models were produced for Lend-Lease to the
Commonwealth nations. The Series 4 had a Gar Wood US5G crane readily
identifiable by its curved boom. To ad to the confusion the M1A1 was
also known as the M1 Series 5.
Production of the wreckers was shared between Ward
LaFrance and Kenworth. The Kenworth models were known as the 570,
571, 572 and 573 respectively.
Both variants were used by Denmark.
The powerful 10 ton front winch, the 20 ton rear winch
and 5-ton hand-operated swinging-boom crane with manual
boom control (all mfg. by Gar Wood) made the Ward
LaFrance a very capable recovery vehicle much favoured by
those who used it.
However, the twin rear wheels of the Ward LaFrance caused
problems in rough terrain. Stones and battle debris
became lodged between the tyres and if the inner wheel
was punctured, removing and replacing it was complicated.
For this reason many in the British Army preferred the
less sophisticated Scammell whose cross country performance on single
tyres was much better although its winch could not match
that on the US vehicle.
Length: 7.92 m (276 inches).
Width: 2.51 m (100 inches).
Height: 3.10 m (120 inches).
Weight: 15.900 kg (34.980 lb.).
Engine: 6-cylinder Continental, type 22R, 8.211 cm3
(501 cubic inches) displacement, liquid cooled.
Horsepower: 145 at 2.400 rpm.
Transmission: 5-speed, Fuller type 5A620.
Transfer case: 2-speed, Timken type T77-3-3.
Electrical system: 12 volt, positive ground.
Brakes: Air (Bendix-Westinghouse).
Tyres: 11.00 - 20.
without preparation: 1.01 m (40 inches).
with deep water fording kit: N/A.
Fuel type: Petrol.
Fuel capacity: 378 liter (83 gallons).
Range: 400 km (250 miles).
Crew: 1 + 1.
Additional: As a factory supplied
option, some of the vehicles had 14.00 - 20 single tyres.
A little more than 2.000 M1´s were produced. Other users
were Austria, Canada, France, Great Britain, Spain,
Sweden and Switzerland.