Military Vehicles, November 1996,: Re: Dumb question?

Re: Dumb question?

William Beall (
Thu, 28 Nov 1996 21:12:25 +0000

Gale Barrows wrote:

> the 2 1/2 ton 6x6 (probably an M50A2) is rated by the Army to carry 5,000
> pounds (2 1/2 tons) off road and 10,000 pounds on good roads. The truck will
> actualy easily handle twice the Army rating and, on the highway, quite a bit
> more. I have a similar truck, a 1952 REO built M50 (no "A"). The trucks
> without the A addition are powered by a REO Gold Comet 331 cu in gasoline
> engine. The trucks like your A2 version are powered by the Contintental 465
> multifuel engine which can run on darn near anything you can get in
> the tank as long as the liquid will burn. Prefered fuels are, in order,
> diesel fuel, JP4 jet fuel (a blend of aviation gasoline and kerosene) and
> gasoline. Fuels can be used interchangeably with no adjustments to the
> engine or fuel system. These are fine trucks !!! The motor may or may not
> have a turbocharger.

The truck is in fact a M50A2, and has a White (Continental) Multifuel
engine with a turbo.

> The five ton again is just what the name says. A truck intended to carry 5
> tons off-road and 10 tons on solid roads. Aagin, at least double the
> capacity for civilian requirements, even as a fire truck. They will easily
> handle anything an 3 axle tuck on the highway can handle. If the truck has
> no "a" suffix as part of the model number, it will have a 602
> Continental gasoline engine. The A1 sufix denotes a reengined truck with a
> Mack ENDT 673 diesel engine. The A2 suffix denotes the same ebngine as in
> the 2 1/2 ton but was issued with a turbocharger and has been adjusted for
> higher horsepower. Incidntly, the multifuel engnes were a Continental design
> but White also built some identical engines. If you get real lucky, it might
> even be the latest modificastion with a 250 Cummins diesel.

The 5-tons I've seen around have the Multifuel engine with turbos.

> What department are you with in what state ? Sounds like you have a good
> state forestry department and a well equipped local department. I am with a
> voliunteer department in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Actualy two of the
> trucks andf three of the pumps are my personal property that I have on
> almost permanent loan to the department. (that way I get to play with them
> and do no have to buy license or insurance)

We're the Silver City Volunteer Fire Department, about 30 miles east of
Tulsa, Oklahoma. We were just organized in July of this year, and are
not operational yet.

Our Forestry department gets a lot of tactical vehicles and farms them
out on permanent loan to rural VFDs. Although a lot of the VFDs in this
area have Gamma Goats, we decided not to accept one because of long-term
maintenance problems, specifically, but not limited to replacement
tires. The 18-inch tires that fit the Goats are almost impossible to
find on the market, and the salvage yard at Forestry has been stripped
of Goat tires long ago.

Speaking of the salvage yard, most of the people subscribing to this
list would literally drool. Every time Forestry gets a new batch of
vehicles, they send several complete new vehicles to the salvage for
spare parts for the fire departments. A lot of stuff you guys look for
in this group are available to us just by going in and taking it off a
truck. We've got three or four spare instrument panels for our Kaiser,
along with spare lights, switches, turn signals (we replaced the
original blackout fixtures with military fixtures with larger lenses) a
spare starter, spare turbo, etc. Our Kaiser does not have power
steering, but there are three in the salvage that do, and if we figure
it's worth the trouble, all we have to do is go down and take it off
another truck. When Forestry got something like 180 Gamma Goats, they
put 16 complete Goats into the salvage. They've all been stripped, but
most still retain the engines and transmissions. Plenty of 2 1/2-tons
and 5-tons, though. As a matter of fact, the last time I was down there
(about two months ago) there was a brand-new 5-ton stake-bed sitting in
the salvage that was untouched. Complete with PTO-powered front winch
and perfect tires. We were going to liberate the winch until we
realized that it wouldn't fit our 2 1/2-ton without extensive

All of the trucks are ragtops, but none of them have the canvas tops.
We're going to build a hard top for ours out of 1" square tubing and
sheet metal, but we're going to the leave the bow in place and install
it in a manner that will not butcher the truck. Probably screw it in
place or something.

Most of the VFDs in our general area are running Goats and Dodge and
Chevy 1 1/4-tons for brush trucks and 6x6s for tankers. They are all
ideally suited for rural fire fighting trucks.

I can hardly wait for the HumVees.