This is an ex-US Army Oshkosh HEMTT 8×8, specifically it’s the M-985 variant which is equipped with a hydraulic Material Handling Crane (MHC) on the rear. These trucks were originally developed for resupplying combat units with ammunition, fuel, and general cargo.
The “HEMTT” in the model name stands for Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, power is provided by a 12.1 liter Detroit Diesel 8V92TA two-stroke turbodiesel V8 and sent to all eight wheels via a 4-speed automatic transmission and a dual-range transfer case. It’s now being offered for sale out of Tacoma, Washington with a clean Oregon title in the owner’s name.
Fast Facts – The Oshkosh HEMTT 8×8
- The Oshkosh HEMTT 8×8, or the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, was developed by Oshkosh Defense as a replacement for the outgoing M520 Goer and first introduced in 1982.
- As of 2023, over 35,000 HEMTTs have now been built in a wide variety of configurations. The HEMTT is a 10 short ton (9,100 kg) tactical truck that can be configured for cargo hauling, tanker duties, fire fighting, and many other uses, including as a platform for the High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile launch system.
- The truck you see here is a M-985 variant, this means that it’s equipped with a rear-mounted hydraulic Material Handling Crane (MHC). It’s intended for use in resupplying combat units with ammunition, fuel, and general cargo.
- This truck is a 1989 model that was used by the United States Army originally. It spent time in Colorado and the current owner bought it in 2017. It’s now being offered for sale with a clean Oregon title in the owner’s name.
The Oshkosh HEMTT 8×8
The Oshkosh HEMTT 8×8 was developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Oshkosh Defense and formally released in 1982. “HEMTT” is an acronym for Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck. It was designed as an upgraded replacement for the outdated M520 Goer and it’s remained in production non-stop to the current day, at the time of writing over 35,800 examples have been built in a variety of configurations.
Above Video: This is an episode from Wranglerstar that showcases an overland converted Oshkosh HEMTT 8×8 that’s been built to a very high level.
Almost all variants of the Oshkosh HEMTT 8×8, with the exception of the M984 wrecker variant, are built on a chassis made from heat-treated carbon manganese steel. The body is made from heavy-duty welded steel with corrosion-resistant sheet metal skins, and armoring kits are available to improve the vehicle’s ability to withstand small arms fire and IEDs.
The drivetrain consists of a 12.1 liter Detroit Diesel 8V92TA V8 two-stroke diesel developing 445 hp, some later variants received the Caterpillar (CAT) C-15 in order to meet more modern EPA emissions requirements.
Power is sent back through a 4-speed automatic transmission and a dual-range transfer case to all eight wheels and all axles have differential locks. Suspension on earlier models is by Hendrickson leaf springs with equalizing beams, and on later models by a Holland air suspension system.
The HEMTT has been built in a remarkable number of versions over the years including as a cargo truck, fire truck, fuel tanker, wrecker, a High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile launch platform, a Common Bridge Transporter (CBT), and many others, including the M-985 variant which is equipped with a hydraulic Material Handling Crane (MHC) on the back.
The Oshkosh HEMTT 8×8 is operated by the US armed forces, the US Army in particular, however it’s also operated in smaller numbers by Ukraine, Malaysia, Greece, Egypt, Brazil, Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Romania, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the UAE, and Turkey.
A number of HEMTTs have been sold as military surplus now into the civilian and industrial sectors, they’re special use vehicles of course due to their physical size and the inherent difficulties with using them on the road, although some have been converted into highly-capable overland campers.
The Oshkosh M-985 HEMTT 8×8 Shown Here
The truck you see here is an ex-US Army Oshkosh M-985 HEMTT 8×8, the M-985 being the variant with the hydraulic Material Handling Crane (MHC) on the rear as noted above.
This vehicle is a 1989 model which means it’s fitted with the 12.1 liter Detroit Diesel 8V92TA two-stroke turbodiesel V8 mated to an Allison 4-speed automatic transmission and a two-speed transfer case.
The original rear-mounted materials handling crane is still in place, as are the original rear outriggers, front rotating spotlights, under-bed storage compartments, and a rear pintle hitch – it also has that large cargo bed with a canopy over the top.
It’s also still fitted with the two original 45,000 lb winches and it’s finished in green camouflage with a matching cargo canopy. The ten-lug steel wheels are finished in black and fitted with hefty 16.00R20 Michelin XZL tires, with a spare on the right side of the body just behind the cab.
Inside the cab you’ll find seating for two, the truck is left hand drive of course and it has power steering as well as excellent visibility thanks to the open greenhouse design of the cockpit. It is showing some signs of wear and rust, as is probably to be expected, but it would likely make an excellent starting point for a true go-anywhere overland camper.
The truck is now being offered for sale out of Tacoma, Washington with an unknown total mileage. It comes with a clean Oregon title in the owner’s name. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here on Bring a Trailer.
Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer
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