bookUS WWII Autocar U-7144-T & U-8144-T Tractor Trucks

Tankograd Technical Manual Series - No 6005
Edited by Michael Franz.
A4 size, 48 pages

Review by Peter Brown

Support vehicles play a vital if often unappreciated role in warfare. Without trucks to carry supplies, the armies of WW2 and later would have soon ground to a halt. America had a well-developed automotive industry which kept its own forces and many of its allies supplied with trucks in all forms. One style from one manufacturer is covered here.

This is a series of two-axle tractor trucks. For those not into the trucking jargon, these are short but powerful vehicles designed to pull large-capacity separate trailers using a coupling or "fifth wheel". Often called - at least in my native land - "articulated trucks", they differ from "normal" trucks which have some sort of body permanently fitted to carry cargo or hold equipment.

Autocar produced two types, the U-7144-T rated at 4 to 5 tons and the visually similar but slightly larger U-8144-T 5 to 6 ton vehicle. Coverage of both follows the same lines, using extracts from the original TMs or Technical Manuals with photos of complete vehicles from various angles, are factory line drawings - not plans but they do give outlines and details plus detailed dimensions - and detailed photos of both closed and open pattern cabs, controls, springs, axles, exhausts, engines, gearboxes, wheels, chassis mudguards, winches, fittings and machine gun mountings. Basically, if it was part of the truck, it is included here.

A short section covers the U-8144 version which was the heavier model fitted with a fixed van body for signals use. Details are also included of production and serial number series, wartime photos show the vehicles towing various trailers and there is a brief history of the Red Ball Express and the lesser-known ABC and XYZ Express routes.

Note that only the trucks are covered, there is a separate book No. 6006 on various trailers used by these vehicles and similar ones from other manufacturers.

Highly recommended as with other publications from Tankograd. Available from Tankograd Militarfahrzeug distributors, for more details contact the publishers Verlag Jochen Vollert on My thanks go to Justin Gainham at Bookworld for the review copy.

Page created May 22, 2006

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