Another Lend-Lease. Ballast tractor Diamond T 980 / 981
Remember wolverine? A small animal. Absolutely not graceful. A sort of walking bag of meat and fat. Yes, and the word "walking" brings a smile to those who saw it. The amble wolverine looks really funny. Although experts are well aware that this way of walking gives tremendous advantages. And a hundred kilometers for wolverine is not a distance.
And suddenly a bear comes across this animal ... And what do we see?
And in 9 cases from 10 we will see a transformation into a beautiful, bold and perfectly able to stand up for themselves animal! And not just to stand, but to drive out the taiga ruler from his territory! And then again a comical amble about his own business ... Only this comic is perceived by us with respect and understanding of the beauty of this beast. It is beauty!
Our hero is largely perceived about the same. Those who see this car for the first time in the photo, especially if it is an official photo, in profile, are unwittingly smiling. A freak with a big head and a small body. And this imbalance just hurts the eye. Cab and body of the same size? Yes, and 6x4 ... But this is only at first glance.
We are sure that those who have never seen this car and were not interested in it history, soon they will see not a big head, but strength, courage and grace.
So, the 12-ton three-axle tractor with the wheel formula 6 × 4 Diamond T 980. Readers familiar with the English language immediately noticed that the name of the car did not quite correspond with the beginning of the material. So freak or diamond?
In order for the name to become clear, we, by tradition, need to take a look at the history of the company that created this car miracle.
In 1905, Charles Tilt established Diamond T. The firm was located in Chicago and was created for the production of expensive cars. Hence the name - diamond. But since at that time in the United States there were a lot of all sorts of "diamonds" and other precious stones in the names of firms, the owner added the first letter of his last name, T.
It is a pity, of course, to destroy the fairly common version of the "T" as the designation of the tractor, but the truth is more expensive. Charles Tilt was a good businessman and already in the middle of the 10s of the last century, he realized that instead of expensive cars, it was more profitable to produce cheap trucks.
The version of the "T" as the designation of "trucks" leave no comments. Truck is really "truck" in English. Still, the "T" in the name appeared even before the reorientation of the company to trucks.
By the way, according to some memoirs of his contemporaries, he made this decision after carefully studying the experience of Henry Ford. It was from Ford to the owner of the Diamond T that it came to the realization that it was not the production of expensive piece cars that brought big profits, but, on the contrary, the mass production of cheap cars.
Soon, on the roads of America began to work many different-sized "diamonds" and "diamonds." Tilt produced trucks of various classes. It was possible to meet both light and heavy Diamond T.
This approach allowed the company to safely survive the crisis of the 30-s. A commercial scent of Charles Tilta determined its further development - targeting military orders. In the political situation that was in 30-40-s, Tilt was very well oriented and identified a paying client.
Naturally, by 1941, the company offered the army a whole range of army trucks. And, counting on orders from the American army, Tilt developed a family of three-axle all-wheel drive chassis of medium carrying capacity. These cars are known today as the 968 truck (4 tonnage), the 969 tow truck, the 970 long wheelbase truck, the 972 dump truck, and the 975 pontoon.
But there was another model that was developed specifically for the American army, but it is known more as an English order. These are heavy machines with a carrying capacity of 12 tons with a wheel formula 6 XX4. Diamond T 980 and Diamond T 981 flatbed truck. Why is this one model we will describe below.
By the way, many sources say that in the USSR only 980 and 981 were used. Let us disagree with this conclusion. How else to explain the presence of a tow truck Diamond T 969 in a museum in Ivanovo (Chernogolovka science city)? True, according to the museum workers themselves, this is the only surviving copy of such a car in the European part of Russia.
Back in the US, start 40's. Alas, the lack of front drive wheels on heavy duty Diamond T 980 played a cruel joke with these cars. They were enrolled by the US military in the "limited" standards - Substitute Standard and Limited Standard (substitute and limited standards).
Therefore, participation in the war as part of the American army was really limited. Diamond T 980 (designation M20) together with the 24-wheeled three-axle trailer M9 "Rogers" were part of the tank conveyor M19.
Helped the British. They paid attention to these cars. More precisely, the competition was announced and Diamond T won it. This was due to the fact that the machines were already “in the gland” and to start their production under a new order, it was necessary to make only minor changes, according to the requirements of the customer.
For the USSR, these cars were generally new. We did not release anything like it at all. Even the very concept of automotive tank the tractor we have not yet appeared at the beginning of the war. Therefore, the Soviet Union also expressed its readiness to purchase or receive such tractors under Lend-Lease.
The first new tractors received, of course, the British. These cars operated on the North African theater. Reviews were the best. Machines not only repaired wrecked tanks, but also evacuated them under enemy fire.
Often they ask what seems to be a completely understandable thing for specialists. Why is this tractor called ballast?
The answer is in the design itself. If we consider that there is an engine in front of the car, the front axle with single wheels and the all-metal cab, and instead of a long body is short and light, it becomes clear that the body must be loaded when towing. Otherwise, the necessary coupling of wheels with the ground is simply not achieved.
How was our hero? The Diamond T 980 / 981 truck is a classic three-axle ballast tractor. As we have already written, the engine is located in front of the frame, and under it is the front axle with lean-to wheels. Behind the engine compartment is an all-metal cab.
By the end of the war because of the need to produce more cars, the cabin was released in a simplified version - without a roof and with low side doors. The roof of such cabins was removable canvas, and the side openings above the doors were also closed with canvas valves with celluloid windows.
A Gar Wood 5M723B winch with a tractive force of 18 tons was installed between the cab and the body for the ballast. It was intended only for loading wrecked tanks on the conveyor. On the platform there were levers of control of the winch and parking brake.
The winch was set in motion by a short driveshaft and a chain drive from the power take-off mounted on the multiplier. The winch drum is 178 mm in diameter, the 91,5 meter (for 980 model) or 152,5 meter (for 981 model) of cable with a diameter of 22 mm is wound onto it.
The cable winding speed varied depending on the gearbox engaged and could reach 17 meters per minute. The model 981 has the opportunity to use a winch for self-pulling. There the cable could be passed under the cab and out through a special window in the bumper forward.
By the way, visually having a window in the bumper (on the left side) is an excellent determinant of the tractor model.
The engine is a diesel Hercules DFXE, in-line 6-cylinder 4-stroke liquid cooling, 14,7 liter displacement and hp 185 power. at 1600 rpm (torque 902 N • m at 1200 rpm).
The cylinder block was cast from gray iron, the pistons were made of aluminum alloy. High pressure fuel pump - Bosch 6-plunger.
Transmission - Fuller 4B86, three-shaft, four-stage (plus reverse), with direct fourth gear. Fuller 3A86 or Fuller 3A92 demultiplicator, three-stage, with direct second gear and power take-off for the winch.
Two driving bridges are “consecutive” (the second one was set in motion by the second cardan shaft from the first one). Switched gears using the floor lever. Next to it were a handbrake and a range selector lever.
Steering gear - without power steering, with worm gear and longitudinal steering gear. Timken pneumatic drum brakes with Bendix-Westinghouse drive. Budd B-45530 wheels, 20 inches in diameter and 10 inches wide. Tires 12,00 × 20 inches.
Suspension - spring (at the rear axles - balancing type). There were no shock absorbers, so a rubber buffer was attached over the front spring, which somewhat softened the off-road shaking - however, at low speeds it was not so critical. There was no center differential.
There are some oddities in determining the strength of these outstanding machines. We could not find data on the number of cars of both models supplied to the USSR during the war. The number in different sources varies from 295 to 471 machines.
The reasons, as it seems to us, lie in two planes, primarily in the ideological one. Even today, some of our citizens are of the opinion that we were subject to “technical waste” on the Lend-Lease.
By the way, to be objective, about Diamond T 980 / 981 you can say this. The American army used them only as an exception. So they thought there were better cars. And the fact that we never had anything like that, we forget ...
And the second reason - the payment of the Lend-Lease for non-return. That is, we recall that the equipment was given free of charge under Lend-Lease, but if it was not destroyed, it was subject to either refund or payment. After lengthy altercations, it was decided to return the serviceable truck to the United States. And so began what, in principle, should have begun.
Our well, they didn’t want to return the cars they liked. Documents on a set of "not reached" cars rushed stream. In combat reports appeared records of vehicles destroyed in battles, reports of enemy enemy raids aviationcoming out of nowhere minefields ...
It was then that there were rumors, later confirmed many times by witnesses, about the deliberate destruction of completely serviceable cars. In fact, before being sent to the USA, the cars went under a press ...
But ours showed a class in terms of “otmaza”.
The total number of cars produced by these brands is known for sure. 6554 Diamond T 980 / 981. Of these, 1000 units were shipped to the UK.
After the war, the production of these models ceased. However, there are instances of garbage trucks, released in 50-s on this base.
Now what distinguishes this particular article from previous ones. Car life after the victory. Not surviving, namely life.
Favorite tractors that could be saved were actively used in the USSR until the 60s of the last century. These vehicles dragged cargoes through the Siberian and Far Eastern taiga. Although modernized our craftsmen Americans decently.
From the “African” rubber crumbling in the cold and completely unheated canvas cabins, to thin fuel lines and devices for permanent engine operation. If the car glohla in the cold, then start it without repair was impossible.
Even special warm boxes and devices for constant heating of engines in the parking lot were built. This continued even when the Soviet MAZ and KrAZ trucks appeared. The driver with the torch under the car in the fuel tank area at that time is a familiar picture for Siberian car depots.
Well, the last. It was Diamond T 980 / 981 that became the model for the creation of the Soviet YAZ-210 car of the same type and designation.
Well, the traditional technical characteristics of the hero:
Dimensions: 7110 / 2580 / 2592 mm
Wheelbase: 4556 mm
Track (front / rear): 1927 / 1905
Clearance: 283 mm
Own weight: 12 t
Load capacity: 8,3 t
Own trailer weight: 10 t
Trailer capacity: 40,1 t
Engine: Hercules DFXE, diesel, 14 660 cube. cm, in-line, 6-cylinder
Power: 185 hp
Maximum torque: 902 Nm
Maximum speed: 37 km / h
Speed with loaded trailer: 26 km / h
Cruising on the highway: 480 km
- Alexander Staver, Roman Skomorokhov
- Another Lend-Lease. Kenworth 573-M1 Wrecker
Another Lend-Lease. Army truck International M-5H-6
Another Lend-Lease. GMC CCKW-352, or simply "Jimmy"
Another Lend-Lease. "Willys MW" as one of the symbols of war
Another Lend-Lease. Dodge WC-51
Another Lend-Lease. Foreword
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.