The m1078 belongs to the class of vehicles known as Family Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTVs). It is loosely based on the Steyr 12 M 18, which was designed in Austria but was revamped to fit into the range of 4 x 4 2.5 ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicles. Before the M180 design was selected for production, several prototypes underwent series of rigorous tests by the military until the Steyr design was chosen. The final design was created by a company in Texas in 1991 when the United Sates Army saw the need to replace the current and somewhat unreliable fleet of medium-sized trucks in their inventory. A new, modern and efficient truck was needed that would fulfil the current and future needs of the army. The m1078 and its counterpart the M1083 were the solution. Both truck designs are extremely similar. They share most of the same components such as tyres, engine, cap, wheels, suspension and axel and incorporates a lot of commercially available parts. The main difference between the two is that the M1083 is a 6 x 6 5 ton truck. They were designed to be efficient, cost effective and easily maintained by troops in the field.
Description and uses for the M1078
The primary purpose for the M1078 cargo truck is for the transportation of cargo and soldiers.
It seats a 3 man crew and has an adjustable, tile and telescopic steering wheel. The M1078 also has power assist steering and has behind seat storage of approximately 4 cubic feet. It is powered by a Caterpillar 6 cylinder, 6.6 L turbocharged diesel, aftercooled engine. The engine and transmission ( a seven speed automatic) are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and generates 225 horsepower @ 2600 rpm. The cab suspension is air spring with integral dampers. It is able to transport a maximum um load of 2.27 tons and allows easy loading and unloading via bed-side rails that are mounded on hinges so that they can be lowered and raised.
Optional M1078 Kits
This flat bed cargo truck can be outfitted with a kit that provides bench seating for soldier transport. These benches are stored to the bed-side rails and can be folded down when they are not needed. Soldiers can get into and out of the M178 by a ladder which is also stored on the vehicle when not in use. Most trucks are purchased with a canvas and bows kit. This offers protection from the elements for soldiers and cargo while they are in the truck bed. It can also be equipped with a winch kit that allows the truck to perform front and rear vehicle recovery of up to 1,500 lbs and 208 feet of line length. A few versions are also equipped with load handling cranes while other are made as bare chassis so that special bodies can be added.
Variations of the M1078 include the following
- long wheelbase version
- van bodies
- dump truck
- tractor truck
- special version for low altitude air drops.