M274 Mule

What is the m274 mule

The m274 mule was developed in 1957 to be used as a U.S military carrier. This vehicle was used by members of the US Army, Marine Corps and sometimes the Air Force, Navy and the Seabees. Items carried on the m274 mule were infantry ammunition, light cargo, military personnel and weapons. These weapons which the m274 mules were equipped with often included 106mm recoilless rifles, M2HB.50 Caliber machine guns and M60 7.62 mm NATO light machine guns. In actuality, the m274 mule was made to carry up to a half ton unlike other military vehicles of its time which could only carry quarter ton.

The Design of the m274 mule

Since the m274 mule was manufactured to be used as a military carrier, it could seat only the driver. This seat could also be adjusted or detached on all models. There were also no doors on the mule and such, it offered minimal coverage for its passengers or cargo. This however caused little concern as the m274 mule was especially made to carry cargo and supply the infantry unlike other vehicles made to be used in close-combat. The rectangular shaped vehicle was outfitted with sets of railings on both sides which were adjustable. These rails would remain raised to accommodate cargo or could be lowered for storage or flat bed operations. The mule was also complete with a foot rest which was detachable. When detached, the foot rest could be stored underneath the platform for air transport. The m274 mule was sustainable in any environment. Weighing in at 860 pounds, it could carry its half ton (1000 pounds) cargo across many terrains. It could go up steep slopes, climb logs and cross rivers. The mules are equipped to travel in any weather. It will endure up to eighteen inches of water without being damaged. However, if damages are incurred, the m274 mule can easily be turned on its sides or top for repair and maintenance. In the case of the m274 mule, there is also no need to change a wheel that needs to be changed immediately. This is because the mule can also be operated on three wheels.

A Detailed Description

All m274 mules were designed with full time, four time four wheel drive. The latest model of the mule was also equipped with a mechanism which allowed drivers to switch from two to four wheel steering . The vehicle was 46.50 inches in width and 118.25 inches in length. The first models of the m274 had a magnesium bed and axle housing while the latest model ( m274A5) has an aluminum bed and axle housing. All models of the m274 mule includes a two speed transfer case and a three forward and one reverse speed transmission. When placed in third gear, it has a high range of 25mph and a low range of 13 mph; in the second gear, there is a high range of 14mph and a low range of 7 miles per hour. In the first gear , it has a high range of 8 mph and a low range of 4mph.

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