Have you ever seen a former US Military Truck test its mettle on a tuff truck course? Read on, and you will.
For those who are not aware of the fine American tradition of the tuff truck course, it’s essentially an off-road obstacle course that’s designed to push most commercially available trucks to the breaking point--often with hilarious results. Fenders, bumpers, and sometimes even whole axles can go flying off the chassis after a few seconds on the tuff truck course. They’re typically found at county fairs across the country.
They’re also not to be confused with the Tuff Truck Challenge, a 4x4 rock crawling event held in Australia.
The fine folks over at Jalopnik were kind enough to point out a recent event held at the Clark County Fair in Ridgefield, Washington, where a former US Army truck got put through its paces on a tuff truck challenge.
The truck--which is an M813 6x6 5-ton truck--was built to US military specifications. That meant it was designed to haul a 15,000 lb load through muddy terrain in order to get it to the front lines. In short, it was designed to go through anything.
While a Ford F-150 would have been shaken to pieces, the M813 makes the tuff truck challenge look easy by comparison.
That’s not to say the whole thing was a cakewalk. Sure, the steep inclines and deep mud pits that would have stopped a lesser vehicle were no trouble at all for the M813, but the driver did have some trouble on the moguls, stalling his vehicle twice. Those tiny hills also came on a bit fast on one run, almost causing the driver to lose control.
Whoever owns this M813 is a very lucky person. They stopped making them in 1982 when the Army replaced them with the M989 from AM General. What we saw was a veritable antique put through a course designed to destroy anything that moves through it.
The moral of the story: the US Army builds vehicles to last a lot longer than your average Chevrolet.