John Deere M-Gator Military Utility Vehicles, United States of America
M-Gator military utility vehicles are manufactured by Deere & Company. The vehicles are intended for cargo transportation and casualty evacuation in critical combat scenarios.
The M-Gator vehicles are in service with the US Army, the US Marine Corps, Canadian Forces and the Belgian Land Forces. The vehicles were deployed in various missions in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq.
The M-Gator vehicle is manned by two crew members. The vehicle measures 2.74m in length, 1.52m in width and 1.79m in height. The curb weight of the M-Gator is 748.4kg.
M-Gator variants and design
Deere & Company produces three versions of the M-Gator vehicle. The M-Gator A1 is a US Army-safety certified variant ideal for deployment across the world. The M-Gator A2 is equipped with a heavy-duty truck-style frame and reconfigurable cargo box. The vehicle is suitable for hauling, towing and hill-climbing missions. The M-Gator A3 is an improved variant built based on the field experience gained from the A1 and A2 models. The vehicle offers better camouflage in desert and arid mountain regions.
The M-Gator incorporates a reinforced frame to haul heavier loads and endure air drop and rugged terrain. The layout of the vehicle includes engine and front rack in forward, crew seating in the centre and a cargo box at the rear. The front of the vehicle features a bumper with integral brush guard offering additional protection from damage.
The vehicle accommodates two crew members on high-back seats. The rifle mount aboard the vehicle features a rifle butt holder on the floor to hold M4 and M16 rifles. The M-Gator is also equipped with the operator protection system (OPS) offering roll-over protection.
The standard equipment includes keyless ignition switch, pintle hitch, tow rings, dual batteries, fire extinguisher and belt splash shield. The vehicle is optionally provided with a sun shade kit, black out light kit, light kit, run flat tires and a winch.
Military utility vehicle capacities and engines
The M-Gator A1 features a reconfigurable cargo box with a capacity of 454kg. The power-assisted cargo box is equipped with fold-down panels and internal / external tie-down points. The tailgate and both sides of the box can be downed completely or at 900 and 1800 angles.
The vehicle is capable of carrying a total of 567kg of equipment in front and rear cargo trays. The litter carrier in front provides 0.05m³ of volume and cargo box offers 0.40m³ of volume. The total payload capacity of the vehicle is 748.4kg.
The M-Gator vehicle is powered by a Yanmar three-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-cycle diesel engine coupled to continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT offers better fuel economy and eliminates shifting gears. The engine develops a maximum power of 20.8hp. It generates a maximum torque of 33lb-ft at 2,500rpm. The engine burns either diesel or JP8 fuel.
The vehicle features a dual radiator design to keep the engine cool when operating in hot environments. The fuel tank capacity of the vehicle is 20L. The M-Gator travels at a maximum speed of 32km/h.
M-Gator vehicle mobility
The M-Gator vehicle is equipped with rack and pinion steering and fully independent, single A-arm suspension. The rear tyres carry more weight over the centre tyres, as the centre axle is slightly higher than the front-to-rear axle centreline. The low centre of gravity improves the stability and handling characteristics of the vehicle at higher speeds and on slopes.
The M-Gator's Cayman AT (All Terrain) standard tyres provide superior performance over all kinds of terrain. The vehicle will also be provided with flat-proof tyres with Tire Ball multicell tire inflation technology. The Tire Ball technology increases side-wall stability and enhances suspension. The braking system includes rear wet-disc brakes and a handbrake.
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