Mack Defense has partnered with Crysteel Manufacturing to work on the US Army M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck (HDT) contract.

The army awarded a $296m contract to Mack Defense in May last year to produce and supply 683 HDTs.

The partnership has been formed to provide specialised dump bodies with safety and functionality features.

Mack Defense president David Hartzell said: “We needed partners that could engineer and build components tough enough to pair with the Mack Defense M917A3 and meet the US Army’s demanding applications.

“Crysteel Manufacturing fits the bill, thanks to their decades of leadership in their industry, and we’re proud to have them as a partner on this project.”

The companies worked in coordination to develop the Crysteel dump body.

Crysteel engineers developed an integrated touchscreen control module, which provides the operator with key safety and functionality information at their fingertips.

Mack Defense stated that the integrated hub will allow the driver to control the inclinometer, hoist, tailgate, tarp, thermostatic body heater system, material control system, and the on-board weigh scale.

Crysteel Manufacturing general manager Brett Hart said: “Developing the dump body for the M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck for our country’s military is a project Crysteel is proud to be a part of.

“Our team has worked with Mack Defense to bring the highest level of innovation in durability, safety, and functionality in order to develop a dump truck that supports and exceeds the US Army’s requirements.”

The M917A3 HDT is based on the civilian Mack Granite model. The company optimised the truck to meet US Army requirements.

Key enhancements include heavier-duty rear axles, all-wheel drive, and increased suspension ride height.

The features were added to meet the HDT programme’s payload and mobility requirements.

Mack Defense has also incorporated force protection features to ensure the safety of occupants in hostile environments.

In February this year, the company started production of five M917A3 dump trucks as part of the production vehicle testing (PVT) phase of the contract.