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Thread: Can a pickup tow a M939?

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    Sergeant LCA078's Avatar
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    Default Can a pickup tow a M939?

    I'm talking short distances and very slow speeds. Like using a 1-ton pickup truck to move a 5 ton across a paved parking lot or tow it 10-15mph down a dirt road. I know the towing capacity of today's 1-ton diesel trucks can easily tow heavy trailers on the highway that weigh as much as a M939 but am curious about trying to tow with no tongue/gooseneck weight to help provide traction. I wonder if a pickup without any load in the bed would just spin the rear tires when trying to pull a 5 ton.

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    No problem at all, but I'd only do that when it's safe to. I've moved 5 tons with a CUCV blazer before (not fast, far, or on the street).
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    Evidence suggests....

    20180515_151322.jpg

    On 939s dont forget to cage the brakes ( or pressurized the air system)

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    Could a 1 ton pull a M939 with the brakes caged on an improved level surface with plenty of room to stop? Probably. Could it do it on an unimproved surface (dirt, gravel, etc)? Doubtful.
    Could a 1 ton stop a M939 with the brakes caged on an improved level surface? Yes, but with how much room? Could it stop it on an unimproved surface? Yes, but with much more room and less control.


    Realistically find another 5 ton or at the very least a deuce so you can use the brakes on the 5 ton when stopping and stay in low range at a low speed.
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    Former SSG 98G's Avatar
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    Unimproved surface pictured above. Towed vehicle is an XM818. Tow vehicle is a 1ton in low range four and manual transmission. Never spun a tire....

    Edit to emphasize- this is an activity only done at a walking speed. Only done on private property or at the very worst only considered to get a broken down truck out of the way of traffic.
    Last edited by 98G; 04-17-2019 at 23:35.

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    Sergeant LCA078's Avatar
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    If a CUCV Blazer can do it, I'm sure a pickup will do it too.

    On the farm, we towed many heavy things short distances at safe speeds and obviously out of the way of normal traffic. We used a 'tow bar' made by threading a chain through a pipe. When pulling, the chain was under tension and the pipe did nothing. But when the towing vehicle slowed down, the pipe would prevent the towed vehicle from slamming into the back of the towing vehicle. The trick was to allow the right amount of loose chain between the pipe and hitching point that would allow the pipe to hang just below the bumpers from the slack when slowing down. The chain would then tighten up with the pipe riding up under the bumper when the towed vehicle tried to get too close.

    But for some reason, I remember the truck needing a round bale or such in the bed to prevent tire spinning...but maybe that was because it was in the field. Too many years ago to remember the exact details.

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    Former SSG 98G's Avatar
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    That's a neat trick described with the chain and pipe.

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    Fuzzy- I agree using a pickup ain't the ideal solution. Just curious if possible due to traction issues.

    98G- Looks like you have proof it's possible- I'm impressed. A Cummins inline six towing a Cummins inline six! The crazy thing is your 1-ton truck engine has less than half the displacement of the XM818 but probably pushing almost twice the hp.

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    Locked in 4 wheel drive will get moving fine. The downside will be stopping. On flat ground, low speed caution is the rule. If all else fails have a tag along truck to help stop the truck. I still have my first pipe, you never know. I try and keep my slack line towing up to snuff if I am towing close. I have no urge to long tow any longer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98G View Post
    That's a neat trick described with the chain and pipe.
    It works as a last resort..

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