Ha! Very cool!Way back when the HMMWV was proposed (IE., before the contracts were signed), one of the 'reasons' was that the jeep/mutt left a narrower track than the trucks and an observant enemy could learn a lot of useful information by the number of jeep/mutt tracks in off-road areas. As in what type of unit came through. The HMMWV was designed with the same footprint width as the cargo trucks to help obscure that type of information. Not that it was perfect by any means, but it generally meant that only the last vehicle or two could be made out clearly, and all the rest of the tracks were difficult to decipher.
So it seems we have dispelled the idea that it was anything to do with tanks, but could have been something to do with other trucks widths, but also to accommodate the running gear and be generally bad ass.
Running my suzuki around the woods here in the PNW I can say that extra width will prevent access to a lot of areas but then again this isn’t war zone and it certainly isn’t a desert environment.
As for aluminum yes why not, but then again it’s not common in other mil vehicles is it? The air slinging I’m sure dictates minimum weight.
This might sound like a dumb dumb question but do they ever airlift them full of people ready to hit the ground driving?