M274 A5 Mule 1/2 Ton he M274, known as the Mechanical Mule, was developed in the 1950s as a light weight cargo carrier to replace both the 1/4-ton jeep and 3/4-ton trucks in infantry and airborne infantry battalions. The M274 was known as the “Truck, Platform, Utility 1/2 Ton, 4×4” or the “Carrier, Light Weapons, Infantry, 1/2 ton, 4×4”.The M274 family could be fitted for many infantry tasks including transport of personnel or cargo (slowly–keeping up with foot soldiers), for stringing wire with a cable reel, for carrying patients on stretchers, and as a weapons platform for a recoilless rifle or TOW anti-tank missile. Each wheel had shackles for lifting by helicopter or parachute airdrop. The seat and the foot basket can be detached and stored underneath the platform which can then be rigged as a steerable trailer. The steering column could be set in multiple positions so the driver could operate the vehicle from almost any position, including crouching down. The M274 vehicles were phased out by 1980, with the intended replacement being the HMMWV. However, the need for a small, versatile vehicle was not fully met by the HMMWV and in the 2000s the U.S. Military adopted the M-Gator as a modern version of the M-274 Mechanical Mule.

Location: Breckenridge, Texas, United States

See listing: M274 A5 Mule 1/2 Ton (from August 24, 2020)