EVALUATING THE HUMMER AND HMMWV SERIES CHASSIS

Roscommon Equipment Center Program
Project Number 56
EVALUATING THE HUMMER® AND
HMMWV SERIES CHASSIS FOR
WILDLAND ENGINE USE
Published September 1993
Reformatted for Web Page January 1999
Northeast Forest Fire Supervisors
In Cooperation with
Michigan’s Forest Fire Experiment Station
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction...................................................................................................................... 1
Vehicle Characteristics.................................................................................................... 1
Differences Between Commercial and Military HUMMERS............................................. 3
REC Prototype Design .................................................................................................... 3
Tank Design....................................................................................................................5
Cab Design .....................................................................................................................8
Front Bumper and Grill Guard.......................................................................................10
Rear Bumper.................................................................................................................10
Auxiliary 12-Volt Electric System...................................................................................10
Converting Military HMMWV’s to Fire Units .................................................................. 11
Field Use Evaluation ..................................................................................................... 12
Costs and Specifications ............................................................................................... 14
Summary ....................................................................................................................... 15
Appendix A .................................................................................................................... 17
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The Roscommon Equipment Center would like to thank the following who contributed to this report:
•
•
•
•
The employees of AM General Corporation, in particular, William Wilson and Gregory Proven in their Business Development Department; Robert Johnson, Chief
Engineer; David Cunningham, Manager; Experimental Operations and Leonard Combs Manager, Training.
KK Products, Rod Carringer, General Manager, for providing assistance with the foam system.
Personnel from the USDI Bureau of Land Management, who provided evaluations during the vehicle's stint in Nevada and Idaho. In particular, Paul Schlobohm,
who provided a written evaluation.
The primary operators from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources: Dennis Fiebelkorn and Dave Reisinger.
DISCLAIMER
The inform ation contained in this report has been developed for the guidance of em ployees of the m em ber States, Provinces, Federal Agencies, and Cooperators. The NFFS
assum es no responsibility for the interpretation or use of this inform ation by those m em ber organizations.
The use of trade, firm or corporation names is for the information and convenience of the user. Such use does not constitute an official evaluation, conclusion,
recommendation, endorsement, or approval of any product or service to the exclusion of others which may be suitable.
User's Caution...
A Note About Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR)
American truck manufacturers have long relied on GVWR to designate the maximum allowable loading of their vehicles. The weight limits are carefully established through
numerous design considerations including the strength and life expectancy of the frame, axles, springs, wheels, tires and powertrains, and most other components. Most
manufacturers will not guarantee their products if users exceed GVWR specifications.
The U.S. Armed Forces are acutely conscious of the importance of vehicle reliability. They have insisted that manufacturers clearly specify vehicle gross vehicle weight.
At the present time, a large number of military vehicles are available to state and local agencies through federal government excess property programs and surplus sales.
Many of these vehicles are being converted into fire fighting units. Those anticipating such conversions are urged to heed the GVWR limits, and other vital information posted
on the dashboard of most of these vehicles. Federal excess property vehicles, on loan through State Forestry organizations, may be recalled if they are abused.
Blueprints and construction procedures prepared and issued by the Roscommon Equipment Center are intended to serve as guidelines for potential users of this equipment.
It is possible that if all the options and alternatives specified on these drawings are used on any single vehicle, that GVWR limits may be exceeded.
Therefore, users are cautioned to:
1.
2.
3.
Plan design and construction carefully,
Weigh each unit before actual duty assignment, and
Make whatever weight adjustments are necessary to bring the system into safe load limits.
Introduction
Design and prototype production of the fire
package was done by the staff at the Michigan
Forest Fire Experiment Station. The prototype
went through three seasons of field evaluations,
primarily in Michigan. Some evaluation was
made in Nevada and Idaho, in conjunction with
the USDI Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
While built from the same base unit, the
commercial HUMMER and the military HMMWV
have some basic differences. This publication
contains information about both these vehicles.
The reader is cautioned to carefully discern
between the two.
This study analyzes the U.S. Military M998
series and its similar commercial models, known
as the HUMMER®, for use as wildland fire
engines. The project also includes information
to design a unit for this use. It further compares
the vehicle to other available cabs and chassis.
In the early 1980’s, AM General Corporation
designed what came to be known as the “High
Mobility, Multi Purposed, Wheeled Vehicle”
(HMMWV) for the US Military. The M998 Cargo
Troop Carrier is the base unit of this group.
These vehicles succeeded the M151 Jeep,
M880’s and Gama-Goat. At a 1988 meeting
between wildfire agency and truck manufacturer
representatives, AM General showed a desire to
make the HUMMER available to fire fleets1.
The Roscommon Equipment Center (REC)
program also had an interest to evaluate this
vehicle anticipating future availability through
Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP). In
1989, the State of Michigan and AM General
reached agreement which provided the
Michigan Department of Natural Resources a
HUMMER for evaluation.
AM General
Corporation had designed a prototype of a
heavier duty vehicle for commercial purposes,
referred to as the Heavy HUMMER. Michigan
made the first purchase of such a unit. In 1992,
AM General began offering the commercial
version for public sale.
Publication of the drawings and additional
technical information on the REC designs
contained in this report is planned. Readers
needing this information can check on the status
of this project be contacting REC at the
Roscommon address shown on the preceding
page or through the REC web site.
____________________
HUMMER® is a registered trademark of AM General
Corporation.
1
The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Fire
Equipment Working Team (FEWT) National Engine
Subcommittee (NES) met with 15 manufacturers of trucks and
specialty vehicles in Washington, D.C., in June, 1988. A major
objective of that meeting was to encourage truck manufacturers
to provide a more suitable chassis for wildfire control.
Vehicle Characteristics
In 1988, NWCG’s National Engine Study
identified important criteria for wildland fire
vehicles. The HUMMER met most of the
criteria established for off-highway forest fire
control in its size class. This should not be
surprising, since it was designed for a military
mission profile of 40 percent off-road, 30
percent cross-country and 30 percent highway.
Many characteristics make the HUMMER an
ideal off-highway performer.
Its ground
clearance is a very high 16 inches, but its height
is only 72 inches. Its length is about 180 inches
with 72 degree approach angle (45 degree with
winch), and a 45 degree departure angle.
Bumpers added in the REC design decrease
these angles slightly. The underbody is well
protected. The HUMMER’s 85-inch width
makes it about eight inches wider than the
typical full size pickup truck box. However, this
extra width and low 30 inch vertical center of
gravity (at curb weight), gives it exceptional
stability.
The chassis has a steel box construction frame.
The body is made largely of glued and riveted
aluminum sheet. The hood is a composite
plastic. Components such as the drive line,
exhaust system and fuel tank are located
between the frame rails, forming a “hump”
between the driver and occupant. Secondary
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type, with brake lines well protected. Steering is
power assisted with a 25-foot outside turning
radius.
gear reduction is done at each wheel via a drop
gear box, rather than all at the differential. This
allows the vehicle to have a small differential
and high (above wheel centerline) axle half
shafts. The placement of these components
results in the high ground clearance.
Commercial units come with radial tires. Until
recently, most US military HMMWVs came with
bias-ply tires. The cargo box of the 2-person cab
model is shorter (83 inches) than a commercial
pickup. The width between wheel wells is 52
inches. Figure 1 shows data on base units
provided by AM General Corp.
The engine is a General Motors (GM) V8 6.2
liter diesel2, mated with a GM Hydra-matic 3speed automatic transmission and a New
Venture Gear 2-speed transfer case. The
brakes are hydraulic inboard power dry disk
2
1998 Footnote. Newer HUMMER models utilize a GM 6.5 liter diesel.
turbocharger option.
-2-
Commercial versions are available with a
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Differences Between Commercial & Military HUMMERS
other civilian modifications, such as 12 volt
electrical systems, civilian style cab, sound
insulation and comfort features.
The gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) of the
original M998 military series ranges from 7700
pounds for the Cargo Troop Carrier to 9100
pounds for the Maxi-Ambulance model. The
GVWR for the commercial version of the Heavy
HUMMER is 10,300 pounds.3 For the military
version (M1097) Heavy HMMWV Variant
(HHV), it is 10,000 pounds.
The commercial Heavy HUMMER and military
HHV became available in 1992. Military
vehicles produced prior to that period, and many
currently being produced, have the lower
GVWR ratings mentioned above. If you obtain
a HMMWV through sources such as Federal
Excess Personal Property (FEPP), you should
be aware of these internal differences. Make
sure that you heed the GVWR and the gross
axle weight ratings (GAWR) for that vehicle.
The Heavy HMMWV/HUMMER has localized
body reinforcements, improvements to the left
frame rail and lower ball joints. It includes
variable rate rear springs. Changes were also
made to differentials and transfer case to
increase their torque capacity and increase the
axle and gear ratios. Front and rear prop shafts
were changed to accommodate the other
powertrain changes.
Commercial HUMMERS meet Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and have
3
1998 Footnote. Newer commercial versions are available with
12,000 lb. GVWR.
REC Prototype Design
To evaluate the commercial HUMMER
prototype, REC staff designed and built the
wildland fire vehicle shown in Figure 2. Goals
were to:
to the right of the vehicle’s center line. The
CGZ coordinate is the vertical distance above
the ground. The nominal tank capacity was 300
gallons. With an operator, passenger, and full
of fluids the vehicle’s operational weight was
near the specified GVWR of 10,300 pounds.
Miscellaneous storage capacity was 240
pounds.
1. Design a prototype wildland fire engine.
Primary use; initial attack unit.
2. Test the HUMMER chassis in wildland field
trials at full GVWR.
The tank and components were designed to
keep the center of gravity low and provide clear
vision to the rear for the operator. Designers
found the need to be creative; the “small” sized
bed of the HUMMER made space, not weight,
the limiting factor in design. Utilizing the rear
passenger area for pumps, hose reel and
storage proved to be the most efficient use of
space (see Figure 3). The calculated 36 inch
vertical center of gravity was verified on AM
General’s tilt table. Approximately 40 percent of
the load was on the front axle and 60 percent on
the rear axle.
Appendix A summarizes the prototype’s data,
helping to show what was added by our design
and what features came from AM General.
Table 1 shows the weights of various
components utilized in the design and three
coordinates that locate the approximate center
of gravity for each component. The CGX
coordinate is the horizontal distance in inches
rearward from the center of the front wheel.
The CGY coordinate is the horizontal distance
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Figure 2 - The 300 Gallon Prototype "Heavy HUMMER" Designed for Project
Testing
Table 1 – HUMMER Prototype Weights and Component Data
Axle
Front
Rear
TOTAL
Axle Loading
Actual (lbs)
4,057
6,242
10,300
GVWR (lbs)
4,100
6,501
10,300
Water Capacity: 300 gallons
Component
HMMWV (Base Vehicle)
Water
Tank
Tank Lid Assembly
Tank Mount Front
LH Reel w/Hose
RH Reel w/Hose
Pump
Pump Mount
Pump Mount Adapter
Fuel Tank w/3 Gallons
Cab Roof
Cab Rear Panel
LH Door
RH Door
Grill Guard
Bumper, Front
Bumper/Mount, Rear
Foam System
Operator
Passenger
Storage
TOTALS
Weight (lbs)
5500
2499
420
73
19
135
135
170
41
10
21
75
80
45
45
50
45
97
200
200
200
240
10,300
CGX (in)
55.8
126.0
126.0
126.0
72.0
86.5
86.5
91.0
92.0
74.0
102.0
55.0
73.0
56.0
56.0
-20.8
-23.3
163.0
126.0
61.3
61.3
99.0
78.8
CGY (in)
1.2
0.0
0.0
1.0
0.0
-30.0
30.0
-28.0
-28.0
-28.5
-28.0
0.0
0.0
-41.0
41.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
28.0
-30.0
30.0
28.0
1.4
CGZ (in)
29.9
48.0
48.0
57.0
36.0
27.0
27.0
50.0
40.0
35.0
45.0
72.0
53.0
46.0
46.0
36.0
27.0
36.0
35.0
40.0
40.0
50.0
35.9
CGX = Distance (in.) rearward from center of front wheel.
CGY = Distance (in.) to right of vehicle centerline.
CGZ = Distance (in.) above ground line.
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Figure 3 - The pump and left hose reel were mounted in the rear passenger area.
The HUMMER’s 4-person cab style could utilize
a similar tank of about 225 gallon capacity. In
this case, the front section of the tank would be
located
between
the
rear
passenger
compartments. The profile of the tank would be
approximately 4 inches lower. Pump and hose
reel would need to be located on the tank top or
fenders near the rear. Table 2 shows estimated
weights for such a design. Storage weight
allowance would be reduced from the 2-person
prototype of Table 1. If more storage or area for
accessories is needed, then water capacity
would be less.
Tank Design
REC’s 300 gallon tank design was the vehicle’s
most unique feature; the tank was suspended
one half inch above the bed of the HUMMER on
three isolator mounts (see Figures 4 and 5).
These mounts were located on the vehicle’s
designed “hard points”. Figure 6 shows the hard
point locations. The tank had triangulated
internal baffles that serve as a beam to support
the bottom. This was necessary because the
water load was not sitting directly on the bed of
the vehicle. The tank overhangs the rear of the
vehicle, with the sump extended below the bed
into the bumper cutout. Figure 7 illustrates the
locations and designs for the baffles, mounting
brackets and sump. For strength and
construction ease, the tank was made out of 14
gauge and 11 gauge steel sheet. Cold
galvanizing protects the inside.
For vehicle testing, REC tried to maximize the
water capacity of this unit; however, users
requiring water volumes of less than 200 gallons
should consider a tank that mounts between the
“C” and “D” hard points. Eliminating the front
section of our tank design would leave a
capacity of approximately 200 gallons. The
need to suspend the tank on isolators would be
less critical for lower capacity tanks mounted
between “C” and “D” points on the bed. Also,
typical Fiberglas slip-on tanks of 200 gallons or
less could fit this scheme. A 200 gallon model
will be about 47 by 50 inches and about 24
inches tall. The tank’s weight will center
approximately over the rear axle. Figure 8
illustrates, and Table 3 estimates the weights for
such a design. REC has not tested a HUMMER
using a slip-on type tank.
In off-highway situations, the HUMMER chassis
was designed to flex. Avoid mounting rigid
structures on the full bed length of this vehicle.
If a rigid structure, such as a tank, is affixed to
the vehicle, undue strain will be put on either the
vehicle, the structure, or both, likely causing
premature failures. Three years of field trials
has shown that the suspended tank design gives
the tank considerable freedom of movement.
Both the vehicle and tank have shown no
problems.
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Figure 4 - The three tank isolator mounting points and the rear bumper with sump
cutout.
Figure 5 – Front tank isolator mounting point. Shown from inside the cab.
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Table 2 – 4 Person HUMMER Estimated Weights and Component Data
Axle
Front
Rear
TOTAL
Axle Loading
Calculated Weight (lbs)
4,084
6,216
10,300
GVWR (lbs)
4,100
6,800
10,300
Water Capacity: 225 gallons
Components
HUMMER 4-Door (Base Vehicle)
Water
Tank
Tank Lid Assembly
Tank Mount Front
Reel w/Hose
Pump
Pump Mount Adapter
Fuel Tank w/3 Gallons
Grill Guard
Bumper, Front
Bumper/Mount, Rear
Passenger, Rear
Passenger, Rear
Operator
Passenger
Storage
TOTALS
Weight (lbs)
6,587
1,874
370
73
19
135
170
10
21
50
45
97
200
200
200
200
49
10,300
CGX (in)
60.0
130.0
130.0
130.0
72.0
130.0
130.0
130.0
130.0
-20.8
-23.3
163.0
92.0
92.0
61.3
61.3
130.0
78.5
CGY (in)
1.2
0.0
0.0
10
0.0
-30.0
-28.0
-28.5
-28.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
-30.0
30.0
-30.0
30.0
28.0
0.4
CGZ (in)
31.0
44.0
44.0
53.0
36.0
65.0
60.0
54.0
60.0
36.0
27.0
36.0
30.0
30.0
40.0
40.0
50.0
34.8
CGX = Distance (in.) rearward from center of front wheel.
CGY = Distance (in.) to right of vehicle centerline.
CGZ = Distance (in.) above ground line.
mounts were used to attach the cab top to the
windshield so that the top would not restrict the
flex of the vehicle (see Figure 9). The “B” hard
point to which the front of the tank is mounted is
located inside the cab. Cutouts in the rear panel
were necessary to incorporate the front tank
mount. This area must be sealed properly,
otherwise water lost through tank vents, or other
sources, will enter the cab area when traveling
downhill.
Cab Design
REC designed its own cab before AM General
designed its 2-person commercial cab. This
design can be used to upgrade a canvas cab if
re-utilizing a military vehicle. Doors of the type
found on HMMWV basic armor units were used.
Civilian HUMMER doors are suggested if
available. The cab top and rear panels were
made of 14 gauge steel. Rubber isolator
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Table 3 – Estimated Weights for 200 Gallon Fiberglass Slip-On Tank
Axle
Front
Rear
TOTAL
Axle Loading
Calculated Weight (lbs)
4,047
6,226
10,273
GVWR (lbs)
4,100
6,501
10,300
Water Capacity: 200 gallons
Components
HMMWV (Base Vehicle)
Tank & Water
RH Reel w/Hose
Pump
Fuel Tank w/3 Gallons
Grill Guard
Bumper, Front
Bumper/Mount, Rear
Foam/Miscellaneous
Operator
Passenger
Storage
TOTALS
Weight (lbs)
5,800
1,955
135
170
21
50
45
97
200
200
200
1,400
10,273
CGX (in)
52.9
132.5
125.0
145.0
102.0
-20.8
-23.3
163.0
126.0
61.3
61.3
99.0
78.8
CGY (in)
1.2
0.0
0.0
0.0
-28.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
28.0
-30.0
30.0
0.0
1.2
CGZ (in)
29.9
48.0
27.0
50.0
45.0
36.0
27.0
36.0
35.0
40.0
40.0
50.0
36.9
CGX = Distance (in.) rearward from center of front wheel.
CGY = Distance (in.) to right of vehicle centerline.
CGZ = Distance (in.) above ground line.
Figure 9 – An isolated cab mount for the REC design. They are inside, on the
windshield frame.
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The US Military has reported some problems
with damage to the front right corner of hoods.
This was usually caused by drivers who were
unfamiliar with the HUMMER’s extra width. The
grill guard designed for this project helps the
driver to better locate the right corner of the
vehicle and provides protection to the front of
the vehicle from brush and limbs. It will fold
forward, to allow the hood to open for service
(see Figure 10).
Front Bumper And Grill Guard
HUMMER units with a winch have a strong
bumper that covers about the middle one third
of the vehicle’s front. To help protect the front
corners of the vehicle, REC designed bumper
extensions that cover the width of the vehicle
(see Figure 10). Because the front wheels are
positioned far forward on the vehicle, the
bumper must provide adequate clearance for
tire movement. REC’s design is lightweight, but
proved adequate during field trials.
Figure 10 – Bumper extensions and a folding grill guard.
24-volt system. We obtained a 5 belt water
pump fan pulley that is used to drive an air
conditioner on some HMMWV ambulance
models. This provided an extra groove to drive
a 12-volt alternator. The alternator was
mounted in the space available for the air
conditioner (see Figure 11).
Rear Bumper
The rear bumper was designed to protect the
tank sump which overhangs the rear of the bed.
It was also utilized to mount a 5-gallon
aluminum foam concentrate tank.
Auxiliary 12-Volt Electric System
Commercial HUMMERS come with a 12-volt
electric system. Our prototype, however, had a
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Figure 11 – 12 Volt Alternator Mounting
Converting Military HMMWV’S to Fire Units
vehicles. They could be very useful for moving
supplies and tools into remote areas. As
mentioned earlier, tanks with volumes of less
than 200 gallons would be best positioned
between the “C” and “D” hard points. Their
center of gravity would be directly above or
slightly behind the rear axle. For most military
models, the amount of weight that can be added
to the front axle, without exceeding the front
GAWR, will be minimal.
At this writing, Military HMMWVs have not been
available from FEPP. We would not expect
vehicles through this program until about 1998.
As mentioned earlier, the M998 series HMMWV
have load capacities less than the REC
prototype unit. Tank capacity will need to be
smaller.
Table 4 shows the military
designations, weight ratings and expected
maximum water capacities for the Military
HMMWV models. The US Military assigns
weight ratings based on the needs of each
model’s mission. Because of this, different
models, with essentially the same chassis, may
have different weight ratings. Despite this,
those re-utilizing former military vehicles are
obligated to heed each individual vehicle’s
weight ratings.
The REC cab design replaces the canvas cab
found on many of the military vehicles. For
many models, the addition of the 200 pound cab
will limit additional load on the front axle. In
Table 4 we predict which military models can
add the REC bumper and grill, without
exceeding the front GAWR.
REC prepared Table 4 by combining information
obtained from AM General with estimates
calculated from design experience with its 300
gallon unit. Some of the most common models,
such as the cargo troop carrier, have load
capacities substantially less than the Heavy
HMMWV (M1097) variant. While their capacity
is low, they may be ideal patrol or command
Before adding equipment to any of these
vehicles, the user should strip the vehicle of
unnecessary military hardware and take it to
scales to determine the vehicle’s total weight
and weight on each axle. Subtract these
weights from the appropriate weight ratings of
the vehicle. This will show the maximum weight
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vehicle has standard lighting (turn signals,
clearance and identification lights). For more
information on completing the unit for wildfire
control use, see REC’s Guidelines for Designing
Forest Fire Engines. An on line version is
available at the REC web site.
that can be added without overloading. When
estimating the weight, be sure to include the
weight of the operator and passengers. Before
putting the unit in service, have it weighed again
full of water and all its equipment. It should not
exceed the weight ratings. Also, make sure the
Table 4 – Ratings and Expected Water Capacity Limits
GVWR
FAWR
RAWR
Curb
Wgt
(lbs.)
7,700
8,200
8,400
8,200
8,400
9,100
7,700
8,660
10,000
3,350
3,685
3,961
3,550
3,725
3,860
3,350
3,362
3,565
4,350
4,515
4,439
4,650
4,675
5,240
4,350
5,298
6,435
5,200
5,960
6,411
6,051
6,438
7,180
5,297
5,424
5,600
Ratings (lbs.)
Model
Designate
Winch
Model1
M998
M1025
M1043
M966
M1045
3
M997
M1035
M1037
M1097
M1038
M1026
M1044
M1036
M1046
----M1042
---
Description
Cargo Troop Carrier
Armament Carrier, Basic
Armament Carrier, Sup. Armor
TOW Missile Carrier, Basic
TOW Missile Carrier, Sup. Armor
Maxi-Ambulance
Ambulance, Soft Top
Shelter Carrier
Heavy HMMWV Variant
Est. Water
Capacity2
(gal.)
REC
Grill
100
135
160
150
160
200
100
200
300
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
1
Winch adds 127 pounds to curb weight and increases vehicle length by 6 inches.
Assumes vehicles are stripped down to base vehicle (5,200 pounds curb weight).
3
The M997 has a reduced military mission profile, the GVWR has been adjusted upward for that mission. We
recommend that it be treated as an M1037/M1042 Shelter Carrier, and have estimated the water capacity
accordingly.
2
Field Use Evaluation
taller than 6’4" will feel cramped when driving a
2 passenger model. Those taller than 6’ would
utilize more room if it were available. The
commercial 4-person cab model provides better
leg room for the driver.4
The design criteria used to develop the
HUMMER series called for a vehicle that could
handle extreme grades, off-highway obstacles,
as well as highway driving. Three years of field
experience responding to forest fires has shown
this vehicle to be exceptional as a light weight,
maneuverable, off-highway unit. During this
time we saw no sign of damage or deterioration
of the chassis and components, carrying this
relatively large load off-road.
Off-the-road, performance was exceptional.
Having the wheels at the corners provides a
relatively long wheel base and a wide track
helps with stability. The commercial version,
with the variable rate rear springs and radial
tires provide an exceptional ride, even at full
GVWR. The Central Tire Inflation System
(CTIS) allowed regulation of the air pressure to
suit any type of terrain. During our tests we
drove over washboard roads, loaded at GVWR,
at 50 miles per hour with virtually no steering
problems or discomfort to the operator. This
means that expensive components, such as
pumps, valves, radio equipment and the tank
Highway performance was more than adequate
and better than might be expected from a
military vehicle. It can top 65 MPH with a full
load. Acceleration was very adequate, although
some power loss was encountered when the
cooling fan kicks in. According to AM General,
this power loss is substantially reduced for the
commercial model. Road noise was louder and
operator comfort somewhat less than what
would be expected from more typical
commercial vehicles. The seats of the
commercial HUMMER, however, were quite
comfortable. Field trails showed that operators
4
1998 Footnote. AM General has made leg room
improvements in the more recent commercial models.
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itself experienced less vibration and jolting,
possibly saving on their wear and tear.
We did have some problems with the Central
Tire Inflation System. In general the system
performed well. Twice, while in western
climates, with high ambient temperatures, a
plastic air line routed near the exhaust, melted.
This caused the loss of air in both front tires.
This information was given to AM General and
changes were made to prevent this occurrence.
A third incident occurred with the CTIS that is
perhaps more difficult to solve. While working
on a fire, the rear air line of the vehicle was
pinched and a guard for the system damaged.
After the incident, the unit lost air pressure in
both rear tires while driving down the highway.
We feel that the CTIS lines, as designed by AM
General, were protected as well as practical, but
this last incident showed some vulnerability
when working in areas with stumps, slash, or
other obstacles. The CTIS can be disabled so
that the tires can be filled individually, in the
traditional way. A fitting was added near the air
compressor so we could use a small coiled
airline to fill any of the tires in case of any future
CTIS failures. We highly recommend adding
this auxiliary air fill hose to any CTIS unit.
Studies conducted by the US Military showed
that M998 HMMWVs could traverse a
significantly higher percentage of terrain than its
predecessors, the M151A2 Jeep, M880 5/4 Ton
Truck and Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle
(CUCV).5 6 7
The HUMMER generally looked and drove like
an automatic transmission, light duty truck.
There were some basic differences. The
powertrain was designed to utilize the engine
retardation in conjunction with the transmission
for braking. Hence, operators should use the
automatic as though it were a manual
transmission, utilizing the brake to provide final
resistance to come to a complete stop. The
brakes were also used to modulate the action of
the differential. If an operator gets in a position
where a wheel begins to slip, slight pressure to
the brake provides enough resistance to lock the
differential, giving tractive effort back to the
opposite wheel. The HUMMER was not a
difficult vehicle to drive, but operator training is
recommended to take full advantage of this
vehicle’s abilities. The AM General Corporation
has a staff which trains trainers in driving this
vehicle.
Our original tank design used a rubber insert
type fastener, called a “well nut” to hold the lid
down. This was an attempt to provide a quicker
and easier lid hold-down system. However, the
weight of the water in the steep grades of the
western states caused these fasteners to fail.
Changes in the design have been made to
rectify these problems. Also, additional cab
sealing and changes in the tank vent were
incorporated because of water leakage into the
cab. Again, this was the cab designed and
fabricated by REC.
The body of the vehicle suffered some minor
abrasions and dents from its use. All in all, the
aluminum held up well and was more durable
than typical sheet metal truck bodies. We found
no performance problems with the engine. We
did have a problem with a leak in the
transmission cooler. Also, one axle half shaft
broke during the vehicle’s tour of duty in Idaho.
In this case, a wheel lifted off the ground at high
speed. When it returned to the ground, the
torque spike broke the half shaft. This was a
single and severe incident. We found no
evidence of frequent axle failure for these
vehicles.
In general, the vehicle received a very positive
response when utilized for initial attack
purposes. It was also used to help transport
supplies on the “Foothills” fire in Idaho in 1992.
Fully loaded, the vehicle traversed dozer line
built in steep grades, delivering supplies to
areas where other available wheeled vehicles
could not go. There was a desirability, by those
utilizing it in the western states, for more
storage. This could be accommodated, of
course, by reducing the water load and building
in storage cabinets.
5
Smith, Robert P., Mobility Comparison of the High-Mobility
Multipurpose Wheel Vehicles (HMMWV) and the Commercial
Utility Cargo Vehicles (CUCV), U.S. Army Engineer
Waterways Experiment Station. Technical Report GL-83-8,
1983.
6
The M880 was essentially a commercial pickup truck much
like today’s 1-Ton commercial versions. The CUCV was a
commercial vehicle based on the Chevrolet Blazer.
7
The military units did not have radial tires or CTIS for these
tests.
At the time of testing, AM General’s dealer
network had not been established. During field
trials, repairs were made by Michigan DNR
personnel with parts support directly from AM
General in South Bend, Indiana and Livonia,
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Michigan. While operating in Nevada and
Idaho, BLM and MDNR personnel found
assistance from the National Guard. At this
time the quality of dealer service is unclear, but
a dealer network has been established. Those
who utilize military vehicles probably have
shops or sources for repair. Others will need to
rely on the dealers.
Costs8 and Specifications
The base cost of the 2-door commercial
HUMMER chassis is about $40,000. The final
cost will depend on options. Major options that
wildland fire users may wish to consider are a
12,000 pound winch, central tire inflation system
(CTIS), run flat tire system, driveline protection
and brush and stone guards. The vehicle
comes in 2-person and 4-person cabs.
vehicle. A quick run-down on these options
follow.
Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS)
A vehicle’s tires act as springs, affecting the
ride. Adjusting the air pressure in the tires
changes the spring rate. CTIS should be
considered for those vehicles that will spend a
lot of time off-highway, since it can help protect
valuable equipment on the vehicle by reducing
load shock. Additionally, greater traction can be
gained by having a bigger footprint. CTIS does
add some additional maintenance and
complexity to the system. Consider this option
if your vehicle faces situations of very poor
traction or rough terrain. The expected cost for
CTIS will be about $2400.
The only lifetime cost study between the
HUMMER and other commercial chassis was
done for a fire department type initial attack
vehicle.9 The study concluded what we believe
will be a similar case in wildland fire. Compared
to commercial 1-Ton pickup units, the initial cost
of a HUMMER was about twice as much;
however, the expected lifetime was two to three
times that of the pickup chassis unit. This
results in a long term cost savings by reducing
the number of chassis needing replacement,
plus the cost of outfitting the vehicle with pump
and tank. Military style vehicles are produced
with few changes over a longer period of time
than commercial chassis. For users such as fire
control, who have low annual usage but long
lifetime vehicles, this continuity means better
parts availability when the vehicle gets older. It
also means a reduction in fire apparatus design
changes
caused
by
chassis
design
obsolescence.
The highway abilities of
commercial 1-Ton chassis and HUMMER are
about the same, but the HUMMER will have
substantially better off-road capability and twice
the off-road payload capacity. These reasons
more than justify the HUMMER’s high up front
costs for off-highway use.
Winch
A 12,000 pound electrical winch is offered by
AM General. During field trials, the winch was
not needed to recover the vehicle. The
HUMMER, of course, can get stuck and we did
experience this during training. When this
vehicle does get stuck it may not be in a
convenient place for another type of vehicle to
reach.
The winch option would add
approximately $2000 to the price.
Run Flat Tire System
A run flat tire system is available for the
HUMMER. Run flats are a rubber, inner ring,
mounted on the wheel rims inside the tires.
These were developed for the military to allow a
vehicle with a flat to “limp” at up to 30 MPH
back to safety. The cost varies, depending on
whether CTIS is installed. We did not test this
system.
The commercial HUMMER has options that may
be of interest to forest fire control. These
should be considered before ordering the
8
Cost estimates from 1993.
Ciarula, Thomas A., A Cost Analysis and Feasibility Study of
Using an US Army XM1097 (Heavy HUMMER) Chassis to
Build an Initial Attack Fire Apparatus: MSA-685, Central
Michigan University, 1991.
Brush and Stone Guard
9
These guards for the front grill area of the
vehicle are available for about $250. These do
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not give as much protection as those designed
by REC, but may be adequate for some users.
Additional protection to the rocker panel is
available. We did not evaluate this option.
Driveline Protection
Special Equipment Applications Guide
Our unit came with this option, but was removed
prior to testing. The driveline protection is a
relatively light weight, tubular, grid work that will
protect some of the underbody components
from obstacles such as logs or rocks. We felt,
that in the heavy eastern fuels, it could catch
and drive debris up and into components,
causing more problems than it solved The cost
is about $1000 but, in our opinion, underbody
components of the vehicle are well placed and
elevated to avoid damage from off-road
obstacles. We do not think these are
necessary. Those who operate primarily in
rocky areas may wish to make their own
evaluation.
This publication lists important vehicle data. It
includes
weights,
dimensions,
electrical
diagrams and other information useful to those
modifying the vehicle for special purposes. This
book will save the modifier time and provide
information necessary for a proper design. It is
highly recommended. The cost will be small.
Cab Style
The vehicle is offered in 2 and 4 person cabs.
The 4-door will cost about $2000 more than the
2-door. The 4-door cab will reduce the payload
by the weight of the additional occupants, but
more importantly, will reduce the amount of
space available for adding equipment.
Rocker Panel Protection
Summary
a commercial HUMMER unit will overload most
military units.
REC is well familiar with the current line up of
commercial 4x4 commercial (pickup) trucks.
The AM General HUMMER was evaluated in
part to compare its performance to that of the
commercial pickup chassis; there is little
comparison. With the constant full load
situation of a fire vehicle, we believe the life
expectancy of the HUMMER will be at least
twice that of a commercial 1-Ton 4x4. The
water capacity will also be approximately twice
as much.
The mobility and off-road
performance, primarily because of the
HUMMER’s underbody clearance, will be much
more than other vehicles of its size. But, these
come at a price: the user will pay twice the cost
for the base chassis.
Our test HUMMER was utilized primarily as an
initial attack water unit. It also had utility as an
off-road mop-up unit, by combining the 300
gallon water capacity with a Class A foam
system. It was excellent for use as a patrol
vehicle and for carrying supplies in off-road
situations.
The low profile design made this vehicle
extremely stable and allowed it to drive
underneath
many
tree
canopies
and
obstructions. Military studies found that the
HUMMER could traverse significantly more
terrain than its predecessor Jeep, M-880 or
Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle. The radial
tires and CTIS on our test unit enhanced the
mobility over standard bias ply military
HMMWVs.
The user should be aware of the differences
between the commercial HUMMER and military
HMMWV chassis. Besides having a 12-volt
electrical system and a sedan style cab, the
commercial unit has differences in power train,
springs, and body construction to increase its
payload. Those converting military vehicles to
fire units should heed the GVWR labels for that
vehicle. Fire apparatus designed to fully utilize
Despite its design for off-highway performance,
this vehicle performed more than adequately on
the highway. It is probably the best lightweight
off-highway wheeled vehicle available today. In
many ways, it reminds us of the Dodge Power
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The differences come mostly in style and space
available for placing equipment.
Wagon of old. The 1960 vintage Power
Wagons are still used by many as the yardstick
of what a forest fire control vehicle should be.
The capacity of the commercial HUMMER rivals
that of the old Power Wagon.
Its
maneuverability and off-highway performance is
better than that of the Power Wagon. We
expect its durability to compare very favorably.
While for many agencies, initial chassis cost will
be a definite negative factor, the HUMMER
comes highly recommended, based on our
experience, for the tasks listed above.
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Appendix A
Specifications for AM General’s Heavy HUMMER®
With Michigan DNR Wildland Engine Package*
Base Vehicle (as delivered):
Type: Cargo/Troop Carrier with Winch and Soft Top 2-Person Cab
Modifications form standard military vehicle:
Winch capacity: 12,000 Lbs.
Upgraded Gross Weight Rating to 10,300 Lbs.
Central Tire Inflation System (CTIES)
Radial Ply Tires
Keyed Ignition
Hard Doors (basic armor type)
Non-Military Light Switch (headlight)
FMVSS Lighting
Michigan DNR Modifications:
Operator and Vehicle Protection:
Steel 2-person cab
Front bumper extensions (extend existing bumper to width of vehicle)
Rear bumper added \Grill guard
Water Tank:
Capacity: 300 gal.
Material: Mild steel with aluminum cover, galvanized interior
Mounting: Tank suspended on a 3-point shock isolated system to minimize affect of the
vehicle’s frame flexure
Water Handling (with capability to draft):
Pump: Wajax Model BB-4
Type: Gasoline engine driven 4-stage centrifugal
Performance:
PSI
50
100
150
GPM
110
105
90
200
80
250
70
300
56
Hose Reel: Hannay 6024-19-21
Two hose reels mounted to allow access form each side of the vehicle 24-volt electric
rewind.
Foam System (for Class ”A” foam)
Proportioner: KK “PROportioner”
Nozzle: Air aspirated type
Concentrate Reservoir: 6 gal. 6061 aluminum tank mounted at rear of vehicle
Electric:
12-volt auxiliary system to operate radios, siren, rotating beacon, pump engine starting,
auxiliary lighting, and foam proportioner. Charging system, belt driven 85 amp.
Alternator.
*
The Michigan DNR purchased an early prototype of the commercial “Heavy HUMMER”. This base vehicle was a modified M998
military vehicle with upgraded load capacity. Some, but not all, of the commercial HUMMER features were incorporated into this unit.
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