GMC/Boeing LGM-30A "Minuteman I" Transporter, Photo by Hill Aerospace Museum
My Photo Album of this Truck.
A unique vehicle, the GMC/Boeing Transporter/Erector Loader semitrailer, was used to transport
the Minuteman I missile and emplace/remove it at the launch facility. The container was
sixty-five feet long, ten feet wide, thirteen feet tall, and contained 8,030 cubic feet of
interior space. It weighed 24,700 pounds when empty and cost just under $700,000. It was
environmentally controlled by the tractor when on the road and by the onboard air conditioner
when stored. Power to operate the trailer when emplacing/removing the missile also came from
the tractor. This particular Transporter/Erector Semitrailer was pulled by a specially-designed
1963 GMC tractor. The container could also be used (without the tractor) to transport the
missile by rail. This one can be viewed at Hill Aerospace Museum, be sure the check out all
the displayed on their website and view the Hill Aerospace Museum when your in Utah.
Evan McCausland found this Minuteman Missile Transporter truck at Ellsworth Air Force Base in
South Dakota, Just outside Rapid City. The base is known for it's stationing of the B1-B bombers,
& has small tours overlooking the planes, & into an old missile silo. There is a decent-sized
Museum at the entrance to the Base, which is where the tours are based from. The GMC Minuteman
Missile Transporter truck is parked outside, in surprisingly decent condition, as the photo shows.
The worst looking part overall was the interior, but considering it probabally was never restored,
it looks to be in decent condition. I believe this cab was slightly based upon the old 72 inch Steel
Tilt cab L-Model trucks, many of the interior components came straight from that truck
(e.g. dashboard, steering column, etc.). Some More photos & info about the Minuteman Missile
Transporter Truck can be found at the ELLSWORTH AFB Website.
This unique highway Tractor was developed by GMC Truck & Coach Division to provide the power to haul
Minuteman ICBM's to underground Launching pads. Built under a development sub-contract with Boeing
Airplane Company, the unique vehicle, consisting of a four axle tractor & three axle missile trailer
features a low silhouette design concept & such innovations as V12 engine power, air conditioning & air
suspension. GMC's contract covers only the tractor-trailer unit, with other sub-contractors
furnishing the missile container & erecting devices that completes the missile transporter-erector.
"As the transporter must haul extremely intricate & sensitive equipment," said Calvin J. Werner, Vice
President of General Motors & General Manager of GMC Truck & Coach, "It was agreed that we should
cushion the load with the same type air suspension that has worked so effectively in millions of
miles of commercial truck & coach operations."
"Another important consideration was the powerplant, as the unit must haul over 100,000 pounds Gross
Combination Weight when fully loaded. Our commercial vehicles again provided the key to the power
factor, with the new GMC Twin-Six gasoline truck engine supplying the torque & horsepower
necessary to transport the vehicle & its payload"
Powered by the 275 horsepower Twin-Six, the transporter transmits this driving
traction to the road through two or three rear axles. Its other components
include a five-speed main transmission & a two speed auxiliary.
Thirteen inches off the road, the transporter is only six feet high, permitting the
missile container to project over the cab roof. This reduces overall vehicle
length & increases vehicle maneuverability.
By being a wheeled unit, the transporter has a wide degree of flexibility, permitting it
to use the nation's vast network of highways to transport missiles to underground launching
silos. Upon arrival at the silo, the missile container is raised hydraulically, permitting the
missile to slip into the silo.
Development of a highly versatile family of medium-duty tactical military trucks that can
transport troops & cargo either on land or through water was announced on July 12,
1960, by Calvin J. Werner, Vice President of General Motors & General Manager of
GMC Truck & Coach Division.
The prototypes, a 6x6 & an 8x8, were demonstrated at a special press showing at General
Motors Proving Grounds. The vehicles are being developed under one of three contracts
awarded by the Detroit Army Ordnance District in cooperation with the Ordnance Tank
These new floatable trucks represent a major advancement in troop & cargo transport,
as they bring together in one vehicle family entirely new engineering & design concepts.
Among the innovations are V6 Detroit Diesel Powerplants, all aluminum cabs & cargo
bodies, & heavy-duty chassis components with interchangeability with \in the family. A
principal design objective was the elimination of service or repair over long operating
intervals. For example, the need for chassis lubrication has been eliminated, in many cases
by use of Teflon bearing material; the air cleaner will go many miles without requiring
attention; the brakes are sealed & ventilated; the universal joints are permanently
lubricated; & there are no engine belts to replace or maintain.
The 6x6, capable of hauling a three & a half ton payload, has driving traction in its four
rear & two front wheels. The 8x8, a five ton load carries, has four driving wheel at the
rear & four at the front.
Rubber sealed aluminum cabs & cargo bodies permit both vehicles to float over water as
well as run cross-country on land. When afloat, the vehicles are propelled by the rotation of
the wheels & are steered conventionally by front wheel positions. A propeller drive &
rudder also are available by kit installation.
On land, the units can be placed in all-wheel drive or just rear-wheel drive by a simple, one
lever control. With all wheels under power, the carries can negotiate 60% grades, & have
high mobility over mud, snow & sand. Special desert-tread tires give the vehicles a high
degree of floatation over rough terrain & add to their buoyancy in water.
Fourteen men can be seated in the 6x6 & sixteen in the 8x8. Seats may be removed, giving
an unobstructed cargo compartment. Cubic capacity to the top of the cargo body is
approximately 180 cubic feet in the 6x6, & 250 cubic feet in the 8x8. With its welded
aluminum cab & cargo body, buoyancy is designed into each vehicle without resorting to
use of floatation materials that might interfere with body repairs or maintenance.
The powerplant is a Detroit Diesel 6V53 capable of putting out 190 gross horsepower.
Power is run through a four-speed synchromesh transmission with two-speed clutch.
Interchangeable Traction-equalizer axles permit the wheel to utilize 70% of torque input.
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