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Armor/AFV
For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
Unditching beams
pigsty
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 09:08 AM UTC
Cam anyone tell me how unditching beams work? I've been trying to work out for years how you can use 200lb of wood to winkle forty tons of tank out of the mire, and it just defeats me.
Frenchy
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 10:26 AM UTC
Maybe this picture can help (sorry I didn't find a more recent tank )

The beam is supposed to give an extra bit of grip to traverse muddy or soft area...And the pictured beam can even make a full rotation around the Mark IV hull thanks to the angle irons welded to the hull top.

HTH
Frenchy

210cav
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 10:31 AM UTC
Nice idea as long as no one is shooting at you. They may have practicality for getting you out of a (small) ditch. Theoretically, it should provide the vehicle more tension to get out of a hole. I am not a big believer in this methodology, if there is one. Give me an M-88 and I'll get out of any mud pond I fall into. Having said that, the log does look nice on the rear of my Russian models.
Tankleader
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 11:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Nice idea as long as no one is shooting at you. They may have practicality for getting you out of a (small) ditch. Theoretically, it should provide the vehicle more tension to get out of a hole. I am not a big believer in this methodology, if there is one. Give me an M-88 and I'll get out of any mud pond I fall into. Having said that, the log does look nice on the rear of my Russian models.



Problem is that even with an M88 you have to expose yourself to make the connections and your still dead meat. There isn't an automatic device yet that really works. I remember when our cousins from across the pond came to Camp Pendleton to sell us the ACE, they had a rocket attached for this very purpose. The only thing the rocket ever did was launch and snap the cable/rope. Made very cool fireworks.


Andy
Drader
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Wales, United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 11:41 AM UTC
DJ - the cab at the back end of the fighting compartment of the Mark V tank was intended to allow the crew to attach the unditching beam while under some sort of cover. Mark IV crews had no option but to go outside.

Andreas - when you say ACE we say CET

http://www2.army.mod.uk/equipment/ese/ese_cet.htm

David
Grizz30_06
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 12:10 PM UTC
I sort of sunk a small track hoe in a swamp and had to use small trees (man portable) to get it out. It was interesting that a 3 ton machine won't sink if you put a few large saplings under it, surface tension and all. So a tree helpping a multi-ton vehicle out of some mud is not a really stretch of the imagination.

Grizz
Sabot
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 12:30 PM UTC
When the beam is traveling under the tank, it helps break suction if the tank is mired in sticky mud. It also provides traction for the tracks to grab and pull itself out of slick mud. Sort of the same concept as snow chain on a tire.
210cav
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 12:35 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Nice idea as long as no one is shooting at you. They may have practicality for getting you out of a (small) ditch. Theoretically, it should provide the vehicle more tension to get out of a hole. I am not a big believer in this methodology, if there is one. Give me an M-88 and I'll get out of any mud pond I fall into. Having said that, the log does look nice on the rear of my Russian models.



Problem is that even with an M88 you have to expose yourself to make the connections and your still dead meat. There isn't an automatic device yet that really works. I remember when our cousins from across the pond came to Camp Pendleton to sell us the ACE, they had a rocket attached for this very purpose. The only thing the rocket ever did was launch and snap the cable/rope. Made very cool fireworks.


Andy



Andy-- true, how true!
Stay safe
DJ
Tankleader
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 12:41 PM UTC

Quoted Text

DJ - the cab at the back end of the fighting compartment of the Mark V tank was intended to allow the crew to attach the unditching beam while under some sort of cover. Mark IV crews had no option but to go outside.

Andreas - when you say ACE we say CET

http://www2.army.mod.uk/equipment/ese/ese_cet.htm

David



Yep, since were are posting links check this out


Andy
210cav
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 02:20 PM UTC
Good Lord, Andy, the only time that damn thing worked was in the PR photos.
Bratushka
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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 10:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Give me an M-88 and I'll get out of any mud pond I fall into.



yep, especially the mo-gas powered 1000 HP double supercharged fuel injected aircooled continental V-12 fired one! (3 speed allison crossdrive transmission with neutral steer of course) i was soooooooo glad ours didn't get swapped out for the diesel flavor like the rest of the company's 88s in the battallion did. there was just something very cool about those two blue jet like flames out the back. (besides heating water in jerry cans set on the exhaust deflector so we could have hot showers in the field) but, of course at .5 mpg it was not the most economical of beasts.... and if people needed you they were always happy to see you rumble up.

pigsty
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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 04:28 AM UTC

Quoted Text

When the beam is traveling under the tank, it helps break suction if the tank is mired in sticky mud. It also provides traction for the tracks to grab and pull itself out of slick mud. Sort of the same concept as snow chain on a tire.



Ah-ha! So it's traction rather than leverage ... that makes sense. Ta v much. We now return you to the scheduled discussion of the fuel economy of the M88 ...
Bratushka
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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 06:38 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

When the beam is traveling under the tank, it helps break suction if the tank is mired in sticky mud. It also provides traction for the tracks to grab and pull itself out of slick mud. Sort of the same concept as snow chain on a tire.



Ah-ha! So it's traction rather than leverage ... that makes sense. Ta v much. We now return you to the scheduled discussion of the fuel economy of the M88 ...



aww hell, give an old crippled guy a break and let me enjoy my reveries.
210cav
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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 07:14 AM UTC
I always wonder how the Grizzly compares to the M-88.....anyone have some thoughts?
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 08:43 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

When the beam is traveling under the tank, it helps break suction if the tank is mired in sticky mud. It also provides traction for the tracks to grab and pull itself out of slick mud. Sort of the same concept as snow chain on a tire.



Ah-ha! So it's traction rather than leverage ... that makes sense. Ta v much. We now return you to the scheduled discussion of the fuel economy of the M88 ...

Yes, you use the tow cables to tie the beam to the tracks. Now instead of the tracks just spinning in the mud like a car tire in the snow, the beam starts to travel under the tank, giving the tracks something to grip as the tank attempts to move forward.

It is used for self recovery, when another tank or recovery vehicle is not available to pull.

Page 5-4 of the recovery manual shows how it is done:
https://akocomm.us.army.mil/usapa/doctrine/DR_pubs/dr_aa/pdf/fm4_30x31.pdf
210cav
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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 09:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

When the beam is traveling under the tank, it helps break suction if the tank is mired in sticky mud. It also provides traction for the tracks to grab and pull itself out of slick mud. Sort of the same concept as snow chain on a tire.



Ah-ha! So it's traction rather than leverage ... that makes sense. Ta v much. We now return you to the scheduled discussion of the fuel economy of the M88 ...

Yes, you use the tow cables to tie the beam to the tracks. Now instead of the tracks just spinning in the mud like a car tire in the snow, the beam starts to travel under the tank, giving the tracks something to grip as the tank attempts to move forward.

It is used for self recovery, when another tank or recovery vehicle is not available to pull.

Page 5-4 of the recovery manual shows how it is done:
https://akocomm.us.army.mil/usapa/doctrine/DR_pubs/dr_aa/pdf/fm4_30x31.pdf



Well that beats the hell out of using a log! Now how good is the Grizzly?
Bratushka
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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 01:53 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

When the beam is traveling under the tank, it helps break suction if the tank is mired in sticky mud. It also provides traction for the tracks to grab and pull itself out of slick mud. Sort of the same concept as snow chain on a tire.



Ah-ha! So it's traction rather than leverage ... that makes sense. Ta v much. We now return you to the scheduled discussion of the fuel economy of the M88 ...

Yes, you use the tow cables to tie the beam to the tracks. Now instead of the tracks just spinning in the mud like a car tire in the snow, the beam starts to travel under the tank, giving the tracks something to grip as the tank attempts to move forward.

It is used for self recovery, when another tank or recovery vehicle is not available to pull.

Page 5-4 of the recovery manual shows how it is done:
https://akocomm.us.army.mil/usapa/doctrine/DR_pubs/dr_aa/pdf/fm4_30x31.pdf



got a warning there was a problem with the site's security certificate and a warning it may be unsafe to proceed to the site. i tried anyway and got a 401 error message, access denied. it said it is a restricted site requiring a user id and password. we're still recovering (no pun intended) from the massive flooding that hit us a couple weeks ago and power and internet service has been spotty as well as on and off since. is this a restricted site or might it be something on my end?

Followup: same result from my computer at work.
Bratushka
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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 02:31 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I always wonder how the Grizzly compares to the M-88.....anyone have some thoughts?



i thought the recovery version of the vehicle was called a husky or something like that and the grizzly was more an MG armed transport. i don't know that there would be much of a fair comparison because it's wheeled vs. tracked. it's been over 30 years since i got out of the Army, but I remember the 88 had a main winch that could pull 90,000 + pounds 1:1 and the folding A frame crane could lift -again, this is ancient memory- 16,000 pounds with 4:1 rigged winch. It weighed 56 tons wet so there was a lot of weight to pull against when winching something.

a few of my more memorable experiences with an 88 included rescuing the command track version of an M113 APC that was sunk during deep water fording exercises. we also recovered a large bulldozer that went off an embankment into a lake one of the engineer battallions maintained. after getting it loaded on the transport, the driver tried to do a wide U turn on the same embankment and almost lost the truck trailer and dozer back into the lake. we towed him out. in Germany we had a call where a 109 was being transported on a trailer and hadn't been properly secured. the driver was going way too fast, came up on a tight S turn. the track shifted and came partially off the trailer pinnin down a jeep passing the other direction with the track. the jeep actually kept the 109 from coming completely off the trailer. we also had a fully loaded fuel tank trailer come uncoupled from its tractor and stuck its front support legs all the way into the ground. two 88s lifted the trailer back up so another tractor could back up and couple to it. as far as a display of sheer power we once towed a pair of M60s in from the field. it got a lot of looks. if the vehicle you mean is what i think it is, i don't think it would have been able to have pulled some of these off without help.

we used to clean the ranges once in awhile as well working with a DOD team which was intense. they would walk forward looking for dud rounds then creep us forward. when they found something we'd have to get out and go off some distance and lay behind a ridge or embankment while they moved the round. that was the one scary thing about an 88, sitting on 450 gallons of gasoline, umpteen gallons of hydraulic oil, plus the huge amount of oil in the motor and transmission.

the saddest mission ever was recovering a vehicle -i don't remember the designation but it may have been called GORE that the Army was getting around '75. they were about the size of road construction earthmover machines. they had really tall tires, well over 6 feet tall, the bodies were very wide and the nose was very steeply angled down to the front of the forward tire wheelwells. i remember seeing two versions, a tanker and a transport/cargo type. the side profile was completely flat. the crew sat up pretty high in them and as i recall they were visible from just above the waist up. when operating on pavement the truck would begin rocking front to rear and would almost look like it was going to start bouncing hard enough for the tires to leave the ground. the wreck we were called on had that exact thing happen. the bouncing caused the driver to lose control flipping it over onto its top after which it slid for some distance down the road. the driver and co driver were killed. there may have been a third crew member. once rigged the MPs made us stay buttoned up inside until they had cleared the bodies. the flat profile trapped them in the crew area like flies in a jar once it was upside down. it isn't hard to imagine the mess it made. that one still bothers me. at least they were exempted from traveling pavement unless absolutely necessary after that and restriced to very low speed. i'm not sure whatever they were that they even went into wide scale use. i never did see all that many of them and never saw one anyplace else other than that base. if anybody can remember what this vehicle was i wouldn't mind a memory jog about it.

so long way around there is no way to compare an 88 to a grizzly or husky or whatever they called it.


EDIT: sorry- i thought you meant an AVGP Grizzly and obviously you meant an M1 Grizzly which i have never seen in person.
Sabot
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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 05:23 PM UTC
DJ, the Grizzly is a replacement for the M728 CEV and not the M88. The current M88 is the M88A2 HERCULES. Kind of like comparing apples to oranges.
AikinutNY
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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 07:47 PM UTC
The Grizzly has a back hoe arm for digging and a dozer blade/mine plow, more of an engineering vehicle than recovery.
Frenchy
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Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008 - 01:43 AM UTC

Quoted Text

the saddest mission ever was recovering a vehicle -i don't remember the designation but it may have been called GORE that the Army was getting around '75. they were about the size of road construction earthmover machines. they had really tall tires, well over 6 feet tall, the bodies were very wide and the nose was very steeply angled down to the front of the forward tire wheelwells. i remember seeing two versions, a tanker and a transport/cargo type.



M520 GOER :

Other variants :
M553 Truck, Wrecker, 10-ton 4x4
M559 Truck, Fuel Servicing, 2500 gal 4x4
M877 Truck, Cargo, 8 ton 4x4 W/Crane
More info on Olive-drab.com

HTH

Frenchy
Bratushka
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Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008 - 04:28 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

the saddest mission ever was recovering a vehicle -i don't remember the designation but it may have been called GORE that the Army was getting around '75. they were about the size of road construction earthmover machines. they had really tall tires, well over 6 feet tall, the bodies were very wide and the nose was very steeply angled down to the front of the forward tire wheelwells. i remember seeing two versions, a tanker and a transport/cargo type.



M520 GOER :

Other variants :
M553 Truck, Wrecker, 10-ton 4x4
M559 Truck, Fuel Servicing, 2500 gal 4x4
M877 Truck, Cargo, 8 ton 4x4 W/Crane
More info on Olive-drab.com

HTH

Frenchy



that looks like the beast. i thought the nose was a bit pointier and the flat part of the grille (?) wasn't quite so prominent. the ones we had at Ft Riley, as i remember, were more solid bodied and i thought the sides were continuous. i don't remember the articulated part in the middle. more like a DUKW solid bodies and angled like that at the nose. the only way you could tell the differentce between the tanker and the cargo version was the tanker was slightly different in side profile where you could see the rounded edgesof the tank and some vents and caps along the top. for some reason they reminded me of something that would be more at home at an airport fire and rescue service. i wonder if we may have been testing some initial or special version or something? it may be just the passage of time and way too much fun during the 1980s has colored my memory. in old biker guy terms, the older i get, the faster i was. you are quite the encylopedia of military vehicles! it's very cool you don't mind sharing your knowledge and taking the time to share it.
Frenchy
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Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008 - 05:02 AM UTC
Thanks for the kind words Jim,but I don't deserve them. I just have a long list of bookmarked reference websites . While looking for GOER pics, I've noticed that some test vehicles and prototypes had a different cab. :


Other pics on Panzerbaer.de

Frenchy
Bratushka
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Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008 - 05:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for the kind words Jim,but I don't deserve them. I just have a long list of bookmarked reference websites . While looking for GOER pics, I've noticed that some test vehicles and prototypes had a different cab. :


Other pics on Panzerbaer.de

Frenchy



aww, sure you deserve them. all over this site if someone asks what a vehicle is you seem to come up with the answer. as henry Ford once said, i may not know all the answers but i know where to find them!

and that one looks much more like the ones i remember. i don't know how big Ft Riley was/is in acres but i know there were miles and miles of tank trails and open country and it bordered on a Corps of Engineers lake/reservoir. it would have been a good testing ground. i think it may have been the supply and transport folks who had them as i used to pass the engineer battallion motor pool on my way in to work and 63rd armour on my way out and i don't remember seeing them there. i was in 701 maintenance and we didn't have them.
210cav
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Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008 - 07:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text

DJ, the Grizzly is a replacement for the M728 CEV and not the M88. The current M88 is the M88A2 HERCULES. Kind of like comparing apples to oranges.



Ok, I hit the floor and did 25 good push-ups. It must be the Hercules is the new recovery vehicle.
DJ

PS Gimme one break a year, I am aging.