This paper examines specific design characteristics of the new 5 ton tactical truck M656. This vehicle will serve a multitude of purposes such as cargo truck, personnel carrier, and prime mover for missiles and artillery. The M656 was developed with an eye toward specific requirements which had to be met in the areas of reliability, durability, mobility, and ease of maintenance. Human factors incorporated in the design provide for ease of operator control, maximum driver safety, and comfort.
Reviewed in detail are factors considered in development of the powerplant assembly, cab design, drive train, suspension systems, and steering assembly. By designing the M656 from the start to military specifications, a new generation of tactical trucks was developed. By this direct approach the military was able to acquire a vehicle that had swimming capability, air transport feasibility, severe off-road operating ability, and extended maintenance intervals.