Mar 302011

A few days back, I saw this in the parking lot of a local restaurant. I’ve never seen this piece of military hardware before, so I took some photos. As I was doing so, the truck driver came out and I asked him about it; he said that he was told it’s an “M90 High Speed Tractor.” Googling finds no reference to such a thing. Anyone know for sure what this is?

UPDATE: Thanks to the very first comment, this is, in fact, an “M9 ACE (armored combat earthmover).” I guess the driver misheard M9 as M90.

It’s clearly an earthmover, but it’s an odd one. It has a small bulldozer-like blade up front for scooping dirt, but right behind that is a large bin to hold the dirt. It also has scrapers on the underside. The thing was slowly settling… the driver said he had to ratchet down the chains every few dozen miles since the hydraulic suspension was slowly lowering.

If I’d had more time/been paying better attention, I would’ve gotten a closer shot of this:

 Posted by at 10:01 pm
  • allen T
  • Jim

    I want one just so I could have this conversation:

    Cop: “Pull over!”

    Me: “Make me!”


  • kbob42

    I remember hearing about the development of these things and all the problems. Several MILES of hydraulic lines, a hatch too heavy for one man to lift. Things like that. My battalion has a couple, I have never seen them leave the motor pool.

  • allen T

    I remember the problem with them being that they have a single crewmember…the driver…and they’re unarmed.

    shortly after the army started using them there was talk about issuing them to the Seabees and the marine combat engineers..but neither wanted them.

  • Michael Holt

    Blade and a bin for the dirt? Just the thing to clean up after a radiation spill.

  • mike robel

    The reason there is the bin behind the blade is two fold. 1. It was “supposed” to hold and Engineer Squad! 2. Since it was too light to really do heavy dozing, the things scoops up dirt into the bin to make it work better.

    It can dig a tank fighting position about twice as fast as a D-9. In fact, with D-9s you were supposed to use two. One to dig and one to move the spill around.

  • Ben

    G. I. Joe is there!!!

    I swear this looks like something from the ’80’s G.I. Joe toy line.

  • admin

    Just stick on a laser cannon, and you’re there.

  • Pat Flannery

    “Attention. Attention. Friday night’s movie will be The Glory Brigade. Rock’em sock’em kisses you never got. It’s Uncle Sam’s combat engineers charging side by side with Greek hand bags. Showing the world a new way to fight as they use bulldozers like bazookas, bayonnets like bazook – bullets. Starring Victor Mature. That is all.”