A significant part of army armored vehicles needs special means of transportation, which are necessary to transport them over long distances. Transportation of tanks and other combat vehicles is carried out using special tractors and semi-trailers with sufficient carrying capacity. The Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant offers several complexes for this purpose at once, one of which is the MZKT-742960 + 820400 road train. A carrying capacity of 56 tons and a large cargo area allow him to transport a tank or two infantry fighting vehicles at once.
Currently, the product catalog of the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant contains several road trains based on different truck tractors and semitrailers. Vehicles with different characteristics, including remarkably high ones, are capable of covering a wide range of payload masses. At the same time, the Volat MZKT-742960 + 820400 road train, suitable for use in the armed forces of different countries, can be considered one of the most interesting developments.
It is curious that the project of the MZKT-742960 + 820400 road train was considered from the very beginning as an export project. Moreover, it was even developed by order of a third country. The customer for the new equipment was the Angolan armed forces, which needed modern vehicles for transporting armored vehicles of various types. In the course of the execution of this order, a new tractor with sufficient characteristics was created, built with a wide use of foreign products and components.
Like other road trains of the Volat trademark or other manufacturers, the MZKT-742960 + 820400 system consists of two main components. The main thing is the so-called. the main link in the form of the MZKT-742960 truck tractor. On the fifth wheel of such a tractor, the pivot of a special MZKT-820400 semitrailer is fixed. The functions of the road train links are traditional. The tractor is responsible for movement, and the entire payload is located on the semitrailer.
The MZKT-742960 + 820400 project was developed several years ago under an export agreement and then entered into the plant's product catalog. In 2015, the basic tractor MZKT-742960 underwent modernization, which increased its potential as an army vehicle. The updated car received the ability to install additional armor on the cockpit. In addition, the conditions for the crew inside the cockpit have been improved.
To achieve the desired characteristics of the road train, the MZKT-742960 truck tractor received an appropriate design. It is a four-axle all-wheel drive vehicle of high cross-country ability, built on the basis of a massive frame, with an engine located under the cab. The project also provided for the use of a winch for working with cargo, a set of connectors for connecting semitrailer systems, etc.
The main unit of the MZKT-742960 tractor is a welded metal frame of a spar type with cross members. In its front part, at the level of the power elements, the engine and part of the transmission units are located. Also, between the side members, in other parts of the frame, a transfer case, differentials, etc. are placed. A cockpit was placed above the engine compartment. There are some power plant auxiliaries behind the cab. A winch was installed behind them. The entire rear half of the frame is designed as an open area with a fifth wheel in the center.
The engine compartment of the tractor houses a German-made Deutz BF 8M1015C diesel engine, which develops power up to 544 hp. The engine is mated to an Allison 4500 automatic transmission with six forward and one reverse speeds. The engine air supply and radiator are located outside the chassis and behind the cab. So, the cooling system received a small polygonal body, which stands separately at the starboard side of the vehicle.
After the gearbox, the torque is fed to the two-stage transfer case. All four axles of the machine are driven and equipped with central gearboxes with a differential system. The latter have a self-locking function. Through a semi-axial cardan shaft, the central gear is connected to the planetary wheel gear. The wheels of the first two axles are steerable, which affected the design of their axles.
The MZKT-742960 chassis received a four-axle undercarriage with large-diameter wheels suitable for off-road travel. The axes are spaced at different intervals. The largest is the distance between the second and third wheels of each side. The first gap is smaller, and a minimum distance is provided in front of the fourth axis. Fuel tanks are placed in the increased gaps between the second and third wheels of each side. The front wheels are covered from above with a full arch. There are only two pairs of shields above the hind ones.
The two front axles of the chassis are equipped with independent torsion bar suspension. The rear axles are equipped with a spring-balanced suspension based on a pair of levers. The undercarriage has a set of braking devices. Shoe brakes with pneumohydraulic control are used. There are also spare, parking and hydrodynamic brakes. The pneumatic line of the tractor braking system can be connected to the corresponding means of the semitrailer. Single wheels with wide-profile tires with a cross-country tread are used. Tire size - 23, 5-25 or 23, 5R25. The wheels are connected to a centralized pressure control system.
The tractor is equipped with a spare wheel, but its dimensions and weight required the vehicle to be equipped with special equipment. "Zapaska" is transported on the starboard side of the tractor, next to the winch. The large and heavy wheel is lifted to the bindings and lowered to the ground using a compact crane with a small slewing jib.
In the front part of the chassis, on its own shock absorbers, a crew cabin is installed, built of metal on the basis of a supporting frame. The cab is considerably narrower than the main part of the chassis, which gives the tractor a distinctive and recognizable appearance. The cab contours are formed by several large rectangular planes; the number of bevels and fillets is minimal. The cab is made in two rows and is equipped with seven places for the crew, including the driver's workplace. If necessary, the four rear row seats are converted into two berths. The cab is equipped with air conditioning.
At the request of the customer, the existing unprotected crew compartment can be supplemented with armor, fastenings for which are present on the frame and panels. At the same time, standard glasses are replaced with protected blocks. In the basic configuration, the cab of the tractor also has the means for the use of the crew's personal weapons.
The cab of the MZKT-742960 tank tractor provides the driver and other crew members with a good view. There is a large vertically bound windshield and two pairs of maximum size windows on the side doors. To observe the road, you should also use a pair of large rear-view mirrors, placed on the frames from the sides. Entry into the cab is provided by two pairs of doors that occupy almost the entire area of the doors. The front doors open forward in the direction of travel, the rear doors open backward. Due to the high height of the machine, under the doors on the body there are steps with an extended L-shaped step.
The cab is equipped with a set of lighting equipment required for road trains and other large equipment. Three orange lights are installed above the windshield. A pair of large beacons of the same color are mounted on the roof of the cab. The standard set of headlights is located on the front and rear bumpers.
For some loading and other work, a truck tractor from the Minsk plant can use a winch located on the middle part of the chassis in front of the fifth wheel coupling. The winch has a pair of hydraulically driven drums. The latter is capable of creating a pulling force of 250 kN on two provided cables.
On the aft platform of the MZKT-742960 chassis, directly above the gearbox of the third axle, there is a fifth wheel coupling for a pivot with a diameter of 3.5 inches. The load bearing slab has three degrees of freedom and can swing within small sectors. The load on the fifth wheel is up to 27 tons.
The Volat MZKT-742960 tractor has a length of 10.3 m with a maximum width (by mirrors) of 3.5 m. The maximum height is determined at 4 m. The ground clearance is 500 mm. The equipped tractor weighs 26 tons. Gross weight, taking into account the load on the "saddle" - 53 tons. At the same time, the front axles have 11.3 tons of load, the rear axles - 15.2 tons. According to the manufacturer, the maximum speed of the car on the highway is 70 km / h. She is able to overcome a slope of 14 °.
Despite the rather large size and weight, the Belarusian-made tractor unit can be transported by military transport aircraft. For this, aircraft of the An-22 type or other equipment with higher characteristics can be used.
For transportation of armored vehicles using the MZKT-742960 truck tractor in Minsk, a semitrailer of the MZKT-820400 type is used as part of a tanker road train. It has a traditional design for similar products, but at the same time it is adapted for the transportation of large and heavy loads like various combat vehicles.
The semi-trailer is based on a welded spar frame. Most of it is flat and designed to organize the cargo area, while the front section is curved and carries a kingpin. Support devices are placed next to it to support the trailer in the absence of a tractor. The stern provides means for mounting the chassis and a pair of ladders.
The chassis of the semitrailer is biaxial and is located near the stern of the frame. For the correct distribution of the load on the ground, an eight-wheel scheme with two side bogies is used. In the design of the latter, longitudinal and transverse balancers are used. Each carriage receives four wheels located on two axles. The wheels are equipped with pneumatically operated shoe brakes. The pneumatic system of the trailer is connected to the tractor units. Used tires in size 16.00R20. The semi-trailer must carry one spare wheel. Its mount fits at the front of the frame.
Like a tractor, the semi-trailer has a tire pressure regulation system. For greater ease of use, all tire inflation valves are located on the frame sides. All wheels are equipped with pressure control sensors. If this parameter drops below the permissible values, an indicator on the driver's dashboard is triggered.
In the absence of a tractor unit, the semi-trailer must use a support device located at the front of the frame. It includes a pair of heavy duty mechanical and hydraulic jacks.
The MZKT-820400 semi-trailer has a loading platform with a length of about 13 m and a width of 3.2 m. Loading height - 1.5 m. for cables securing the load, etc.
Self-propelled or towed vehicles must be loaded onto the semi-trailer using a pair of folding ramps. Two such devices with a length of about 2.5 m are pivotally attached to the stern of the platform. The ladders are lowered and raised using hydraulic cylinders, the pressure in which is created by the on-board equipment of the tractor.
The total length of the MZKT-820400 semi-trailer is 18.4 m, the width is 3.2 m. The height in transport position with raised ladders is 3.5 m. The unladen weight of this product is determined at the level of 19 tons. Carrying capacity - 56 tons; full weight - 75 tons. The semitrailer design transfers a load of no more than 27 tons to the fifth wheel coupling of the tractor. The load on its own axles should not exceed 24 tons per each.
The 13-meter cargo area of the semitrailer and the ability to transport 56-ton cargo allow the MZKT-742960 + 820400 road train to solve various transport problems. So, it can transport any modern Soviet or Russian-built tank, or any other armored combat vehicle on the cargo area. In the case of light vehicles, the simultaneous transportation of several vehicles is possible. In particular, on a semi-trailer, it is alleged, it is possible to place and secure two infantry fighting vehicles of the BMP-1 or BMP-2 type at once. Probably the same is the case with other small light armored vehicles.
A characteristic feature of the MZKT-742960 tractor is the off-road undercarriage equipped with large-diameter wheels with adjustable pressure. Due to it and a relatively powerful engine, the car is able to move not only along highways, but also over rough terrain. In addition, tests have shown that the MZKT-820400 semi-trailer can also drive off-road. Off good roads, the road train is capable of transporting various loads, but the poor condition of the track seriously limits the maximum speed.
According to known data, the first customer of the MZKT-742960 + 820400 mass-produced road trains, tank carriers, intended for the transportation of military equipment, were the armed forces of Angola, who had ordered their development a little earlier. Subsequently, the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant began to promote its new model road trains on the international market. This technique is regularly demonstrated at various exhibitions and enjoys a certain popularity among their visitors. At the same time, despite all the efforts of the developer company, road trains based on the MZKT-742960 tractor have not yet been ordered by the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus.
However, the Belarusian army still got the opportunity to test domestic tank carriers. So, on July 3 last year, a parade dedicated to the Independence Day took place in Minsk. During this event, several MZKT-742960 + 820400 road trains marched along the streets of the capital, with semi-trailers carrying tanks and self-propelled artillery mounts. The special equipment, which was not in service with its own army, probably symbolized the export potential of the Belarusian defense industry.
Not all military equipment can be deployed over long distances under its own power, and it needs special transport. Road trains with the ability to transport tanks and other armored vehicles are needed by all armies, and some of them are ready to order equipment abroad. For example, in the case of Angola, the desire to get new tractors with semi-trailers led to the emergence of the Volat MZKT-742960 + 820400 road train. Now such equipment, offered by the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant, can be purchased by other customers.