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Military skid steers on the horizon

Edited by Mary C. Gannon

skid steers
Case Construction Equipment unveiled new skid steers and compact track loaders it is building for the U.S. Army.

Case Construction Equipment, Racine, Wis., is producing a new line of military skid steers and compact track loaders. The company has begun manufacturing and shipping the first of 3000 model M400W skid steers and model M400T compact track loaders. The equipment is part of a $160 million contract with the U.S. Army TACOM (Tank-automotive and Armaments Command) that could span 10 years, depending on contract renewals.

The company met all requirements from TACOM, said Pat Hunt, director, strategic accounts for Case. “This includes the ability to support the vehicles with parts and technical services globally, the technical performance and reliability of our machines, and our past performance in supporting other military contracts. In all these areas, Case was evaluated as ‘Excellent,’ and Case skid steers and compact track loaders were deemed to provide the best overall value to the military.”

Meeting military requirements
Each M400W skid steer loader and M400T compact track loader built under the TACOM contract will be shipped with a full complement of attachments — including an auger with fittings for two sizes, a 4-in-1 multipurpose bucket, pallet forks, and a hydraulic hammer with multiple attachments.

The M400W and M400T ar e equivalent in size and general specifications to the civilian model 420 Series 3 skid steer loader and 420CT Series 3 compact track loader, respectively.

However, to fulfill the Army’s special requirements, the new machines also include:

• Four tie-down and lift point s to meet requirements for various means of transport, including lifting by helicopter and air-dropping by parachute,
• A weapons rack,
• 24-V starting and charging system, providing the ability to power auxiliary equipment,
• Removable steel crawler tracks for the skid steer,
• A fuel injection pump that enables the machines to use JP-8 militaryblend jet fuel, and
• A military-spec NATO slave cable receptacle that allows the machines to provide an electric jump-start to any other military vehicle.

This project is among several recent contract awards to Case from the U.S. military, totaling more than 5000 machines.

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