INTRODUCTION TO WHEELED VEHICLES
In the year 1912, four commercial trucks were purchased by the US Army. At that time,
military men had little faith in the so-called "mechanical contraptions." Very few hard-surfaced
roads existed then, and the Army was used to traveling any place their horses or mules would take
them. Testing of the first Army vehicles was quite unfair because the vehicles naturally failed to go
where the animals could. This is probably when the phrase "Get a horse!" originated, because
trucks often got bogged down and had to be pulled out by horses.
The great advantages of motor vehicles were realized in time, however, and when World
War I started, the Army had a large fleet of vehicles.
Vehicle maintenance at this time was very difficult, because there were many different
makes and many specialized parts were required.
Wheeled vehicles in the US Army today are the best in the world. They are designed to
take rough handling, travel over very poor terrain, and move at fairly high speeds.
No matter how good equipment is, it must be cared for. Otherwise, sooner or later, it will
stop doing its job. This is where you, the wheeled vehicle mechanic, come into the big picture.
Your duty is to keep the Army's wheeled vehicles in operational condition. This is a big job and,
to do it right, you must be ready to take care of any trouble that might occur on wheeled vehicles.