Lesson 1/ Learning Event 1
The wheeled vehicle maintenance career field, like all other occupations, contains terms that are not
often used outside the field. These words or terms make conversation among people in the trade
much easier, because sometimes a single word or a group of two or three words can take the place
of long sentences. Let's use the word "subcourse" as an example. If you happened to use
"subcourse" in speaking to someone who does not know what it means, you would have to explain:
"A subcourse is a bound book that contains training material on a specific subject. It is separated
into one or more lessons, and each lesson has a short exercise or query at the end." You could go
on for some time explaining the term. However, if the person you are talking to already knows
what the word "subcourse" means, using that word is a quick way of communicating. This is
exactly what happens in the language of vehicle maintenance. We use one word, or two or three
words, to represent what could take many sentences to explain. Because you will hear these terms
quite often, learn them well.
A vehicle can have many shapes and can be large or small. Within your trade, vehicle means any
type of equipment with wheels or tracks on it that is used to transport people, equipment, supplies,
and so forth. It can be a sedan, cargo truck, wrecker, tank truck, trailer, semitrailer, or many other
types. It may have its own power, or it may be a unit that must be towed by another unit.
Vehicles are classified as administrative, tactical, or combat.
Certain terms are used to express what a vehicle can do. These terms are vehicle performance
As you know, most civilian vehicles have power to the rear wheels only, but some cars have power
to the front wheels instead. Either design works fine for vehicles that travel on hard-surfaced roads
most of the time.
However, cars do get stuck in soft ground or snow. If power could be applied to all of the wheels
instead of just the front or rear, a vehicle could move much better in mud or snow. This is exactly
what has been done to Army tactical vehicles. The operator can engage power to the front wheels
when necessary, and then all the wheels on the ground can be driven.