Mounted on the rear of the chassis was a hydraulic crane and winch assembly. Austin Western produced the crane on the M62.

Mounted on the rear of the chassis was a hydraulic crane and winch assembly. Austin Western produced the crane on the M62.

The M62 5 ton Wrecker is part of the G-744 (or M-39) series of 5 ton 6x6 trucks. Designed as a replacement for the wartime Diamond T 969 and Ward La France M1 wreckers, the prototype XM62 was completed in 1951 (the X prefix prior to the M designation indicates that the vehicle has not yet been type classified by the military). It was quickly accepted into service as the M62 and continued in production until 1957.

The M62 had a 179-inch wheelbase. Mounted on the rear of the chassis was a hydraulic crane and winch assembly. Austin Western produced the crane on the M62. 

The M62 had a front-mounted, 20,000-lb capacity self-recovery winch.

The M62 had a front-mounted, 20,000-lb capacity self-recovery winch.

The M62 had a 45,000-lb capacity rear recovery winch. In addition to the rear winch, a front mounted, 20,000-lb capacity self-recovery winch is also mounted.

Both the front and rear winches were mechanically driven by power take-offs from the truck's engine. The hydraulically powered crane could be extended out from 10-ft to 18-ft and could lift loads up to 20,000-lbs. 

A similar truck, the M543, was identical to the M62 except that it used a Gar Wood produced crane instead of the Austin Western.

M543 wrecker of the 5th Maintenance Bn. in Vietnam. The M543 was identical to the M62 except that it used a Gar Wood produced crane instead of the Austin Western.

M543 wrecker of the 5th Maintenance Bn. in Vietnam. The M543 was identical to the M62 except that it used a Gar Wood produced crane instead of the Austin Western.

The M62 was used by the U.S. military well into the 1980s. Eventually, The M816 5-ton wrecker truck replaced the M62.

This 545th Trans Co M543A1 wrecker was pulling a stranded gun Jeep when it was hit by an RPG round. 

This 545th Trans Co M543A1 wrecker was pulling a stranded gun Jeep when it was hit by an RPG round. 

No info on this Vietnam-era slide of an M62.

No info on this Vietnam-era slide of an M62.

An M62 assisted in an engine swap on an M37 Dodge 3/4-ton truck. The first mass-produced M-series five ton wrecker, the M62, can be distinguished from the later M543 (with which it shared a chassis) by the spare tire mounted on the shipper. 

An M62 assisted in an engine swap on an M37 Dodge 3/4-ton truck. The first mass-produced M-series five ton wrecker, the M62, can be distinguished from the later M543 (with which it shared a chassis) by the spare tire mounted on the shipper. 

The M62 and the M543 were powered by the Continental R6602 6-cylinder gasoline engines. The 602-cid engine was a gas hog, but developed an impressive 480 lbs.-ft of torque, making it well suited for recovery applications.

The M62 and the M543 were powered by the Continental R6602 6-cylinder gasoline engines. The 602-cid engine was a gas hog, but developed an impressive 480 lbs.-ft of torque, making it well suited for recovery applications. 

M62 of the 587th Eng Co., ca 1959

M62 of the 587th Eng Co., ca 1959. The M62's boom extended well beyond the pivot point.

The note on the back of this 1961 snapshot reads, "Honey, this is a big job. It weighs 38,000 lbs the way you see it here, and it costs $27,718.76." 

The note on the back of this 1961 snapshot reads, "Honey, this is a big job. It weighs 38,000 lbs the way you see it here, and it costs $27,718.76." 

Some jobs weren't as heavy as others for the M62 as seen in this ca. 1958 slide of a damaged auto on the hook. 

Some jobs weren't as heavy as others for the M62 as seen in this ca. 1958 slide of a damaged auto on the hook. 

In addition to standard motorpool activities, the M62 saw frequent use as a crane in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The smooth, precise action of the Austin-Western hoist on it made the truck ideal for handling tactical nuclear weapons, such as the Honest John.

In addition to standard motorpool activities, the M62 saw frequent use as a crane in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The smooth, precise action of the Austin-Western hoist on it made the truck ideal for handling tactical nuclear weapons, such as the Honest John. 

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