Military Vehicle Spotlight: Four-Ton Diamond T Wrecker

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Four-Ton Diamond T Wrecker

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SPECS:

  • Weight: 21,350 pounds
  • Size (LxWxH): 292" x 100" x 116"
  • Max Speed: 40 mph
  • Range: 180 miles

A formidable recovery vehicle was created by marrying the Diamond T chassis with the Holmes W-45 H.D. military wrecker bed. The bed was an adaptation of the standard Holmes W-45 twin boom civilian wrecker. According to Holmes’ records, the first of the 6,420 G-509 wreckers, the model 969, was built in February 1941. The first unit carried serial #AB1-101; the final unit, shipped Oct. 24, 1949, was serial #AJ9-7339. The A in the first position of the serial number identifies the beds as a military W45 model.

The Holmes W-45 wrecker was a twin boom design with two five-ton winches mounted behind the cab. Each winch is equipped with 200 feet of wire rope. The twin boom design allows side recoveries to be made by swinging one boom to that side, and swinging and tying off the other boom to the opposite side to stabilize the wrecker. Stabilizer legs are mounted on each side of the bed, just behind the cab. Typical of US military wreckers, these trucks carried a lengthy list of recovery equipment, including chains, ropes, snatch blocks, cutting torches and tools. Unlike the later M series wreckers, which used the truck air brake system as an air source for tire inflation, etc., the W-45 left the factory with a self-contained air compressor mounted between the booms.

While not as powerful or versatile as the larger M1 and M1A1 wreckers, the classic styling of the Diamond T cab has ensured that these vehicles remain popular with enthusiasts.