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Hendrickson & Growler Upgrade M870A2-S Trailers

They will beef up the Marine's Medium Heavy Equipment Transporter (MHET) trailer
A Logistics Vehicle System (MK48A2/16) with an attached M870A2 semi-trailer, carrying a TRAM to be offloaded for use in a joint, Navy-Marine Corps amphibious operation at Red Beach.

The M870A2-S is a three axle Medium Heavy Equipment Transporter (MHET) designed to haul a payload of 80,000 lbs. (40-ton) in conjunction with an LVS MK48/MK16 fifth wheel truck tractor, LVSR tractor, or a M931A2 truck tractor. Most of the specifications for the M870A2S are identical to the M870A2 except for:  Updated with Anti-lock Brake System (ABS); Updated with air ride suspension: air springs, shock absorbers, and height control value: and Non-Driving Tapered spindle axles.

Hendrickson Truck Commercial Vehicle Systems and Growler Manufacturing and Engineering received a contract award from the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command in May 2020, to upgrade the suspension system on the M870A2-S Medium Heavy Equipment Transporter (MHET) trailer. Production is estimated to continue through September 19, 2024.

Hendrickson TRLAXLE trailer axle

Hendrickson TRLAXLE trailer axle.

The upgraded trailer suspension system provides a rugged, weight efficient design that delivers enhanced suspension technology for the rigorous demands of military applications. Utilizing Hendrickson’s breadth of suspension experience in a variety of vehicle and trailer applications, each individual component has been validated and packaged together to feature a robust structural design with optimized suspension geometry for exceptional mobility, carrying capacity and stability. Hendrickson is utilizing its Long Travel Trailing Arm suspension system equipped with the TRLAXLE axle assembly, TIREMAAX hubcaps and inner-axle system, TRAAX ROD longitudinal and transverse torque rods, and Hendrickson’s brake and wheel ends to meet the Marines’ specifications. These systems and components will be manufactured by seven Hendrickson facilities across the United States.

Hendrickson TRAXXRods torque rods

Hendrickson TRAXXRods torque rods 

Paired with Growler’s integration and manufacturing, Hendrickson’s suspension system will fully support the U.S. Marine Corps’ requirement for dependability, mobility and reduced cost of ownership. The equipment trailer will support mobility, off-road line-haul capability, and sustainment operations for the Marine Corps as they work in areas of the world with austere infrastructures and little or no host nation support.

Chris Batsch, director of the Specialty Vehicle and Elastomer Business Units at Hendrickson Truck Commercial Vehicle Systems said, “Hendrickson and Growler have come together to provide the Marine Corps’ fleet with a complete equipment transporter suspension system encompassing the latest in technical innovation. Hendrickson’s chassis integration experience, vehicle dynamics expertise, and history of off-road heavy-duty suspension design offer the Marine Corps M870A2-S trailer superior off-road mobility, load-carrying capacity and vehicle performance. Our depth of commercial truck and trailer products allowed us to provide a single source solution to Growler.”

“This contract is a great opportunity for Growler to support the USMC’s system upgrade, and Hendrickson’s suspension is pivotal in providing improved off-road transport capability,” said John Crews, president of Growler. “We are pleased to be supporting the USMC and look forward to a successful program.”

Hendrickson, a Boler company, is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of medium- and heavy-duty mechanical, elastomeric and air suspensions; integrated and non-integrated axle and brakes systems; tire pressure control systems; auxiliary lift axle systems; parabolic and multi-leaf springs; stabilizers; bumpers; and components to the global commercial transportation industry. Hendrickson, based in Woodridge, Ill., USA, continues to meet the needs of the transportation industry for more than 100 years. Visit Hendrickson at

GROWLER MANUFACTURING and ENGINEERING (Growler), prime contractor for the M870A2-S program, is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, ISO 9001 certified small business specializing in support of US government agencies that are focused on specialty mission vehicles and trailer manufacturing, vehicle maintenance and repair, and surveillance systems. For more information, please visit

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