In this month’s Monthly Military, we’re taking a look at another BMY M923A2. This one sports the “Franken Cab” layout, a design with considerations made specifically for personnel transport.
Part of the M939 series of transport trucks that were developed in the late 1970s to replace the outgoing M39 and M809 series, this M923A2 weighs in at about 26,000 pounds and is powered by a Cummins 6CTA 8.3-liter turbocharged motor that has been tuned to make around 300 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque.
That output is a substantial performance upgrade from the 240 hp and 716 lb-ft these motors make in stock configuration, and this tuned powerplant utilizes an EGT and a boost gauge kit to prevent any possible damage.
That motor is hooked to an Allison five-speed automatic transmission and a two-speed transfer case to get the power to all six wheels through three five-ton Rockwell axles.
M923 variants of the M939, such as the one we’re looking at here, were specifically configured for cargo transport and featured a body with drop sides so it could be loaded from the side by forklifts. These “Franken Cab” trucks were configured as such to be driven directly into combat zones while transporting troops, so these versions of the M923A2 also utilize a number of reinforced elements to protect the personnel in the vehicle. This particular example was kept in California during its time in service for National Guard use.
Part of the charm of the M923 is its modular design and ability to be utilized for many different tasks, and this particular M923A2 showcases those attributes well. Along with personnel transport, it’s been configured for hauling as well as recovery tasks, hence the 20,000-pound winch that is installed on the front of the truck, and the 105mm cannon mounted on the roof to keep would-be attackers at bay.
A heavier gauge metal was utilized in the rear cargo area of the vehicle for added protection, and all of this truck’s body seams are fully welded. Since transitioning to civilian duty, this truck has seen a number of upgrades from Those Military Guys in Rancho Cucamonga, California, who specialize in repairing and upgrading heavy-duty hardware like this M923A2.
“We made it taller so a six-foot tall person can stand upright and still have room above his head to walk around,” says Bill Dozer of Those Military Guys. It’s also equipped with a full roll cage and an under-cab roll cage. It even has an armored roof with a hatch for access to the gun turret, along with a standing platform for the operator to stand on to the fire the weapon.
There are also a number of interior upgrades to make this M923A2 a bit easier to live with, including a raised cab, air seats, and a completely redesigned dashboard. But there’s still some room for additional upgrades down the road if required. “This truck weighs in at around 26,000 pounds, so we didn’t turn the horsepower up nearly as much as we could,” Bill explains.
Keep your eyes peeled for next month’s Monthly Military installment, where we’re be taking a look at another icon from Uncle Sam’s roster of transport vehicles.