The Army M978 HEMTT Fueler: What You Should Know

The title alone should say it all. The M978 HEMTT Fueler will always be a special vehicle to me, as it was the first major piece of equipment I learned how to use in the Army. I didn’t ship out to basic training right away, so I had the opportunity to spend many drills with my unit training on my MOS. Being an aviation fuel handler, we would try to set up FARPs (Forward Arming and Refueling Points) with the HEMTT Fueler as much as possible. While I adore the entire HEMTT series (manufactured by Oshkosh), the HEMTT Fueler is my favorite.

That being said, here are four really cool things about the M978 HEMTT Fueler:

  1. I’ve seen a HEMTT recovering another HEMTT. That alone makes it totally awesome because it has the capability to recover another vehicle of its same size. It’s impressive to see these vehicles work.
  2. Its fuel carrying capacity. The HEMTT carries 2,500 gal of fuel, minus a couple hundred for expansion, but you get the drift. It can fuel a lot of vehicles, and if you are in a squadron like I am with a lot of rolling stock, that means that training days in the field are long. We can keep them moving without any interruption in training.
  3. Its versatility. It can ford water, and still fits on strategic lift aircraft for transport. It can stand alone and fuel from one hose, or it can expand to four fuel points if necessary. It can defuel vehicles, and receive bulk fuel via bottom load.
  4. It is the backbone of Army Logistics! While this is true for the entire HEMTT series, you get the point. I think highly of every model of HEMTT, and while I have a soft spot for the fueler since it is the first truck I learned in the Army, I appreciate what all its siblings do for my unit and how our capabilities are greater because we have them. HEMTTs can be utilized by every battalion in the Army.

Here are some other cool facts about the M978 HEMTT Fueler.

  • The current version is the A4.
  • It has a 500 Horse Power Caterpillar Engine.
  • It has ant-lock brakes, a large climate controlled cab, and comes with an optional 20,000 pound self-recovery winch
  • The gross vehicle weight is 64,000 pounds
  • The dimensions are 409 inches long, 96 inches wide and 118 inches tall
  • It has an internal fuel capacity of 155 gallons and has a cruising range of 300 miles
  • It can be transported by a C-130 or C-141

If you’ve spent any time at all in the Army, you’ve probably seen one of these bad boys in action.  And if you haven’t, check out the video below to see what it looks like.

Bottom Line: The M978 HEMTT Fueler will make your entire battalion function more efficiently, and it is a great vehicle for new Soldiers to train on.  If you have experience with the M978 HEMTT Fueler, leave a comment to share your thoughts.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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3 thoughts on “The Army M978 HEMTT Fueler: What You Should Know”

  1. Now THAT’S what I call a truck!! Though I’m a Brat, and come from a family that has served in various branches in various capacities, I always find it fascinating to learn about the equipment and things you don’t see every day. The HEMTT is one of them. The last thing a squad wants to do is run out of fuel when on a long assignment. The fueler helps makes things just a little bit easier and go more smoothly.

  2. This looks like an amazing vehicle. Some of the information you gave about it just blew me away. For one vehicle of the same size to recover another vehicle of the same dimensions is a great feat. A 500 Horse Cat engine says it has more than ample power and I was surprised on how far it could travel on its fuel rations. Also the amount of fuel this bad boy carries says a lot.

    Very interesting read; I would love to operate one. How many gears do they have?

    It is also very cool that it can defuel as well as refuel.

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