There are a lot of ways to remove a big tree stump — some more effective than others — but very few of them are as fun as pulling one out with a military truck tractor. The heavy-duty artillery hauler you’ll see here is the famed MAZ-537, and it’s a real beast. The tree stump definitely isn’t small, so you can see why you would need something this big and powerful to uproot it. The MAZ is well-known for its hauling capabilities, but tree roots can run very deep. It’s tough to say who will win this battle, but some more background about this truck tractor may give you a better idea of its odds here.
Origins and Specs of the MAZ-537 Hauler
The original MAZ, the MAZ-535, was first produced in 1958. Manufactured for military purposes at the Minsk Automobile Plant in Belarus, it was built to haul artillery such as ballistic missiles. It was equipped with a 375-horsepower engine and could carry up to 15,000 pounds. As impressive as those numbers are, though, they would pale in comparison to its successor: the MAZ-537.
Equipped with a semi-trailer, this tank transporter is capable of towing battle tanks weighing up to an amazing 110,000 pounds. It’s also able to haul these loads in remote off-road areas. In addition to that impressive towing capacity, here are some of its other specs:
- V-12 diesel engine with 525 horsepower
- 3-speed hydromechanical transmission
- AWD with power-assisted steering on the front 4 wheels
- Can carry up to 30,000 pounds without semi-trailer
- Weighs 47,620 pounds
- Is just over 29 feet high and 10 feet tall
Have You Seen One Before?
You have probably seen a MAZ-537 before whether you know it or not, because they carried various ballistic missiles in the May Day parades of the Cold War to show off Russia’s military might. Footage of these parades pops up all over the place on history shows and in various movies. Production of the 537 stopped in 1990, which might lead you to believe that there aren’t many of them around anymore. They haven’t been relegated to just pulling out tree stumps nowadays, though. In fact, many are still used by the Russian and Ukrainian militaries today. And, in fact, the MAZ-537 remains the Ukraine military’s only tank transporter.
Modifications to the 537
The great thing about the MAZ is that it can also be equipped with a winch, which is convenient in this case. Here are the other modifications it can be equipped with:
- External electrical generator (537D)
- Increased trailer load-handling capacity of up to 130,000 pounds (537E)
- Adapted for installation of crane equipment (537K)
- Additional flatbed compartment with 30,000-pound weight capacity (537A)
Which Artillery Truck Came Next?
Though still widely used, the MAZ-537 had a couple of successors. One of them, the KZKT-7428, has partially replaced the 537 in the Russian army. This prime mover can haul semi-trailers with loads up to 140,000 pounds with its 650-horsepower engine. And while the 537 only has the capacity to fit one passenger, the 7428 can fit up to five.
The other successor is the MAZ-543. This artillery truck was also seen in military parades, specifically the Red Square parade in 1965. It has the same horsepower as the 537, and it has a few variants as well such as a 6-axle version (MAZ-547) and a version made to carry a multiple rocket launcher (MAZ-543M).
More about the Minsk Automobile Plant
Founded in 1944, the Minsk Automobile Plant where the predecessor and successors of the MAZ-537 were built is still up and running today. Although production decreased significantly after the Soviet Union dissolved, the state-owned plant is still one of the biggest in Eastern Europe. In addition to heavy-duty trucks, semi-trailers, and tractors, the plant also produces a wide variety of buses used for public transportation. In 1997, they joined with MAN to form MAZ-MAN and began producing dump trucks, concrete mixers, and other heavy trucks under this label as well.
She Still Has It Where It Counts
So now that you know how powerful the MAZ-537 is on paper, do you think it can pull the stump out? If so, how many tries do you think it will take? This truck is at least 25 years old, so it’s pretty awesome to see that it’s still running like a champ. The fact that it’s still around speaks to its durability and reliability. See how it lives up to its reputation, and share your thoughts in the comments below.
(Sources: 1 | 2)