"The Leader in American Platform Vehicles"
(406) 961-4024

If you are interested in

World War II

Please visit
  Mechanical Mules of America, Inc.

"The Leader in American Platform Vehicles"

PO Box 1009
Hamilton, MT 59840

Tel (406) 961-4024
Copyright 2010 - Mechanical Mules of America, Inc. - All rights reserved

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The M274 Mule is not a toy. It is a 1,000 lb. Military Vehicle.
Operator must be 18 years of age, wear safety gear, and use care and common sense.

How would you like to be among the first civilians to own one of our M274 A5s?

The Mechanical Mule, also called "Army Mule" is basically a four wheel, 1/2 ton
vehicle with a 48" x 95" long platform mounted on two axles. It  was designed for
combat use by Willys in the early 1950's, exclusively for the US Army.
Being able to carry a load of 1,000 lbs, it became the first cargo carrier able to
carry more than its own weight, and it was quickly accepted as a valuable tool.

The practicality and sturdiness of the Mechanical Mule were quickly recognized,  and
four years later, the Mechanical Mule was introduced in airborne, infantry and
marine units as well. The production was later awarded to Bowen Mc Laughlin/York,
then to Brunswick Corp., and finally to Baifield Industries which manufactured the
last mules at the end of 1970.

The Mechanical Mule was broadly used during the Vietnam War to transport ammunition,
cargo, personnel, and weapons - A 106 mm recoilless rifle with missiles was mounted
on it.
The seat and the foot basket can be detached and stored underneath the platform.
Each wheel is provided with lifting shackles to facilitate lifting by helicopter or
dropping by parachute.
It was designed to be a very rugged vehicle which  could land on its wheels or even
upside down when dropped, and still be able to be driven away.

The M274 and the M274 A1 were the first models and were equipped with a 4 cylinder,
air cooled Willys gasoline engine. This engine was troublesome and was later
replaced in the models A2, A3, A4 and A5 with an air cooled 2 cylinder horizontally
opposed 4 cycle Continental Hercules engine which proved to be an outstanding

All models are equipped with full time four wheel drive, two speed transfer case,
and a three forward and one reverse speed transmission, giving it six forward speeds
and two reverse.
The A5 model is a two wheel steer variant, whereas the earlier models are four wheel
The engine is located under the platform at the rear, and it is protected by a steel

The shaft-driven four wheel drive system gives the Mechanical Mule amazing traction.
All four wheels are completely locked at all times so that the mule continues moving
as long as any wheel has traction.

The huge 4' x 8'  1,000 lb capacity bed provides a large and useful cargo area
surrounded by a handrail designed to easily secure a load.

The mule can be equipped with a tow bar which connects to the steering geometry so
that the mule wheels are steered by the tow vehicle. This also allows the mule to be
an effective trailer which can be steered around obstacles.
The steering wheel can be adjusted to several positions, which allows driving from a
riding, walking, kneeling or crawling position.

The Mechanical Mule was never designed to be fast. At a top speed of 25 mph, the
main goal was to keep pace with foot soldiers.  Neither was it built to be
comfortable. The low pressure tires were to absorb the shocks.
Instead, it was built for sturdiness and durability, and it served its purpose as
long as it was being used.

Today, the Mechanical Mule meets many needs. Its merits are highly praised by
ranchers and farmers, orchards and wineries, by the forestry, in industrial
applications, in construction, in the mining industry, by outdoors fans (hunting,
fishing, back-country camping, etc), and by each inquirer who almost every day finds
a new use for it. In fact, there seems to be no limit to the multiple applications
of the Mechanical Mule, which make it the ultimate rugged off road "must have".