The PLS or Palletized Load System is a logistic supply programme, composed of a prime mover truck with integral self-loading and unloading capability, a trailer and demountable cargo beds. It has been designed and produced by the Oshkosh Truck Corporation. The prime mover is a 10x10 variant of the HEMTT heavy tactical truck. The PLS entered service with the US Army in 1993 and saw action in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Palletized Load System comes in two mission configurations - the M1074 and the M1075. The M1074 is fitted with a crane, to support forward deployed field artillery units. The M1075 is used in conjunction with the M1076 trailer, but does not have the material handling crane.
These highly mobile vehicles perform long range hauling, unit resupply and other mission. The PLS utilizes a variety of flatracks. A standard sideless flatrack is used to transport pallets of ammunition. This system is a key transportation component of the ammunition distribution. Vehicle can also transport shelters, containers, fuel racks or engineering mission modules simply by changing pallets. It uses a hydraulic load handling system, which loads and unloads flatracks or containers rapidly. These are the standard NATO flatracks, interchangeable between PLS and HEMTT-LHS, as well as comparable British, German and French systems.
The prime mover has a payload capacity of 16 500 kg. The same amount of weight can be carried by the trailer. It was specially designed to carry the same load pallet, transferred from the main vehicle.
A two-person cab can be fitted with add-on armor kit for a higher level of protection. A hatch with a machine gun mounting is located in the roof.
The driver controls the hook arm without leaving the cab, which lowers and lifts the flatrack onto the vehicle, which can also move load on the ground. Loading or unloading takes about 30 seconds for the truck or over 2 minutes for truck and trailer combination.
Recently all PLS systems were fitted with GPS-based movement tracking system under the PLS-E (Enhanced) programme. This system provides two-way communication, coordinate positions and total asset visibility.
The PLS heavy truck is powered by a Detroit Diesel 8V92TA diesel engine, developing 500 hp. Vehicle is capable of transporting its payload in virtually any type of terrain and maintain pace with the tracked combat vehicles that it supports. The prime mover has a full-time all-wheel drive and is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. Vehicle can be airlifted by the C-17 or C-5A military transport aircraft.
Engineering mission modules of the PLS include the M4 bituminous distribution module, M5 mobile mixer module, M6 dump body, fuel farm module, water distribution module and others.
M1120 HEMTT LHS is the M977 8x8 cargo truck, fitted with a load handling system used on the PLS. It entered service with the US Army in 2002. This system uses the same flatracks and can also tow the M1076 trailer.