PLS…Make Cold Weather Care Count

   If you’re stationed in Alaska or any other place with arctic conditions, you’re probably no stranger to operating vehicles in extreme cold.  But in that type of environment, your unit’s M1074, M1074A1, M1075, and M1075A1 Palletized Loading System (PLS) trucks will need extra prep and more maintenance to operate well.

    Why?  Cold weather puts more stress on vehicles, creating issues that don’t exist in normal temperatures.  So follow the guidance in TM 9-2320-364-14&P for your M1074 and M1075 PLS and TM 9-2320-319-13&P for your M1074A1 and M1075A1 PLS.  Then you can properly operate and maintain your trucks.

Winter Resources

Pay special attention to these other pubs that can help keep your vehicles up and running in winter weather:

FM 9-207, Operations and Maintenance of Ordnance Materiel in Cold Weather

o  ATTP 3-97.11, Cold Region Operations

o  TC 21-305-20, Manual for the Wheeled Vehicle Operator

o  TB 750-651, Use of Antifreeze Multi-Engine Type Cleaning Compounds and Test Kit in Engine Cooling Systems

o  TM 750-254, Cooling Systems: Tactical Vehicles.

Keep these references in your maintenance shop.  Just make sure you have the latest version of the TM and these other pubs.

Ether and Engines

    The engines in PLS trucks have

built-in ether starting aids.  That protects your trucks in very cold weather.  Use only the approved procedures shown in the TM for ether usage. External spray cans of ether are not authorized for use on M1074, M1074A1, M1075, and M1075A1 PLS trucks.

If you think it’s no big deal to spray the ether anyway, maybe this will change your mind.  Ether has a higher and hotter rate of burn than JP8 and diesel.  Spraying external ether can damage your PLS truck’s engine, causing your vehicle to stop instead of start!

Spraying ether into engines will crack pistons, fracture cylinder sleeves, bend connecting rods and ruin engine cylinder heads.  This can lead to permanent damage and your vehicle will be NMC.  That’s not what you want.

So remember, whenever your PLS truck won’t start, do this:

• Follow the troubleshooting guidance in the Operator’s TM.

• If that doesn’t help, call your mechanic to find out what’s wrong.


Training . . .UTAP Offers MSD V3 Videos

The Unit Training Assistance Program (UTAP) offers an eight-chapter video informational series for the Maintenance Support Device (MSD) Version 3. You will find it at the Library of TACOM Training Information Site (LOTTIS) website. Visit:

     Once you are in LOTTIS, look under “UTAP Produced Information Videos” and click on Maintenance Support Device V3 (MSD V3). Download any or all chapters. If you have problems downloading the videos, you can order a DVD. Click on the Customer Assistance tab on the home page, then fill out and submit the required information.

MS-4706-A Fig 1

Publications . . .Solving PS Download Problems


    Question: Why does my web browser
choke or crash when I try to open a PS Magazine pdf online?

Answer: Many of you have emailed to alert us to this problem. When trying to open a large pdf file of PS on our website, like a full issue or large article, you get an error message and then your Internet browser chokes. Reloading seldom helps.

The problem is caused by a conflict between Adobe Reader® (versions X and XI) and the Internet Explorer® web browser. Adobe hasn’t found a solution in more than a year now and we’re not holding our breath. Unfortunately, we can’t fix this on our end since it’s a software conflict. We’re just as annoyed as you!

The best workaround we’ve found is to download the full issue of PS you want to your hard drive. Then open it directly in Adobe Reader instead of your Internet browser.

Here’s how: When you find the PS issue you want to read, right mouse click on the issue’s cover, then select “Save Target As.” On PCs, a box will open allowing you to select where on your hard drive you want to save the issue.

When you open the issue from your hard drive, you should still be able to open individual articles (the red boxes at the bottom of the pages that read “Click here for a copy of this article to save or email.”).

You can also try using the Mozilla Firefox® browser instead, but that isn’t an option on some Army networks. If you read PS on your PC at home, though, that might be the easiest solution.


SPARK II . . .Know When Leg Goes Up…or Down

MS-4736-M Artwork


Operators, the landing leg on the self protection adaptive roller kit II (SPARK II) has only one use:  It’s designed to stabilize the SPARK II when it’s in the stowed position and not being used.

That means you shouldn’t use the landing leg to attach the SPARK II to the vehicle system’s platform.  The leg should also be stowed when the SPARK II is in transport.  And never have it lowered during vehicle operation.  That’ll either damage or completely break the leg assembly, PN 120000940.  It’ll set your unit back about $350!

XM1216 SUGV . . .Neck Assembly Bearing

MS-4736-M Artwork


Over time, vibration can cause the XM1216 small unmanned ground vehicle’s (SUGV’s) small actuator bearing caps to loosen.

When that happens, the neck assembly can loosen, too.  That means the robot’s head and neck can wobble.  Talk about a hard-to-watch picture!

As part of your before and after PMCS, check the alignment marks on the vehicle’s neck assembly bearing caps.  If they’re off by 1/16 inch or more, send the SUGV to sustainment maintenance for repair.

Here’s where to look for the alignment marks:

o pan module/elbow joint

o tilt 1/pan module joint

o elbow/tilt 2 joint

XM1216 SUGV . . . Avoid Heavy Finger on OCU Power Button

MS-4736-M Artwork

Operators, the best way to shut down the XM1216 small unmanned ground vehicle (SUGV) system is to use the hand controller and display screen menu commands.  But there may be times when you have to manually power down the system using the operator control unit (OCU) computer.

When those times come, here’s a simple reminder:  After manually powering down the robot, press, but do not hold down, the OCU power button.  The green light on the power button will remain lit while the computer runs through its normal shutdown sequence.  That takes about 20 seconds, so be patient.

Holding down the power button forces a hard shutdown that keeps the computer from completing its proper shutdown sequence.  That can damage the computer or corrupt its software.

By the way, if the hard shutdown method doesn’t work, you can always disconnect the OCU battery located in the OCU backpack.

March Has Arrived!