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The Soviets Built a 12-Wheeled Mega Truck With a 42.4L Engine and 220-Ton Carrying Capacity

To keep the massive vehicle a secret, operators only clambered into one of its twin two-seat cabins for testing at night, and only when no western satellites were overhead. It covered 340 miles in initial testing before disassembly and relocation to Kazakhstan, where a further 2,500 miles demonstrated Soviet leadership’s dreams of a fleet of 10 were completely infeasible.

Not only did the MAZ-7904 handle poorly with a reported 164-foot turn radius, but it topped out at under 17 mph. And despite all its off-road accouterments, it still required soft, easygoing terrain, in part due to wheel bearings that weren’t up to the task of shouldering 30 tons apiece.




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