Watch an 8×8 HEMTT Military Truck Drag Race a Ford F-450 Towing Three Cars

This is the heaviest and slowest race I’ve ever seen. And it’s absolutely entertaining.

byKristin V. Shaw|
Ford News photo


The people from Hoonigan Industries are behind the "This Vs. That" series, which includes madness like an AWD swapped, turbo V8 Cutlass dragging an 850-horsepower drift taxi and a 1,400-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette versus a 600-horsepower 1927 Dodge hot rod. This time, they decided to match up a 1986 8x8 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) against a 2019 Ford F-450. Neither one of these is quick off the line, so it’s really a drag race that drags more than it races.

If you’re a Hoonigan fan, you’ll recognize the Army-green HEMTT from the background of some of their recent videos. Contrary to what the mischief-makers of Hoonigan said on the video, the military vehicle was made by Oshkosh Corporation, which is not the same as Oshkosh B’Gosh, the company that makes cute overalls for kids.

Screencap Hoonigan YouTube

A few stats on the HEMTT: it’s powered by a 12.1-liter turbo diesel that cranks out 360 horsepower, it has a transfer case and Allison four-speed transmission, and sits on eight tires that are so heavy that it would be extremely challenging to flip one over by yourself unless you're Ivan Drago from Rocky IV. It also comes with a crane and has a Jake Brake to slow it down when it’s not racing, which is 99.9 percent of its life span.

In the other corner, the 2019 Ford F-450 is 4WD with a 6.7-liter diesel V8 (475 horses and 1,050 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed shiftable automatic, and weighs 8,500 pounds by itself. However, it’s burdened with a trailer carrying an LS-swapped 1995 BMW "Knuckle Busters" M3, a 2014 Jeep with a 6.4-liter Hemi, and a Chevy merchandise van. Ken Block proved that you can drift one of these trucks with some expertise and patience, but you probably wouldn't want to try that at home. 

This roughly-68,000-total drag race spanned 500 feet and ended with one of these vehicles significantly ahead of the other. I mean, anybody can race a couple of cars, but how often to you get to see two monstrosities like this head to head? Make your predictions, grab a beverage, and watch (I’ve cued it up to the start of the race without all the leadup before that):

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The math alone ought to cue you to the eventual winner, even with the engine disparities. If you feel like watching after the first race, you'll see the HEMTT go up against a fire truck and then one of the guys running a foot race against it, which is amusing. 

Next up, Hoonigans, I'd like to see a couple of full-size RVs battle it out on the strip. 

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