Combat vehicles / Logistics vehicles / MAZ-535


General Facts

  • TYPE
    Heavy equipment transporter



    1954 - 1957

    B.L. Shaposhnik for Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ)

    1960 - 1963 (MAZ-535 series) 1963 - early 1980's (MAZ-537 series)

    USSR - MAZ

    Well over 350 MAZ-535 series, many more MAZ-537 series


    Good all terrain mobility
    Limited power in MAZ-535


The MAZ-535 and similar MAZ-537 are a series of heavy equipment transporters of Soviet origin. Development began in 1954. Official acceptance into Soviet service was in 1962. The MAZ-535 was the first in a long line of Soviet/Russian 8x8 heavy all terrain vehicles. The newer MAZ-543 being the most renowned of those. The design the 8x8 chassis layout has a rather surprising origin. Soviet designers were inspired by the Nazi German SdKfz 234 eight wheel armored fighting vehicle.


The MAZ-535 is a large heavy equipment transporter that comes in both tractor truck and ballast versions. The vehicle is based on a 8x8 chassis with large single wheels. Steering is on the four forward wheels. The large V12 diesel engine is located behind the forward control cab. The MAZ-537 differs in having a more powerful engine. At the rear of the vehicle either a fifth wheel or a load area for ballast are located. Some versions have a winch or generator located between the second and third axle.

Cargo capacity

The tractor truck versions can be used in combination with a number of trails. With lowloaders they serve as tank transporters. Various types of tactical missiles are transported on semi-trailers as well. The ballast versions are used to tow full trailer or artillery pieces. The MAZ-537 tractor truck is can be used with trailers up to 65 t. The MAZ-535 and MAZ-537 ballast trucks are able to tow 50 and 75 t trailers respectively. On dirt roads these figures are lowered to 15 and 30 t.


The MAZ-535 has a good all terrain mobility. The combination large tires and all wheel drive provide a good off road capability. The 375 or 525 hp V12 diesel engine provides a maximum road speed of 60 km/h. Its large size makes it a difficult vehicle in urban terrain or on narrow roads.


The MAZ-535 and MAZ-537 were acquired in large numbers by the USSR. Many have been used as tank transporters. Their extensive use as prime movers of strategic rockets made them a common sight in Soviet military parades. Exports have been made to various allies of the USSR, primarily in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Nowadays in Russia the MAZ-537 is still used in the tank transporter, vehicle recovery and aircraft towing roles.



The MAZ-535 series is powered by a 375 hp diesel engine. The MAZ-535 is difficult to distinguish from the later and more powerful MAZ-537.

MAZ-535: The MAZ-535 is a tractor truck with fifth wheel to tow a variety of semi-trailers.
MAZ-535A: The MAZ-535A is a ballast truck version of the MAZ-535. A cargo area is installed at the rear. The main role is towing full trailers.
MAZ-535V: Improved MAZ-535 tractor truck.


The MAZ-537 series is a product-improved version of the earlier MAZ-535. The design is very similar. The main difference is the more powerful engine. The extra power allows it to tow heavier loads. It is difficult to visually distinguish between MAZ-535 and MAZ-537. A number of versions has been developed, with the ballast and tractor variants being the most common.

MAZ-537: The original MAZ-537 model is a tractor truck. It can be used with a variety of semi-trailers.
MAZ-537A: The MAZ-537A is a ballast truck version of the MAZ-537. Instead of a fifth wheel a cargo area is installed. A wide variety of full trailers can be towed.
MAZ-537D: A MAZ-537 with generator located behind cab. Is able to power trailers such as strategic rocket launchers. Produced since 1964.
MAZ-537G: A MAZ-537 with winch located behind cab. Can be used to recover vehicles or tow vehicles onto the semi-trailer. Produced since 1964.
MAZ-537V: A MAZ-537 with the fifth wheel located further to the rear. Produced since 1965.
MAZ-537E: A MAZ-537V with additional gearbox to drive a generator. Is able to power trailers such as strategic rocket launchers. Produced since 1965.
MAZ-537L: MAZ-537A ballast truck with a winch behind the cab that is similar to the MAZ-537G.
MAZ-537P: MAZ-537A ballast truck without self-recovery winch.


The KET-T is a dedicated heavy recovery vehicle based on the MAZ-537 chassis. It has a winch installed behind the cab that is similar to the one used on the MAZ-537G and MAZ-537L. Additionally a recovery crane, rear stabilizers and towing gear are fitted.

Copyright © 2002 - 2014