SECTION III. PRINCIPLES OF OPERATION
1-12. GENERAL. The M88A1, Full-Tracked, Medium, Recovery Vehicle is designed for towing, hoisting, and winching.
It is equipped to assist in repairing disabled vehicles under general field conditions. Recovery of medium and light combat
vehicles is the M88A1's main purpose.
1-13. TOWING OPERATIONS. The main hydraulic system supplies power for the spade, main winch, hoist winch,
hoisting boom, and for releasing the mechanically applied main and hoist winch brakes. The spade is used during all
winch operations and hoisting operations over 6 tons (5.4 metric meters) to help stabilize the vehicle. The main winch is
located near the spade and is used to pull disabled vehicles during recovery operations. The hoisting boom works with
the hoist winch which is used to lift disabled vehicles and heavy loads for recovery and maintenance operations. The
maximum load the hoist winch is capable of handling is 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) using 200 ft (6 m) of steel cable. The
hoisting boom is a modified A-frame located on the top of the vehicle. The lockout brakes are also used when lifting over
6 tons (5.4 metric tons) to prevent damage to the vehicle.