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ATS-59: from storage - to the "citizen"

ATS-59: from storage - to the "citizen"
The Kurgan plant, which specialized in the production of heavy cranes, in 1954 was reoriented to the production of tractors for transporting guns. The KMZ employees had no experience in such a matter, so at first they were helped by specialists from the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant. As a result, the first model of a caterpillar tractor turned out to be successful. Further, the Kurgan enterprise managed on its own, having manufactured its first ATS-59 all-terrain vehicle, which had the factory index "650".

From prototypes to series

The first samples were tested in 1958. After their completion, the military began to test the car. They liked the tractor and adopted it. However, there were still some refinements, and the first batch of serial cars left the assembly line only in 1961.

АТС-59: с хранения – на «гражданку»The military took the tractor well. Photo: YouTube.com

A year later, the plant produced 120 cars per month. Along the way, modifications of the all-terrain vehicle were made:

✅ cable and rail tracker
✅ bulldozer
✅ crane

All of the above "specialties" were useful in the future "civilian life" of the car.


By the standards of that time, the tractor was quite suitable for the army in terms of technical characteristics. The only negative - an uncomfortable and cramped cabin, was eliminated in 1969 with the release of an improved version of the ATS-59G. Later, the Kurgan plant was redesigned for the production of BMP-1, and therefore all production was transferred to one of the Warsaw Pact countries - Poland. Soon, the Soviet army began to be reduced and the all-terrain vehicle began to be actively transferred to peaceful organizations.

Civilians were given all-terrain vehicles from storage, almost new. Photo: YouTube.com

Basically, the tractor was needed for use in difficult areas of the USSR. And then (and still today) they were enough. The car came to the place of geologists, oil and gas workers. It was also used to deliver goods to remote settlements where there were no roads.

Technical features

The cab is installed in front, and the power unit is almost in the middle, behind is a cargo platform. The suspension is independent, torsion bar, on each side there are five main rollers. In front of the all-terrain vehicle there is a power mechanism, in the body of which there are a gearbox, main gear, turning devices, brakes.

Management is simple and clear. Photo: YouTube.com

Behind the stern there is a winch. Main technical characteristics:

✅ length, width, height - 6,28, 2,78, 2,3 m
✅ own weight and load capacity - 13 and 3 tons
✅ ground clearance - 42,5 cm
✅ power unit - 12-cylinder diesel A-650 in 38,88 liters, developing 300 hp. With.
✅ speed - up to 39 km / h

The machine is able to overcome a ford up to 1,1 m deep, a ditch 1,35 m wide, and also climb slopes of 35 ° with a roll of up to 25 °. In Poland, a W650G engine was installed on the tractor with almost the same parameters as the Russian one. The engine comes with a five-speed manual transmission.


The reliability of Soviet technology is well known: ATS-59 can still be purchased today in good condition. But it’s worth “slowing down” at such a sad moment as consumption: not only fuel, but also oil. For 100 km, this "machine" consumes from 152 to 163 liters of diesel fuel. But that's not all! The internal combustion engine will also need oil - if it is serviceable, about 13 l / 100 km.

Details of the launch of ATS-59

The tractor used Soviet "know-how". For example, you can start the engine in two ways: with an electric starter or a pneumatic starter. The latter is a cylinder with compressed air and a valve. If the battery runs out, the starter can be spun with a stream from the “receiver”. If it's cold, there is a starting heater. When working, he makes noise and roar, accompanying this with a flame from the nozzle, like a dragon. Surely the neighbors will not miss such a “show”, even if you want to leave at night.

A swamp or a forest is its own element for ATS-59. Photo: YouTube.com

But it is easy to control the all-terrain vehicle: a pair of levers and three pedals are used, so familiar to motorists. After a short practice, the turning radius will be only 3,5 m. So if you are an avid hunter or fisherman and have no problems with cheap diesel fuel, such a machine will do just fine with oil. It is curious: there are advertisements for the sale of new spare parts for ATS-59. For the all-terrain vehicle itself (they offer cars from storage with a mileage of 200 km or more), they ask from 500 thousand rubles. up to a million.


Photos used: https://youtube.com

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