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MAZ Automobile Plant: history of foundation and development
MAZ Automobile Plant: history of foundation and development

In August 1944, namely on the 9th, a resolution was announced and adopted by the USSR Defense Committee on the creation of an automobile repair plant in the capital of Belarus, which in a couple of months moved from restoring obsolete cars to creating new trucks, in the design which used American parts. This is where the history of MAZ began.

Truck MAZ

In times of war

Despite the fact that the enterprise was formed after the liberation of Minsk, it managed to contribute to the victory. Produced trucks were sent directly to the front. Usually these were Studebaker brand cars, which were assembled at the factory until the beginning of 1946. It was on such modifications that the legendary Katyusha mortar systems were mounted.

After the end of the Second World War, the history of MAZ continued with the construction of the production facilities of a new plant in the capital of Belarus. The American trucks that remained on the territory were used for civilian operations, in particular, the delivery of components from Yaroslavl to Minsk.


The history of the creation of MAZ entered the active stage aftersigning by Stalin of the decree on the beginning of its construction (August 1945). In 1947, when work on the construction of the enterprise was still underway, a YaAZ-200 truck arrived in Minsk. He became the predecessor of the 200th version of MAZ vehicles. It was an on-board prototype, on its basis a dump truck was soon created, which was released under the auspices and emblem of Belarusian designers.

Simultaneously with the construction of workshops for construction, intensive work was carried out on the development and launch of mass production of five-ton machines. Already in November 1947, five samples were produced under the MAZ-205 index. After taking part in the parade, they became a symbol of the serial production of five-ton trucks (the first in the country).

History of the MAZ-200 car

In 1950, the plant was still under construction, without suspending the production of the 200th family of trucks. At that time, the main work was the assembly of cars and the production of wooden cabins. Almost 75 percent of the component parts came from Yaroslavl. In 1951, the main production facilities of the plant were launched, after which the situation changed radically. Entire teams of technical specialists and engineers from all regions of the USSR were redirected to Minsk. They had to create a complete infrastructure for the production of trucks almost from scratch.

Truck MAZ-200

The airborne analogue of the MAZ-200 was mastered quickly, since this design did not require special hydraulic devices for lifting the body. Modifications initially showed themselves asreliable and unpretentious machines. For several years, on the basis of this vehicle, a whole set of medium and heavy trucks has been developed. In parallel, the production of army analogues of the 200-G series was carried out. Models were equipped with a protective awning and folding benches for personnel.

The project 200-B truck tractor went into serial production in 1952. It was equipped with a two-stroke engine of the YaAZ-M-204V type with a capacity of 135 horsepower. The mass of the towed trailer reached 16.5 tons. Soon, all-wheel drive trucks were released, the basis for which were all the same 200th versions. Among the modifications of this line:

  • MAZ-501 – saddle timber carrier;
  • variation 502 - for army needs;
  • 502A series - a truck with a winch on the front bumper.


The history of MAZ models could not pass by the birth of the nuclear industry in the late 40s of the 20th century. Hydraulic and thermal power plants were urgently created. To ensure the timely delivery of materials for the construction of dams, a machine was required to transport large blocks of granite, the weight of which sometimes reached several tens of tons.

For these purposes, the 200 series was not suitable. Therefore, the development of new 25-ton trucks, which are experimental mining dump trucks MAZ-525, was carried out. Their characteristics had unique parameters for that time. Serial production of the machines was set up in 1950.

The first copies were equipped with tank engines of 12 liters, with a capacity of 300 horsepowerforces. The rear axle was fixed on the frame without spring parts. Huge wheels with a diameter of 1.72 meters acted as a shock absorber. Fuel consumption varied between 100-130 liters per 100 kilometers. The maximum speed is 30 km / h. In a hitch, a dump trailer from the Sverdlovsk plant could transport up to 65 tons. This technique has become a real pride of the automotive industry of the Soviet Union.

Modifications 40 tons

Soon in the history of the creation of the MAZ car, an even more powerful truck came out, due to the requirements of the time. The development of the 40-ton version began in 1955, less than two years later he participated in the run of "heavyweights" (MAZ-530).

In 1958, the specified copy was awarded the highest prize at the World Industrial Exhibition in Brussels. The production of career specimens was transferred to an enterprise in Zhodino. From that moment, mass production of forty-ton trucks began, which made up worthy competition for the most “heavyweight” BelAZ trucks. Despite worldwide recognition, no more than fifty of these modifications were released in total.

Truck MAZ-500

Era of the first cabovers

Over the next 20 years, the products of the Minsk Automobile Plant did not change much. The priority was the 200th and 205th modifications. The history of MAZ was replenished with a new model in 1966, when a truck under the index 500 entered the arena. Its development was due to a lot of difficulties associated with the processing of the cab base and the placement of the power unit. There were quite a few opponentswho did not welcome innovation.

Nevertheless, through the efforts of young and active specialists, the decision was made to develop two pilot projects, numbered 500 and 503. Already in the summer of 1961, after testing, more than 120 cars of the indicated modifications were manufactured, which underwent real testing in various regions of the vast country, including forestry in the Far North. Experimental measures and mass production intertwined in an incomprehensible way, which led to the continuation of the production of "two hundred" until 1966. The last (according to the official version) MAZ-200 was installed as a pedestal at the entrance to the central checkpoint of the Minsk Automobile Plant. It is generally accepted that the history of the MAZ-500 entered the active phase from that moment. Already next year, several varieties of this series were put on the conveyor at once:

  • cars;
  • dump trucks;
  • truck tractors;
  • versions with different types of unloadings;
  • cars with special trailer;
  • modifications with a modified body stiffness parameter.
  • Tractor MAZ

Interesting facts

Among the novelties of the Soviet automobile industry, as well as the history of MAZ, it should be noted a project 509 all-wheel drive timber carrier. In the early 1970s, the 500 models were given a bit of a makeover with a redesigned grille, increasing payload by 1,000 kilograms while increasing speed to 85 km/h.

Foruse in Western Europe, they urgently developed a tractor version 504B, which differed from the basic counterpart in that it could tow a tow hitch weighing 20 tons. For the first time in history, a V-shaped eight-cylinder engine was installed on domestic trucks of this type.

The motor power parameter (YaMZ-238) was 240 "horses". As the history of the creation of MAZ vehicles shows, the 504V models were distinguished by elongated springs that improve ride smoothness, as well as a cab that was equipped with a dining table, additional thermal and noise insulation, sun visors, and window blinds. At that time, all domestic truckers envied their colleagues from Sovtransavto, where these versions were operated.

MAZ truck cab

Introduction of all-wheel drive models

The history of the creation of MAZ continued in 1977. At that time, Europe adopted an updated order for the location of optics on trucks. It is not surprising that the 500th line has undergone another upgrade. Some nodes and details have been improved or finalized. The appearance of the vehicle has also changed significantly. The head light elements were moved to the front bumper, the radiator grille was re-modified. The indexes of the updated models have become more complicated and complicated (5335, 5429, and so on), although in fact these are the same "500" with minor alterations.

The next factory tuning touched upon the history of the MAZ-500 models in converting them into version 6422 with a rectangular cab and increasedcomfort. It is believed that from this period the production of modern analogues of Belarusian trucks began. May 19, 1981 is considered a significant date in the history of the MAZ brand. On this day, the two-axle truck tractor project 5432 was presented, which was produced almost simultaneously with the three-axle analogue 6422. The cars differed from their predecessors in an updated comfortable cab with panoramic front glass and the presence of a pair of sleeping bags.

Among other innovations and improvements:

  • safety steering column;
  • steering wheel tilt and height adjustment;
  • mirror spheres;
  • on-board diagnostic system;
  • sprung seats;
  • the ability to check the main components without the driver leaving the cab.

The simultaneous increase in the volume of the fuel tank and the reduction in fuel consumption made it possible for the updated cars to travel up to a thousand kilometers at one gas station. And that's not all the pluses: the total weight of two-axle road trains has increased to 42 tons, the engine power parameter has increased by 30 "horses" (up to 330 hp).

The latest history of the MAZ plant

The next legendary development from Belarusian designers is the modification "Perestroika" under the index 200. This road train was really ahead of its time, having a modular design, recognized as the best in the world of mass-produced automotive industry. These merits were noted at the international summit in Paris. This event took place in 1988. There is information that some corporations from Europe and America have acquired patents for thisautomobile. At home, this project remained a vivid memory, and the very idea of ​​\u200b\u200bPerestroika remained in experimental versions, since it was significantly ahead of the realities of the 80s. Well, then the well-known events began with real restructuring and the collapse of the Union.

Truck MAZ

In the same period, full-scale testing of the strategic military three-axle truck MAZ-6317 began. The carrying capacity of the machine was 11 tons. In parallel, tests were carried out on a truck tractor under the index 6525. The wheel formula of both vehicles is 6x6. Such equipment was not previously produced by Belarusians, therefore, after running in, both copies were put on the run. Test run route – Minsk-Surgut-Minsk.

In the history of MAZ vehicles of this series, it was practiced to cross ice crossings across the Ob and Irtysh, as well as to check the Karakum desert with sand barriers. After finalizing the machines, the designers sent them for re-testing to Nizhnevartovsk. Trucks overcame all these vicissitudes only at the stage of factory tests. During the state examination for entry into the series and acceptance into service, the test was even more serious. As a result, the 6317 and 6425 lines were accepted into the state of the Soviet Army as multi-purpose vehicles.

After the collapse of the USSR

In the history of MAZ, real problems began to be observed in the early 90s. After the collapse of the USSR, all stable economic and economic ties were broken, production volumes significantly decreased. The products of the Minsk plant turned out to be uncompetitive in the world market.

Througha few years the plant was able to recover, began to modernize existing vehicles and began to develop the fourth generation. New truck features:

  • appearance of safety guards, ABS systems;
  • equipment with anti-slip mechanism;
  • use of a wide range of engines (YaMZ, TMZ, MAN, Cummins, Perkins);
  • the presence of an electromechanical differential lock;
  • high-roof luxury cabs with adjustable seats and steering wheel.

Modifications 5336 and 5337 remained the basis of two-axle vehicles manufactured in the 90s. The total weight of the truck was from 16 to 25 tons, depending on the model, of which there were many. In a road train, this figure increased to 44 tons. Among the most sought-after novelties of this period:

  1. Auto under the index 534005 for 8.7 tons with an enlarged cab, with a capacity of 330 "horses".
  2. Trailer option 8701.
  3. Tractor 543208 with a new "engine" YaMZ-7511, 400 hp

At the MAZ-MAN joint venture, production facilities were organized for the assembly of mainline tractors 543265 and 543268, which were equipped with 370- and 410-horsepower engines and were intended to work as part of road trains (44 tons). The chassis of the 5432 series, cabs of the F200 line became the basis for the creation of machines. Since 2000, three-axle tractors with "engines" with a capacity of 400-465 horsepower have been produced.

Truck manufacturer MAZ


Despite all the difficulties and confrontations, the history of MAZ carscontinues. The Minsk plant with a team of about 20 thousand employees among the former countries of the socialist bloc occupies a leading position in the production of trucks. To compare performance parameters: 80s - up to 40 thousand cars, 90s - only 12 thousand units. More than 13,000 chassis assembled in 2000.

The plant also produces trailers and trailers of various configurations. In addition, there is a branch for the manufacture of buses. Since the founding of the Minsk Automobile Plant, more than 1.2 million vehicles for various purposes have rolled off its assembly lines.

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