Imperial Japanese Army IJA (1934)
Military Truck – ?5000 built

WW2 Japanese Army Trucks

Like other industrial nations, and interested by UK’s own tests in the 1920s, Japan began motorizing its army and create motorized infantry regiments to go with its newly formed armoured regiments. Gradually, and especially until the end of the 1930s for operations in China, the Army purchased a variety of trucks to carry troops and supplies. This increased in WW2 with a variety of lorries and trucks built by mostly by Toyota, Nissan and Isuzu. These were the Type 94 6-Wheeled Truck, Type 95 Mini-truck, Type 97 4-Wheeled Truck, Type 1 6-Wheeled Truck and Type 2 Heavy Truck for the latter, and Toyota KB/KC Truck, Nissan 80 and 180 Trucks, plus the Amphibious Truck Toyota “Su-Ki”.

Development of the Type 94

The Type 94 was initially developed in 1933 as part of the Imperial Japanese Army’s program to sponsor independent motor companies, in order to provide the army with a reliable truck platform. This was to counter the already tested existing civilian lorries which had poor performance in the field. Isuzu showed their design and a prototype was tested and eventually accepted in 1934. This sturdy 6×6 configuration gave all satisfaction in terms of range, reliability, and most important, off-road capabilities.

Design of the Type 94

The Type 94 was a 6×6 army truck design, fitted with an Otsu diesel engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 60 km/h while preserving range. The vehicle itself neither unarmed and unarmored, but carried two spare tires on the side for maintenance. The crew comprised single driver and the practical payload was 1,300 kgs of cargo, or and infantry platoon. Total weight was around 4,800 kilograms, total length 5.3 metres.

Its army requirements design made it, unlike its civilian-based predecessors, highly reliable in the field and very capable of traveling cross country, helped also by a high clearance, to traverse the rough jungle terrain where it mostly served. Variants built during the war included an optional gasoline engine, a soft top and hard top conversions for the driver cabin roof.

The Type 94 in action

The Type 94 served abundantly in China and used widely across the Pacific Theater. Its performances were praised already in the late 1930s and was quickly adopted as the standard truck of the Imperial Japanese army. It served throughout until 1945 while thousands had been produced.

Links/sources about the Type 94 Lorry

The Type 94 on Wikipedia -in Japanese)
Japanese trucks overview
The Type 94 on

Isuzu Type 94 specifications

Dimensions5.4 x 1.9 x 2.7m
Total weight3.5-4.8 tons (1.5 tons payload)
Crew1 (Plus infantry platoon)
PropulsionGasoline Engine (Ko Model) or Otsu Diesel Engine:
43hp/1,500rpm or 68hp/2,800rpm
Top speed45-60 km/h
Range (maximal at cruise speed)Unknown
Total productionUnknown – possibly 5000+ 1934-45
Type 94 Japanese Lorry 6x6 army truck
Rendition by D Bocquelet, Tanks Encyclopedia of the Type 94 6×6 Imperial Japanese army truckIsuzu 6x6 army truck
Factory photo of the 6×6 IJA army truck

A Type 94 supplying the Imperial Japanese Army’s 16th tank regiment (equipped with Type 95 Ha-Go) on Marcus Island, ww2, date unknown.

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8 Responses to Type 94 Lorry

  1. 5starWill says:

    I’ve been reading articles on your site for over a year now, and I have learned a lot. In fact, almost all of my knowledge in armored combat has come from you guys!

    However, I have also been watching your sister sites, Naval and Planes Encyclopedia, and I’ve noticed that they are rather lacking in articles. I assume that you don’t have enough time or skilled writers to make articles in a speedy manner as you do here.
    Recently, I have read a lot into naval warfare and have become very interested in submarines in particular.

    If you would like, I would be more than willing to write an article or two about the various submarines of World War 2 for your Naval Encyclopedia.

    For more information, you can contact me at my E-Mail,

    Thanks in advance, and great article as always!

    • Hello Will

      Why not…
      All depends on what subs you are talking about:
      In fact the website already exists on its original, old French version so basically the info is here, just waiting to be translated. But i can’t take on more than two articles per week so yes, in any case your help will be welcome.
      We will discuss this further by mail or skype if you have an account
      See you soon,
      All the best !

      • 5starWill says:

        I would be more than willing to write about the Gato/Balao classes of fleet submarines, as well as the Type 7/9 classes of submarines.

        I do in fact have Skype (will5stars, would show up as WilltheMeme) and an Email address ( You can contact me on either, whichever works best for you, although I may not respond to Skype messages right away as I spend a lot of time with family.

        Either way, I look forward to hearing from you!

  2. James says:

    At the very top it says “en of the 1930s for operations in china”. ‘en instead of end’. Just trying to help, and great work as always!

  3. kikiribukiriki says:

    Hi, would be cool if you could expand on the article a bit further sometime, maybe mention some of the different variants of the Type 94 truck and their porpouses, such as the soft and hard top variants, the Type 98 20mm and Type 88 75mm SPAAGs some of which were field modifications, the ambulalance and water purification trucks, search light variant, etc. It was basically used for everything.

    Some ideas:

    • David.B says:

      Hi, this post was done mostly because the illustration existed. But in the future if we expand the vehicles sections, why not ? Thanks for the references anyway.

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