"Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant" dates its history start from July 23, 1954. This day by the order of Tractor & Agricultural Machinery Minister within the execution of USSR Ministry Council regulation of July 25, 1954 No. 1258-563 "About enhancement and development of new artillery system and tractor prototypes" on the MAZ was found a special design bureau (SDB) upon heavy-wheel artillery systems and engines for them with testing facilities. B.L. Shaposhnik was appointed the Chief Designer upon heavy wheel artillery tractors by the Minister’s order of July 5, 1954 No. 25.
By the MAZ Director order of July 23, 1954 No. 15 the newly organized SDB was titled as SDB-1. In 1956 there was assembled the first testing prototype of artillery tractor MAZ-535.
In 1959 there were put into operation new production facilities, where a machine-assembly workshop No. 3 (MAW-3) was placed for production of units and assemblies, as well as for tractors assembling. On March 29, 1959 there was assembled the first production truck tractor MAZ-537 from the testing vehicle lot.
In 1960 the truck tractors assembly on MAW-3 facilities was separated in a free-standing workshop upon automobile assembly & testing (WAAT-2), which in 1962 was transferred to a new production facilities.
On July 21, 1959 by USSR Ministry Council order the MAZ was authorized with construction development, execution of design & testing and putting into production of multiaxle autochassis for mounting on them of the first prestrategic missile complex "Temp-S". In 1962 there was start a production of 4th-wheel chassis of high crossing capacity MAZ-543.
In light of the necessity to release production capacity for manufacture of new chassis MAZ-543 the technical documentation, developed by SBD-1, was transferred to KZKT (Kurgan) for production of truck tractors MAZ-535 in 1961 and MAZ-537 in 1964, to MoAZ (Mogilev) - truck tractor family MAZ-529 in 1959 and to JaMZ (Jaroslavl) - engine V-12 in 1959.
In 1970 in view of ground equipment development for missile complex a renovation project of special production was adopted, under which in 1971-1979 machinery-assembling premises No. 2 (MAP-2), brakes testing workshop and administrative facilities were built and put into operation. In MAP-2 there were placed the following workshops: MAW No. 3, 4, 6, frame-pressing No. 2, thermal No. 3, WAAT-2 and repair. In administrative facilities 1 and 2 there were placed workshop offices and special production control service. All production workshops were supplied with all-purposed and high-duty special equipment, including machines with digit-program control, necessary machine jigging and workbenches for assemblies testing and with measuring gages.
Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MWTP) dates its history start from July 23, 1954. This day by the order of Tractor & Agricultural Machinery Minister within the execution of USSR Ministry Council regulation of July 25, 1954 No. 1258-563 "About enhancement and development of new artillery system and tractor prototypes" on the MAZ was found a special design bureau (SDB) upon heavy-wheel artillery systems and engines for them with testing facilities. B.L. Shaposhnik was appointed the Chief Designer upon heavy wheel artillery tractors by the Minister’s order of July 5, 1954 No. 25.
On April 10, 1975 the special production was separated in financial sphere as production of special wheel tractors (PSWT).
In different years the following directors headed the PSWT: S.P. Parshin (1975-1978), G.A. Isaevich (1978-1980), V.I. Gross (1980-1985), P.P. Savchitz (1985-1986), V.A. Volkov (1986-1991).
Till the end of 1980-s the main PSWT production comprises chassis and truck tractors, made for the needs of USSR Defense Ministry, which became the transport base of heavy weapon complexes, including prestrategic missile complexes "Temp-S", "Elbrus", anti-aircraft defense complexes "S-300", salvo fire missile systems "Smerch", coastline defense complex "Bereg", "Rubezh", strategic missile complexes "Temp 2S", "Pioneer", "Topol", also the transport base for command headquarters, for location and transporting of radar aids and other equipment.
The period of MAZ-543 mass production coincided with a rapid development of Western Siberia and Caspian Sea region oil & gas industry. The vehicle technical specifications, their extreme payload and high crossing capacity aroused a great interest in the transport and oil & gas pipeline construction spheres, where these vehicles found a wide application. On the ground of MAZ-543 there were developed and manufactured automobiles for national economy, including drop-side truck tractors and trailers for transportation of track vehicles and other loads, dump trucks, pipe and timber carriers, chassis for mount of fire-fighting equipment. In the 2nd half of 1980-s there were designed and manufactured transport combinations for carrying of large undividable loads with a payload of 75 and 100 t.
The SDB-1 Chief Designer B.L. Shaposhnik was honored with Socialist Labor Hero Title (1973), laureate of Lenin (1976) and USSR National premium (1968). In 1968, 1977, 1978, 1984 and 1989 other 20 PSWT employees were honored with laureate titles of USSR National premium, besides three of them were honored with this title twice. Many workers, engineers and clerks of PSWT were marked with government rewards.
In view of increased vehicle variety and their volume rising in 1978 there was developed a project of PSWT expansion and reconstruction, under which execution there were built and put into operation MAP-3 and administrative facility 3. There were located MAW 7 and 4, organized a workshop of flexible production systems, comprising 39 processing centers, controlled by computers.
In 1982 USSR Ministry Council decided about a creation of heavy-duty transporter upon project "Wildland" and development of design & testing facility (DTF) of PSWT. In 1985 there were built and put into operation the first DTF parts - research shop No. 2 and engineering facility for Chief Designer Department 2 (CDD-2). In 1984-1987 there were developed and manufactured prototypes of unique transporters upon complex "Wildland" and chassis for moving aggregates of complexes "Speed" and "Courier".
On February 7, 1991 by the order of production association "BelautoMAZ" No. 143 Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant was found and separate from MAZ, consisting of PSWT subdivisions, CDD-2, research shop 2 and so on. V.A. Volkov became the Director.
In 1993 in DTF there were put into operation a research center (RC) and spare parts shop (SPS).
In 1992 in light of orders stop for the needs of Defense Ministry there was developed and adopted a conversion program, forwarded for designing and testing of new specialized automobiles, autotrains and chassis of wide purpose for national economy of Belarus, as well as for CIS countries.
Using the accumulated experience in production of wheel chassis and tractors, which lineup is characterized with number of steered axles from 1 till 12, payload from 12 till 220 t and engines power from 165 till 1500 hp, there was developed a new generation of auto vehicles with wheel drive 4õ4, 6õ4, 6õ6, 8õ4, 8õ8, 10õ10, 12õ12 for the needs of national economy: road and off-road drop-side automobiles, dump trucks, specialized automobiles, autotrains and trailers of wide purpose, as well as special wheel chassis for mount of the most various equipment for enterprises and transport organizations of building, machinery and oil & gas industry.
In order to enlarge export deliveries, according Customer’s demands all automobiles can be equipped with propulsors, transmissions, gearboxes and other utilities of the leading world manufacturers.