The twin-engine truck came into use before World War II as a means of hauling heavy loads when the engines of the day could not get the job done. Only one or two of the heavy-duty diesel engines at the time were more powerful than the standard truck gas engines, but they were expensive and still being developed. The Grico Twin-Motor Truck, a Ford modified to use two flathead V-8 engines was one of the several pre-war trucks of this type. During the war, both the Thornton Axle Company and E & L Transport were also involved in building twin-engine trucks.
Just after the war in 1946, the Eisenhauer Manufacturing Co. built a twin-engine Chevrolet truck that incorporated five axles, with the forward pair of axles along with the fifth unit handling the steering duties. By viewing both the plan and side view drawings (below), the two independent drivetrains the truck used, each including separate driveshafts, and rear drive-axles can be seen.
The Eisenhauer brochure praised the design for providing: two 235-c.i. engines that could be used singly or as a pair when needed, greater front end payload capacity, multiple axles for a smooth ride, stability and load carrying, one of the final benefits claimed for the design was that jackknifing was not a possibility.
According to historian Alden Jewell who provided the photos: Only one of these revolutionary trucks was built, despite the touched-up pictures showing other bodies. Alden has also found that: Five prototypes were later built for a second generation Eisenhauer Truck, dubbed the X-2 with financial help from Ed Fisher of Fisher Body Co. fame.
You can view the entire Eisenhauer Freighter brochure by following the link and clicking on the right side of the page to see the second and third pages. The Eisenhauer Manufacturing Co. has survived and is in the metal-stamping business today