Real thoughts/experiences with military trucks

   #1  

Hay Dude

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Anyone have experience with them?
So much bang for the buck, but there’s a downside, of course, to everything.
Cant help but think this thing would be perfect for large square bale transport from soft fields to local delivery yards.
Civilian 6x6 is easily $50-$75k
This truck below runs excellent and is a whopping $9,000. 855 Cummins, Automatic, central tire inflation and a 40,000lb hydraulic winch. Street legal with taillights and state inspection. We have a local garage that knows them and services them.

1637965282598.jpeg
 
   #3  

Slowpoke Slim

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Off the top of my head, the first things I would say are, terrible fuel mileage (for what your are doing) compared to a "civilian" rig, and low final drive gear so low "highway" road speeds.

Not "fun" to drive, once the novelty wears off. It's like driving a paint shaker welded to a running jack hammer, compared to a modern civilian rig.

If you get one with a 24v electrical system, they are overly complicated to work on and parts are expensive if you can find them. Same goes with the inflation system.

Heaters barely work (when it's cold and you need them), the only A/C is the side windows (and the windshield if you get one old enough for them to be the pop out style).

I've never missed driving them since getting out.
 
   #4  

4570Man

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Off the top of my head, the first things I would say are, terrible fuel mileage (for what your are doing) compared to a "civilian" rig, and low final drive gear so low "highway" road speeds.

Not "fun" to drive, once the novelty wears off. It's like driving a paint shaker welded to a running jack hammer, compared to a modern civilian rig.

If you get one with a 24v electrical system, they are overly complicated to work on and parts are expensive if you can find them. Same goes with the inflation system.

Heaters barely work (when it's cold and you need them), the only A/C is the side windows (and the windshield if you get one old enough for them to be the pop out style).

I've never missed driving them since getting out.

Most short haul civilian trucks ride awful too. They don’t have the comfort features an OTR truck has. Anything with spring suspension, a bench seat and a solid mounted cab is going to ride awful. Most civilian short haul trucks don’t go very fast either. My F-750 tops out at 60-65 and that’s probably faster than average for single axels. There’s a few single axels with enough motor and gears to run faster but virtually all of them are under powered and under geared.
 
   #5  

oosik

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Drive it and see what you think. Otherwise - 2X what Slowpoke Slim said. During my early years in Alaska - I rode in several military deuce and a halfs. Have you ever heard the saying - "like pushing a flock of sheep down the road".
 
   #6  

MossRoad

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Back in the mid 80's I had a job driving rebuilt 5 ton military trucks out of the AM General plant in South Bend to railroad spurs all around the area. Longest trips were about 45 miles. I drove hundreds of them. That in your picture looks to be more modern, and possibly larger, so take this for what it's worth.

I had zero driving experience at the time and found them very easy to drive. They had bench seats, no air in summer (all open cabs, so wouldn't have mattered), heaters worked a bit, but again, in open cabs, didn't matter. We'd pick them up in a field at the plant and if no one was looking, instead of heading out the front exit, we'd head over to the off-road course where they tested the hummers, engage the front axle, and drive over all kinds of rough terrain, sand, mud holes, hills, etc. No one ever got one stuck. I'm sure you could sink them in a muddy field, but that never happened to us. We managed 55-60 on the highway but that was the speed limit back then. I doubt they would go any faster. But who cared? We were going 45 miles at most.

Drove them up on the ramps onto the flatbed railroad cars, chained them down and sent them all over the country.

So I guess I'd suggest you ask yourself how long are your trips, can you deal with limited heat and no air, will it haul what you need with minimal modifications, and is that low price worth the experiment? You could probably sell it for what you have into it with minimal loss, so it might be worth a try. Could save you some money if it fits your needs.

I see value in it. I see those types of trucks in use at several excavating companies hauling trailers with equipment on them, and specialized tanks for who knows what.

Good luck in your process.
 
   #7  

dirttoys

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Back in the mid 80's I had a job driving rebuilt 5 ton military trucks out of the AM General plant in South Bend to railroad spurs all around the area. Longest trips were about 45 miles. I drove hundreds of them. That in your picture looks to be more modern, and possibly larger, so take this for what it's worth.

I had zero driving experience at the time and found them very easy to drive. They had bench seats, no air in summer (all open cabs, so wouldn't have mattered), heaters worked a bit, but again, in open cabs, didn't matter. We'd pick them up in a field at the plant and if no one was looking, instead of heading out the front exit, we'd head over to the off-road course where they tested the hummers, engage the front axle, and drive over all kinds of rough terrain, sand, mud holes, hills, etc. No one ever got one stuck. I'm sure you could sink them in a muddy field, but that never happened to us. We managed 55-60 on the highway but that was the speed limit back then. I doubt they would go any faster. But who cared? We were going 45 miles at most.

Drove them up on the ramps onto the flatbed railroad cars, chained them down and sent them all over the country.

So I guess I'd suggest you ask yourself how long are your trips, can you deal with limited heat and no air, will it haul what you need with minimal modifications, and is that low price worth the experiment? You could probably sell it for what you have into it with minimal loss, so it might be worth a try. Could save you some money if it fits your needs.

I see value in it. I see those types of trucks in use at several excavating companies hauling trailers with equipment on them, and specialized tanks for who knows what.

Good luck in your process.
That right there was good informed advice.
 
   #8  

ROUSTABOUT

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We use them around here. I like them. I want to put a manure spreader bed on one, tired of using a high geared road truck in the field.
 
   #9  

mikester

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If its road legal and keeping it on the road doesn't cost you an arm and a leg in parts and labour and insurance then go for it.

Here you need to get annual safeties and old beater trucks are cop and MTO magnets because the government is keen on getting rid of moving violations.
 
  
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#10  
OP
Hay Dude

Hay Dude

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There’s a guy somewhere fairly close by to me who converted one into a 16’ dump truck, but I don’t know him. Otherwise I’d give him a call and ask him how he likes it. He painted it white and decaled the doors with company name. Looks somewhat civilized.
If I did a 16’ flatbed, my scenario would be to load (8) 4x4x8’s @ 1500-2000 each (6-8 tons) in a field, crawl out and do a short trip, maybe 10 miles, to various drop off points.
No AC definitely sucks, but so many positives-cheap purchase price, traction, winch to pull out other stuck equipment, pretty simple engine & trans to service. There’s a company in Philly that sells them for 2-3 times as much, but they have been gone through, inspected and cleaned up. He can install AC in them, too.

I hear the central tire inflation system can be expensive to maintain.

Mikesters point about cops cannot be underestimated. If it looks old, cops flock to it like buzzards on a deer carcass.
 
 
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