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Thread: Deuce and 1/2

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    Administrator digger242j's Avatar
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    Deuce and 1/2

    I was looking through the Heavy truck Trader mag the other day and saw a few ex-military Deuce and 1/2 trucks for sale. It's common knowlege that the nickname comes from the 2 1/2 ton payload that they're supposed to carry.

    I know we have some military experience here on the board, so I just have to ask--Is that all they can carry? I mean, 2 1/2 tons is only 5000 lbs. There are plenty of civilian trucks that are on the bordrerline between light and medium duty that have that much payload. It's kinda hard to believe that a tandem axle 6X6 truck would only be good for 5000 lbs. What's the story?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cat420's Avatar
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    I always thought that 2 1/2 tons is what they weighed. Here's a website with a bunch of military trucks. Click Here
    2001 Cat 420D with a bunch of goodies

    1977 Gmc 6500 dump with 10ft plow

    www.kawieriders.com

  3. #3
    Administrator digger242j's Avatar
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    I always thought that 2 1/2 tons is what they weighed
    I thought of that, but only for a minute. 3/4 ton pickups weigh more than 5000 lbs.

    Neat site you posted there. I've always wanted to own one, but I don't have a clue what I'd use it for.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cat420's Avatar
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    I really like the dump truck version. That would be a good cheap truck for anyone starting a new business.
    2001 Cat 420D with a bunch of goodies

    1977 Gmc 6500 dump with 10ft plow

    www.kawieriders.com

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    The 2 1/2 ton rating comes from their off road capacity, and I believe it is the rating climbing a steep grade. Littledenny can probably give you all the details. I do know that they can carry significantly more on the highway.

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    Senior Member Cat420's Avatar
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    woberlin beat me to it. I just read on another site that 2.5 tons is their offroad capacity, onroad is 5 tons.
    2001 Cat 420D with a bunch of goodies

    1977 Gmc 6500 dump with 10ft plow

    www.kawieriders.com

  7. #7
    Founder Steve Frazier's Avatar
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    Just a note to anyone considering these trucks for work use; I've heard that these trucks do not meet DOT specifications and can not be licensed for general operation. They can be licensed as antiques or farm vehicles and special commercial vehicles, but this limits their use to specific operations. Check with your Motor Vehicles Burea before considering purchase.

    Nice website just the same, Cat420!

  8. #8
    Senior Member littledenny's Avatar
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    CAT 420 had it right, the military rates the Deuce and a half for 5000 lbs. offroad, but we're talking ditchhopping, steep grades, sideslopes, etc. Highway capacity is twice that - 10000 lbs. I know thay will carry much more than that, trucks of the Deuce's era were drastically underrated, but remember, they were running on military, and often recapped, tires.

    The dumps are pretty stout, and likely, were'nt beaten too hard in their military life. The cargo versions were run many more miles, on average.

    Many local govts. use them for dumps, or tankers for fire departments, have one here at my local station. Know there are a few licensed for contractors, but don't remember what states. Check you local laws, but I don't see why you couldn't use them.

    They are slow - geared for amazing low end pulling power, but you're not gonna outrun any commercial trucks with it. But if you're trying to get gravel into a muddy, hilly site, when the regular guys won't run, they might just do it. Do yourself a favor, check into a hard top, canvas is a drag.
    Littledenny

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    Administrator digger242j's Avatar
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    That all makes sense. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    I noticed that they don't have a real good turning radius either. I watched one from the PA national Guard have to back up in the middle of a busy intersection and take another cut at making it around a kind of hairpin turn.

    I looked at a civilian dump truck once that was equipped with a military surplus body. Pretty interesting setup. It would raise all the way up to where the bed floor was not just tipped, but vertical.

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    Steve the 2.5 ton trucks are road legal but not the 10 ton trucks. Lots of logers use them as cheap pull out trucks, and some even use the dump trucks to haul gravel to various offroad areas. Their speed kills them though. I drive a friends oldWW2 truck it dosent have standard pass throug drive shafts like a regualr truck or the newer 2.5 tons. It had 2 regualr rearends one is offset a hair some werent even offset though. it has 2 shafts comming out of the rear ot the transfer case. The front tandem has a bearing block with a yoke on each enad the drive shaft passes through. It runs the power around the front tandem to the back. This also allows it to pull with rear axle only, sor smooth road travel less wear and better fuel efficiency. Then you engage the fron tandem, or you can engaged all six, or just the front and rear axle. I think you may be able to just use the front tandem to. it was made if one hade a problem it could be bypassed. His dump had a soft top 219 car motor and six wheel drive fun to play with. They used to have several to move houses and other equipment back in the 50's. The newer ones they had had a Continental multifuel engin that they liked. It ran off Gas,Diesel,kerosene, and salvaged gas out of old junkyard cars. The only thing I hate about some of them is they had air over hydraulic brakes then one they had had hydraulic brakes on the front and air on the tandems. you can also find alot of suprises in them to We found a 75 round belt of 30 cal. ammo.

  11. #11
    Senior Member littledenny's Avatar
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    Was looking over a few old posts, and just remembered that there's a guy locally that uses an old duece for a septic tank hauler. Just about no place he can't get a tank. I've seen their new trucks, and some pretty sharp drivers that can set tanks from sideslope and pretty severe downslope approaches. I've seen them chain the front ends of trucks to dozers and hoes to get in some places. They only haul out the duece for the impossible settings. Still, once you see where this thing can go, that the commercial trucks can't, you'll understand why they keep it around.

    We set a tank Friday, where the truck was backed down a 40 degree slope. Oh, what fun operating in the hills!!!!!
    Littledenny

  12. #12
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    Is the 6x6 and or the tandem axles good enough to pull something in the range of a 9 ton excavator?

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    Senior Member Countryboy's Avatar
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    Welcome to Heavy Equipment Forums golddigger!

  14. #14
    Senior Member littledenny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by golddigger View Post
    Is the 6x6 and or the tandem axles good enough to pull something in the range of a 9 ton excavator?
    Are you talking with the Duece and the pintle hitch? Probably -

    Bit of history--Gotta remember the Dueces and the five tons for that matter had a series of evolutions from the WWII days. WWII Dueces were 3 axle / 6 tired trucks in some cases. As the trucks improved, the military load rating capacities didn't. You have to remember that both series were drastically underrated, from the Korean era up to the late 70's. The post 70's Duece and 5 Tons were rated higher, but the "names" just stuck. As an old Army trucker, I can honestly say that I've seen many underpowered trucks, but I've never seen an overloaded one. We used to pull some hellish loads with old 5 tons, and they will go anywhere. I've seen a 5 Ton pull a loaded 5000fuel tanker over an 18" log, and up rock outcroppings. (Takes a real offroad driver to do this, I'd not suggest that the average boob try it!)

    Still the military took a good look at trucks in recent years, starting in the late 70's, and increasingly got away from purpose built cargo trucks and bought some commercial trucks, especially for line haul. These days, the pure line haul trucks are just about identical to commercail vehicles, at least under the skin while the "tactical" rigs, i.e. those that get put into serious offraod situations are getting really radical again.

    Back to the question: A surplus Duece would probably pull a tag along with out any serious trouble, but it's geared way too low and it's way too underpowered to get things going at decent speeds. Very few Dueces were fitted with fifth wheels. An old 5 Ton tractor certainly would pull a tag along or a lowboy, but unless you got one free, and wanted to fix it to get it road worthy, brakes, road certification issues, etc - why would you want to?

    Other than for the novelty value, I'd consider it a bridge too far.
    Littledenny

  15. #15
    Senior Member jughead's Avatar
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    Duece and 1/2

    used one with fifth wheel in chattanooga back in the late 50s. it would take a 35 ft. flat bed loaded with sheetrock a lot of places. it did get interesting in and out of town with that turning radius. managed to straddle a few fire hydrants but never broke one.

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