Military Vehicles, November 1996,: Dumb question?

Dumb question?

William Beall (
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 18:23:58 +0000

I subscribed to this list because I'm involved in a volunteer fire
department that has acquired some military surplus vehicles from our
state Forestry Department. I've been lurking for several weeks now, and
it's time for me to jump in.

We have a 1986 Chevy CUCV M1008 1 1/4-ton 4X4, a 1970 Dodge 1 1/2-ton,
and a 1966 Kaiser 2 1/2-ton 6X6 (deuce and a half). We may also get a
5-ton 6X6 to use as a tanker.

Can anyone explain the military designation of the 6X6s as 2 1/2-ton,
5-ton, and 10-ton trucks?

The 1 1/4-ton designation seems to make sense, as the Chevys is
essentially a super heavy duty civilian 3/4-ton pickup (I've seen the
same concept on military mid-70s Dodges).

I'm not sure our Dodge is a military truck, although at one time it did
belong to Tinker AFB. It's not a tactical truck, at any rate. It's not
as big a commercial 2-ton truck, and the plate on the dash states that
the load capacity is 7700 pounds, which is almost four tons. This truck
came to us with a 600 gallon on it, which weighs about 6000 pounds when
full of water.

The deuce and a half came to us with a 1000 gallon water tank on it
(actually a 400 and a 600), and the weight of a tank with 1000 gallons
of water in it is more like 5 tons.

We've acquired a 2800 gallon tank that will fit a 5-ton like a glove,
and I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that a 5-ton 6X6 can handle a
28,000 pound load, but I don't understand the military "ton"

Enlighten me, oh learned ones.

[Side note on the trucks, not related to what I'm asking, but I know
some of you may be interested - Our Kaiser was MAGNIFICENT when we
received it. It was 100% complete, in excellent condition (the only
thing that didn't work was the volt meter, which has been replaced),
with a fresh beautiful desert camo paint job. As the trucks are on loan
to us for use in fire protection service, our agreement with the Foresty
Department requires that we paint them either green, red, or white. We
hated to do it, but the truck is now red. We DID take pictures of it
before we painted it, though! Our M1008 is also desert camo, and we're
going to have to repaint it, too. I personally think that it would be
extremely cool to have desert camo fire trucks, especially on a rural
fire department, but the Forestry Department doesn't agree. Your tax
dollars at work.)