In the upcoming May 2014 issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS, author Jorge Amselle discusses Big Bug Out Trucks in North Carolina, a company that specializes in revamping military-surplus M35 2.5-ton (“deuce and a half”) trucks for bug-out duties.
Amselle writes, “I spoke with the owner of Big Bug Out Trucks in North Carolina about how he started working on M35s. About 10 years ago he was looking for a Unimog off-road vehicle, but M35s were much cheaper, more reliable and easier to modify, so he settled for one of those. He discovered that he could remove an axle, shorten the bed and turn it into a shorter vehicle that was much more accommodating for daily driving, not to mention other advantages like higher highway speeds and better fuel mileage.
“We remove one of the rear axles from the tandem cradle and about 3 feet from the chassis frame, then reharden it and add a custom set of springs to match the height of the front so that the rake is adjusted properly. We then lengthen the drive shaft to accommodate the new wheelbase, flip the hubs and adjust the rear axle to accommodate the 46-inch tires. The entire truck is then sandblasted, and a shorter M105 bed is installed and repainted.’ The trucks can be painted in any color or pattern the customer wants.
“If you already have an M35 or a 5-ton truck, Big Bug Out Trucks will bob it for you, or the company will sell you one it has already bobbed. These trucks are easily available as surplus from the Department of Defense as well as from private owners. But besides it looking sweeter than any other 4×4 on the road and making the trucks easier to park, what are the advantages of shortening it? Well, for one thing, if your homeowners association prohibits commercial or oversized vehicles, you can get one past them.”
To learn more, check out the May 2014 issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS, available on newsstands and digitally March 11, 2014. To subscribe, go to https://www.tactical-life.com/subscribe/tactical-weapons