Dodge Off Road 5 Ton 6x6
8.3 liter Cummins 6 cylinder 12 valve
Our 5 ton 6x6 was originally an Army truck at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. It had been auctioned off from the military around 2008 and we purchased it from a private citizen in 2017. When we bought it, the truck was tan and green, with mismatched 14.00r20 tires (49") and had a tan soft top. It was in great shape mechanically but it hadn't ever been modified or improved. Right away, we started cleaning it up and fixing minor issues like door handles, window regulators, a cracked windshield, etc. Here is a list of most of the upgrades we have done so far:
DuPont Imron epoxy paint job - Hot Rod Black
53" Michelin XZL tires
HEMMT wheels up front, stock combat wheels in the back
Fiberglass hard top
New ram air intake, air filter setup
Muffler deleted and a 5" chrome exhaust stack put in it's place
Fuel pump turned up nearly all the way (MW pump)
HX50 turbo installed (replaced stock HX40)
Stainless fuel pickup and return lines
Digital EGT and boost gauges
Trucklite LED headlights
Locking door handles
Dual backup cameras
Rhino lined bed
Kleinn 25-inch air horn (150 decibel)
This truck is just a toy, but it can be used to haul our backhoe as needed. We normally just use it to pick up lumber or transport sticks of DOM tube, since the bed is 14 feet long. The bed has dropsides so everything can be forklift loaded/unloaded. The 923 series trucks were originally cargo and troop transport trucks, many of them came with wooden benches on each side of the bed and could haul a couple dozen troops in the back, typically under a cargo cover. The truck is rated for 5 tons of cargo in the bed off highway, and 10 tons on the highway. In stock form, these trucks only do about 55 mph, and are designed to run in a convoy at 45 mph. With larger tires and more fuel and air, ours will hit 65 on flat ground and sometimes get as high as 70 mph, but it's not very fun to do. This is a great truck to cruise between 45 and 50 mph, and when sitting in the cab you are actually higher than 18 wheelers but it doesn't feel top heavy.
The truck weighs 23,500 lbs, has 6.44 gears in the axles, and almost everything mechanical is air-powered. Transmission, transfer case, brakes, windshield wipers, even the coolant thermostat is hooked up to air. The steering is power with a hydraulic assist, and it turns the 53" tires really easily. However, the turning radius is incredibly wide, actually wider than our 45' Class A diesel pusher motorhome with a tag axle. The 5 ton knuckles do not swing all that far lock to lock. The good news is that you can typically just run over whatever is in the way, if backing up and turning some more isn't an option. Everybody says it about their trucks, but this truck literally will go anywhere you point it, as long as the steps don't get hung up. The rear bogie suspension makes sure that two of the four rear tires are always contacting the ground, with enough pressure to provide the traction needed. When one rear axle goes up, it forces the other one down, and vice versa.
This truck is not for sale, but we would let it go for $35,000. You can typically find one online for $15,000 +/- 5000, and there are a lot of other models that have different features. The A1 models have a 14 liter non-turbo Cummins, and the A2 models have the 8.3 CTD which is preferable. They are all big and slow but you really can't hurt them. The only weakness is the transfer case when the truck is in low range and you put it in reverse - because of the reverse rotation, the case can break apart under those circumstances if you apply too much throttle. Otherwise they are built like a tank.