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Monday, September 14, 2015

.Mil Surplus Vehicles

One of the III businesses coming online soon is going to offer refurbished vehicles suited for bugging out.

While I have my own ideas about what makes a suitable bug out vehicle, I'd like some input from those of you who have experience with Mil Surplus rigs.  What are the pros & cons of generally shopping the surplus market?  Have the vehicles been sitting so long they have problems?  Were they generally well-maintained during their service life?  Any insights will be helpful.


  1. I read your blog everyday. Sometimes I check It multiple times a day. I agree with a lot of what you post. I find the information interesting and helpful.

    I agree with the III ideals and philosophy .

    Given the back and forth and dissension why won't you post the financials?

    1. I've already made it clear the III Society audit will be made public when it is completed.

      As to the back and forth - there is no back and forth. A small group of III FSA are whining about me. That means it must be Tuesday. Take away their .Gov teet, and they'd all starve to death. Fugg'em.

      For future reference - anonymous questions on this topic will not be posted. This subject is much bigger than Kerodin, and involves at least 4 companies and a non-profit that all have a voice that will be heard. That is all.

  2. Do site visits before you buy. Sometimes the auction companies are VERY misleading on condition

  3. Most if not all are very well maintained, with very complete servicing records. If they've been sitting for a while (the ones near Barstow, surplus from Ft. Irwin, for example. ...) will need bushings and etc, because the desert kills rubber pieces. But mechanically, they are sound. There are deals to be had. Look at generators, and etc. too. My only caveat is.... you really need to already be where you are going...
    stormfriend sends

  4. Another thing to consider is availability of spare parts,maintenance parts like brake pads/shoes,oil,air and fuel filters,etc. on the civilian market.
    Filters and stuff like that can usually be adapted,as can brake lines,fuel lines,hydraulic lines,etc. by any competent mechanic.
    Engine and transmission parts-not so much.
    Tires are another thing that can be hard to come by,so either get spares,or look into adapting tires/rims from the civilian truck tire market.

    Something else to consider is that there are some models of .mil trucks
    that can run on multiple fuels-gasoline,diesel,kerosene,JP-8 jet fuel.
    Maybe it's just me,but if I was going to buy a surplus truck,I would buy one capable of running on any commonly available fuel.
    A generator is something else I would consider a must have on any large surplus truck-a welder/generator would be even better.

  5. Just my two cents again, since you were at least fair the last time I popped round.

    I used to deal in these vehicles as a part-time business. I bought and sold quite a few and am well acquainted with how the surplus sales system works.

    1. Every one of these vehicles will have stuff wrong with them. The government isn't trashing them because they are in perfect condition. They are being sold because the repairs that they need are projected to cost more than is alloted for that vehicle type. It may just be tires or a small rust hole or it may be an engine, But since you can't test-drive or even start them (they'll all be sitting with dead or removed batteries), you roll the dice and take your chances. A detailed inspection where you look for clues as to it's actual condition is a must. Understand also that these days, large commercial buyers will be at the same auctions, and they will play the game better than you and get the cream of the crop at any sale that they show up at. You'll get what they don't want unless you beat their prices.

    2. You won't get the maintainance records. I don't know what the experience is of the joker above who said that you do, but you won't. I've never seen record one for anything I've bought as the DRMO sites are just sales outlets for the vehicles and the units that drop them off don't turn over records. You'll be lucky to get a key if it takes a key.

    3. How were these cared for? Depends on the unit that had them. Guard units may have just run them briefly in between oil changes. Transport units rack up the miles, and don't even get me started on how Marines in particular treat their gear. (Hint: I refuse to buy equipment that has USMC markings, for good reason.) And if it was deployed somewhere, it's probably beat. Of course most that get sent overseas get left behind, so you won't see too many of those, but they're there.

    4. Multi-fuel engines...aren't. While they were designed to run on alternative fuels in an emergency, you won't get away with that for very long. And many of the military rigs had the fuel system desnity compensators removed for that reason. If it's a diesel, stick to diesel.

    5. Parts of any kind are always available through a network of dealers, but don't expect them to be cheap. It's not like the old days anymore--these people know what they have and what it's worth, and they've got you by the nuts if you need something not off-the-shelf.

    6. They break. All. The. Time. They are usually decades old and worn out. You'll need to be handy. And they are uniformly slow, loud and non-fuel-efficient. They weren't made for economy. Get used to hearing protection while driving.

    7. Many are no longer sold with Form 97s--the military equivallent of a title. Without a Form 97, it can be difficult to impossible to ever register it and get tags for it depending on the rules of your state.

    8. If you buy one, be prepared to tow or flatbed it from the sale site. The odds of you being able to start one up and drive it off are pretty much nonexistent today. I still watch the sales and all I see these days is junk.

    I like my military vehicles, M35 trucks in particular, but they are project vehicles, each and every one, and should not be relied on for anything more than a toy or a work truck on a farm, and even then you'd better be handy and used to dealing with very large and heavy parts.

    Just some advice from a guy who did what it looks like you want to do.


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