The M35A2 military truck, also known as “Deuce and a half”, was fist designed in 1949 and started operations in 1950 by REO. Kaiser AM General is the most popular version of the M35 family of trucks. The 7.8m long truck weights 13,030 pound without winch and 13,530 with winch (a winch is a mechanical device used to adjust the length of cables or ropes). It is 2.8m high, 2.4m wide.


On the road the M35A2 is a very loud vehicle. It would be recommended that on wear ear plugs if the need arise to drive in one or even near one. It is not fast at all; when in fifth gear it goes at an average of 55 mph and would reach about 60 mph when going downhill. When in third gear the average speed is somewhere between 35-45 mph. There are no shocks on this truck, however the rear suspension relies on a three link system which deals with the load.


The trucks are usually powered by a LDT 465 engine, these trucks are multi-fuel. The engine alone weighs almost 1,600 pounds, has a bore and stroke of 4.56 x 4.87 inches, a 22:1 compression ratio, and holds 511/42 gallons of oil. It featured twin oil and fuel filters, an engine-driven air compressor, and it does not have any problem firing up at 20-degrees Fahrenheit. It also redlined at 2,600 rpm. Such engines are able to use various fuels such as diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, heating oil or gasoline. However gasoline should not be used in regular circumstances but should only be used in extreme cases and emergencies because it does not adequately oil the injector pump. When using gasoline there should be an addition of one quart the least, of motor oil for every 15 gallon of gasoline. This must be done to have a well lubricated pump.


The truck is designed to carry two crew members in the front; the inside is not the most luxurious. When sitting one may feel as if they are actually sitting on the exhaust itself but with pads. Inside these trucks are usually hot because of the Boyce’s fiberglass hard top and 24 volt heater just under the dash board, though one could be easily cooled down by the air coming through the windows. The windshields also provides a means of ventilation as one can flip the two front windshield panes up or take the top off and lay the whole windshield down on the hood.


The M35A2 became the dominant military vehicle for the United States of America and was used in Iraq during Operation Iraqi freedom. These are very sturdy vehicles. The M35 series was to be replaced by the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle but many United States National Guard and Reserve units continued to use them as the new family of vehicles was phased in. While the Army has phased them out of service, the National Guard still uses them.
Photo: Guy.cooper

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