Mar 022012

I’ve found a solution to my dilemma about whether and how to convert my HMMWV! By the simple expedient of buying an M923 5-Ton 6×6 truck in a government auction, I have determined that I’ll keep my HMMWV as a commo shelter carrier for the time being.

The truck is in Barstow, CA. It’ll be a while yet before I can pick it up, since I’ll need to wait for End Use Certificate approval by .gov folks. Here are some pictures from the auction listing:

In addition to the pictures, the auction listing included a video with a walk-around of the truck, including some footage of the engine running.

M923 video, which I need to figure out how to display inline.
The dash plates appear to indicate that the truck got overhauled in February of 2009, with only about 28 miles showing on the odometer since the overhaul! Other tags indicate that this truck has received the Modification Work Order (MWO) to add an anti-lock brake system.

I’m looking forward to receiving this truck! My current plan is to look for a nice knuckleboom crane to mount on it, and then sell my M543A2 wrecker. My M35A2C 2.5-ton 6×6 will probably also go to a new home, but I’m hanging on to it for now because I may want to use its shorter bed (12 feet long vs. 14 feet) on the 5-ton to make a couple feet of room behind the cab for the knuckleboom crane. I’m sure that I’ll have more to say about the truck once it makes it home.

  4 Responses to “M923 5-Ton 6×6 Truck”

  1. Avatar

    Great postings…and awesome find. I’ve been looking at the Duce (M35) lately. Got the opportunity to drive one a few months ago up the interstate and into the woods. No crane though, which made loading wood into the bed quite a chore.

    I’ve been searching around ebay, but it looks more like folks wanting to cash out…

    Looks like you made a good buy and will be a great truck once you get the knuckle crane installed.

    • Thanks! Yes, I’m pretty happy with this truck. I decided not to install a crane on it when I got my M936A1 recently, but I may put the M936A1 up for sale after all… so who knows? In any case, it’s fun working on these trucks and playing with them, and it’s especially nice when I can use them to do useful work.

      Good luck searching for a truck to buy!

  2. Avatar

    Good Morning Mark,
    I came across your site as I was looking to buy the exact same truck from the exact same place you did and it’s obvious to me you know what you are doing and if it’s not too much trouble I could use some advise on this process. It looks like you are in California too so after winning the auction I noticed you mentioned an “End Use Cert”, also how hard is it to get this home and legally on the road in CA ?

    Thanks in advance..
    Cole Galbraith

    • Hi there!

      The End Use Certificate is basically a low-level background check. You submit some paperwork to Government Liquidation, they send it to .gov in Battle Creek, Michigan, and a few weeks later it gets approved in nearly all cases.

      To get the truck home, some folks like to fix them up on the spot and drive them home, and others (like me) prefer to have them towed home and then work on them at our leisure. For my last few recoveries from Barstow, I had my trucks towed out by Sierra Towing.

      Please note that to legally drive one of these in CA, you will need at least a Class B commercial driver’s license, with an air brake certification.

      Regarding registration, I haven’t registered this truck yet, so here is some several-year-old information: These trucks are considered commercial trucks in CA, even if you are using them for personal use. That means expensive registration due to weight fees (over a thousand bucks per year, last time I checked), and they are also subject to the #&#$!&^$# smog retrofit requirement which means expensive modifications. However, the way to avoid both the weight fees and the retrofit requirement is to register the truck as a Historical Vehicle, so that’s what you want to research. That is what I’ve done with my big military trucks in the past, and it’s what I plan to do with this one. Look up the requirements to qualify for Historical Vehicle status, and make sure that your truck will qualify before you bid on it!

      Good luck!

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