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The Oshkosh MTVR: Road Legal or Wait 25 Years?


Terror Truck

Ok, it wasn't produced during the War on Terror as it was actually first delivered to the US military in 1999. Specifically, the Marine Corps. In fact, they're the only branch of the US military that uses it. The Army uses the FMTV but we'll get to that in another article.

With that outta the way, the truck came into service in 2001 and has still been produced to this day. Might I add that there are other military trucks that're still being produced and they date back to the 1980's like the HET 8x8 but again, that's for another article.

The reason why I said the title for this bit is "Terror Truck" is because it coincides with the start of Bush's War on Terror, year 2001. And just like the Humvee on my last article a few months back, it didn't come with any armor. Yes, it did but not until a while later. But that didn't stop Marines from making their own armor.

For those of you who've done your research, the armor kits weren't standardized until 2007. From what I researched and heard, the A-kit armor isn't as comprehensive as the B-kit. See, the A-kit was installed from the factory from 2007 till 2010 and from then on, it's been the B-kit ever since.

No idea how comprehensive these kits are and I don't care. I don't want my brains splattered on the windscreen trying to get back to base after patrol.


Modularity: an Abrams tank with 6 wheels

Now you might be wondering why the military doesn't just use the MTVR? I mean, it's got looks. It's got a 7 ton carry capacity. It's got 6x6. It's got air conditioning standard. It's one of the largest trucks the military uses at the present time. So why wouldn't you just use this?

The answer to that is I don't know, though I'd suspect it's from a concept called variety. Sort of like taking an Audi TT RS coupe over an Evo X MR. Both are modular platforms but both are also dependent on price and user preference. Damn, those 2 cars are great fun though.

So, now you're probably wondering what are the variants of these trucks? Well, hold on to your hat, honey. I'm getting there. You don't rush the gunny, the gunny rushes you. DO YOU MAGGOTS UNDERSTAND THAT?!


Variable Vegetables

Alright, you raving romp n' stomps, you asked for it so gunny gives it, oorah. There are around 11 different variants of the same truck. Some of them have armor and some of them don't. Hell, all of them may or may not have armor as far as I'm aware. Here they are:

  • MK23 - standard cargo truck, 184 in wheelbase
  • MK25 - standard cargo truck with winch, 184 in wheelbase
  • MK27 - extended cargo truck, 216 in wheelbase
  • MK28 - extended cargo truck with winch, 216 in wheelbase
  • MK29 - dump truck without winch, 184 in wheelbase
  • MK30 - dump truck with winch, 184 in wheelbase
  • MK36 - wrecker, 216 in wheelbase
  • MK31 - tractor, 184 in wheelbase
  • MK28C - replacement for Special Purpose Vehicle types, 216 in wheelbase
  • MK37 - HIMARS resupply, 216 in wheelbase (based on MK27)
  • MK38 - HIMARS trailer

My personal favorite is the Mk27 with extended wheelbase. I'd turn it into an armored RV by adding a 20 foot shipping container and bringing Mrs. Gunny to help me hunt for the Jersey Devil so I can hang him on my wall.

I just turned to Mrs. Gunny and she's smiling while nodding her head. I just got her seal of approval, oh-ho, yes! SCREAM, AYE SIR!

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Gunny, can we drive it?

So now you joyriding jarheads wanna know if this is street legal? The simple answer is yes and no. Depending on your state, you may or may not be able to drive this on public roads. Now, I haven't got a list with me and there doesn't seem to be any information on driving these trucks legally on US roads.

However, it's not impossible or farfetched. The general idea is, if you can drive an M35 or M809 or M939, then you can most definitely drive an MTVR. From what I heard, just like in my article about Humvees, most US states wouldn't allow it. And those that do make you go through a whole rigmarole of paper work that would make an ant colony squeal.

But as your trusty gunny, I'm guessing the same states that allow and disallow you to drive a Humvee (please see my article about Humvees) are the same as the ones that'll allow you to drive an MTVR on public roads.

You might need a Class A or B CDL (Commercial Driver's License) to drive it, however, as it's curb weight with a full tank of fuel and without occupants and without armor is 29,000 pounds or just over 13 tons! By golly, that's the same weight as a small mountain!


The Price is Right

So now that you've got all the information I do, you might be wondering how much one would need to cough up to own one of these things? If you go to ex-military vehicle auction company GovPlanet or sister ex-military vehicle auction company Iron Planet, some of them can be had for as little as ten grand. Minus the roof, of course.

I've never seen one sold on those two auction sites that came with both types of armor kits, though. However, I've seen some on Facebook Marketplace for as high as $200,000 or more. A reasonable price considering it's armored and is an actual piece of US military equipment.

You could also try your local Marine Corps base. I've heard some people go to a National Guard base and purchase a 6x6 truck from them. Doesn't matter if it's an M35, M39, M809 or M939 so why should an MTVR be different? You never know until you actually go.

Final thoughts

I have got to get me one of these!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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