DUKWS were amphibious craft designed and built for use in World
War II. They were originally built on a two and one-half ton CCKW
Army truck sometimes called the "duce and an half". Every one of
the DUKWS I have surveyed and consulted on are now used for commercial
tours on land; into the sea and lake water. I have four clients
who use them for their own private use.
DUKWS are street legal to drive on the roads and are also legal
to drive on water as recreational boats.
DUKWS used for commercial "duck tours" have to meet the commercial
U.S. Coast Guard requirements for tour boats. United States Coast
Guard officials like to attend my surveying of these craft, to see
me using my ultra-sounding and testing equipment.
What does DUKW stand for?
D=First year of production code "D" is for 1942
U=Body style "U" utility truck (amphibious)
K=Front wheel drive. GMC used that on trucks (K5 Chevy Blazer)
W=Two rear driving wheels (tandem axle)
The DUKW is capable of carrying a 2 1/2 ton payload over land
or water. It is equipped with a GMC 270 cubic inch 6 cylinder gasoline
engine. It has a 5 speed transmission with a 2 speed transfer case.
This gives a total of 10 forward speeds and 2 in reverse. It has
6 wheel drive, a water propeller and a 10 ton winch. All or any
of these can be run separately or together in any combination. Top
speed on land is 50 to 55 mph while on the water top speed is only
6 mph (land miles per hour not knots). It also has a tire inflation
system with a 2 cylinder air compressor and air storage tank. This
allows the driver to inflate or deflate any one or all six tires
at the same time from the dashboard. The dashboard also has a tire
pressure gauge so that air pressure can be monitored. The front
brake lines are protected in steel conduit with barbed wire cutters
on the outside. The DUKW weighs 7 1/2 tons empty and is 31 feet
long. DUKWS were manufactured from 1942 to 1945 by General Motors
I have designed the survey formats, surveyed and consulted on 21
DUKWS through out the east coast and lake regions.