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About the CUCV

The Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV, pronounced cuck-vee) program was instituted to provide the United States military with a family of less expensive vehicles to augment the purpose-built, but high cost, trucks such as the M-561 Gama Goat, M-37, and later the HMMWV. The first attempt to use an off-the-shelf commercial vehicle (with a small number of military upgrades or changes) to augment military tactical trucks was the Kaiser Jeep M-715. The M715 was followed by Dodge M880/M890-series and finally Chevrolet M1008/M1009/M10xx trucks, all rated at 1 1/4 ton capacity (five-quarter). While these were rugged trucks by civilian standards, and successful in some military roles, they were ultimately judged to be ineffective.

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 members (Seabees) in an M-1008 Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV), Operation Desert Storm, Feb 1991.
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 members (Seabees) in an M-1008 Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV), Operation Desert Storm, Feb 1991.

Today in WW II: 19 Sep 1941 Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_NS_SEPARATOR in /big/dom/xolive_drab/www/od2/od2_support_functions.php(226) : eval()'d code on line 1 after a savage battle; pockets of resistence continue.  More 
19 Sep 1944 Battle of the Hürtgen Forest begins with a probe toward the town of Schmidt by US 60th Infantry Regiment.
19 Sep 1944 Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_NS_SEPARATOR in /big/dom/xolive_drab/www/od2/od2_support_functions.php(226) : eval()'d code on line 1.
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Guide to the CUCV Family of Light Trucks

The CUCV trucks are commercial vehicles suitable for use on all types of roads and for limited off-road operations. They are not military-specific designs but rather are commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) trucks with minor military modifications.

Initial hopes for the CUCV were that it would be able to fully substitute for military tactical trucks in many roles. Tactical vehicles, designed for full military requirements, did not have to be used for garrison-duty tasks where a lighter, less expensive commercial truck would do. This made sense, but it proved difficult to segregate roles and maintain the right mix of vehicles in each military organization. In actual field use, the CUCV was assigned to missions and asked to perform where tactical trucks should have been used. But units did not have enough tactical trucks since CUCVs had been procured as a substitute. Results were poor. Particularly in the Gulf War, where harsh desert conditions and primitive infrastructure put all military equipment to a severe test, the CUCV was highly disappointing. As a result, the CUCV trucks were phased out sooner than expected, unable to survive the hardships that the purpose-built military vehicles could endure. The Chevrolet CUCV lingered into the late 2000s but was eventually replaced by variants of the HMMWV in most military units.

The M715 was not called a CUCV, and originally neither was the Dodge M880/M890 series. The name Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV) originated with the Chevrolet M10xx series vehicles and was retroactivly applied as well to the similar Dodge trucks.

Details of the Dodge and Chevrolet CUCV Trucks

There are two sub-families of CUCV:

Specifications and photos for each of these CUCV series of trucks are presented in detail on the linked pages. The Kaiser Jeep M-715, procured starting in 1967, is described on its own linked page.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the Chevrolet and Dodge CUCV trucks at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

Workers attach a lifting sling to an M880 CUCV utility vehicle on the deck of the vehicle cargo/rapid response ship USNS ANTARES (T-AKR 294) at the Dundalk Marine Terminal, Baltimore, MD, 20 Feb 1986. The vehicle was used by the 32nd Separate Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Wisconsin Army National Guard, during Exercise REFORGER 86.
Dozens of M998 HMMWVs, CUCV light trucks (M1008 or 1028 series) and other vehicles sit in rows in a staging area prior to being backloaded aboard a maritime pre-positioning ship near the conclusion of Exercise Ocean Venture 88, US Naval Station, Roosevelt Road, Puerto Rico, 30 Mar 1988.
M1010 CUCV Ambulance electrical connectors.
US Army M1008 Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV) from the 393rd Corps Support Battalion, 65th Regional Support Command, Puerto Rico, leads a convoy of M-923 5-ton cargo trucks from the 65th RSC, out of the Crabbs Training Area, during the Tradewinds 2002 Field Training Exercise, on the island of Antigua, 13 April 2002.
Response Force, 4th Platoon, 295th Military Police Co, M880 1 1/4-ton CUCV during a security sweep exercise in the Seneca Army Depot Exclusion Area, Romulus, NY, 9 May 1984
Military vehicles -- including HMMWV, CUCV --  are lined to be loaded aboard the maritime prepositioning ship SS PFC. EUGENE A. OBREGON (T-AK-3006), tied up at the pier. The ship is participating in the first in-stream offload exercise of a maritime prepositioning ship in the open ocean, part of exercise Solid Shield '87, Wilmington, NC, April 1987. Equipment and supplies will be unloaded from the ship by the 6th Marine Amphibious Brigade and shuttled to shore by lighter.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: cucv. Then click the Search button.

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