What vehicle would you choose in an emergency response situation, a natural disaster, or a man-made catastrophe? Plan B Supply out of Ogden, UT flew me out to sample several vehicles that may fit the bill. The first of which is the military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), better known as Humvee.
The Humvee has served the United States military since 1984, and many units are still in service today. The total number of military units built since 1984 is around 281,000. When these trucks are decommissioned or simply released for sale as surplus, companies like Plan B Supply are able to get the first pick at them as long as they purchase in bulk. This is precisely what they do.
Plan B is then able to sell the Humvees to the public for off-road and on-road use. Some versions of Humvees can be registered for “street legal” on-road use in many states. Please check with your local DMV or Plan B for laws and regulations that apply to your state or region. Those Humvees that are labeled as “EPA exempt” cannot be made street legal is some states, such as Colorado.
Most Humvees for sale here are equipped with a non-turbo 6.2-liter diesel V8 engine and a 3-speed automatic transmission. The power rating of the military version of this motor is 185 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque, according to Plan B.
I drove it around Ogden at around 4,300 feet above sea level, and the power is just enough to move this vehicle with two people and some camera gear. It is not awfully slow. After all, these trucks have all aluminum bodies on a steel frame (much like a modern Ford F-150). These trucks weigh close to 6,000 lbs, according to Plan B. They are not very fast either, but I was able to get around town between stoplights without much problem. I was not able to test one fully loaded or towing.
Outward visibility is a whole other thing. The front fender mounted side mirrors create forward blind spots around the a-pillars. The fully enclosed slant-back offers no visibility towards the back. Plan B has resolved some of these problems. They move the side mirror mounts to the front doors to resolve the a-pillar blind spots. And if you order a two-door or four-door pickup truck version, then you get a large rear window for visibility towards the back.
A four-door pickup truck model from Plan B starts at $28,400. Popular options include: aftermarket seats, aluminum hard-top and doors, cabin sound deadening, and custom paint. A Humvee with most popular options comes out to be around $36,000, according to the company. Of course, you can keep adding features, such as air conditioning and a winch, to push the price near or past the $40,000 mark.
Is this a lot for a Humvee? The Hummer H1, which was based on the Humvee, will likely cost you more. A nationwide search of used vehicle sales listings shows an average price of a used H1 at $79,000. I was not able to make a direct comparison between a non-turbo 6.2L Plan B Humvee and a turbo 6.5L Hummer H1. However, this is high on my to-do list.
Get “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know” about the military Humvee by Plan B Supply here.