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Types of Amphibious Vehicles and Their Applications

Types of Amphibious Vehicles and Their Applications

Amphibious vehicles have transitioned from military use to serving crucial roles in engineering, dredging, and mining industries. These versatile vehicles, capable of traversing both land and water, ensure efficient transportation of equipment and personnel across challenging terrains.

This article explores the distinct features and applications of two key types of these vehicles: personnel carriers and marsh buggies, with a spotlight on the Fat Truck, while also introducing the comprehensive services provided by U.S. Aqua Services.

Amphibious vehicles are well known for their ability to move across harsh terrain. These vehicles allow for the transportation of equipment and personnel across exposed ground surfaces with ease, as well as complete projects in some of the harshest and most remote environments.

Today, amphibious vehicles are not just for military purposes anymore, these vehicles can be operated through rough environments such as through flooded areas and other dangerous or inaccessible terrains seen in many engineering, dredging and mining applications.

In the dredging industry, there are two types of amphibious vehicles:

  1. Personnel carriers
  2. Marsh buggies (or marsh excavators)

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What are personnel carriers?

The most common amphibious vehicles in the world used by civilians are usually personnel carriers. Personnel carriers are designed with the same technology as larger amphibious combat vehicles, except for their size and payload capacity.

These vehicles do not contain a propeller/water jet propulsion system, so they require a minimum of two to four wheels for land movement with a drive train capable of moving on any type of land.


Some qualities that make personnel carriers stand out include:

  • They are designed more for transport and usually have a maximum load capacity of ten to fifteen passengers/crew depending on its size and construction type
  • They can be used for recreational purposes like fishing & hunting, or they can be used in the event of an emergency to withstand rough terrain while evacuating people.
  • They have a low ground pressure because they only weigh about half to two-thirds as much as other amphibious vehicles, which gives them an advantage by not sinking or bogging down in soft conditions on land.


Personnel carriers are used in hostile environments and places where roads and other modes of transport do not exist.

These vehicles are more efficient on flat terrain with little vegetation, but they can also cross ditches, pools of water, streams, and other bodies of water as long as the depth is within the limits of its chassis clearance from its lowest point.

What is a Fat Truck?

The Fat Truck, a four-wheel-drive vehicle at the cutting edge of technology, provides an ideal solution for transportation to job sites. This vehicle is able to access remote areas where pickup trucks and even buses are unable to go, while still being powerful enough that it can tow up to five tons behind itself without straining under pressure.

Fat Truck is designed to transports work crews to rough sites, where other personnel carriers would have trouble driving. Manufactured in Bromont, Quebec, Fat Truck is proudly Canadian.

Fat Trucks are the perfect vehicle for a variety of applications, including maritime operations. Whether they are needed on land or in water, these vehicles will get the job done.

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What are marsh buggies?

Marsh buggies (also known as marsh excavators) are amphibious vehicles that can drive on both land and water. The undercarriage of these machines has low ground pressure, which allows them to float, making navigation easier for work near coastlines or rough wetland terrains. Marsh buggies are perfect to navigate coastal areas, rough wetland terrain and, swamps.  

Marsh buggies have found their way into the dredging industry due to wetland areas (including marshes and swamps). With marsh buggies, operators do not have to worry about getting stuck or have someone pull to assist in towing dredge pipelines on location.


1- Transport personnel

Marsh buggies are designed to handle the load of carrying a workforce between sites with ease, and waterlogged areas prove no contest thanks to inbuilt flotation devices.

2- Transport equipment

Marsh buggies can transport heavy equipment (like excavators) to out-of-the-way job sites. Marsh buggies are considered a type of amphibious vehicle, where machinery is integrated into the vehicle for transportation and working purposes.  

3- Transport supplies

The marsh buggy is the most important vehicle to have on-site when dredging because not only does it transport people and equipment, but also food supplies such as water or hand tools.


Marsh buggies are capable of completing projects (as excavators) in some of the harshest and most remote environments, including:

  • Dredging Marine construction
  • Levy construction
  • Marsh creating and restoration
  • Pipeline construction and repair
  • Transition powerline construction and repair
  • Heavy civil and industrial construction
  • Right of way maintenance
  • Land and swamp clearing

Are you looking for a new amphibious vehicle?

At U.S. Aqua, we have the most advanced amphibious vehicles on the market. They’re built to handle any terrain, and they can go anywhere your business needs them to. Our vehicles are designed with safety in mind – so you can feel confident that everyone will make it back safely after every job. And our customer support team is always available if you need help or advice about how best to use your vehicle.

Whether it’s getting from point A to B quickly, hauling heavy loads, or completing projects in harsh environments, we know that our vehicles will exceed all of your expectations. With an amphibious vehicle from U.S Aqua Services, there really isn't anything that's impossible anymore!

Contact us to get more information on our Fat Trucks and march buggies.

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About U.S. Aqua Services

U.S. Aqua Services was created to support the dredging process in advancing commerce and responding to its many challenges. To accomplish this, our dredging company assembled an exceptional group of experienced individuals and a diverse inventory of dredge equipment and excavator dredge pumps.

We offer dredging equipment rental services so you can have access to the latest and greatest in dredging technology without having to pay to maintain it, transport, and store it, along with dewatering services.

With an emphasis on mobility, dependability, durability, diversity, efficiency, and safety, our dredging rental company can ensure that our different types of dredging systems are easy to move through any terrain and can work in the most rugged and remote environments. Our multi-function hydraulic systems are built with jetting and mechanical options that can efficiently move loose sediment or stiff layers of clay.

US Aqua services also and maintains a ready fleet of amphibious equipment capable of completing dredging projects in some of the harshest and most remote environments. U.S Aqua is also the dealer for Louisiana of the amphibious vehicle Fat Truck. No matter the size or scope of the job or the remoteness of your work location, you can rely on Fat Truck’s industrial off-road utility vehicles to get the job done right.

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