The Aquamog was designed and created in the early 1980’s by a company in Martinez, California called Aquatics Unlimited (AU). The team at AU, headed up by Tom McNabb and Jim Nevrela, had the idea to create a multi-purpose aquatic vessel that could perform a number of aquatic maintenance tasks. The name Aquamog was coined by Jim Nevrela who was the engineer on the project. Jim was a Czechoslovakian by birth and immigrated to the United States via Canada. Jim’s knowledge of the Mercedes Benz Unimog, which is a multipurpose land vehicle that can go anywhere in most any conditions, was the source for the name Aquamog. AU’s goal in designing and developing the Aquamog was to create an aquatic vessel that could go anywhere in almost any condition. Thus name Aquamog was created. At the time the Aquamog was created and developed just for the AU contracting business.
The very first Aquamog was engineered using an existing barge from an H10-800 aquatic weed harvester. This was done as an experiment to see if the Aquamog idea would even work. A removable skid was created that could be bolted to the barge of the H10-800. The top of the H10-800 was removed and the new skid attached and the first Aquamog was created. The skid has a backhoe type arm on the front an operators cab in the center and the engine with hydraulic components on the back. There were also two spuds (out riggers) attached at the back of the skid. The propulsion for the Aquamog was the same paddle wheels used for the H10-800.
The operator’s area of the Aquamog comprised of a seat and a control panel. The original Aquamogs were designed around the physical dimensions of the first Aquamog operator Dave McNabb. So the first Aquamogs were all designed for Dave’s height as well as his arm length and reach. This was not an issue until more Aquamogs were created by AU and sold. Some of the new operators where shorter and did not have Dave’s arm length either. Some could not touch their feet to the floor of the operators cab as well as reach all the controls efficiently.
Thus the first generation of Aquamogs from the late 1980?s was an ever changing machine. Tom McNabb and Jim Nevrela made it a point to improve each Aquamog built with each new project that came along. This was the case until the early 1990?s when the first Aquamogs where produced and sold commercially. AU still utilized the Aquamog for its contracting business but there was a market developing for the Aquamog in parts of the United States and internationally.
More information about the history of the Aquamog can be found by visiting www.aquamogs.com. There you will find numerous pictures of the early Aquamogs and descriptions of each of these machines. In addition information of projects completed by the Aquamog can be viewed by visiting www.aquamog.net. There is now one more entry into the “Mog” family and that is the Marshmog, which can be viewed by visiting www.marshmog.com.
Please visit our site again soon as we will continue to add on to our series on the history of the Aquamog.