Just Ducky Tours

Just Ducky Tours is a Pittsburgh-owned and operated land and water tour company. Since 1997, the company has grown a fleet of amphibious vehicles (GMC DUKWs) originally made in the 1940s for World War II. With upgrades to the vehicles, a skilled staff, and a sense of adventure, Just Ducky Tours has shown the city of Pittsburgh to over 1.4 million passengers from around the world.


Each Just Ducky Tour DUKW, though built on a solid foundation of a 1940s military-grade frame, has required upgrades to modernize its antiquated technology. For example, each DUKW now has an automatic transmission, GPS system, and back-up camera. The brake system remained a challenge until Just Ducky Tour Co-Founder Michael Cohen approached Jack Fabrication Company for help. 

Technical Challenge

The original DUKW drum brake system required frequent maintenance and difficult-to-find replacement parts, which used up employees' time and took the vehicles off-tour. The operators wanted to convert the vehicles from a drum brake system to a disc brake system, but to do so, they needed a custom precision fit front axle caliper bracket.


Michael Cohen approached Jack Fabrication Company for help. Conveniently, both companies are located on Pittsburgh's North Side and Jack's positive reputation made them an easy choice. 

Jack essentially took a cardboard pattern supplied by the Just Ducky Tour maintenance team and, through its engineering and fabrication services, produced the perfect part to help convert the vehicles' brake systems.


The brake system updates have proven beneficial from both financial and operational efficiency standpoints. The fleet is now easier to maintain and spends more time in the water and on the road. Before implementation of the Jack specialized part, each DUKW was averaging three brake jobs per year. Now the vehicles can go years without requiring a brake service. It is estimated that this saves the company $12,000 annually in maintenance, which is then magnified by decreased downtime. Additionally, as the fleet grows, the savings will continue to multiply.

It's pretty impressive, really. They've helped modernize our fleet, improving efficiency and safety. The amount of money, downtime, and manpower they save us–it's terrific–and we know we can count on them to deliver quickly.


–Michael Cohen, Just Ducky Tours co-founder


Story Highlights

Jack Fabrication Company was able to assist Just Ducky Tours in creating a detailed design and CAD drawings to ensure the parts would meet their requirements. Then, using a multi-step process including Plasma Cutting raw steel plate and machining the blank parts in a CNC Mill, Jack was able to fabricate low runs of identical, high precision parts for the customer.


Great Collaboration • Creation of Technical Drawings • Plasma Cutting • CNC Milling • Small Quantity Order • Save Money • Increase Efficiency • Modernize Equipment • Streamline Maintenance • Reliable and Timely Delivery • #MadeInPGH

Read more about our customers or get a quote. For more information on Just Ducky Tours, please visit www.justduckytours.com