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Author Topic: Let's Talk Trucks...  (Read 2439 times)

coloradogreen

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Let's Talk Trucks...
« on: January 08, 2014, 10:40:49 PM »
So, I've decided to relent a bit and get to discussing what sort of trucks I'm looking at...

When hunting for a truck you have to balance wants, needs, can-do's and cannot's on the spec's you're looking for. Some of the things that I absolutely will NOT work with on the first truck:

'07 or later Emissions standards engines. 2008-2010 CATs are worthless piles of junk, the Cummins aren't much better, and I've heard the DDs can have their own problems. Seen the Mack/ Volvo engines have MASSIVE problems from that era with the re-gen systems, and the Maxxforce stuff tends to be junky, too.

And although the '12 and newer emissions engines do seem to be having fewer and fewer problems, I'm not interested in running one that new, nor am I headed for California. So, I can be a little picky about the emissions on my engine. Not to mention... I don't want to drop that kind of cash on the rig, either for a '12 or newer.

I will NOT be using a full-rise/ condo style bunk. I'd actually prefer a flat-top if it can be found. I won't be discussing what hauling I'm doing, but, even so, on a general basis, having a high-rise/ condo bunk limits what you can actually do with the truck in certain situations. Stand-ups are fine, but, go with a mid-roof with a cap if you're looking for aerodynamics.

Actually, those are my two biggest sticking points. Oh... and no automatics. Not gonna' screw with them, complications with servos, rough shifting, just not gonna' do that stuff.

So, those are the major sticking points, so, what am I looking for in a truck, what's ideal?

Well, preferably something with reasonable mileage on it for it's age. What am I considering "reasonable"? I'm only looking at trucks with 600,000 or less on the ECM (not the odometer, odometer readings, in the days of ECMs where you can have verified miles, are becoming outdated and risky to trust). I'd prefer a CAT engine. If we're talking clear back to a 6NZ, I'd like a recent overhaul on the motor. An Acert, so long as the truck hasn't been beaten all to hell, at 400,000-500,000 miles still has plenty of life left in it before major in-framing is on the horizon.

I'd be willing to work with an ISX. Cummins still knows how to build a good base engine. If that's the case, however, I'd prefer going with a pre-EGR Cummins.

I've worked with the CAT motors quite a bit, Acerts and single-turbos and know their quirks, how they like to operate, what they don't like doing, what sort of mechanical problems are to be expected.

Detroit? I'm not entirely sure. To get to a Detroit that I'd want, we'd be talking a first or second generation Series 60, looking at trucks as old as the mid-90s, in which case, I'd need to see volumes of paperwork, relatively fresh overhaul, or astoundingly low mileage.

What about the transmission? I'd prefer the (now) classic choice for an owner-op: the 13-speed. A 10-speed is certainly survivable, and even has the fact that it is one of the toughest heavy truck transmissions you can use because of it's total simplicity compared to 13s, 15s, and 18s. Of course, if a truck turned up with similar specs to what I'm looking for with a 15 or 18 I'd be more than happy to consider it. But, the 13-speed is the first among common choices.

What about rear-gears? It depends on several other factors, namely the engine and the tire size. If the truck is outfitted with an Acert, which loves running in the 1300-1450rpm range, that's obviously where I'd like to have the truck geared out running about 65mph. That can mean everything from 3.08s to 3.70s depending on tire size. 3.55s on low-profile or tall 22.5s are an extremely common set-up to find and would work just fine.

What would 3.08s need to be workable? Narrow 255 rubber.

3.70s? 11R24.5s

So, hood or sloped?

Honestly, it depends on what's available. I'm fine with driving something with some slope on it, T800s, 386s, stuff like that's under consideration. I'm also willing to look at long-hoods, too. W900s, 379s, even Classics and Coronado's if the rest of the spec's are right.

I'd like a "reasonable" wheelbase. something between 225-250 inches depending on whether it's set-back steer axle or long-nose, sleeper size, etc.

I bet most folks here can tell that I'm looking to be doing generally highway work with this particular truck, between gearing and other considerations.

I won't reveal what specifically. I may stick around hauling milk with the new truck, of course, I know some folks doing refrigerated work, as well as flatbed. Maybe it's a smart idea to spec it out so it can handle all of the above?

What are the thoughts on the forum?

What would you be looking for in YOUR first truck?

Troy.
Your friendly neighborhood vegan heavy haul punk.


"Suzie-Q"

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Let's Talk Trucks...
« on: January 08, 2014, 10:40:49 PM »

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Pascal Pion

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Re: Let's Talk Trucks...
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 11:14:48 AM »
Let's not talk about specs here. I would take the truck needed to make money.Might not be a cool looking model, might not have a nice paint job.But if the truck is tough,reliable and helps me make ton of money,I would jump on it...

I have a frind who traded his 2008 Peterbilt 389 for a 2000 T800 with only 500 000 kms on it. Runs strong,is reliable and it helps him making more money.No wonder he refers to it as his "business partner"!!!!

An old guy who was working out of my workplace once told me:The first truck you ever buy isn't the truck you want.It's the truck you need to do the job properly....
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coloradogreen

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Re: Let's Talk Trucks...
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 05:06:06 PM »
Let's not talk about specs here. I would take the truck needed to make money.Might not be a cool looking model, might not have a nice paint job.But if the truck is tough,reliable and helps me make ton of money,I would jump on it...
I have a few counter-points, Pascal.

Whether or not the truck is tough and reliable and helps you make money is at least partially dependent on the specs. A 500,000km T800 Kenworth is all well and dandy, but if it's got 3.36s and I'm hooking to a 100,000-lb. machine, well, it'll do it for awhile, and then you'll find out what a snapped axle, spun driveshaft, or busted bull-gear looks like.

Second, I generally disagree that the first truck is not necessarily the one you want. Trucking ain't easy business, and if you hate the truck you're in, it ain't any easier. Not saying that you can expect to go out and buy a stretched out 379 or W900 first thing, but, you've got to like the truck you're in. Otherwise, your motivation may not be as good to keep up on the truck.

And you want to make sure you give two shakes about that truck you're buying as more than simply a machine if you're looping yourself into it for the next 24, 36, or 60 months on a loan.

Troy.
Your friendly neighborhood vegan heavy haul punk.


"Suzie-Q"

IMAGES COPYRIGHT TROY MILLER/ 10-4 MAGAZINE

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Oso2

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Re: Let's Talk Trucks...
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 03:20:06 AM »
Quick thought after skimming your original post. I stopped at "2007 or newer...." I would never ever, EVER buy an EPA 2007 motor. The numbers are in (I can find them for you if you'd like) and the 2007's were by far the most unreliable truck motors ever built. If I had to buy I'd choose either 2010 or newer, or something pre-egr. EPA 2004 if I was pushed.
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Wee Willy

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Re: Let's Talk Trucks...
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 08:25:51 AM »
Howdy Troy.

 Whatever you do, (I have faith you won't), don't let a knee jerk reaction put you in a truck.

I have the feelers out for a clean low mileage truck for you.
I came across a couple 2006/2007 with Cats, under 500,000 miles, but they might be geared a little on the slow side for your needs, 3:70, 3:91, 4:11's on 22.5 rubber.

 Take your time, the right truck will eventually show up, just be ready when it does.

Good luck young fella! 8)
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coloradogreen

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Re: Let's Talk Trucks...
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 02:24:51 PM »
Quick thought after skimming your original post. I stopped at "2007 or newer...." I would never ever, EVER buy an EPA 2007 motor. The numbers are in (I can find them for you if you'd like) and the 2007's were by far the most unreliable truck motors ever built. If I had to buy I'd choose either 2010 or newer, or something pre-egr. EPA 2004 if I was pushed.
I REALIZED YOU AND I ARE SAYING THE SAME THING, THE SECOND PARAGRAPH STATES I WILL NOT RUN A EPA 2007 LEVEL ENGINE OR NEWER

The original post:

Are you sure you aren't thinking the 2008-2010 motors? I've seen plenty of the Acert CATs (pre-SCR debacle to try to meet the newer emissions, but with the EGR) that have run a lot of high miles or hard miles with few major problems. There are known problems with the ACERTs. The turbos are prone to failure from the heat of the exhaust gases, as well as water-pump problems due to the ceramic gasket they tried using to handle the higher heat of the engine.

The long-wheelbase 379 I drove has an Acert that is pushing 1.1-million, and Dark Horse, the black four-axle a friend of mine runs, has about 500,000-miles, about 300,000 of which the truck has done in excess of 150,000-lbs. gross, and the rest of those 200,000 were almost always over 100,000-miles.

Now, the SCR CATs that CAT tried as a last ditch effort before getting out of the game are a joke. The '08 and newer Mack/ Volvo engines, up until maybe a year or two ago, are complete jokes, and the ISX's did have problems when they started rying to re-fit them for emissions.

There is one in particular truck I've run across, if they came down on price a bit, that would fit my needs to a T. 3.55 rears, 18-speed, 22.5 rubber, 500-hp 6NZ with 10,000 on an overhaul. But, the price is a sticking point, a little high in all honesty for what it is.

ALSO: If I ran a '10 EPA engine, it'd only be a 2012 or newer. The '10 and '11 motors are just as problematic as the '08, '09 motors. But, I'm not looking to blow that sort of money on a truck.

Troy.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 03:04:43 PM by coloradogreen »
Your friendly neighborhood vegan heavy haul punk.


"Suzie-Q"

IMAGES COPYRIGHT TROY MILLER/ 10-4 MAGAZINE

Contributor 10-4 Magazine

Hank's Truck Forum

Re: Let's Talk Trucks...
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 02:24:51 PM »

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