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Old 09-19-2000, 09:36 AM
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Default Buying a Truck

Hi. I posted the following message three days ago and have gotten no response. I am reposting it because it is no longer on the first page of messages. I would appreciate the comments of any experienced driver in response to any one or more of the questions. My previous post reads:

Hi. I drove a truck for several years, many years ago. I recently got back into trucking as a part-time driver for a small company running short line hauls. I am considering buying a truck from an auction site. Most of what they have up for auction are 95-96 models spec'ed for a fleet and not an O/O. Be that as it may, one can buy a good used truck (with low mileage)at one of these sites for a very reasonable price which will make the monthly payments reasonable. I would very much appreciate all of the experienced truckers reading this board helping me to answer the following questions: (1) Because they are easier to manuver in tight spaces, I am thinking about buying a Cab-Over. I know that most O/O's and fleets are now phasing out COE's in favor of conventionals. Question: What advantages does a cab-over have over a conventional? Conversely, what advantages does a conventional have over a cab-over? (2) How big an engine does it take to run a loaded 80,000 pound truck? Most of the used fleet trucks are spec'ed for 350 horsepower. Is this enough or is a bigger engine needed? How is the fuel economy on a 350 hp engine as compared to say a 435 hp engine? (3) Who makes the most dependable engines? Cummins, Caterpillar or Detroit? (4) How important is it to have air ride suspension on the cab? (5) How big of a sleeper would it take for the average Husband & Wife (or significant other)to be comfortable on the road? (6) Is a Jake Brake advisable or necessary, especially for an inexperienced driver? What is your opinion of a Jacobs Compression brake as compared to the standard Jake Brake? (7) What are the pros and cons of having a 10 speed transmission as compared to a 9 speed transmission? (8) How important is it to have two fuel tanks as opposed to one? Thanks in advance for your time in helping me answer these questions<

Old 09-19-2000, 10:43 AM
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Default buying a truck

I saw your questions the first time around but didn't answer 'cuz I'm not an O/O. But as a long time driver, I'll tell you what I know/think and what O/O's have shared with me.

The biggest advantage to the average guy buying a COE, is the cost. You can buy one cheap, drive it 'till it needs an inframe, overhaul it and drive it 'till it falls apart, then throw it away, laughing all the way to the bank. You may not have the best lookin' ride, but what do you want -- lots of chrome or money?

In my opinion, the 350hp engine is too small for the haul for FAK. However, if your loads were mostly light it would be OK.

Best engine out there is the Detroit (go ahead and *****, everybody else). They are very forgiving if neglected and can be rebuilt cheaper than a Cat or Cummins.

Air ride is a'll thank your body for it.

There isn't a sleeper big enuff for you and get the biggest you can find...a COE with a double bunk.

Jakes are not an absolute, but you will save on brake wear and they are a bit of added safety on long steep downgrades.

9 or 10 speed? I've driven both and have no prference for one or the other. What is important (no matter what tranny) is that your rear ratio allows you to operate while at your normal cruising speed, at the RPM's that give you the best fuel economy (1400-1500 rpms?).

As for the fuel tanks, 1 tank means you fill up more often. However, if weight is a concern, you can save some here by having only 1 tank.
Old 09-19-2000, 01:42 PM
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Default My 2 cents, from a woman driver

Well, from a woman's point of view. I told my husband there is a place to draw the line and that would be cab overs, I will not go on the road in one! I would rather work at McDonald for $5 an hour. I drove one in truck driving school and that was enough. I don't like to lay down to put on my paints. It is worth the extra money to have the extra room. This will be your home about 26 days a month. You do need to stand up sometimes and have a place to store your stuff. Ok enough ranting and raving. I also love my Jake brake and wouldn't drive without one. They are of much use and will save you and your brakes too. Just for me I like a 10 speed. I have driven both and I just love those 10 speeds. I think it saves allot of time in the long run to have two tanks, if you are driving team you will be running double the miles and stopping more often for fuel. What else, oh yeah, I think you should get the biggest eng. you can for the money like a 450 or even 500. Well that's my view and I guess that is all I know about this subject(or think I know).
Good Luck
Old 09-20-2000, 11:42 AM
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Default trucks

hey i have a good one for you associates financing has repoed over 300,000,000 dollars worth of trucks. they are willing to now sell at 50 cent on the dollar just to get them on the road and off the lot.
they have everything for 93s to 2001s
give them a call and tell them you want to purchase one of the repo trucks.
Old 09-20-2000, 02:38 PM
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Default Its a mistake

Big Jake like a true Horseman gave you honest advice to the questions you were asking but this is not the time.

The price of fuel is bankrupting inexperienced O/O's and marginal company fleets. One fleet in SC let 50 trucks go back to the bank because his profit margin was destroyed by the higher fuel costs. More will follow.

This is not a hateful post. You are flirting with disaster if you buy a truck now. Wait until the price of fuel goes down or there is some kind of legislative relief. (Don't hold your breath, tho.)

In the meantime just be a company driver. You will thank me later.

And thats the bottom line because Big Joe said so.
Old 09-22-2000, 08:23 AM
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Default Buying a truck

Your questions are very extensive. But I will give it my best shot. Before I start, you need to figure out what you are going to haul. As far as the age of the truck, find out where you want to lease it on to. Most companies have limits on the age of the vehicle. And, if you are planning on being in the business for some time, consider a new truck. The down payment is about the same, and you have all of the warranty. Ok question #1 You are the first at an accident! #2 The trucks spec'd for fleets will do the job, just a little slower. 425+ is better. #3 Engine type is personal. I prefer a CAT, but Detroits usually get better fuel mileage. #4 You want air ride! Its hard enough on your body with it! #5 The bigger the sleeper the better. If you are going together on the road, Freightliner makes a big roomy truck. #6 I wouldn't have a truck without a jake or some sort of engine retarter #7 Engine size will determine your transmission #8 If you are going long haul, you want substantial fuel capacity, so you don't have to stop 2 times a day to fuel. Buying a truck off of a web site could be a problem, they will tell you it looks good, interior looks good but it is all torn up! Go look at it! If you are interested in a Peterbilt call Brad Powell at Dallas Peterbilt. He really put together a good deal for me! They have used trucks also! 800-256-7383 Good Luck Too Much

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