A basic question for all truckers; what is the best truck or truck brand?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by morjon96, Aug 27, 2022.

  1. Six9GS

    Six9GS Road Train Member

    Dec 3, 2012
    Yuma, AZ
    Obviously, I'm a Volvo person. But, I do understand that is more subjective than anything. Swift fleet uses Volvos, Freightliners, Kenworths and Internationals. We don't have any Peterbilts or Mack's. Why, I have no idea.
    Although the (now) older Volvos seemed to be plagued with electrical gremlins, I think they have that ironed out in the newer models. I've been in a 19 VNL760 and now in a 22 VNL760, close to 3 years and haven't had any electrical problems.
    My Volvo's have DD13s and, for the Swift fleet at least, are on the lighter side. Being a reefer jockey where I pull alot of heavier loads, I appreciate the lighter truck as it makes it generally easier to scale myself legal. Power-wise, seems to be comparable with other trucks. I certainly don't notice it being slower to pull a grade than other trucks.
    Downside to Volvos, at least for the Swift fleet, they tend to have to go to a dealer for repair more than the others and parts are not as ubiquitous. Just not as many mechanics trained for the Volvos as the others, so repairs that might be done by Swift mechanics have to go to a dealer instead.
    Anyway, I can't objectively attest to which is better for what. But, I like the Volvos and the ones I've been in have been good, mostly dependable and get reasonable fuel mileage.
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  3. rbrtwbstr

    rbrtwbstr Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2012
    in the bush somewhere
    They're all junk!!!

    If I were buying a new one, and I hate saying this, I'd look real hard at a Volvo. They get a bad reputation based on the type of people that drive them. But they must be ok because they seem tol hold up to the abuse. And you can get some pretty heavy duty specs on one.

    Macks are no longer Macks. It's a cooler looking version of a Volvo. Same truck under the hood and cab.
    Kenworth and Peterbilts are looking more like Freightliners used to with their cheesy plastic interiors.

    Freightliners are tough trucks, they take A LOT of abuse by the rookies, and seem to hold up through it.

    Western Star has been ruined by Freightliner, so I wouldn't touch one.

    Only thing left is International. Haven't driven any of those newer than a 2007 model, but I really liked the one I drove. Rode nice, had all the creature comforts I loved, and seemed like a tough truck.
  4. snowlauncher

    snowlauncher Road Train Member

    Mar 28, 2014
    Southeastern ID
    Asking which major truck manufacturers make the "best" truck is kind of like asking who makes the "best" pickup trucks, Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Toyota, etc.
    My answer would be that they all make a decent vehicle for the most part, but they have all produced a P.O.S. model from time to time.
    It's all going to depend on the driver's preference and personal experience with the various makes and models. You probably could open an entire forum just to debate who makes the "best" truck, and you would never come to a definitive solution. Even the diesel techs would disagree on the subject. It's all going to be based on the driver's wants, and needs and personal opinions based from experiences...
  5. Grumppy

    Grumppy Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Dec 11, 2010
    West Monroe, La
    This was going to be my answer right here. He just beat me to it by a couple of hours.

    The best truck out there, is the one YOU like. There is no best truck... Its all about preference. There's a million factors.

    I, along with my family was a Ford guy for years. My family bought Fords & that's what I grew up on. In 1988, I bought a new Ranger & it spent more time behind a wrecker than it did, propelling itself. I'm literally saying the day I drove it off the lot, they had to send a wrecker after it. I put up with that for 2 1/2 years. Ford could never figure out the problem & I couldn't get the support from Ford that I should have gotten. Since they couldnt fix it... I fixed it.
    I traded it in on a Chevrolet. Been good ever since. In '07 I bought a new Dodge Ram. Its got 230,000 miles on it. I've never had anything that got me that kind of mileage.

    Sorry for the rant. Back to big trucks, here's my humble opinion. For many years, Freightliner was the cheap truck in most all aspects. That's why the mega's bought them. They were built cheap to sell cheap. I've driven a few Freightliners in my time. I've never had one that we could keep the frontend aligned on & would constantly wear out steer tires. Maybe all that's changed.

    Mack's..... built for durability but like riding in a wagon. It was built to be a workhorse. Solid steel & strong, heavy parts. There wasn't much comfort in them. they were built to be used in the oil field, logging industry, & in my case, garbage trucks, beating and banging down gravel roads & in the muddy, dusty, nasty, landfill. Maybe all that's changed.

    I've driven a couple of Internationals (or as I like to call them... Farmall's). Good basic truck... but again, basic. Just above a Freightliner. Has good bells & whistles... just in a basic truck. Maybe that's changed.

    I was in a Pete as a spare truck for a week or two once while my Farmall was in the shop. IMHO, 5 to 1 over the Farmall. Pete was a much better truck... much better.

    I just got my 1st new Volvo in January. Probably the best truck I've experienced. My employer bought a bunch of these for '21 & '22. The few I know about had issues... minor issue. The cigar lighter plug for the TV outlet blows the fuse. I'm sure someone run a screw through the wiring during Mfg. You gotta play with the passenger window to get it to roll all the way up. I'm sure the window is not secure in the track & gets out of alignment.
    The bolts that hold the rearend on were loose on one of our trucks. The passenger window exploded... yes, exploded... in one of our trucks going down the road. Again, I'm sure it was an alignment issue. All minor production issues. No motor or tranny issues etc,
    I'll add that my employer has experimented with Internationals, Petes, KW's & Volvo's on 3 year intervals. In 2021, they have settled on all Volvo's. No more Internationals, Pete's or KW's.

    At the end of the day... for me, Its Volvo based on my limited experience ....... But, that's just MHO.
  6. Catmando

    Catmando Road Train Member

    Mar 15, 2021
    Never heard that definition before.. :biggrin_2559::biggrin_2559:
  7. Catmando

    Catmando Road Train Member

    Mar 15, 2021
    No doubts in my my mind I would slide in the seat of a beat up International long before I would a nice Volvo..
    I have standards
    A Volvo is like a fat girl they both get the job done .. you just make sure your friends don't see you
  8. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

    Sep 16, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    I’ve got an ‘89 W900B with over 3.3 million miles on it. Probably 1/3 of that in the bush. You go find an ‘89 Volvo with that mileage to park beside it for a little durability comparison. I’ll wait…
  9. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    Volvo Autocar was one tough SOB. I'd wager it was as good or better built than a Western Star. Not as pretty as one though but they dressed up nice. 50345216097_f11377ac0e_b.jpg
  10. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

    Sep 16, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    They were. The cabs were Volvo-White-GMC junk. The American Motors of the Class 8 world. But that truck was a White-Constuctor/Autocar chassis. Same genetics as some of the Western Stars.
  11. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    I can't speak on Volvos that old. In 1989 I was 5 years old. I can only speak on models 2011 and up. You'll be waiting a long time.
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