After a full career of serving my country, I'm buying a truck!

Discussion in 'Canadian Truckers Forum' started by Danno, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Runawayscreaming

    Runawayscreaming Medium Load Member

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    The ultra-crappy Volvo days are long gone as far as I can tell. So far (cross fingers) I am having better reliability from Volvo tractors (D16) than any Paccar products. The Volvo cab is built like a car on a car-type semi-automated production line of robotically-welded sheet metal. The Volvo interior is Ikea-type dated plastic and quite tasteful, depending on your tastes. The 16 liter Volvo motor is another story altogether. It is vastly superior to the Cummins ISX 15 in every way. The Volvo DPF system works fairly well. The Cummins DPF system is an unmitigated disaster and will bankrupt you. In fact the Cummins motor is an all-round blunder of epic proportions. The DAF motor that Paccar sells is ok but does not have enough power for pulling B-trains in BC.

    Volvo sells a tractor specifically configured for bulk hauling. You need the longer cab to fill the air space in front of the trailer for B-train bulk hauling. The Volvo with the automatic transmission will beat the pants off the Cummins motor and the DAF motor for fuel economy.

    Freightliner probably wins first prize for cheap, disposable cabs at the moment and Daimler is a horrible outfit to deal with but the motor will be much more reliable than a Cummins.

    Long nose Petes are very stylish but they are an anachronism that make no concession to aerodynamics. Even on bulk trailers, tractor aerodynamics are very important to fuel economy.
     
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  3. Tam_Tam

    Tam_Tam Light Load Member

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    I'm going to high five you on the Cummins assessment.
    When we sold our 2007 Volvo D16 (which almost put us into bankruptcy, rebuild at 750,000kms, EGR carbing the entire system into shut-down, bad cam design and many triangle stops on the shoulder -plus worst crooked service/dealership in Edmonton, no other dealer would take it on trade), we went for something that had the best track record and service to avoid costly downtime/shop fights.

    We went to Freightliner, Peterbilt and Kenworth. What decided it was three things:
    - asking any mechanics which choice of engine was better: Cummins ISX or Detroit Diesel. Hands down, the answer was Detroit, main reason being the DEF pumps go often on the ISX and very rarely on the DD15.
    - Kenworth and Peterbilt in Edmonton can be negligent with you rather than treat you like a valued customer and their shop waits are long.
    - if you're doing dealer financing, PACCAR has huge buyout penalties whereas Diamler doesn't.

    As a team the ride is much smoother in the Coronado than Volvo (pretty surprising, I was a lover of Volvo for that reason) I will agree that lots of little things break in the cab, and the wiring rots, but it's quickly and easily replaced. The hours of labour to fix the Coronado are lower because unlike Volvo, it isn't packed in so tightly with less specialized and metric sized tools needed. We can also get in and out of the service department (24hrs) in a timely way unlike at Calmont, Pete or KW. Freightliner also has the largest service network (Waterous Detroit, Wajax, etc.) and is accessible even in the north. With our Volvo, we were SOL north past Grande Praire or Peace River (you could use the Freightliner agent in Fort Nelson, after that call a tow truck).
    We looked at everything the second time around because we learned so much the first time. The very expensive, scary first time.

    PS. Runawayscreaming, I used to absolutely HATE Freightliner and thought they were junk (I'm converted, my bank account agrees) I'm not knocking your happiness with your Volvo. Glad it's treating you right.
     
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  4. Danno

    Danno Bobtail Member

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    Runawayscreaming and Tam_Tam, thanks for your input. I agree, the detroit is a rock solid engine. Seems some folks do pretty good with the cummins, and some do good with the paccar, but most do excellent with the detroit.

    Looks like I may be headed up the fort st john way. Have an offer on the table to haul rock with a O/O tridem and pup. I'm still kind of partial to Alberta, but I think that's mostly a no 'PST' issue :)

    A Western star with the 600hp detroit and 18 spd will work beautifully. I just drove one up to FSJ to drop, drove very nice.

    Anyone know a good company in AB that requires a tridem gravel truck with tridem pup (or wagon)? Pay rates?

    I haven't signed anything. Yet. . .
     
  5. Runawayscreaming

    Runawayscreaming Medium Load Member

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    That is a good point about the Volvo dealer in Edmonton. Service is essentially non-existent, minor repairs take days and the new truck warranty is practically worthless. You are really on your own if the truck breaks. The Volvo head office should be dragged over hot coals for the situation in Edmonton. Even extremely lackluster Edmonton Kenworth is slightly better! Edmonton is some kind of special zone of appallingly low standards for truck dealers.

    Indeed, mechanics hate the way the Volvo is configured but I suspect the next generation of tractors from all manufacturers may share a similar squeezing of components.

    I am not giving the Volvo an unrestrained endorsement (not enough experience yet - although the fuel savings alone will give it first prize compared to Paccar even if it blows to smithereens at 750,000 km). I would really like to use this opportunity to give Cummins an unrestrained heave-ho onto the junkpile of terrible corporations whose executives should be drawn and quartered in the town square for grossly negligent engineering like the ISX 15.

    I think that when one is buying a truck one is really trying to decide the least worst way of being screwed by the truck manufacturer. Perhaps Daimler is making a more sincere effort to be less evil than the other ne'er-do-well's at the moment. I just don't see how a company can remove the paper bag from its head after the Columbia.
     
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  6. not4hire

    not4hire Road Train Member

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    I was going to say... variations on a theme, in my experience as well.

    My experiences in Calgary with various truck dealers and engine manufacturers have consistently been almost the polar opposite.
     
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  7. nate980

    nate980 Road Train Member

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    It's funny because I've had crappy service at both kenworth dealers in Edmonton and Calgary but great at inland kenworth in bc. I've had no problems with my 2014 cummins so far... Knock on wood!
     
  8. JayTee

    JayTee Light Load Member

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    Now I'm gonna toss a wrench into the fire. I sold a 379 with an ISX (pre-emission motor) and bought a Western Star with a 14 litre Detroit a couple of years ago. By all accounts, I should be winning. The Star (even with the Daimler stench) is still a great truck, and this is the 6th Detroit I've owned, and most days this engine wouldn't pull a sick crack-##### off of a pisspot. I pull 4 axle and B-train tanks pretty much anywhere from Manitoba to Newfoundland grossing up to 63500kgs and there are some hills that will almost power out my Detroit. I would really like my ISX back at this stage. :)
     
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  9. Tam_Tam

    Tam_Tam Light Load Member

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    Sorry we hijacked your thread, Danno. I agree in the lack of power on them. When the green engine worked it was a boosting beast, I'll give it that over Detroit, no contest. I know now how to use those torque and HP engine graphs and turn them into a solid idea of how it will pull under load.
     
  10. Runawayscreaming

    Runawayscreaming Medium Load Member

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    I find that the 16 litre Detroit motor pulls B-trains adequately. It has similar displacement to the Volvo motor and a supposedly integrated drivetrain (like Volvo) which may eke out a few more horsepower and possibly optimize fuel economy.

    Pre-DPF ISX 15's pull adequately but do not get good fuel economy (especially when run over the curve peak like everyone in Alberta and Saskatchewan does). DPF ISX 15's have less power, the same fuel economy (when they are not in the shop) and a short service life (and the ISX 15 owner has a short service life too because they commit suicide).
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  11. Tam_Tam

    Tam_Tam Light Load Member

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    Ok, it's official. You rock.
     
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