how many miles does a tractor last?

Discussion in 'Questions To Truckers From The General Public' started by M818, May 9, 2011.

  1. M818

    M818 Light Load Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Dallas, Texas
    Dumb question #2: I keep reading posts of lease/owners taking on a truck with 400K to 500K miles. The tractor is not very expensive at that point either so that looks attractive.

    How long /how many miles do these tractors last before something like the engine or transmission dies? How long before something smallish that cost $1000 happens?
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  3. Svoray

    Svoray Medium Load Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    400k is just breaking in a tractor in my opinion. My truck has 1.4mil on the clock and still runs like a champ.... Well it needs a new turbo though. As for 1000.00 parts, who knows, ride your clutck and you could be looking at 3500.00.
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  4. rockee

    rockee Road Train Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    Pacific Northwest
    Kinda depends on what kind of life the truck has lived. Too many variables to really pin point. What kind of loads has it hauled or who has driven it. Local will wear out stuff more than OTR so you find a truck with 200,000 miles on it and be near the end of its life.
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  5. horse-sense

    horse-sense Bobtail Member

    Apr 30, 2007
    as a rule truck companies start to turn them in because they start doing the nickel/dime thing,such as; alt,ac compressor,inside fan blower fans,in general small things but adds in line and allot depends on its history of past driver abuse. trans regular kindly use not likely,clutch coming up, its a ware item and can go(history again) u-joints if service type good to go if it was done, rear end gears not likely,engine not likely..wheel seals and brakes,a real good visual needs to be done (history of use again) the best bet is to back tract service records if possible and request factory history,you will bump heads but it can be done and will make a big difference on how you feel. no crystal ball available and like a car a real crap shoot with good look and investigating can give you an edge. Have a" REAL" mechanic friend thats in the trade, another edge?don't be afraid: be careful
    common sense rules
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  6. CondoCruiser

    CondoCruiser The Legend

    Apr 18, 2010
    Most fleets will rotate their trucks around 4 years which is why you see alot of 500K trucks for sale. I'd say on average you can get a million miles. But just like cars, it's either truck payments or truck parts.
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  7. G/MAN

    G/MAN Road Train Member

    Sep 3, 2010
    Most engines will require an inframe somewhere around 750,000 miles, on average. I have a truck with almost 1 million miles that is still running strong. I know some who have well over a million miles without any major problems. A turbo can go at any time. A turbo usually has a warranty of about 100,000-150,000 miles. You can put that many miles on a truck in a year or so. Major fleets turn their trucks over are a predetermined interval. They try to time it just prior to when the warranty runs out. According to International Harvester, their trucks last approximately 20 years. Of course, you can prolong the useful life of a truck with proper maintenance. For instance, I change the oil in my trucks at 15,000 miles. The engine manufacturer told me that I should be able to go 25,000. I know fleets who only change their oil at 40,000-50,000 miles. Regular oil changes can make a huge difference in the life expectancy of an engine. With any components, the life cycle will be determined by how the truck is maintained and treated. If you are looking for a good used truck, you should not go only by the miles on the truck. You need to look deeper into the history of the truck. I have known of trucks that have had to be over hauled at 150,000 miles.
  8. kajidono

    kajidono Road Train Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    They pretty much last as long as you take care of them. There's a guy out there with a bullnose Mack that I think he bought new. It's got over 4 million miles on it and he still drives it. It still looks like he just bought it brand new.
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  9. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca.
    OH really, local wears out more stuff than OTR ? My truck has 1.2 million and runs very strong. I bought it with 1 million on it with a fresh inframe and havn't spent nothing in it from local wear except for the turbo which was original.
    It all boils down to the DRIVER and maintaince. My previous truck was a 1979 KW with a cummins and drove it for 25 years with 1 inframe. Of course I had minor repairs in between but nothing major.
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  10. Kittyfoot

    Kittyfoot Crusty Ancient

    Sep 21, 2009
    Sorrento, Louisiana
    As for the $1000 question, that could be the day after you bought it. Truck parts are expensive. With me, it was on my first trip; the 5th wheel would not unlock from the trailer. Had to be cut off so I had to buy a whole new one. *OUCH* Turned out the outfit I bought it from used up all the adjustment and then "modified" the adjuster pin so it would look ok on the lot.

    After the engine blew and I let it go back, they patched it back together and resold it to another guy. I recognized the truck months later and asked him how it's working. Burning oil and low power. Was he PO'd when I told him likely why.

    This was a "certified dealer"; they since have lost the dealership.:biggrin_2559:
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  11. Yup

    Yup Medium Load Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    Got a 04 Shaker with 1.7 and still making money
    Only big tickets were the in-frame at 750K and a clutch at 900K
    rear gear swap from 3:42 to 3:35 also at 900K.
    The rest is just doing business,tires, service,windshield or two etc
    Repaint set for this summer :biggrin_25524: $8700
    She has 8 consecutive CVSA stickers as well:biggrin_25514:
    M818 Thanks this.
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