Pete vs freightliner vs KW

Discussion in 'Mercer' started by Wespipes, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. Wespipes

    Wespipes Road Train Member

    Jul 14, 2019
    So I've posted elsewhere and really got no help I'm looking to lease onto mercer within the next month or so. I have very little flat experience so I dont know flatbed truck specs. Figured I'd give it a shot here. I have 3 trucks I'm considering buying and would like some input. None of the trucks have gearing I've been told I should run 3.55. So I figure I'm going to have to get the regeared. But here are the basic specs

    2019 Freightliner midroof
    60k miles
    DD-15 505 HP dd12 auto
    248" WB
    3.08 gears
    Comes with headache rack 4/500,000 mile warranty. No apu

    2018 kw W900 midroof
    107k miles
    X-15 565hp 3.36 gears 18speed
    280" WB
    No apu no extended warranty

    2019 pete 389 midroof
    93k miles
    X-15 565 3.36 gears 18 speed
    285" WB
    No apu no extended warranty

    They're all basically the same price I'm leaning towards the freightliner The 565 hp seems like itll just suck up desiel. If you need more info please let me know
    cke Thanks this.
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  3. brsims

    brsims Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Meadville, PA
    Detroits have a proven history. The engine has been around long enough to rack up some serious mileage. The DT12 is not necessarily a deal breaker, but I prefer a manual. 3.08 ratio is a bit high for flatbedding, though. Gonna take you forever to climb a hill if you are heavy.

    The X-15 has a great PR team, and Cummins is throwing a lot at that engine to make up for their part in the Maxxforce fiasco. Cummins is talking that X-15 up like it's the second coming of the old bulletproof N14 Redtop. But that engine is still new. The bugs haven't been found and worked out yet. On the other hand, the rear ratios work better for flatbedding, and an 18-speed is hard to walk away from.

    Whatever you do, look into a solid, dependable manufacturer backed warranty for major components. It'll pay for itself if you use it once, and it's cheap insurance if you never need it. Just be sure the warranty also covers the diesel after treatment system.
    cke, Wespipes and x1Heavy Thank this.
  4. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    No sir the 565 means you will lift the 80000 over a mountain with less work, less fuel burn per hour. (And make time at the speed limit) Ive run a big 505-515 for many years back in the 90's and those in that time were as good as you could expect.

    Ignoring the 565 for the moment the 280 wb is excessive unless you plan to haul stuff hanging over the front edge of your flatbed deck.

    The 2018 KW Midroof manual 18 speed etc is the winner for me. Because the gearing is close enough. No need to change them. You are not trying to stop the earth from rotating with ordinary coil, steel, big stuff flatbed work. You are only going to 80000.

    The freightliner eh... It does ok but it tries. But not one I would put on the flatbed.

    The 2018 KW can take a headache rack and APU etc like always, you should have the frame space to do it. (And put a catwalk back there)

    Flatbedding is not difficult but my idea of flatbed school is a large coffee cup from Mcdonalds sitting UNSPILLED in front of your shifter boot on the cab floor as you drive. (Don't spill it, you will clean it up.)

    The other side of flatbedding is that it offers you a range of stuff you can stick on that deck. If you are just buying power to join a flatbed outfit? That is excellent. Don't forget a tool box somewhere on your rig. Again that is where that frame space comes in. Some headache racks do take a form of enclosed storage.
    D.Tibbitt and Wespipes Thank this.
  5. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    I would think twice about anyone talking about the engine like a second coming. The Detriots are so hard to walk away from. I like CAT before they went out of truck engines had a little one that did great. The manual 18 speed is what is the draw. You have to be like really finesse with it and a Auto will just bounce you around.

    The extra horses of the cummins is a benefit but thinking back I remember maybe you be careful with it. It will be there and do it for you on a stiff upgrade. But it's in the end a one speed engine like Cummins was when they started off building ship engines generations ago. Its what it does best.

    I have had big cam through the BCIII Cummins and the N11 I think it was, the 350 in flatbed service. Not particularly fast or have horsies, again not really that important on I-10 running pipe this way and chain the other in a mutally supporting pair of shippers and recievers.

    The first reason for me thinking about all the used trucks. WHY are they sitting out there not in service? If money was no object I would take the KW with studio and get 600 or better and maybe add a axle. and so on etc. It will likely end up more towards a super haul than a ordinary company hack. Its just the way I am.
    Wespipes Thanks this.
  6. thaistick

    thaistick Road Train Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    You realize that regearing would probably cost about $8K....

    Maxxforce was an Navistar International engine, not a Cummins.
    Bean Jr. and brsims Thank this.
  7. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca.
    Peterbilt....... end of story.
  8. 201

    201 Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    I think we're a dying breed, my friend.
    mtoo, MACK E-6 and Diesel Dave Thank this.
  9. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    Cummins has a 2nd owner warranty available that id supposed to be pretty good. I think @Midwest Trucker said something about it.
  10. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
    How come the paccar products have so few miles, but no warranty?

    The place I keep my truck is a small company with about 40 trucks. They've had KW's forever.

    They are moving to Freightliners now.
  11. brsims

    brsims Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Meadville, PA
    Cummins actually had a lot to do with the Maxxforce motor. That engine was part of the extensive partnership between International/Navistar and Cummins.

    Cummins washed their hands completely of the Maxxforce, while Navistar kept trying to shove that glorified boat anchor down everyone's throat. Cummins instead focused on the CM2350 while they continued development on the new X-15 Performance and Economy engines.

    I have high hopes for the X-15s. They have a design and testing period similar to the Detroit DD15s. And Detroit has really raised the bar with the DD15. In my opinion, the DD15 is probably the best overall fleet engine available in the modern engine market.

    I do NOT, however, think it's the absolute best buy for the single truck owner operator. Largely due to maintenance cost differences between Detroit's OneBox system and Cummins DPF/SCR system. Cummins aftertreatment system is hands down cheaper and easier to maintain, repair, and replace. And mostly owner friendly for those of us who prefer to get our own hands dirty with our trucks rather than pay dealer rates for shoptime.

    If the OP has a higher level of capital going in, I think the X-15 with an 18-speed would be a better buy. My only concern is, again, the newness of the X-15 engine on the market. But with a solid, manufacturer backed warrantee would take alot of the guesswork and concern out of the equation for me.
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