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
DD-15 505 HP dd12 auto
Comes with headache rack 4/500,000 mile warranty. No apu
2018 kw W900 midroof
X-15 565hp 3.36 gears 18speed
No apu no extended warranty
2019 pete 389 midroof
X-15 565 3.36 gears 18 speed
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
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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.
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.
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.
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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