Prebuy checklist?

Discussion in 'Heavy Haul Trucking Forum' started by RollinThunderVet, Dec 4, 2019 at 12:04 AM.

  1. RollinThunderVet

    RollinThunderVet Medium Load Member

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    Going to look at a 14 Fontaine Magnitude 51 tomorrow. What should I be paying close attention to( beside the normal trailer items)

    Is it customary or taboo to want to inspect the bottom of the deck for stress cracks and such?

    Things I figure I should examine are the transitions front and back, arch, neck operation, all hydraulic lines.
     
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  2. Oxbow

    Oxbow Road Train Member

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    Others who've shopped for and pulled numerous brands of trailers will give you better answers, but beyond normal trailer components I would want to watch it as it is detached an re-attached, lifted, and set on the dogs paying close attention to whether or not it contacts the dogs at the same time. This will let you see how the pony motor and hydraulics function as well as helping to determine if there is a twist in the neck.

    Once picked up I would look down the outside rails to make sure they are straight and look to see if the arch appears equal from side to side. I would also get on the ground and look at the condition of the bottom of the rails and cross members. Signs of scraping on the bottom will likely be present on any used RGN, but anything that is bent would be a concern.

    Also while hooked to a tractor I would play with dump valves, axle lift valves, and check lights etc.

    One more thing on the neck; look closely at the neck support and watch it being used to make sure it hasn't been left down and tweaked while driving. Also, if it has two pin settings you might want to move the pin from front to back and look for problems.

    Beyond this would be typical inspections of the frame looking for cracks.

    I haven't pulled a Fontaine, but guys that have may be able to tell you what to look for specific to the brand.
     
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  3. RollinThunderVet

    RollinThunderVet Medium Load Member

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    so that unit was sold when i got there.
    However, they called me later and said they have mid 200s Etnyre 55T, triaxle, with a stinger and spreader bar coming in soon that will be around the say price range of 35-45k.
    I know @johndeere4020 is one of the open critics of that brand, but im curious if you think it would be a decent enough trailer to last a year or two, to build for a better trailer.
    Also with me only having a 3 axle truck, is it even worth enteraining the idea of keeping the stinger? i have no idea what the spreader is. If i only want the trailer, i might be ble to get it for a decent price, say 30k.
     
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  4. Oxbow

    Oxbow Road Train Member

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    I'd defer to JD on the Etnyre part of it, but you could haul some decent weight with that spreader bar/4th axle even with the three axle tractor by loading more to the rear. You will be under permits anyway so you can max out your drives. Before you let the spreader bar and pin on axle go you might visit truckpaper and see what they are worth...…..kinda spendy to purchase.
     
  5. johndeere4020

    johndeere4020 Road Train Member

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    Well a couple things, I’ve revised my opinion on buying an Etnyre a little. In my opinion they’re are still piles of jun, however if a guy was starting out and could buy one right and pulled it himself it could be a means to an end. I guess if you consider resale value they’re worth more than an Eager Beaver or a Pitts even though they’re not one bit better and honestly probably not as good as the eager Beaver. That being said that trailer isn’t worth near that much, you could buy a Talbert or Trailking of the same vintage for less. I’d want to know where it’s ran, that old if it’s been in salt it’s going to probably be rough. I would want the stinger because it could help with resale. I’m assuming it comes with the fourth axle?
     
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  6. RollinThunderVet

    RollinThunderVet Medium Load Member

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    I would be the one using it. I've been looking for a good TK, but the ones I'm seeing in the 40-50k range are beat to crap. I'm not big on aesthetics, but when the crossmembers are twisted every which way, I see that as bad. Am I right? Although I did see one with a bright yellow paint job
    https://www.truckpaper.com/listings...110hdg-513?ST=Georgia,North+Carolina&CTRY=USA
    But what worries me is it looks like they just sprayed it, didnt even bother removing the boards. So were they trying to just cover stress cracks? Also not sure about the metal around the rear deck. Bot to mention it's only a 23ft well.
    From what was mentioned to me, it would come with the stinger and spreader bar. What is a spreader bar? Only thing I've seen that spreads are those 16 tire trailers I asked about before.
     
  7. johndeere4020

    johndeere4020 Road Train Member

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    That is a paver trailer, it’s not what you would want. The paint wouldn’t scare me, I’m assuming they just didn’t want to ruin the factory apitong because there’s really no way to get it out without cutting it.

    a spreader bar and a stinger are the same exact thing not sure why they said both. It might take a while to find the right trailer and I might be out of touch but that seems high for a 15 year old Etnyre. You can buy a brand new 51 ton Talbert for $59,000 and a 55 ton for 68.
     
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  8. Rontonio

    Rontonio Road Train Member

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    spreader bar goes from the trailer to an axle or axles. Usually referring to an east coast trailer where the spreader bar attaches to the back of the trailer and the. A pin on axle attaches to the spreader bar. Usually creates a 14’ group to group spacing for spreading weight over length.

    they can be air or nitro

    I have posted a picture of my nitro for my 55 ton stretch trailer - although this is a single unit - the axle and spreader are a single unit

    09BC4827-6F58-466F-8778-46C4D6ACD1C9.jpeg
     
  9. Oxbow

    Oxbow Road Train Member

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    I didn't see a pony motor on that one either, so be prepared to add a wet kit @ $3k or so.
     
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  10. Rontonio

    Rontonio Road Train Member

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    I am going to offer some more advice -

    if you are going to run non-dedicated freight - you need as much well as possible. 26’ well at a minimum. I would not run a 24’ well like some contractor spec trailers are - you need to be as veristile as possible.

    I would suggest you spend some time studying up on permit weight rules for the areas you plan to run - this will help you in picking out the right equipment. The SCRA has a permit manual that goes state by state/province. You need to understand the costs of permits and the escort requirements necessary to do the job. You need to know what it is going to cost to move a piece before you can price it. Trust me weight permits are not at all like size permits in terms of cost and turn around. Also, you will gain an understanding of travel restrictions to help you set expectations for delivery.

    I will give you an example: a broker posted a load from OK to MS about a 450 short (unrouted) mile 80k plus pounds 12w 12t. The broker was offering $2600 - near enough $6/mile

    The only problem is the route is going to be OK AR MS

    OK is going to be in the neighborhood of $600-700 ($10/1k over 80k regardless of miles)

    AR is going to be $500 ($16 per ton over 80k)

    MS is going to be $2 per mile so count on $200-300

    plus the pilot car for the 2 lane in OK

    so before fuel you are down to less than $1000




    I would also suggest lining up some go to guys to answer questions and help you as you learn. There is great value in local or regional knowledge.

    set yourself up for success and do the homework in advance.
     
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