Specifications to look for/avoid when buying

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by CementSailor, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. CementSailor

    CementSailor Bobtail Member

    Jun 24, 2020
    I represent a new transportation company that is the asset based subsidiary for a small logistics/brokerage company looking to make their first truck purchase. We would be hauling conestoga trailers mainly in the mid-west with loads grossing up to 47,000 lbs. I am looking for input on what specifications on the truck would be most beneficial and which to avoid for the type of work we are looking to do. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Any advice on where to get the best deal on truck or conestoga trailer appreciated as well. Thank y'all in advace.
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  3. Gentlemanfarmer

    Gentlemanfarmer Medium Load Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Greenville, FL
    I'll respond by telling you my experience with flatbed hauling and the three trucks I have owned. I can't tell you where to get the best deal on a conestoga, but truck dealers are offering great incentives to buy new. My current truck is a Mack Anthem with MP 8 455 hp engine, 12 speed M-drive and 3.08 rear, with a 239 inch wheel base. I can probably gross 47k, but prefer to keep my loads at 46k or less. Fuel mileage averages 7 mpg at 68 mph. I have a 84 inch wide chain rack on the truck and two 5 foot boxes on my flatbed.
    The first two trucks I owned were Volvo 780s. The first had a short wheel base which didn't work out well to work on a flatbed. The second had a 243 inch wheel base which allowed a nice amount of room behind the cab to work, but the truck was at least 1500 lbs heavier than the Mack. Both Volvos were condos, while the Mack is a mid roof.

    A few fleets are running the Mack Anthem as their primary truck for open deck business. You may also want to consider how large flatbed fleets are equipping their trucks, fleets like Melton, TMC, Maverick and Jordan. Each one uses a different OEM, but all are similar in setup. TMC and Melton sell their used trucks and may include the cabinets if asked. I prefer to buy new and avoid someone else's maintenance problems. Just make sure you trade those trucks in if you buy new at around 450,000 miles.
    Speed_Drums and rachi Thank this.
  4. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    Might as well get a auto transmission and a 13L engine..... with all the driver babysitting aids.

    The gene pool for drivers is small.......
    Ruthless Thanks this.
  5. HillbillyDeluxeTruck

    HillbillyDeluxeTruck Road Train Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    San Antone
    They'll probably do what every other new company that doesnt a thing about trucks does and buy the cheapest things they can find. Probably end up with a fleet of Prostars with Maxxforce engines for 5 grand apiece.
    Cat sdp, rachi and ZVar Thank this.
  6. Brettj3876

    Brettj3876 Road Train Member

    This would be cheaper. You could get yourself a real boat anchor for $140 and save 4860

    Selecting the Right Anchor | West Marine
    God prefers Diesels Thanks this.
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