What kind of truck to buy for intermodal hauling

Discussion in 'Intermodal Trucking Forum' started by TDevine729, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

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    Hi T, definitely get a sleeper. There were many times, on a reload, they gave me some ####amamee story, that it had to get on a train by such and such a time, (only to find out, "nah, that train isn't leaving until the next day") and I didn't have time to stop at home, and that sleeper came in mighty handy.
     
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  3. damutt

    damutt Road Train Member

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    A 10 speed will work just as good.
     
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  4. Interplanet Janet

    Interplanet Janet Light Load Member

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    This might or might not be helpful. Most of the guys I see running intermodal operate Volvos. The only downside is you'd have to change your wardrobe to polyester track suits and flip flops to truly fit in...and don't forget the fake gold chain with a medallion that fits perfectly on your hairy chest!
     
  5. Ebola Guy

    Ebola Guy Heavy Load Member

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    Don't forget the 8 huge lights above the windshield and the little flags hanging inside the cab. Extra points if you have a European license plate too.
     
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  6. Jokingypsy

    Jokingypsy Medium Load Member

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    The cheapest, oldest POS you can find is what we normally see running cans around Baltimore? When doing repairs I think mechanics wire will outlast duct tape.

    Adam
     
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  7. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

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    I J, you're a character! :biggrin_2559: Always enjoy your posts.
     
  8. striker

    striker Road Train Member

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    If you look at the truck in my Avatar, that is what I drive for hauling intermodal: '2009 Mach CXU, 445 hp MP8 Mack, 10 spd Eaton Auto shift, 48" low rise sleeper. Twin 120 gal. tanks, with all my gear, tools and 3 sets of tire chains, I'm about 18,800 lbs. For this industry, you really need to stay under 20,000 lbs. There are a lot of O/O's in my area that run ex OTR tractors, huge sleepers and think they look cool. Sure, but they really can't haul anything more than 40,000 lbs.

    A typical 53' intermodal container and chassis weighs about 18,000 lbs. The container and chassis in this photo, if empty hooked to my tractor with 3/4 tanks would scale at 36,400 combined for both. I have a hard time running more than 43,500K in that configuration, and would typically ask the customer to cut the weight to under 43K just to be safe.
    aphu5322140.jpg

    A standard 40' container and chassis combo is about 15,000 to 16,000 empty. If I plan accordingly, I can legally scale and haul 45,500 lbs with one, it's tight but doable.

    A 20' container and chassis and standard stretch 20' chassis, is about 13,000 lbs empty, most are rated to haul 60,000 lbs, in the US, you will almost never see that happening as no one could scale legal to do it. Where 20' weights can get heavy, is when you put a 20' container on a 3-axle chassis, you are now approaching the weight of a 40' container and chassis. So, you really want to have a tractor that weighs under 19,000 to maximize the weight and the variety of loads you can haul.
     
  9. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

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    Hi striker, I agree with a lightweight tractor, and I'm surprised your Mack is that light, as the Macks I've driven, due to their heavy duty construction, were some of the more heavier trucks out there. I think an old R model day cab I drove was 17 something. I don't think the people with large cars are doing it to look cool, it's probably, they took such a beating with their OTR gigs, they can't afford to get a different truck, and have to run what they have.
     
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  10. Cody1984

    Cody1984 Medium Load Member

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    Being honest if I was going to go the owner operator route doing rail I would be looking at daycabs before I would consider a sleeper...I would even consider a cab over before getting a conventional sleeper do to all the 90 degree backing you need to do in the Harrisburg rail yard. The shorter you can make turns the better. As far as power goes I'm agreeing with 500hp or more. I travel across I-80, I-81, and US322 (which is worse than I-68 in WV if your on it west of Harrisburg). So that's a lot of going up and down the appalachian mountains with heavy containers. Not something you want to do on a weak motor.
     
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  11. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

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    Hi Cody, actually, a cabover would make sense if you just did short hauls, but for longer stuff, you'd suffer in fuel mileage, and working on a cabover is a nightmare.It's funny, years ago (70's & 80's) cabovers were the norm. Check out this video, "Convoy", which was made in the 70's. It was all cabovers. (notice the blooper? He says a cabover Pete with a reefer on, which is clearly a Freightliner) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le2bPRGvKXE
     
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