What to look for when specking a truck for a general freight?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by TallJoe, Aug 23, 2021.

  1. TallJoe

    TallJoe Road Train Member

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    I rented 2021 KW T680 and drove about 1000 miles with the Eaton automatic transmission, X15, 500HP.
    Adjusting to lower RPMs takes some getting used to...
    I think I would prefer do stay with 13 speed, I think I can control it better, though.

    Other than that, the truck made a positive impression on me. Also, ergonomics is more than acceptable for a tall guy such as me...

    I heard that Kenworth does not make trucks with their own factory specs, you have to tell them what you want... That's why their dealer said they they require $10 000 deposit to secure an allocation for a new truck. Unlike Volvo or Freightliner where they make their own trucks - per dealership specs - unless you make an order with your own specs.

    Can you go wrong with manual 13 speed. Cummins X15 and 3.08 rear ends, for general freight under 40K lbs in the Midwest region with sporadic excursions over the Rockies?

    What's the general knowledge when specking a truck per different applications?
    Does it have more to do with a predicted weight e.g. an open deck vs dry van? Or is it more about terrain? Perhaps a personal preference?
     
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  3. MLC Adventures

    MLC Adventures Medium Load Member

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    How fast do you need to run? 3.08's gonna be a bit much with a 13 od
     
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  4. TallJoe

    TallJoe Road Train Member

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    My working speed is in the range of 65mph - 70 mph.
     
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  5. blacklabel

    blacklabel Heavy Load Member

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    I think you would like 3.25 better.
     
  6. MLC Adventures

    MLC Adventures Medium Load Member

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    I'd agree with @blacklabel. 3.2-3.3 would suit you much better, but still have plenty of legs without winding her out too much when you run out west.
     
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  7. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    @Midwest Trucker would probably have a good idea. MPGs would be my goal, with any new Truck. All depends on Torque rating, and Torque band. Need the Torque to pull hills, and enough RPMs to stay in the band, without downshifting. That costs MPGs. I’d imagine being between the low end and middle of the curve, with enough torque, would be better most of the time. Maybe worse in the hills though, if downshifting a lot. That’s the gear fast, run slow theory anyways. I prefer to cruise right at 1500 RPMs, right in the middle of the torque band,(1350-1650), for drivability. But a higher Torque engine, with a lower (RPMs) and flatter torque band, might still have good drivability at lower RPMs.
     
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  8. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

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    You don't want a dealer to spec your truck they don't know very much. I would spec it for MPG, then you have figure out how fast you want to drive 60-65 for MPG. Then you will want to run in Direct Drive on transmission for MPG. You also want the engine to be in the lower RPM rage when driving down the highway all day at 60-65 maybe 70.
     
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  9. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    That's funny.
     
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  10. larry2903

    larry2903 Medium Load Member

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    Kenworth dealerships do have stock trucks built, just not right now. Close to the same with all manufacturers, all of them are building sold orders.

    Definitely spec your new truck out, get it they way you want it then and not a dealership spec. You are correct about the transmission, auto shifts only improve economy for drivers that over rev before shifting.
     
  11. mnmover

    mnmover Road Train Member

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    I would look at 2.64 rear ratio. Drive in 11th (direct) and idle along. That is how you save fuel.
     
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