What truck to buy for flatbeding

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by comoes3, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. damutt

    damutt Road Train Member

    May 6, 2013
    MJ1657 i would say get a 13 spd transmission i like it for the half gears when you climb hills

    Mid roof for sure
  2. Blind Driver

    Blind Driver Road Train Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    New Albany, IN

    That's my plan, but anything over 46,000 gets a surcharge ;)
  3. rockyroad74

    rockyroad74 Heavy Load Member

    1999 - 2003 midroof Pete 379, KW T600, KW T800, KW W900. 13 or 18spd tranny. Cat 3406E or C15 1LW or 6NZ serial prefix engine tuned to pre-98 emissions, 3.55:1 rears, 22 tall or 24 low wheels with low rolling resistance virgin rubber and pay cash for it plus keep another $20 to $30K in the bank for repairs and upgrades. Oh yeah, get at least a bunk heater. Just idle for A/C in summer. I don't think the APU fuel savings while cooling in summer is enough when also considering the initial purchase. Fuel fired bunk heater is no doubt worth having, though.

    Trailer: go lease purchase on your own through a bank that deals with a trailer sales dealer. All aliminum trailer with coil package and all aluminum wheels for better and faster resale as well as less rust worries. Get spread axle with rear air dump for tire savings and better manuevering in tight areas.
  4. SHC

    SHC Spoiled Rotten Brat O/O

    Feb 26, 2011
    Westville, IN
    Any truck/trailer that u can afford and not have the bank account running on fumes is the best. Once yu did a few of those, start sorting them out by going with the ones that have the best maintenance and records for all of it. Then once u narrow that down, then u can pick which one looks best and u like better. To be honest, I'd drive a pink polkadot Truck with a giant purple trailer if I knew it would never break down. I could give a crap less what someone else thinks, since it's a business and not a beauty/popularity contest.
    heavyhaulerss and Ezrider_48501 Thank this.
  5. SHC

    SHC Spoiled Rotten Brat O/O

    Feb 26, 2011
    Westville, IN
    To add to my above post ....

    you will want to keep away from any 04-13 truck. The emissions equip on them is a nightmare (especially 07-13). I would try to locate a 98-02 CAT, or 98-00 Detroit S-60.

    as far as transmissions, I prefer a 13spd unless you are going to haul over 80k a lot, then a 18spd would be best.

    As as far as trailers, used platforms are so over priced right now, u really need to compare them to just buying a new trailer. For the extra $8-12k you might pay for a NEW trailer, you get a much better piece of mind. I'd rather buy a brand new trailer and maintain it myself from day 1. If u take care of it right, it should easily last you 20yrs.

    A trailer os so what makes you the $$$, not the truck.
  6. rank

    rank Road Train Member

  7. Gentlemanfarmer

    Gentlemanfarmer Medium Load Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Sumterville, FL
    I agree with Richter that brand doesn't matter, but you will need a longer wheel base than most of the large van carriers use. My first truck was an 07 Volvo 780 formerly of US Express. Wheel base was too short and it was only a 6x2. My current truck is a 2014 Volvo 780 with a 240" wheel base, I-shift transmission and weighs 19,000 lbs. I can haul up to 48,300 lbs. The Freightliner does weight 1000 lbs less, but I wouldn't be too concerned unless the majority of your loads are by the hundred weight. Most of my loads are general commodities and rarely by hundred weight. I also use a combination trailer instead of all aluminum.

    Most of the large flat bed companies use mid roof trucks which do well for them and cut down on the cost of the truck. I like my 780 because of the amount of room, the table and have set it up for living and business. Just remember that this is going to be your living quarters and needs to be comfortable. You also have to run a business, not just drive a truck. If you can afford it, I would recommend a 2010 or newer as they have less problems with EGRs than the 2007 model engines.
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