What's the best used truck to buy for mountains?

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by DeathByCheetos, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. DeathByCheetos

    DeathByCheetos Bobtail Member

    I'm looking for a good used truck to buy soon I do alot of long hauling through mountains with loads mainly being near max reefer and dry van.
    My thought so far is a truck with
    3.55-3.70 or higher rear
    13 speed or higher
    470+ HP
    Also with a Cummins
    Definitely going to be between freightliner, peterbilt or kenworth. Not sure which will be most likely to find one with these specs between years of 2015-2018. Also any dealer recommended? Thank you
    black_dog106 and D.Tibbitt Thank this.
  2. rbrtwbstr

    rbrtwbstr Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2012
    in the bush somewhere
    The best truck is the one that makes you the most money...

    You're going to probably get a variety of answers on this. While all may be correct, they may be wrong for your situation.

    As for the brand of truck, that's all up to the owner. What you might find important, others may say is silly. There's probably a thousand threads on here about which truck is better. And still, nobody can answer.

    The specs you listed are very similar to what I run. I am in the mountains most of the time here in Central PA. My truck is a 475 cat, 10 speed, 3.70 rear ratio. It pulls really well at 80k. Fuel mileage varies based on where I'm at and what I do. It does well on the flat interstate, too. It's no speed demon on the flat. I'm governed at 75, and I've let it roll down some hills. 83mph is about 1900 rpms. But throw a hill in front of it and it laughs at it.

    Neighbor had an idea some time ago. He bought an old Schneider truck. Had a Detroit that he upped the HP to 500, had a direct drive 10 speed, and 2.64 rears. Nobody thought it would work in the mountains. But it worked rather well actually. He has sold the truck since, but it proved the naysayers wrong.
  3. magoo68

    magoo68 Road Train Member

    Jun 11, 2011
    st malo mb canada
    2.64 direct is more or less a 3.55 geared overdrive setup but more efficient .
  4. Brettj3876

    Brettj3876 Road Train Member

    Nov 18, 2014
    Northeast PA
    3.90s on 22.5 LP will put ya 1600 at 65 with a .73 or

    Same as 4.42 on tall 24.5
  5. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    The North
    These days I think its more or less the powertrain you want that dictates the brand.

    I miss old days when you could order whatever brand you wanted and weren't stuck with Cummins or a proprietary engine.
  6. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    As much horsies as you can afford.

    And as many gears you can count under there.

    Repeat until broke. =)
    alds and Coffey Thank this.
  7. dustinbrock

    dustinbrock Road Train Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    A cascadia would be a great option. The w900 or 389 are great for mountains as they have a wide opening to the rad for engine cooling but they are horrible for fuel mileage as they have alot of drag.

    A cascadia will have a nice wide open grille as well but is super aerodynamic for fuel mileage, the isx will give you amazing jake braking going down hill. 3.7 on LP tires will do nice in the mountains, especially if you have to start off on a steep hill ever. Starting off a heavy load with a over geared truck is so bad on the driveline.
  8. Caterpillar Cowboy

    Caterpillar Cowboy Heavy Load Member

    Nov 11, 2010
    You can have a perfect mountain truck that's going to suck on the flat lands or visa versa.

    I like my setup only 550 of Caterpillar's finest till I decide to play with the motor, 18 speed and 4.33's/ 5.91's.

    I'm slow on the flat lands but I can party in the mountains all day long.

    Been tossing around the idea of swapping the Chalmers out for one of the air over beam models, if so I'd hopefully go to 3.90's in a single speed with full lockers at the same time. I'd probably want to hang a 4 speed off the back if I did that though.
  9. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    The North
    4.33's you're probably wound right out at 1900 to do highway speed lol.
    Caterpillar Cowboy Thanks this.
  10. Caterpillar Cowboy

    Caterpillar Cowboy Heavy Load Member

    Nov 11, 2010
    Self imposed cruising speed of 65-70. Rare occasion we'll see 75 if we need to make something happen.

    I don't like getting my coconuts kicked, so I don't like to kick my motors coconuts either!

    Good thing I'm mostly around town! But I still pass the 62 mph cowboys out on the interstate at least!

    Like I said I think the 390's with an 18 and a 4 would be pretty fun! Air ride other than the seat would be neat too!
  • Draft saved Draft deleted