Which truck/engine combo?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Tanksmuch, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Tanksmuch

    Tanksmuch Light Load Member

    Jul 22, 2019
    Central Arkansas
    I'm looking at going Owner Operator fairly early in 2020, pulling end dumps for Oakley. I currently at a tanker company and really like the mid roof Cascadia DD13, DT12 combo. I don't like the 65 mph governor and would never have that in a personal truck. My average MPG is always 7.50+ which I really like. I've heard of companies getting fleet averages of 8+ but seems like they were talking about a KW aero with a Paccar MX13. We have those too but don't get that kind of MPG, they are fairly close to the Freightliner. I want the best combination of weight, power, MPG in a mid roof truck. I will only purchase new.

    My questions are...
    1. The DD15 has 200 foot-pounds more torque (I think) than the DD13 and weighs 400-500 pounds more... is the DD15 as fuel efficient as the DD13?
    2. Are the Paccar engines proving to be a durable as the Detroits?
    3. If you were to purchase a new truck, keeping priorities in this order, durability, fuel efficiency, comfort... which truck/engine combo would you purchase?
    4. What's the hottest combination going these days? Looks like the mega carriers are going with DD15 Cascadias?
  2. Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  3. Trucker186

    Trucker186 Medium Load Member

    Jan 29, 2019
    Any aero KW, Pete or International a Cummins efficiency series x15 and a 13 or 18 speed trans. I have seen the international's get 8 mpg trip average if you don't run above 70 mph.
  4. mhyn

    mhyn Road Train Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    Northridge, CA
    any truck with Cummins x15 efficiency paired with 13 speed trans
  5. Tropsnart

    Tropsnart Heavy Load Member

    Jun 8, 2015
    Pavilion New York
    What he said! X15 with 13spd. Great fuel mileage and decent power. I didn't have any problems from new to 170k.
  6. Zeviander

    Zeviander Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB, CA
    What gross are you planning on running? That's the biggest factor these days for power/torque and gearing combos.

    There are operators running the new Mack Anthem with the 415HE+ package on a 6x2 chassis getting over 10-11mpg pulling vans and tanks OTR, so you have to spec your truck exactly to what you are running. Mack is also offering incentives to non-fleet owners to buy/finance.


    For a bulk operation under 80,000 lbs gross, the 15L will be sacrificing up to 500-1000+ lbs of payload room ($25-50 a load at $100/ton) and not giving you much in terms of bonus power and will definitely be lower fuel economy.

    What kind of "comfort" are you looking for? Are we talking regional sleeper flat top or full OTR hi-rise sleeper? Peterbilt 567/579, Kenworth T880 and the Mack Pinnacle (wide cabs) all with the small flat top sleeper and 13L motor will definitely fulfill your three major needs for someone not using the sleeper very often. They won't win races up hills, but in terms of money in your pocket, that won't matter.


    In terms of reliability, the EPA2017 Paccar MX-13 is apparently significantly improved over the EPA2011 version (a money pit off warranty with the emissions). The Mack MP8 is almost entirely new from last year and is apparently significantly upgraded in terms of simplicity and reliability of parts (and AFAIK the only motor built entirely in the US).

    The Cummins X-15 has a fantastic maintenance record for all the Performance versions of the motors (the Efficiency's have had a lot of sensor issues), and the jury is still out on the X-12 for reliability (but a 500hp/1700 lbft 12L motor that weighs 2050lbs dry is perfect for a <80k regional bulk unit, compared to 2540 lbs for a DD13 or 2597 lbs for a MP8).


    Personally, I would avoid Kenworth because I hear their maintenance network is a complete pain to deal with. Volvo is the same. Peterbilt has a better track record for timely warranty fixes than their Paccar counterpart. Freightliner/Western Star I've heard lately is all kinds of awful, despite having the largest service network. Mack doesn't have a huge service network, but are fairly good at getting trucks through. International is hit and miss.

    All in all, if it were my money and I was looking at buying new for a regional end-dump truck, Mack would be my only choice. I'd go with the Pinnacle set forward front axle, 505D (Maxidyne*) MP8 motor, mDriveHD (autoshift) transmission with a full Mack rear-end (the heavy duty setup for durability) and 48 inch flat top sleeper. If OTR, swap to the MaxiCruise* motor, lighter duty rears/suspension and 70 inch sleeper.

    Mack's are notoriously lightweight compared to their counterparts (truck wise), which is why so many bulk companies tend to use them. And the MP8 as a motor has always been a fantastic platform (but had emissions issues around the early 2010's, as everyone did). Plus, Mack's tend to stick around through the worst beatings that can be leveled against a truck. How many old Peterbilt or Freightliner dump trucks and cement mixers from the 1980's do you still see working?

    *MaxiCruise/Dyne are just a different torque curve programming that focuses more on-highway (Cruise) or off-highway (Dyne).


    Also, why are you interested in greater than 65 mph? Just curious. Between 55 and 60 mph is the best range for fuel economy. Once you go higher than 65 mph, drag on the truck increases exponentially. Also, tire wear goes up significantly after 65 mph as well, significantly increasing the chances of blowouts (which will cost way more in downtime and repairs than any time savings).

    If you are going to be cruising on the highway a lot, gear towards 65-70 on cruise at most. Lower cruise rpms will give better fuel economy on these new motors (1200-1300 instead of 1500-1600). By all means leave the governor off to give you passing power (I would never go back to a governed truck) but if fuel economy is a big concern for you, running at 65 or under will be your friend. And also staying out of the throttle while accelerating (company driver mindset is to mash it to the floor until you reach the governed limit).

    I hope this helps.
  7. Tanksmuch

    Tanksmuch Light Load Member

    Jul 22, 2019
    Central Arkansas
    Regional lanes. Mid roof 70 inches plus. I want to be able to run the speed limit anywhere. I completely understand fuel economy and speed. However, when 75 vs 65 will get me unloaded that day, I want that option. That happens on regional runs. I’m well aware of the weight differences in the engines, but this is not sensitive for this type of freight.

    Thanks for the info.
    Zeviander Thanks this.
  8. FoolsErrand

    FoolsErrand Road Train Member

    Sep 15, 2017
  9. Tanksmuch

    Tanksmuch Light Load Member

    Jul 22, 2019
    Central Arkansas
    I’d prefer new.
  10. win-some-loose-less

    win-some-loose-less Medium Load Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Mount Vernon tx
    The dd13 actually has more torque, you won’t get those highmpg numbers pulling a end dump and for dang sure aren’t going to get em at speed limits.. end dumps are 80k or empty and no in between.. I’m not a fan of the Dd engines and the dt12 I believe doesn’t have a pto option.. they may have changed it over last couple of years but last I knew it didn’t.. the paccar engines have supposedly gotten better since 16 but I’m not taking that gamble, me personally prefer a red motor or a Volvo if going new.. Volvo has the best auto shift on the road if that’s what you looking for
    Tanksmuch Thanks this.
  11. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    75 vs 65 is only about 90 miles at most at the end of your 10 hours or so not even that.

    Personally a non governed truck is best I also know how to not leave it on the floor like some company idiot. and the speed limit is good.

    Anything less than that say 63 mph in a 75 mph state you are just asking for trouble. Its not worth a mountain of money when someone slams into your trailer or worse.
    Farmerbob1 and Tanksmuch Thank this.
  • Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  • Draft saved Draft deleted