Wilson Fontaine or doonan combo step decks

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by Guf, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. Guf

    Guf Light Load Member

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    Hey guys, looking into purchasing a combo step deck and wanted everyones experience and opinions on the 3 brands, if you had to choose one what will it be and why. Thanks
     
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  3. singlescrewshaker

    singlescrewshaker Road Train Member

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    No one.........?????????

    Welp, I got an all aluminum Doonan chaparral. Like it so far, but not even a month old so not much to tell..

    I can say if you're buying new, check the price on combo vs aluminum. I specked out a combo 1st. It was only an $800 price difference between the 2..
     
  4. FoolsErrand

    FoolsErrand Road Train Member

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    No kidding. The little step im pulling is a chaparral too. 28" drop. The only issue for me has been the deck channels filling with rock dust.. [Its hard to sweep off because of the bolt heads and channels] and a cracked gusset behind the Z channel outer rails at the drop wall.

    I thought this one was low.. I pulled up to sleep behind a guy last night with an east that was sitting at 31" deck height and i dont think he was aired out. They probably have this one overinflated for belly clearance on quarry roads.
     
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  5. FoolsErrand

    FoolsErrand Road Train Member

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    Hmm.. Just looked at the dataplate. 2000 model by chaparral mfr company. Maybe doonan bought them?
     
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  6. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

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    I pulled fonatine step for over a year now and i loved it at first but the 53s can be a pita trying to chain freight down that is over the wheels. Since there is no where to run chains thru rub rail over wheels the way they are designed. I ran alot of coils on them and where the center point of the weight balance is at i have to go a little bit further in front of it just so i can get all my chains on. Which with a heavy coil it will put me overweight on drivers. Cuz the first spread axle is #### near in the middle of the trailer.. Also there is no place to hook straps over wheels. Get a load of something palletized. It can be frustrating trying to figure out how to get those back pallets secured
     
  7. singlescrewshaker

    singlescrewshaker Road Train Member

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    Yep, mines got a 28" drop as well. When parked I'm noticing water pooling near the drop in outer channels where those bolt heads you mentioned are. Gonna start keeping an eye out where you said the crack is near the drop. Maybe they redesigned it in the last 20 years, but I'll watch for it anyhow.

    At 36", I too feel its riding high. Almost 6" clearance between tire & bottom of deck. I'm thinking of trying shorter leveling rods, & 2-3" shorter pedestals on the 5th wheel to get her down around 34" at the arch..
     
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  8. singlescrewshaker

    singlescrewshaker Road Train Member

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    Mine says Doonan Specialized mfr.
    Model- Chaparral II
     
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  9. singlescrewshaker

    singlescrewshaker Road Train Member

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    20191015_114258.jpg

    Securing around the fenders can be a pain. Mine came with a dozen or so j plates that hook in the outer channel. Not as good as chain pulls IMO, but something you can use around the fenders where there is a lack of securement points to tie into. You can also use 2,3 & 4" flat hook straps & ratchet with them..
     
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  10. FoolsErrand

    FoolsErrand Road Train Member

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    I hate those wheelwell arches. There was no reason for them to stick out and block the rail. If i owned this id trim them flush.
     
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  11. singlescrewshaker

    singlescrewshaker Road Train Member

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    Right, excellent point. The tires are tucked under the deck anyway, I highly doubt they really do much to keep spray down. Just always in the way..
     
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