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Thread: Here's how I would spec out a new truck

  1. #1
    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    Default Here's how I would spec out a new truck

    First of all, here is a good list of specs you can get on all trucks, although not 100% accurate:

    http://www.etrucker.com/apps/news/article.asp?id=65871

    Here are the trucks I would consider, I would exclude anything not on this list:

    Volvo vn780
    Freightliner Cascadia
    International Prostar

    These trucks are the top 3 aerodynamic models out there. I wouldn't consider anything else.

    First we'll talk about the specs common to all 3:

    - Aluminum wheels all the way around
    - XZA3 steer tires
    - XDA energy drive tires, or if you can XDA X-one super singles
    - Amboid style differentials model MT-40 "amboid style"not the common RT "hypoid style meritor style diffs - better driveline angles and more efficient. They're like the mack differentials.
    - 2.64 gears
    - Disc brakes bendix ADB22X
    - 12000 lbs taper leaf front suspension, not air
    - Haldex "lifeseal" brake chambers
    - auto-grease system
    - full gauges
    - full aerodynamic fairings
    - 120 gallon tanks with locking fuel caps
    - Delco Remy 36 SI HP alternator, pad mount
    - "straight" air lines for trailer hookups, coiled air lines are garbage
    - Long life driveline, meritor RPL20

    The Volvo:

    78" sleeper (42" wide bed claimed)
    485 HP volvo D13 engine
    Volvo I-shift Model # AT2512C (direct drive) 12 speed with eco roll and "hill start"
    Full rear fairings(like the swift trucks) including spoiler

    I was told bendix disc brakes will be available in the fall


    Cascadia:

    72" sleeper (40" wide bed claimed)
    455/475 DD15 with 1550 torque (wait a year and go with the DD13)
    Eaton Ultrashift 10 speed direct drive model #FM-15D310B-LST
    AF-12-3 front axle to facilitate:
    Rack and pinion steering
    Right and left hand side "access doors" yes they're expensive, but safety is important
    Delete those stupid cupholders on the floor
    Alliance AGM batteries

    I was told bendix disc brakes would be available in 2 months

    Prostar:

    Cummins ISX 450 HP 1550 tq
    Eaton Ultrashift 10 speed direct drive model #FM-15D310B-LST

    I don't know when bendix disc brakes will be available for the prostar

    Here's a link regarding the new amboid style diffs:

    http://www.universaltruck.com/tech_library/sp0167(2).pdf

    I think out of the 3 the Cascadia will get the best fuel mileage. 8+ MPG wouldn't be out of the question.

    Also here's a RPM/MPH chart(use the red line):

    http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p.../direct264.jpg

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  3. #2
    rank is offline Senior Board Member
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    Now that summer is at at least playing hide and seek with us, I've managed to get into the low 8's average (6.5 US). The other big motor guys are still getting 5 US. My CPM is ~.65 and there's is ~.95.

  4. #3
    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    I've been doing around 8 US, one tank I did was 8.7.

    My dad bought almost the exact same truck as mine, just a year newer. Same 425 hp volvo engine, same 3.73's, same 13 speed, etc..

    I expect him to get even better fuel mileage then me. Right now I have XDN2s and he is going to get XDA energy tires soon. 5% difference right there.

  5. #4
    no_worries is offline Senior Board Member
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    Why would you go with the Cummins instead of the International engine?

  6. #5
    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    Bigger fan of cummins. Don't know much about the new international engine, but I do like some of the stuff they're doing like the CGI(compacted graphite iron) block.

  7. #6
    flood is offline Senior Board Member
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    the volvo d13 is junk.... maybe next year they may have it working better. i don't think 8 breakdowns in 114,000 is good and all motor related. it now has a NEW head...!

    the d13 has been so bad that the company we drive for has stopped ordering them until fall

  8. #7
    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    What kind of breakdowns have you had?

  9. #8
    flood is offline Senior Board Member
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    injector cup, flex pipe, water pump, injector cup(pulled head), ran overhead(no jakes), spun cam bearing, injector cup, replace head, thermostat housing, 2 injectors, injector cup (a week after having NEW head installed). steering box seal. i know i forgot a few of the little things.

  10. #9
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    marylandkw is offline Senior Board Member
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    So why not a 13speed or 18speed?
    Paranoia is nothing more than the pathological habit of paying close attention.
    All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2006, "The Voices" (TM)

  11. #10
    hamboner is offline Board Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by marylandkw
    So why not a 13speed or 18speed?
    My guess is that they are heavier and maybe not as efficient as a 10 speed. Most of what he speced was directly rated to efficiency. I might can see some advantages to those in improving economy over a 10 in some of the more mountainous regions of the country. If you are not running out west though a 10 speed should suffice. The days of O/O specing out all the lavish high h.p. and fancy 18 speeds are beginning to become numbered as are the classic hoods. I live in a small town that has about 6 or 7 small mostly O/O outfits and i cannot count all the petes and kw I see parked for sale right now.

  12. #11
    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    Hamboner got it half right. Cost, weight are two big reasons.

    But the biggest is efficiency. I would NOT spec a 10 speed overdrive, I'd rather just go with a 13 speed (they're all overdrive).

    That specific ultrashift, or the I-shift are both direct drive. Saving about 2-3% in fuel. That's a lot of dough.

    All Schneider trucks are direct drive.

    Here's what I said on another forum, explaining the specs in more detail:

    Of course these specs can be tweaked, but I assure everyone here there's a reason for every choice. For example 2.64 gears with a direct drive transmission will get you about 3% better fuel mileage, saving you thousands every year.

    Haldex "lifeseal" brake chambers because the springs inside are completely sealed from the environment, since switching I have not had a problem with a brake chamber. Usually they last no more then 2 years up here.

    Rack and pinion steering for the Cascadia due to the better handling.

    Disc brakes(even though they're $4000 more) better braking, way less brake fade, less maintenance, no greasing, higher resale value etc..

    Amboid differential gears vs. the usual hypoid(which is what 99% of trucks out there have) because of better driveline angles, less vibration, stronger diff units, less chances of leaks(since the seal is higher on the diff) etc... the salesman said meritor just released amboid diffs, and he's pretty sure hypoid won't exist in a matter of 2-3 years.

    XZA3 steer tires because everyone I talk to seems to think they're the best. I got nearly 250,000 miles out of mine.

    XDA energy tires because they're the most efficient drive tire that isn't a super single.

    XDA x-one (NOT XDA-HT) super single tires because they are the most efficient tire ever made.

    Delco remy 36SI HP is probably the best alternator money can buy, these things are VERY tough, very efficient, and can handle the heat. They also have "remote sense" that bumps up the voltage if there's a big voltage drop over the batteries(when they're charging a lot).

    That front axle for the Cascadia to allow rack and pinion steering, and because it has ROLLER kingpins. No other axle I know of comes with that stock. Sure you can get kaiser aftermarket, but that's no fun.

    What's funny is the Volvo sales guy knew his stuff, but I was teaching him a lot more then he was teaching me. Maybe I should be a salesman. The Freightliner guy seemed sort of clued out about some of the stuff.

  13. #12
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    Mackman is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamboner
    I live in a small town that has about 6 or 7 small mostly O/O outfits and i cannot count all the petes and kw I see parked for sale right now.
    Like i always said if you cant make money with a hood then you got some real problems.
    Truck Driving an occupation consisting of hours of boredom interrupted by sheer terror!!

    "All the coolie carriers suck. Log 70, work 80-100, paid for 50." - the Great ColdFrostyMug



  14. #13
    marylandkw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allan5oh
    That specific ultrashift, or the I-shift are both direct drive. Saving about 2-3% in fuel. That's a lot of dough.
    I just don't get it and I would really like to understand it. I always thought an overdrive was better, get the motor spinning slower at higher road speed. Slower is better right? I am spec'ing a new truck right now and I have preliminarily selected an 18 speed, but am open to ideas especially if I can save 2-3%. I already do 7.5mpg with a 13 and c-15 with 3.73 and 24.5's.

    In todays fuel market I believe in doing anything to increase my MPG and nothing is off the table.
    Paranoia is nothing more than the pathological habit of paying close attention.
    All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2006, "The Voices" (TM)

  15. #14
    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by marylandkw
    Quote Originally Posted by allan5oh
    That specific ultrashift, or the I-shift are both direct drive. Saving about 2-3% in fuel. That's a lot of dough.
    I just don't get it and I would really like to understand it. I always thought an overdrive was better, get the motor spinning slower at higher road speed. Slower is better right? I am spec'ing a new truck right now and I have preliminarily selected an 18 speed, but am open to ideas especially if I can save 2-3%. I already do 7.5mpg with a 13 and c-15 with 3.73 and 24.5's.

    In todays fuel market I believe in doing anything to increase my MPG and nothing is off the table.
    What you want to do is have a direct drive with a certain gearset that allows the same overall gearing as a regular transmission.

    I'll explain:

    Truck one, 10 speed direct drive, 2.64's

    Truck two, 10 speed overdrive, 3.55's

    These trucks have the same tires. Every gear will be within 1% of each other(overall ratio) and the cruise rpms will be the same. You're giving up gearing at the diffs, but you have more at the transmission.

    The two advantages are:

    1) Power is going direct through the transmission. No power is going through the two countershafts, then back to the output shaft. It is going STRAIGHT through.

    2) Nearly everything is spinning slower, back half of the transmission, all the driveshafts, etc.. This lowers losses as well.

    The trick is finding a combo that will work for you. If you're hauling more then 80,000 lbs, no go, because there's no direct drive transmission rated for that. Going fast? Again no go, because even 2.64s have too much gearing for going fast(never mind 2.79 or 2.93's). Play in the mud a lot? Not a good idea, because the driveshaft is seeing about 33% more torque.

    Basically if you want to do a direct drive setup with efficient tires, you cannot go fast at all, as seen by the chart I posted above. Sure one could go with 11r22.5's, lo pro 24.5's or 11r24.5's but those tires are not as efficient, XDA energy tires are also only available in lo pro 22.5. Super singles are the same diameter as lo pro 22.5's.

  16. #15
    marylandkw's Avatar
    marylandkw is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackman
    Like i always said if you cant make money with a hood then you got some real problems.
    Says the company driver staring at a dogs butt all day :lol:

    I admit I do have a hood but if I could save 1mpg without one I would do it without even thinking about it for a second(for the next truck). Think about it...

    100,000 miles at 5mpg=20,000 gallons@$4.25=$85,000
    100,000 miles at 6mpg=16,666 gallons@$4.25=$70,830

    Straight to your pocket savings of $14,170.

    Thats why everything I do behind the wheel is done for improving my MPG.
    Paranoia is nothing more than the pathological habit of paying close attention.
    All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2006, "The Voices" (TM)

  17. #16
    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    Wow each 1/10th is worth 1400 a year.

  18. #17
    marylandkw's Avatar
    marylandkw is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by allan5oh
    Wow each 1/10th is worth 1400 a year.
    Never thought about it that way, kinda makes me feel better as I motor down the highway at 60 in a 65 with swift passing me.
    Paranoia is nothing more than the pathological habit of paying close attention.
    All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2006, "The Voices" (TM)

  19. #18
    Doghouse is offline Senior Board Member
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    My mileage went up 5/10's in the last month. Now that I'm able to use some downhill momentum to climb the next hill without blowing tires off. Before I had to ride my jake all the way down to keep my speed under 60mph, as soon as I went over 60 for more than 10 minutes,...off came a cap.
    My IFTA says I averaged 7.9mpg for the last quarter, which should be fairly accurate since I idled only 25 hrs during that quarter.
    I only idled 5 nights the entire winter, I spent less than $100.00 on propane to keep my truck between 65 and 75 degrees, and that also included always having hot water and the stove.
    If I had idled it would have cost me over $3,000.00 in fuel,...instead it only cost me $100.00 and if I add the propane unit,tanks, regulators,hoses,..the entire set up cost around $350.00, so thats a whole $450.00 to keep my truck warm all winter, and I was OTR the entire winter, and I used the propane heater all the time the engine was off.
    This time out I'll have opened my exhaust up by adding another muffler, reconfiguring my genset mount (so I can use it finally). Also I'm sticking to the East coast, and not crossing the Rockies anymore.
    I wanted to get a direct drive tranny, but I ended replacing the one I had with the same model.
    Again, I still drive 55 unless I'm rolling through mountains, then I just her her do what she wants.

  20. #19
    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    Doghouse I'm pretty sure you already have a direct drive tranny.

  21. #20
    Doghouse is offline Senior Board Member
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    Allan,..I'm really not sure,..I asked for one and the guys who sold me the unit said that 9th was the direct drive gear and 10th was not. Then again,..they were bumbling fools anyway.

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