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View Full Version : Tractor Trailer vs. Dually or Larger w/5th Wheel


dozerman21
02-01-2007, 11:04 PM
I am considering downsizing in the future from a tractor/low-boy trailer to a 3500-5500 size truck and a 10 ton 5th wheel trailer. I'm getting my a$$ kicked on insurance, plates, and especially fuel costs and tire wear.

For you guys who are running the set-up that I'm considering, what are you paying for insurance and plates? Also, what kind of fuel milage to you get when pulling a heavy load? I know there are many variables when it comes to these, I'm just trying to get some ballpark numbers.

Has anyone else switched from my current set-up to the other? The only negative for me would be that I could only haul one machine at a time, but I think I could save money in the end and have a newer rig. It just feels like I'm constantly buying tires and burning more fuel than I need to.

mrusk
02-01-2007, 11:19 PM
Big question is: What type and size of equipment are you hauling? And how often?

Gravel Rat
02-02-2007, 02:47 AM
You better stick with a medium duty single axle atleast the truck won't wear out in 4 years. Have you prices out a new 5500 Chevy ?

dozerman21
02-02-2007, 07:44 AM
I haul my Case 550H dozer (app. 15,500lbs.) and my Deere CT332 (app. 11,000lbs). I'm going to stop carrying them both because I don't use my loader everyday, and that's just more tire wear and fuel being burned. I spend anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 1/2 hours driving round trip everyday, depending on where I'm going.

I'm just curious what you guys are spending for plates and insurance on your smaller rigs, or any other info you have like tire wear, etc... There is a LOT of maintenance on a rig like mine, especially an older truck like I have.

Gravel- If I went to a different set-up, I'd buy the trailer new, but I know a new truck would be salty. I'd look for one that was a couple years old, unless a dealer offered me a killer deal on a new one.

american groundskeeper
02-03-2007, 04:48 PM
My boom arm mower is about the same weight as your dozer. I have been both ways and it is a wash in terms of operating cost if the tow trucks only job is moving the machine. The 1 ton dually can do other duty but it wont stay in one peice as long as a 21/2 ton or larger tractor. You can buy a low milage tractor and run it for a long time. Dually will be done in four years my opinion. Trailer can be bought brand new and built to your spec. for $8500. Length dosen't affect cost much. Give me a shout if you want more of what I know , which is not much but I do know equipment

dozerman21
02-03-2007, 07:28 PM
A.G.- The problem that I've ran into is my truck is 20 years old, and I'm starting to get into non-engine related repairs that are on top of the usual wear and tear, I.E. brakes, tires, etc... The engine has been great, and the truck only has 175,000 miles on it. I'm just tired of putting money into it. I'd like to upgrade to a mid 90's tandam daycab with a Cummins, but if you find one with 250,000 miles or less, you're looking a $40,000+. I don't want one with half a million miles on it, and have to worry about paying for an overhaul.

So you think I wouldn't save much on fuel, tire wear, tags and insurance, if I went to a smaller rig? I'm not sure what kind of mileage I get, because my tanks leak if I fill them past half way, so it's hard to gauge how much I've used.

mrusk
02-03-2007, 07:40 PM
I'd looking for another tractor in the 30k range. It will long outlast the lift of a 3500-5500. By a long shot.

twj721
02-03-2007, 09:10 PM
A.G.- The problem that I've ran into is my truck is 20 years old, and I'm starting to get into non-engine related repairs that are on top of the usual wear and tear, I.E. brakes, tires, etc... The engine has been great, and the truck only has 175,000 miles on it. I'm just tired of putting money into it. I'd like to upgrade to a mid 90's tandam daycab with a Cummins, but if you find one with 250,000 miles or less, you're looking a $40,000+. I don't want one with half a million miles on it, and have to worry about paying for an overhaul.

So you think I wouldn't save much on fuel, tire wear, tags and insurance, if I went to a smaller rig? I'm not sure what kind of mileage I get, because my tanks leak if I fill them past half way, so it's hard to gauge how much I've used.

OMG!!:dizzy: :nono: sounds like a good case to bring out the JB WELD and fix them there holy fuel tanks LOL

dozerman21
02-03-2007, 11:38 PM
I tried J.B.Weld twice and it didn't work. I have the type of tanks with the battery boxes on top, and over the years acid has run down and ate pinholes on the tank. The other side has a leak in the foothole. They've been a PIA. I'm gonna give it another try this spring.

twj721
02-04-2007, 06:18 AM
sound like a old FORD TRUCK the fuel tanks sorta square looking with the battery box on top in a like a recess area on top of the fuel tank we had a old W series cabover Ford that had that then we had a LT series that had it also seemed to always have rust straks running down from under the battery box area really showed up if you had truck washed and had the fuel tanks acidized

tnmtn
02-04-2007, 09:55 AM
dozerman,
i tow 12,000lbs. with a 3500 dually. it has plenty of engine power but i worry more about the brakes. no doubt it will tow the weights you are talking about it is not ideal. i am looking to upgrade to something bigger as soon as i can. i guess my thoughts are can you do it? yes. would i recommend it? nope, definitly not for the long run.
good luck

american groundskeeper
02-04-2007, 10:22 PM
I am not married to one truck or another but I will say I have had real good luck with the GMC/ISUZU trucks. The NPR might be a little weak to get over a hill or up to highway speed but I have a 5 ton single axle box that just plays with 10 ton of trailer and load can't remember the engine but it's around 350 hp and diesel. I carry a mobile shop and all my tools and supplies in the box. I have a set of portable ramps that I can load a piece from the trailer to the box if I want to. It has done a good job and I spent $5500 and had to do brakes right away about $2500 I think and added a 100 gallon tank with a electric pump and hose to fuel what ever I needed and that was another $1000 but I got a very good deal and have been running it 7 years now. I have put gas in it one day and diesel the next. Don't do that unless you the only one near that truck. Haven't done that in a couple of years. Wife said I was asking for it and I was'nt allowed to swear at anyone if I had problems, so I quit that. Anyhow my point is I think your into over kill on the truck. My grandpa used to say "son buy the uglest horse no one is running up the price" . Used box trucks with low milage are not near as dear as a tractor and will handle an equipment trailer and do a good job. I prefer the box truck to my tractor. I have not had any trouble finding a aluminum 100 gal fuel tank for around $100-$150 then you have to have it put on. And the box truck make a great billboard. Best regards ed

thebobcatkid86
03-03-2007, 08:23 PM
In my humble opinion, which I have wanted to be in the bigtime excavating business so I have studied but never owned any big equipment if youre only going to be towing 15.5k I would probably go F550 or maybe F650. On Ebay I have seen dump trailers, 2-5/16 center hitch ball, that are tri-axles with three 7k axles, so they're 21k gvwr trailers for around $7500 to $8000. A 550 with one of those should be able to handle that Case 550 fairly easily.