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Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by AL Inc, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Was just wondering if anyone had any feedback on the Frieghliner FL50 trucks? I'm looking to replace my '99 Chevy 3500 for my landscape/planting/detail crew with something a little heavier. Truck I am looking at is a 2003 FL50 automatic with the Cat 3126 motor. I beleive the GVW is 18K. Truck has 75K miles and is a box truck right now, I'm planning on having a dump body built for whatever truck I get. I would definitely appreciate any feedback, good or bad. Thanks, Mike
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Also look at Hino they make a decent little conventional cab. If your looking at Freightliner buy a new one you really have to watch buying a used Freightliner. A FL-50 with the C-7 Cat and Automatic is pretty heavy combination I bet the truck is front axle heavy.
  3. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    etwman might have some feedback on these, I think he has 2 or 3 of them in his fleet.

    They are definitly a favorite truck manufactuerer of mine. My uncle and his son are both truck drivers and have driven frieghtliners for severall years. They have said many good things about them but they say that about the others as well (pete, kw, volvo, international)
  4. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 843

    I prefer Internatoinals for landscaping since they're under cdl and not to big but bigger then like F-650 ford or GMC 5500. If you want bigger thats a good truck, I prefer Pete or KW, but thats just me.
  5. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Thanks for the input, guys. I honestly have not looked much yet, I just heard about this truck recently. I am planning on looking at the Internationals and Hino as well. Gravel Rat- are there problems that the FL's are known for?
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    The FL series Freightliners are a budget truck not a truck designed for keeping around years of service. The Cabs are cheaply constructed you get rattles and squeeks.
  7. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Well I don't work on FL50s, but we have a large(about 30) fleet of sterling medium duty trucks with the 3126 cat engine. It's a decent motor, a few things to look out for:

    The HEUI line likes to leak, if it has the soft line. I'm not sure when cat started using a hard line for it but we have converted most of these to hard lines because the braided ones would get pinholes and result in some oil leakage.

    The IAPC valve, which controls actuation pressure for the fuel system, likes to take a dump. Our cost for one is about 130 bucks. Dunno what you'd pay.

    Check the exhaust manifold gaskets carefully. If they're not leaking, they will eventually.

    The oil cooler gasket will leak eventually as well.

    Make sure you check the valve lash at recommended intervals. My company doesn't believe in it, and I've pulled numerous bent pushrods out of the motor because of it.

    Cat loves to use O-rings to seal everything. The only thing I'm aware of that doesn't use an o-ring is the head gasket, exhaust manifold gasket, and oil cooler gasket. These o-rings get brittle and/or tear, and you get oil leaks.

    But, not really a bad motor all around. Those items aren't really a huge deal, but something to watch out for.
  8. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I usually don't toot Cummins horn but if you find a truck with the ISB (5.9) it probably work a little better especially in a FL-50 the B series is enough power and it doesn't make the truck front axle heavy. The 3126 weighs around 1300-1400lbs where as the Cummins is 900lbs.

    I know all about Cat's uses of O rings they are a PAIN IN THE AZZ :mad:
  9. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 819

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