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topkick 3116 opinions

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by tnmtn, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Posts: 1,019

    it looks like i am going to be picking up a dump truck. i will be going the used route. i have found a few topkick and kodiak trucks. 6500-7500 series. they are '91 and '94 models with a cat 3116 engine, 5speed trans with 2 speed rear end. single rear axle. around 100,000 miles. they were previously DOT trucks that have been completely refurbished. the asking price is between 11,000 and 12,500. they have a few to choose from. the dealer has a very good reputation with previous customers. looking for opinions and ideas. so far i am sold.
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I would like to know what has been refurbished so the dealer means they have the trucks a 5 gallon rebuild. If they are retired muni trucks they are beat to snot doesn't matter what the dealer does to them. Every muni truck I have seen have been run hard. Trucks with 5+2 gearing is the hardest to shift for green horn drivers its why you never see any muni trucks with it. Where I'am all the trucks have Road Rangers the highways dept saved tons of money on fixing blown 2spd rear axles.

    The GM trucks are good in general the 3116 isn't a powerfull engine it still has Cat's expensive parts. The 5+2 gearing is something that isn't that great it works but if you have others driving the truck it takes awhile to learn how to shift them properly.

    Myself if I was buying a single axle dump it would have 33-35,000lb gvw. One of my choices is a L8000 or L9000 Ford with L-10 Cummins power or if thats not a option 7.8 Ford power. They have good turning radius they have a proper truck cab on them the same cab is on a tandem axle.

    Second choice would be a 2000 series International so either a 2500-2600 you can find them usually they are 35,000lb gvw trucks.

    You guys and your dumb CDL rule really limits your choices you might aswell get a truck that will haul a decent load so 26,000lb gvw isn't going to cut it. If you want to pull a tag with a 12,000lb mini on it you want a decent truck especially if you want to carry some material in the box for the job while pulling the trailer.

    Keep searching you will find something the completely refurbished makes me think the trucks are beat to h*ll the dealer is trying to cover it up. You want to buy a truck when its still dirty if they powerwashed everything it means they are trying to hide things.
  3. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    CDL rule is not dumb......driving such trucks you should certainly be qualified. How else do you know how air brake systems work? Ensure you can back up with a trailer without taking out a few cars or people. Even still there are plenty of numb nuts out there driving the trucks either with or without a CDL when the truck is not safe to have on the road in the first place. Which here the county police are all over your a** and do a great job enforcing truck safety.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Driving a medium duty grossing 35,000lbs is no different than one grossing 26,000lbs. With the 26,000lb rule you guys end up doing more stupid things like pulling trailers with a undersized truck. That is more dangerous than somebody driving a 30,000lb medium duty.

    For us we need a endorsement on our license to operate a truck with air so you need to go to a driving school for a air endorsement ticket. The course shows you how the air braking system works and how to adjust the brakes. Go write a test at the DMV the endorsement gets added to your license.

    We don't have a CDL rule for single axle trucks they can have any gvw and we have some of the steepest hills you can get in B.C. . There is no lists of major fatal accidents caused by people running a 35,000lb gvw truck.
  5. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Posts: 1,019

    the truck i am looking at has a gvw of 33,000#. the truck will mostly tow the backhoe and allow me to keep spoils from jobs easier. i thought about a tandem but some of these driveways are very tight and getting tighter. when i need big loads i like to contract that out.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    The trucks with 5+2 really are not the best I would try find a single axle with a 6-7 or 8spd transmission. The 3116 is turd of a engine I doubt it will pull a trailer very well they are rated at 200hp.

    A tandem axle will go places where a single axle truck will go. You would have to be getting in really tight spaces where a L-9000 Ford with a 222wb wouldn't go. We have some tight spaces the Louisville Tandems will go anywhere and they carry a 15 ton load.

    A tight driveway for us is a driveway where a F-350 Crewcab long box sized truck has trouble making the driveway. Been places where you have inches to spare trying to get a truck into.

    A single axle dump can't carry enough weight to make the truck pay for itself.
  7. Total Landscape Solutions

    Total Landscape Solutions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 190

    I worked for a large commercial landscaping outfit in Cincinnati for 8 years, with install sales in excess of 6 million a year.

    All of the trucks in the install divisions fleet (15 or so) were single axle dumps. F450's, F550's, Chevy 3500's, 3500 HD's, Kodiak 4500's, etc.

    They managed to make the trucks pay for themselves, so can anyone else if they know how to use the equipment.

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