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Tractor Trailer vs. Dually or Larger w/5th Wheel

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by dozerman21, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    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.
     
  2. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Big question is: What type and size of equipment are you hauling? And how often?
     
  3. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    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 ?
     
  4. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    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.
     
  5. american groundskeeper

    american groundskeeper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    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
     
  6. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    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.
     
  7. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    I'd looking for another tractor in the 30k range. It will long outlast the lift of a 3500-5500. By a long shot.
     
  8. twj721

    twj721 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 619

    OMG!!:dizzy: :nono: sounds like a good case to bring out the JB WELD and fix them there holy fuel tanks LOL
     
  9. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    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.
     
  10. twj721

    twj721 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 619

    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
     

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