Best Value in Roll off Truck

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Andyinchville, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    HI All,

    I am looking into buying a used roll off truck because it seems to be the most versatile truck one can buy (can switch bodies for different uses).....My needs are somewhat basic for now (basically I want to tow my Case 680 Backhoe (approx 17000 lbs) as needed, and I want to be able to mount a 1500 Gallon Hydroseeder on the truck also as needed (I will use a modified Roll off container or setup so I can swap off bodies as needed).....Otherwise, the truck may be used as a mulch/trash hauler, or maybe even a moving truck at times if outfitted with an enclosed container.....or maybe even be used as an actual roll off truck for renting dumpsters....Hmmmm imagine that!

    Anyways, I don't want to spend a lot of $$ on the unit itself (probably less than 20 K)....I don't mind an older truck but mechanically it must be good.

    I have read and read but I was wondering what you would recommend in terms of truck brand and equipment the truck would be outfitted with.

    I am thinking Manual tranny is a must (probably at least 6 speeds....prefer not to have to mess with the trouble prone 2 speed rear), budds instead of 5 spokes, air brakes, AC would be a plus, debating about GVWR....I am thinking heavy single axle would be OK but live tandems may be better BUT am a little concerned about the added tire wear (is it like wearing the rear tires on a tandem trailer when turning?...maybe an air lift pony axle but haven't seen too many roll off trucks with this ....the thought of wearing tires out quickly makes me a little paranoid about tandems......Debating about engine choice....probably bigger is better (obviously diesel)...Saw a truck with an L10
    Is that good?...not too familiar with the bigger diesels....Basically probably Cummins or Cat huh?

    Basically I want a workhorse of a truck that is reliable and relatively inexpensive to repair.

    Thanks for any ideas and opinions on this....Go crazy with suggestions on how I can accomplish my goals!

    Thanks again!

  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Don't fool around with a single axle rolloff truck they are no good for heavier jobs. There are quite a few used Macks on the market which seem to be really common un the USA.

    You want a rolloff hoist that is outside rail and with a minimum 22' rails. You may want a extentable tail or dead lift hoist if you pull a trailer allot. If your not pulling a trailer allot then a conventional rail hoist is good enough.

    Look for the heaviest capacity hoist you want the pulling power. The rails can be repaired if they are worn but if they are bent then forget it.

    The reeving system you want a hydraulic push cylinder some older hoists use a winch mounted in the head of the rails.

    Myself I prefer Dayton (spoke) wheels they are easier to change. As for transmission if you are going with a Mack it may come with a low hole 6spd. The best Mack transmission is the 12spd it works great and fairly simple to shift. The older Mack trucks are usually underpowered with a E-6 or a old 237 Mack with 250hp.

    The other common truck is a L-8000 and a few L-9000s they are okay the older Fords usually have bad cab rust.

    If I was looking for a tandem rolloff it would be on a old heavy chassis preferably a old Kenworth with 400 BC Cummins power with a 13spd on spring suspension. Second choice would be a old Western Star. Mack trucks are just too crude. The cab is a steering wheel and milk crate for a seat.

    This is almost a twin to what I cut my teeth on driving rolloff truck

  3. bigboy24

    bigboy24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I suggest getting a Mack tandem axle. They are tough and dependable. I've drove trucks since age 18 and can tell you they are the true workhorses of all rigs. The best tranny is going to be an Eaton 10 speed which many Macks come with....Never go the five or six speed mack. You'll lose too much power between shifts. As far as inexpensive repairs...there is no such thing when it comes to any rigs...they're all gonna cost you your first born. With regular maintenance a Mack will last a lifetime in my opinion. Hope this helps ya.
  4. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Hi Gravel Rat,

    Thanks for the info....I am not sure if I will be able to find an extendable tail roll off unit because these trucks are fairly scarce to find in good shape at a reasonable cost....almost have to take then as they are if you get a good it possible to rig up the extension later or are they typically a factory option that can be added later?....How practical is it to try to tow using standard rails? (I'm worried the pintle may be too far under the roll off rails and cause a significant problems when trying to turn sharp.

    As far as Macks, you are right....they are everywhere....especially for HD use like dump trucks, cement trucks and trash hauling.....How are they for repair costs relative to a "standard" engine like cummins or cat...., what about repair costs of the Mack trans vs
    tranny like the fuller etc....

    I did see an older Mack the other day....even the owner said it was a little under powered (one of the old 237s).

    I like Cab overs or cab forward trucks for the view they give and since thy are shorter
    they are more maneuverable.....I would worry a little about skidding on ice and meeting up with a tree tho without the extra "hood" in front!.

  5. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    HI Big Boy,

    What engine would you recommend in a Mack?....I did see a good older truck with the 237 in it but maybe that's not enough power?

    I suppose anything has to be better than my old gasser dodge ton truck struggling to haul a heavy load....Granny, second and third was all that was usable unless I was going down hill when hauling my Farm Tractor....aarg!


  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    With a cabover truck you are first on the accident scene :laugh:

    The Mack trucks are good they are a little more expensive to repair because you have to use Mack parts not much aftermarket stuff.

    Macks have always been on the underpowered side. You would want the 350 Mack its better. Mack transmissions are tough it is why you use the saying can't find it grind it.

    Rolloff trucks can pull trailers you just need a longer reach on the trailer.
  7. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,133

    Cab-overs are also referred to as "Traffic Cops".

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