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Author Topic: Buying a Log Truck  (Read 3332 times)

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Offline Corysansburn

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Buying a Log Truck
« on: November 12, 2017, 10:08:40 pm »
I'm looking for some advice from experienced log truck drivers. I live just east of Woodland,Wa where logging and mills are big. I'm looking to buy a late 70s early 80s Pete or Kenworth no drop axle with long log 2 stage reach trailer. I know a lot of loggers in my area and they tell me there is no money in it. Is this true ? I believe there wrong if the buisness is ran right and your on good jobs with a good truck you'll make a good living not get rich or anything not looking for that. Also what the easiest way you guys line up work. How do you get on Weyerhaeuser jobs?

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 11:13:53 pm »
Welcome to the Forum Cory.  I'm from Canada so I won't be any help on establishing contacts but others'll be along for that. Are you thinking or running a 70's or 80's truck fulltime daily? I wouldn't be scared of that but make very sure the truck is serviceable. Too many times I've looked at older iron only to find a little rust or corrosion on the cab or the engines been worked on too many times to do another rebuild. For myself I'm happy with anything older than 2004. I hauled with pole trailer up in Grande Prairie, AB for a couple of winters and really enjoyed it but I'm back in Saskatchewan now and the boys are the ones playing with trucks. Good luck on your venture!
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 11:19:00 pm »
Better listen to this  ;) ;D
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 01:29:15 am »
Boy he nailed that one. 

3406/13/hendrickson.  Power steering is a must.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 05:17:33 am »
I drive self loader but it's far differant then u western guys. Every one here tells me how there's no money in the wood business. But yet those guys are putting on more crews, buying new pickups, cars for there wife's,kids u name it. Then look at those log trucks! 11 axle loader truck is $300,000 and another $100,000 for the pup trailer. And they don't bat an eye at putting another 10-20-30 grand in custom paint and lights! I've always said there's money in everything just depends on how u go about it. As far as the truck. Age don't matter as long as it's all there and all in good shape. These trucks get new engines trans and rears 3-4 times before the truck is scraped out. Log trucks here take it hard. 3-600,000 on major components. Truck I'm driving has 800,000 and it's a 2004. I know of 11-12 or new getting engines at 200,000. It's all replaceable. Good luck.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 07:37:50 am »
It's all replaceable.

This/\

I see guys going broke for late model junk that isnt back 40 serviceable by old uncle joe mechanic all the time.  In all types of equipment, not just trucks.   The best truck is the one you can afford and get parts for that is spec'd right for the work.   The 90 year old multi millionaire that built my whole town it seems is still in business with late 70s and 80s mack triaxles, dozers, scrapers etc. His crew is in its 60s and theyre still working all of it, still doing diffs and clutches and kingpins while he sits next to the stove and points the cane.   Electronic equipment would be a disaster for these guys who are only test light proficient.

Offline Gearbox

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 07:59:54 am »
If you buy a Cummins expect to do bearings . A Cat you will need to do front gear train . Detroit the injector harness . These will need to be done at 600 k +  . I know I will get flack but you can run them to a million but if you spin a bearing or wipe a gear train you buy a new block .  In frame overhaul cost 15000 and up . Most guys upgrade befor the BIG money is needed . When the truck breaks the money stops and the payments go on and the repair bills go up .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer and not near enough time

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 11:58:37 am »
Around here log trucks that old are in the back 40 stripped for parts. It's a fine line. You either finance a new or newer truck and work your tail off to pay for it or buy older then spend otherwise productive time in the shop or under it on the road. I used to manage a fleet of light and medium duty trucks for a helicopter company, the old company owned trucks cost a lot of time and money.
You also will be subject to regular inspections plus random stops, everything had better be in order. If the inspector is in an ornery mood he will find something wrong if he wants to.  ::) Older equipment is getting tougher to run due to emission standards, in Vancouver, ALL diesels are subject to testing. There is no easy answer.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Corysansburn

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 01:11:40 pm »
I understand if I buy a old I will working on it quite often.
I plan on buying a early 80s Pete with the 3406 Cat.
I have service truck set up currently for OTR repairs. I live 15 miles out of town so emissions aren't needed here I plan on spending around 15k on a full setup plus 15k on repairs within the first couple months even if it's preventive maintenance. It's sounds like if I set my mind to it, work long 12 hour days on good jobs. I should be able to make it somewhat successfull. I've never drove log truck but drove other trucks off road so I think I'll wait till late spring to start hauling. Is the 3406 Model A a good motor?

Offline Autocar

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 02:55:12 pm »
My opinion on a 3406 Cat stay away from it. Very exspenive motor to have any work done on it.
Bill

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 05:38:03 pm »
i would not limit my search to just a Pete or kw what makes them any better than anything else? in this part of the country 75% of the log trucks are westernstar and i do own 1 along with a lt9000 ih s2500 and a volvo. i really like the volvo. i have never owned a yellow truck motor cat excavator and loader yes. one of the must haves is a jake that works really well. dose it with a cat? i am not a fan of air ride. its great on the interstate. i have some with hendrickson spring there are ok. one broke the end cap 3 times. the newer style was trouble free. also know of a 5 yr old ws that broke a walking beam. that gets exciting. i would look for a volvo on charmers 18 sp the d12 motor is tuff with a good engine brake 

Offline Gearbox

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 07:39:17 pm »
The older Cats had nothing for torque under 1500 . Right where you need a big torque rise . Your in 3 rd gear and start to run out of power you can't down shift in soft ground with out risking the drive train . That is where big power and torque is needed . Your not going to get it with a 425 cat . late 90s to 2004 those will pull . Watch what you  get for gears 3.91 - 4.10 with 24.5 rubber .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer and not near enough time

Offline Maine logger88

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2017, 07:49:59 pm »
None of the mechicle engines had big torque like the electronic engines do.
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Offline Corysansburn

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 08:28:02 pm »
90% of the trucks in my area are 2000 and older with 400 big cams or 3406 Cat. They are also Pete, Kenworth or international a Volvo freightliner or one of them highway trucks would never last on Northwest roads. Torque is not a worry around these parts when your stuck in the mud or on a strap gravel hill the goal is to keep the rpms low and bog it out high rpms will only barry you more.

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 08:35:36 pm »
Around 88 when cat brought out the "b" block which was rated at 425hp it had much better torque than the "a" block. But it still didn't have any engine braking worth talking about. The driveline retarder was ok but not great. But they could pull. I especially liked it when I'd hit some soft ground or a slope would pitch me a steep spot I wasn't thinking about and she'd still growl me out of it.

Series 60 Detroit was good after about 95 or so. Before that they had a safety that wouldn't allow them to lug. I've had them cut out on me at 1300rpm and leave me scrambling for a gear when I only needed another hundred feet to top the grade. Engine braking improved on them around that time too.

Prior to the early 90's the only engine that had an engine brake to think about was cummins (known to me as a comeapart). Not a great engine in my opinion but there was a reason why they commanded the market back then.

I'm fully prejudiced against peterbilt! This is not a rational one. I simply refuse to be lumped together with those snakeskin boots, Stetson hats, and lowrider seats. If you're too embarrassed to be seen in your truck go buy a real one!!   ;D

Of the older trucks I've run I'd be partial to KW or Western Star. Hey, we're all allowed opinions. Right?

the goal is to keep the rpms low and bog it out high rpms will only barry you more.

That's right where torque is found.
2011 - Logmaster LM-2 / Chinese wheel loader
Jonsered saws
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Cooks Cat Claw & Dual tooth setter
2000 Miners 3-31 Board Edger

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2017, 08:35:43 pm »
I'd rather have a new truck. I'd rather repair a old truck. I'd rather pull with a cat I'd rather pay for a rebuild Detroit. There all the same. Cats cost more. But it's all in the driver. If u don't mind keeping "yourself" in low gear and keep your eyes sharp when walking around getting fuel, loaded, unloaded, and ALL the time! And listen. You will save yourself a lot of money. If u go balls to the walls make money in less hours and keep the radio up to your favorite song and talk to everyone when u get out then u will miss a lot and cost yourself a lot.

Offline Gearbox

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2017, 09:21:11 pm »
Your from the Northwest and you are old enough to know about the Spotted Owl then you know that the log market can go south with another owl whim . There were trucks sitting all over and the banks didn't even go after them . Whats next .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer and not near enough time

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2017, 09:27:15 pm »
if you want low rpm grunt volvo or mack. they are the same thing. the sticker on mine says lug it to 1100rpm the new ones are 975

Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2017, 10:05:06 pm »
 Your truck market out there is diff than out east here, my ex relief off the boat lives out by Marysville WA and he was finding nicer older stuff still in decent shape, most stuff pre-90 is rotted out around here, even the early 2000 stuff is getting that way. I've got 5 cats, 2 macks and 1 MBE trucks, they all suck. I would hunt out something thats been taken care of, the extra you spend upfront pays off. Dayton and budd wheels are going the way of the dinosaur, they are slowly phasing out alot of 22.5 stuff, all something to think about. One of the best trucks we ever owned was an LTL w/3406B, liked to eat lifters ever once in a while. Can't go wrong with a mechanical Mack, R-models are getting rare here but they where a rugged truck. My 460 Mack does not like to lug, gobs of power on the high side. Honestly the only one I would say to stay away from is an MBE, more money than a cat to fix and 3/4 of the power for an engine rated for more. I know where a 99 heavy spec KW and 3 triaxle Mack superliners sit in NJ parked out back, been haggling for almost 2yrs. 😂

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Buying a Log Truck
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2017, 05:36:39 am »
Bargemonkey. Phasing out 22.5? 99% of tires sold and on the rd are 22.5. Including recaps. 24.5s are a over the rd truck around here. I don't even think you can buy a supper single steer in 24.5.