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Semi tractor and gooseneck

Discussion in 'Trucks' started by seabiscuit, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. seabiscuit

    seabiscuit Member

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    I need to pull a gooseneck cargo trailer, 14,000 lb GVW, in my business and private use. I wanted to get a straight truck with sleeper which would add about 2k to insurance but found I need the loading ramp on a gooseneck trailer. The Freightliner Sport Chassis or FL60 looks like the ideal truck for my situation but I can not handle the price. I wouldn't be using it everyday but maybe 1000 mile trip per month. It occurred to me that since I have a CDL I could purchase a used, simple, older model, high mileage single axle semi truck in reasonable condition at a reasonable price, far less than a sport chassis. If I adapt it to pull a gooseneck what kind of problems do you think I would run into? Would it make a difference to DOT whether I use a Class 6, or 7 or Class 8 semi truck with a 14,000 lb GVW trailer? Would I still have to stop at weigh stations? Do you think insurance on this set up would be much different than with the straight truck idea?

    Thanks
     
  2. Countryboy

    Countryboy Senior Member

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    Welcome to HEF seabiscuit! :drinkup
     
  3. mikef87

    mikef87 Senior Member

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    What class license do you have? If you have a Class A or as us old timers call it a Class 1 then you can drive anything, if you have a Class B, you can any size truck pullin a trailer up to 10,000 lbs.
     
  4. seabiscuit

    seabiscuit Member

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    I have a Class A CDL.
    1, If I buy a used Class 7 or 8 semi truck do I have to change the fifth wheel to pull a 14,000 lb trailer?
    2. Would DOT make me get a single axle semi or will they let me use a tandem axle?
    3. Can I use the trailer's electronic brakes or do I need to find trailer with air brakes?
    4. Can a used Class 7 or 8 semi be reclassified as a Class 6 semi truck?
    5. Can a used Class 7 or 8 be reclassified as a straight truck?
     
  5. mikef87

    mikef87 Senior Member

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    Are you buying a trailer with a fifth wheel hook up or a trailer with a pintle hook? If it's a fifth wheel car carrier type trailer then I do believe it's a different fifth wheel. You can use electronic brakes as long as you have the brake controller in the cab.
     
  6. seabiscuit

    seabiscuit Member

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    Yes it would be a car carrier type cargo trailer. That's what I was trying to decide on since I think the fifth wheel hookup is more sturdy. I would look for that kind of trailer if I can find a single axle semi.
    How used of a semi do you think I can get away with?
     
  7. LeakyBoot

    LeakyBoot Well-Known Member

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    Hitch--etc

    I have a single axle former "semi" that I pull a gooseneck. A tandem duel wheel flat with dovetail I use to haul machinery and hay. I removed the 5th wheel and put a 12 inch wide channel across bottom of frame with a 25 ton ball. Put electric brake control under dash. Works OK but need fenders or a flatbed to stop water flying in wet weather. Just have flaps now. I'm farm and have been lucky not to have been checked by DOT as they would surely find a problem of some kind-----LB
     
  8. Bob Horrell

    Bob Horrell Charter Member

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    People do what you want to do all the time with no problems, especially since you already have a CDL. A single axle tractor would be fine and could handle the 14K trailer easily. The only reason to convert to a gooseneck is for the articulation it offers. There are a lot of ranchers that do what you want to do and convert to the gooseneck hitch so that they have the articulation they need when hauling in and out of pastures with significant elevation changes. Running electric brakes is not a problem including with DOT. A tractor pulling a 14K trailer with good electric brakes will stop just fine in any conditions. I would recommend a Prodigy electric brake controller. They are as good as the electric ones get.
    Used single axle tractors go for reasonable amounts. Look at www.Truckpaper.com. for a good quantity of these tractors.
    Good luck.
     
  9. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    A class 8 truck can run indefinitely if properly maintained. The most important thing will be the amount of rust the truck might have, that's not easily reversed. All other parts can be either rebuilt or replaced without too much trouble. The price you pay initially for the truck will determine the value in the amount of repairs you need to do. Some of the trucks I drove for the company I worked for had in excess of 700,000 miles and were daily runners.

    Look for a retired fleet truck with good maintenance records, perhaps take an oil sample for analysis. You can get many years of service from a used truck that has been serviced well.
     
  10. seabiscuit

    seabiscuit Member

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    4+4 transmission

    I saw 1950 Peterbilt single axle for sale on ebay with a 4+4 transmission. Is this the type where you have to steer with your elbow around the steering wheel and shift two gears at one time? How many gears are in this transmission?
     
  11. Texas Hayman

    Texas Hayman New Member

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    ?

    Hey guys, not to high jack this thread..do you need a CDL class A or B to operate a class 7 truck (cab and chassis single axle) even if your not pulling a trailer?
     
  12. Lashlander

    Lashlander Senior Member

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    I think as long as the trucks rated GVW is 26,000 lbs or under you don't need a CDL
     
  13. Kgmz

    Kgmz Senior Member

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    A 4+4 is actually 2 transmissions one right behind the other with 4 in one and 4 in the other, giving you a combination of 16 gears. Or sometimes known as a 4 spd with a 4 spd brownie. Other combinations can include a 5 and 4 which is what I learned on.



    Texas Hayman:

    A class 7 truck is rated at 26,001 and up.

    The Federal standard requires States to issue a CDL to drivers according to the following license classifications:

    Class A -- Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.

    Class B -- Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
     
  14. sbrem

    sbrem Well-Known Member

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  15. Countryboy

    Countryboy Senior Member

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    Welcome to Heavy Equipment Forums Texas Hayman! :drinkup
     
  16. 95zIV

    95zIV Senior Member

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    Class A license

    This is something to beware of, A Class A does not automatically give you the ability to pull anything. Depending on what you took your road test with could result in a "O" restriction. If you tested with a Fifth-wheel truck then you can pull anything, BUT if you tested with a pintle and pup trailer then that's all you can pull you CANNOT pull a fifth-wheel trailer.
     
  17. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Not necessarily. It depends on your states CDL rules. I have a class A CDL and there are not any restrictions to trailer type. I took my road test with a pintle but I am licensed to pull 5th wheel or whatever. You need to check your states specific rules.
     
  18. bobcat ron

    bobcat ron Banned

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    After watching those 3 BoobTube vids, I'm glad I got restricted to AutoShift 18 speeds.
     
  19. thejdman04

    thejdman04 Senior Member

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    youll need a class a if your gross is over 26k and the trailer is more then 10k
     
  20. seabiscuit

    seabiscuit Member

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    Thanks for posting those shifting videos, sbrem, they were real informative. Now I see driving with out power steering and a double transmission was physical work. One guy doesn't use a clutch, one guy clutches sometimes and one guy double clutches! Did the double transmissions allow for less use of the clutch?
    Another question: I'm looking to buy an old used truck, now I'm thinking an earlier model than the 4+4 transmissions though they have a real good look to them. I see most have been rebuilt one or two times. Typically how many miles does a rebuilt road truck (say 1980's) go before it needs an engine overhaul, or a transmission overhaul?
    And another question: If I have a tractor that is a class 7, with a GVWR of 26,000 - 33,000 lbs, and actually weighs 10,000 lbs, and I pull a trailer that is GVWR of 15,000 lbs would I still need a CDL? I've seen semi trucks with tandem axles that were rated as a Class 6, 7 or 8, what on the truck determines the classification rating?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007