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best engine/transmission choice for a dump truck - 26-33k GVWR

Discussion in 'Trucks' started by oifla, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. oifla

    oifla Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
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    Location:
    South Central Indiana
    hello all,

    i understand this kind of question is likely going to get into personal preferences and is largely opinion based but i'm still curious to hear about experiences folks have had.

    i'm looking to get into a slightly more capable truck than what i have now. would prefer to stay with the single axle (space and access are important for me) but i would like to find something with more GVWR (~33k GVWR would be good for my needs).

    my first truck was purchased from an aquantaince and it worked out well enough but i want something with a manual transmission (current rig is an allison auto).

    what engine/transmission combo i should be looking for? i usually only haul gravel and i'm going to be buying an older truck (my budget is $12-18K). thanks all

    a.
     
  2. rondig

    rondig Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    fort macleod alberta
    550 6nz with 18 spd....or signature 600 Cummins with 18 speed...mind u I have none of those...I have 325 hp with ten speed on my dump...the big guys have powerful shiny stuff....but at the end of the day I make the same money...and spend way less...I value the full locks more than the power myself...but I must say when I hook up my tag trailer if sucks on hills
     
  3. oifla

    oifla Active Member

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    dang, that's a lot of truck (either engine you mention actually). i'm not sure i've seen either of those engines in what is basically a medium duty chasis.

    i think those are more commonly seen in actual heavy duty which is a bit more trck than i need.

    a.
     
  4. rondig

    rondig Senior Member

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    fort macleod alberta
    I was kidding...but I did have a 2001 kenworth with a sig600...and I owned a c500 crane truck with a 6nz....loved them both....but in the end biggest engine I have now is an mbe4000 450 hp....and ironically I love it....but my old international makes the money.
     
    oifla likes this.
  5. rondig

    rondig Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    In all fairness 8.3 liter to 13 liter engine with a 13 speed is my ideal truck for cost and still ok to drive.
     
  6. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    Right now is not a good time to buy-Truck prices are higher that a cats butt.
     
  7. oifla

    oifla Active Member

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    ha! agreed. i do have the advantage of having to sell one to (somewhat) recover what i'll be putting into the newer one.
     
  8. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    Cummins 8.3. I don't think a 13 speed is necessary and not very common in that size and style of truck. A 9 or 10 speed is fine. An automatic is fine too and would be my preference for what you describe. The 8.3 could go up to about 315 HP but not very common at the higher ratings. But we have mountains here and you have nothing like that there, so less HP is fine. Do not buy a Cat C7 or any small Cat motor.

    If you find something interesting, post it on here and people will know its strengths and weaknesses.
     
    Flat Thunder Channel likes this.
  9. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    I used to like a 380 Cat. Strong, good on fuel, and no electronics. We had a single axle international with a 300 cat and a 10 speed. I found the gears close together on the 10 speed, when going into 2 and 7, the backup alarm would chirp. It had a gravel box and hauled a 3 axle tag along float. Most of the wood haulers here all run 18 speeds, but they all run big engines.
     
  10. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    There are at least 2 different splits in 10 speeds between gears. B ratio and C ratio IIRC. I think the same is true for 9 speeds. Now I know from experience that either split will be fine on a 10 speed. There are several gears that are so low to be almost useless. But a 9 speed you will want to be careful whether the ratios including the rear ratio match your application. But you can't afford to be too picky. Because I am sure selection is limited everywhere. Just get something that makes money and make money with it. After you make a pile, the next one can be new and you get all the specs your way.
     
  11. oifla

    oifla Active Member

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    Location:
    South Central Indiana
    Thanks all.

    I'm looking around and gathering ideas. i found one close to me that more or less fits my parameters. it's an early 90's international with a Cummins engine, Eaton 8 speed. Here's the link: tinyurl.com/yv3rxncw. The frame is a bit rustier than I'd like (used to be a county salting truck) and there are some large holes in the floorboards that need attention (at the wheel wells).

    Reading around this and other forums I'm getting interested in Internationals with the DT466. i know it will be slow but there seems to be more than a few of those floating around. Lots of them have manual transmissions and seem to be in decent shape. Have to get out and test drive one to compare it with my current rig (Chevy C7500, Cat 3126 with a 5 speed auto Allison).

    a.
     
  12. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    The old mechanical 466s were pretty good but the later electronic ones have some expensive pitfalls. International as a vendor has taken a turn for the worse in these last 20 years, so parts and support might not be the greatest. Actually anything from the 1990s would be almost too old in this age.
     
  13. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

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    This company had a whole fleet of little tandem Internationals. They had the DT466 and that little 13 speed with the deep reduction. Most are retired now. One had well over a million miles on it, and those are short haul miles. 2 are still part of the fleet. I took one last fall and delivered a load of sand, and was suprised how well it drove on the road. I remember the newest one, a 1990 had a bit more hp than the rest. There is still one single axle with what I assume is a 466 ( it sound like the others ) with a 6 speed. The internationals have been replaced by a fleet of those M series Freightliners, with little Cummins and 8LLs. Junk.....they will never get the years out of these that the old cornbinders gave them.
     
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  14. oifla

    oifla Active Member

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    well, i'm not sure about them being too old but will give you my $0.02 once i can get around to test driving something. seems like these trucks have lasted and some are (still!) in good shape.

    a.
     
  15. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    Back about 2010 I had a little KW from about 2000 spring a leak in a fitting that went in a radiator. Called KW, no tanks available anymore, have to buy a whole radiator and there is like one of them left for over $1k. We took it to a radiator shop who was able with creative use of a file to get some fitting from a Chevy to fit. But it was touch and go. Those are the kind of problems you run into with old trucks anymore.
     
  16. oifla

    oifla Active Member

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    Agreed! My current truck is a 1999 model and sure, there are issues, but fortunately there are junkyards and forums! LOL

    a.
     
  17. Keith Merrell

    Keith Merrell Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Cottonwood, AZ
    I was pretty much in the same boat as you last summer. I had a 2001 GMC C6500 bobtail dump truck with the CAT 3126 and the 6 speed. I was initially at looking to upgrade with a better bobtail but ended up getting a tandem freightliner with the Cat 3406B and 13 speed. Glad I did it. For what I felt was not too huge of a size difference I felt I could do way more when it came to pulling equipment and hauling aggregate.
     
  18. oifla

    oifla Active Member

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    Location:
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    That's good, glad it worked out.

    My issue is that i don't ever really need to move too much equipment (i use a different rig for that) and a tandem starts to get into a much larger and heavier truck that will get me into difficult spots. All of my work is retrofit so I'm always negotiating with the details of existing housing: fences, narrow driveways, etc.

    I can now haul 8 ton without a problem. It would be nice to have enough truck to move 10 ton or more. If i can't find a more powerful, capable single axle, I'll start looking at tandems but for my needs, a single makes the most sense.

    a.
     
  19. oifla

    oifla Active Member

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    Location:
    South Central Indiana
    I picked up a 1998 International 8100 with a Heil bed. Looks like it will be a good truck. Thanks all for your help!

    o.