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Costs to Run a Semi?

Discussion in 'Equipment Moving Questions' started by alskdjfhg, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. Wes J

    Wes J Senior Member

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    I'm just saying that it's a free country and he can buy anything he wants. When I say "makes sense", I mean business sense. I get the feeling that this is just a well funded hobby for him, so his economic factors are most likely different than mine.

    When I was in college, I couldn't afford a sandwich. But, if he wants to buy a semi, more power to him.

    He and I belong to another forum, so I have some more knowledge of his purchasing habits.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  2. alskdjfhg

    alskdjfhg Senior Member

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    Houston TX
    He said it before I could.

    Were both members on Practical Machinist and there is a group (just about everyone in fact) that seems to take personal offense that I like old machinery. Another likes to remind me how that the shop that I'm trying to put together is just a "retirement home for $hi&ty old machines". And that's probably true.

    From what I can tell Wes is a hell of smart guy, and runs his own shop, but does like to stir things up every once in a while.

    I should have made a different user name and tried to fly under the radar a bit better, but I kinda like 'alskdjfhg' as a name.

    And no this isn't a 'well funded hobby'. That actually kinda rubs me the wrong way a bit, I think every machine I've got I've literally pulled out of the scrap pile for scrap or less. I just actively seek them out and have a few of them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  3. Wes J

    Wes J Senior Member

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    You do anything you like. I just spent 10 hours fixing a 60 year old Blanchard grinder for a customer. They didn't even flinch at what I am sure was close to a $10k repair bill on a machine that might resell for $5k. It did the job they wanted and they just needed it back in service ASAP.

    FWIW, I don't take any offense to you liking old machinery. If you can afford it, buy all you can. I just default to seeing things from a business make money/lose money perspective. It's my opinion that your perspective is different. There is nothing wrong with that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  4. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Retired Cons't. Supt./Hospitals
    Location:
    Moose Lake, MN
    Just make sure you are not limited to what you can legally drive based on what you test with. There are restrictions here based on what you use as a test vehicle. Just a question to ask or look up on line.
     
  5. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Yeah , from what I gathered your a young man in college with limited budget for big ideas . That's how most of us start out , " limited budget and big ideas ":D

    Keep doing what your doing ! We need more motivated young men like yourself that aint scared of a challenge .:thumbsup

    May as well start shopping for a truck & lowboy now as your going to need it .
     
  6. movindirt

    movindirt Senior Member

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    Here in IL you can get mileage plates, limited to 7k miles a year, only costs $1,630 for a year's worth of plates. Works great for a lot of guys that all they need a truck for is to move their own iron from job to job. Unlimited miles will run you $3,200 for a year. Just something to think about.
     
  7. alskdjfhg

    alskdjfhg Senior Member

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    Houston TX
    Anyone know about how long truck driving school is? May be the fastest way to get the license. They may also be able to tell me what I need to do once I'm running my own truck.

    Also anyone know about military trailers (they use a different hitch right?) Also anyone know anything about an M920?

    That or I'm too crazy to know what shouldn't be messed with.....:D
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  8. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    We call that " The confidence of youth " . All of us had it at one time & some of us still do .:)

    As for Military Lowboys my all time favorite is the M172A1 . Has a long history and it works . Buddy of mine uses one in his logging business . Around 9 foot wide making easier loading on oversize equipment . Like you mention the neck is a little taller then a standard trailer so the deck sets a little lower on regular tractor fifth wheel plate .

    The military tractors had an oscillating fifth wheel plate that sat about 1 foot taller then a standard truck .

    http://www.fontainemilitary.com/line_haul_trailer_M172A1.html
     
  9. Knepptune

    Knepptune Senior Member

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    Indiana
    In Indiana if you take the test in an auto you cannot drive a manual semi. If you take it with a short truck and trailer you can't drive a full size semi. Basically if you want to drive a full semi you have to take the test in one. Also most every test site here in Indiana is right next door to the driving school. It's hard to pass the test if you don't go through the school. I got failed on one test because They said you have to double clutch. I got pretty angry with them and asked them to show where in the manual it said to double clutch and then they backtracked.

    At the driving schools they teach you pass the test. That's it. They don't teach you to drive imo. Basically you memorize the steps to pass the test and the instructors were looking for that pattern.

    We just recently got a semi and trailer because we need it to haul the counterweights on our 110t. I don't know the costs but I can tell you it's a heck of a lot cheaper to just hire one unless your using it at least a couple times a week. I can hire a tri-axle truck with a tri-axle detach for $80 an hr. I have no idea how he makes any money and I don't really care either.
     
  10. Wes J

    Wes J Senior Member

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    The CDL testing rules are federal rules. It should be pretty much the same in all states. Yes, you will have a manual transmission restriction if you use an auto. If you use a pintle hook trailer, you will have not have a 5th wheel endorsement. So, yes, you have to use a "real" truck to get a "real" license. No dodging it.
     
  11. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    I don't believe in California there is a pintle/5th wheel distinction on the license but maybe somebody can say different.

    In fact it may be easier because IIRC you didn't have to do some of the trailer parking exercises if you showed up with a pintle trailer.

    There is actually a company that advertised in the back of the DMV manual their testing truck which was like a very small dump with a pintle flat, and a 6 speed synchro transmission which would make the test very easy.

    As for me, I took it in a rented old flat semi with a well worn easy shifting 10 speed. The owner/instructor came with the rental and he would tell you all the things the DMV was looking for while you were driving around, and take you on the test course. I rented it for one hour of instruction and one hour for the test itself another day.

    I did not try any fancy tricks during the test such as float shifting or starting in gears other than 1st. The instructor did however tell me it was OK to shift in the intersection, since if you did not come out of 1st the light would change 3 times before you got through. I did not, and do not however shift on railroad tracks.
     
  12. JDOFMEMI

    JDOFMEMI Senior Member

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    I will ad that if you are looking to get licensed, and have enough knowledge and skill to avoid the "driving school" route, do it fast. There are new federal rules coming to dictate an amount of class time and supervised driving time.

    I had been driving "mostly" off road in big trucks since I was 16 or so, but did not get my license, as I was busy doing other things. When the company lowbed driver quit with no notice, I went to the DMV the next morning, took all the tests, and on the way back to the office, scheduled the drive test for the next day. We already had the truck, so I just needed to recruit a licensed driver to ride with me to the testing location, and yes, one of the first things they check for is the licensed driver you came with.

    I had my license in two days, but that can't even happen now as there is a mandatory waiting period between the test for the permit and the drive test to get the full unrestricted license.

    As far as the cost of running your own truck, it is not a good deal unless you need it a lot. The best thing about having your own is not needing to wait to fit into someone else's schedule.
     
  13. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

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    There's not a fifth wheel or auto distinction here, yet. I've heard the auto exists in other states and is spreading.

    14 day wait between your written and driving tests.
     
  14. Wes J

    Wes J Senior Member

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    Like I said, these are federal rules. Some states may be more lenient, but if you want to cross the border, you have to follow FMCSA rules.

    https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/drivers

    "O
    If the driver takes the Skills Test in a Class A vehicle that has a pintle hook or other non-fifth wheel connection, they will have an "O" restriction placed on their license restricting them from driving any Class A vehicle with a fifth wheel connection."

    "E
    If the driver takes the Skills Test in a vehicle that has an automatic transmission, then an "E" no manual transmission restriction is placed on their license."
     
  15. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    Yes, it looks like they are getting down and dirty now

    Restriction on pintle trailer in the drive test

    Restriction even if you take the test in a combo rated below 26,000

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/c...5e-9294-4289226a08c5/15olin08.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

    The guy I took mine from would have had to sell or junk that old truck due to the current air quality regulations.

    That is why I keep mine current, even though I don't use it any more. It just gets harder all the time.
     
  16. Knepptune

    Knepptune Senior Member

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    Indiana
    Kinda funny but my cdl test was the only time I've ever driven a semi. I needed a class b for the cranes but figured there was no point in just getting a class b.

    I wouldn't advise getting a semi just to move your stuff around because I think if you do the math your money ahead to hire it done. But it's your money. I would however highly recommend getting your cdl asap if you think you'll need or want it in the future. It's definitely not gonna get any easier to get one then it is right now and it's not exactly a walk in the park.