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Old 03-11-2003, 08:08 PM   #1
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Hi Larry,
I have tried to condense your suggestions into one place, but as of yet, not succeded.

You mention that you wouldn't buy a truck that doesn't still have the major 3 still under warantee (engine, trans, rear end).

Am I to assume that you mean that up until you bought it, or one that extends for a considerable time that you will own it? Since a lot of the trucks are 5 year, 500k mi, the ones that are apealing are nearing the end of the time on the warantee. Are you looking to make sure that it was covered (and hopefully, cared for) before you buy it because of the warantee? This may seem like semantics, but I want to make sure that I understand.

I have my eye on a '99 VN610 with a DDs60, 3.90 rear, and a 13 speed from a guy that I know. 480k on the odo. I will try and look for the things that you mentioned in different posts, but I would feel better if you could condense your advise into a single list, so I don't miss something. This may be old hat to you but it spooks the heck out of me. Who would have thought I would be in the market for a SEMI TRUCK!

I am mechanically inclined, so its not really that bad, its just this is an area that I haven't delved into before, and mere suggestions from someone with experience, can make a huge difference to a starter like me.

Thanks for being so available to us all
Mark
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Old 03-12-2003, 02:36 PM   #2
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by boroko:
Hi Larry,

You mention that you wouldn't buy a truck that doesn't still have the major 3 still under warantee (engine, trans, rear end).

Am I to assume that you mean that up until you bought it, or one that extends for a considerable time that you will own it? Since a lot of the trucks are 5 year, 500k mi, the ones that are apealing are nearing the end of the time on the warantee. Are you looking to make sure that it was covered (and hopefully, cared for) before you buy it because of the warantee? This may seem like semantics, but I want to make sure that I understand.

I have my eye on a '99 VN610 with a DDs60, 3.90 rear, and a 13 speed from a guy that I know. 480k on the odo. I will try and look for the things that you mentioned in different posts, but I would feel better if you could condense your advise into a single list, so I don't miss something. This may be old hat to you but it spooks the heck out of me. Who would have thought I would be in the market for a SEMI TRUCK!

I am mechanically inclined, so its not really that bad, its just this is an area that I haven't delved into before, and mere suggestions from someone with experience, can make a huge difference to a starter like me.

Thanks for being so available to us all
Mark<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

-----------------------------------------


Hi Mark,

Thanks for your question. As you mentioned, it is becoming more difficult to locate
a 98 or 99 model OTR tractor with less than 500K miles. Under the right conditions, I would
now consider purchasing a tractor with more than 500K miles.

Most engines come from the factory with at least a 250K all inclusive warranty. Coverage then drops to major components only, which normally expires at 500 K miles. It is possible to buy an extended warranty for most engines that don't exceed 600K miles. The inspection for such coverage generally costs about $400. The cost of the warranty itself depends on the type and length of coverage you choose.

Cummins NTP Detroit or other companies will not provide an extended warranty if they find any problems with the engine. If problems are discovered during the inspection process, the company providing the warranty coverage will require the problems to be corrected before issuing coverage. Then the question becomes, who pays for such repairs if any are required.

If I were to buy a Volvo with above 500K miles, I would require a warranty inspection included in the deal. If major repair expenses are required, the deal usually falls apart. You could also request a dyno. I prefer to buy from a dealer, because I require many proceedures to be included in the deal. (Private sellers are not willing to meet these requirements). If the engine passes a warranty inspection, you can be pretty sure you will be OK buying it assuming everything else on the unit is in good shape. You are not required to actually buy coverage, you can require the inspection just to be sure the engine is in good shape and acceptable for coverage before you buy the truck.

I inspect all systems on each truck I buy myself. I test drive each truck at least 50 miles. I require the seller to fix any oil or coolant leaks. I require the seller to fully service the truck. Lube, oil and all filters. I now require a DOT inspection even though its not required for RV purposes. Those are just my most basic requirements.

There are many things the buyer needs to know and be familiar with when buying a tractor. Even small mistakes can be costly. You may want to find out when the truck was manufactured (the date of Mfg is on the drivers door post under the rubber seal) The "In service" date is also important. The "in service" date is when the warranty actually started. I have been buying some 98 Volvos that were manufactured in very early April of 98. On April 7, 98, the model year changed to 99. A few days can be the sole difference between a 98 or a 99 model. In other words, there can be as much as one year difference in the age of any model year truck. Manufacturers are currently building 04 trucks and its still March.

Transmissions and axles are almost bullet proof. They come from the factory with 5 year/750K mile warranties if syn lube is used, and changed every 250K miles. Hard to imagine a better warranty than that. If transmissions and axles are properly serviced and not abused, they will easily go a million miles and beond, as will the larger engines. Extended warranties are availiabe for these items also if you are willing to pay for inspection and coverage. IMHO, If everything else checks out well, extended warranties on the drive line are not necessary.

If one has no experience, it's still pretty much a crap shoot when it comes to buying used tractors. You may get lucky or you may not. Avoid repos. When a tractor is repossessed it takes the finance company about 7 months to actually take possession of the truck. In the meantime, the owner is running the truck while not making payments or properly servicing the truck. The owner may also intentionally damage the unit prior to repossession. Many trucks sold at auction are repos.

I would try to buy a truck with autoshift, Super 10 speed transmission or straight 10. Most RV guys don't want to try to learn to operate a 13, 14, 15 or 18 speed transmission. Makes it tougher if you ever decide to sell it.

Tractors are fantastic machines. They are designed and built to haul 80K or more gross up to 20 hours a day, 6 days a week. If properly serviced and cared for, nothing is more reliable and dependable than a tractor. When a tractor is converted for RV purposes, it's basically retired just like the owner. You'll never wear it out.

Larry

[This message was edited by onezman on March 12, 2003 at 05:46 PM.]
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