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Old 04-16-2003, 10:06 AM   #1
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any more opinions/thoughts on shortening the frame/moving rear axel up or leaving the tandums in place on a class 8 tractor? RIDE-TURNING-BALANCE-BRAKING-TRACTION-? .......geof
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Old 04-16-2003, 04:24 PM   #2
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Assuming you don't need the weight carrying capacity, why would you want to leave both axles in place. It would seem to me it would just add expense for no purpose. The only possible advantage I could see woudl be traction if you locked them, and that would be marginal. Also, 202" seems like the approximate point where you start noticing the extra wheelbase. I know the bigger MDT's I've driven are noticable compared to something less than 200". I guess it just depends on your needs.

Jack Mayer
F550 Centurion Conversion
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Old 04-16-2003, 04:57 PM   #3
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I kept both axels on my 610 because when I get ready to sell I will have access to the trucker market as well as the RV market. I am trading off any penalties (turning radius etc) for access to the truck market. May be right or wrong but I did it.
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Old 04-16-2003, 09:13 PM   #4
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I'm just trying to list and consider all my options....the list gets longer as I read the forums.....as yet I haven't made any choice....After today's money meeting, I might wait till 2004 to start the any conversion/trailer process [the stock /bond/mutual markets are not helping anything]....I'm leaning towards a 32' car hauler with living quarters type trailer with Volvo or Freightliner tractor combo mainly because of insurance costs and adaptability....the axel thing is still a big consideration .....I am going to look at a mobile home toter in Indiana next week-talk about short wheel base-but it has a wet line system, on board air compressor and 120/240 vt genetrator/welder....I don't know how confortable it is-it does have air bags in the rear and they could be added up front. The hudraulic 6 way hitch/arm swings left/right, up/down and in/out can lift& swing 40,000# up to 6' feet in the air as well as push down so the truck back end is 15" off the ground...makes hooking up easy under all conditions as it is remote control from outside of the truck......geof
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Old 04-18-2003, 08:59 AM   #5
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First off, I don't have a class 8. But I've "dreamed" about converting one.

Like dollarsok, I like the idea of retaining both rear axels for future re-sale. As I see it, the down sides are greater turn radius, rougher ride, less traction, and less room to hang storage boxes.

I don't think the turning radius would be that much of a problem due to the 50* stear angle. It probably has better turn radius than my dually.

To help with the ride (bob tail and towing) I have "dreamed" of adding a lot of weight using 1" plate to construct a rear bumper and bed. I would also add large coach storage batteries (8Ds or forklift) to the truck that would be connected to a 5th wheel with seperate forklift type connectors.

For additional storage I would add a storage type headacke rack.

Just my $.02.

How far off am I?

Gene

'96' Dodge 3500, 5-speed, 3.54 LSD, Ext. Cab, 205,000 plus miles, K&N RE-0880 air filter, Jannety heat shield, TST #10 plate slid forward 1/8", AFC spring kit, 16 cm exhaust housing, Jardine 4" exhaust w/5" stainless steel tip, South Bend Clutch, SPA digital EGT and boost gauge, relay controlled back-up alarm and rear facing halogen tractor flood lights, air horns, bed liner, Tonnou cover, Geno's manual trans. filter, brite box. Dyno run 1-27-02; 375.6 hp and 798.3 ft. lb. torque at the rear wheels.
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:01 AM   #6
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Hi Dollarsok,

Were you able to register your 610 as a motorhome with the tandems? If so what State did you register in, or is it registered some other way?

Thanks in advance,
onezman

http://onezman.tripod.com/onezmans.conversions
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:06 AM   #7
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Hi Larry:

It is registered as a motorhome in Iowa.

By the way I sure want to thank you for all the help and advice even tho you have gotten no payment for your efforts. Jack
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Old 04-18-2003, 02:51 PM   #8
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Hi Jack,

Glad to help if I can. I didn't realize from our e-mail contact that your posting handle is Dollarsok.

Later,
onezman

http://onezman.tripod.com/onezmans.conversions
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:34 PM   #9
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What added expense?

I was just wondering what Jack Mayer meant by the added expense of leaving both axles. It seems like it would be the other way around. It costs to remove the 2nd axle but it's worth it if you really need the added maneuverability or, depending on whether you remove the front or rear axle, either added room for storage boxes or a shorter truck. Since I will be on a limited budget and thus can only make mods or additions that are absolutely necessary for registration as a motorhome or for my personal preferances, I will probably choose a truck with a short enough wheelbase to give reasonable maneuverability and leave it a tandem (I will have to live with the reduced storage potential). When I was an OTR driver I did find that a locked tandem gave noticeably better traction and slid around less than a single on the snowy winter roads of the upper midwest. The effect was less dramatic when bobtailing but still noticeable.
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Old 04-19-2003, 06:57 AM   #10
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Added expense at a minimum would be the replacement cost of the extra 4 tires. I would think your fuel milage would suffer a bit as well.
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:21 AM   #11
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Mike, The added expense I was referring to was tires, brakes, and aluminum wheels (you don't think I would settle for steel wheels, now do you?).

Larry, there are 2 Jacks here. I only post under my own name wherever I go. I can not remember all the other names....

Jack Mayer
F550 Centurion Conversion
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:27 AM   #12
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BTW, on the topic of better resale if left tandem - I am hoping that if/when I resell that class 8's will be more "typical" than they are now and it will be easy to sell to an RVer. I would think with the mileage that we put on that if I kept the truck for 5 or so years that it would still be "low" miles and easy to resell - esp. with the things I will do - like a bed, etc. I may be wrong, but I think the resale market to RVers would be better (price-wise) than to OTR truckers. Although I will admit the market is smaller and it would take longer to sell. Not that I would plan on selling it as part of my buying logic. This is a depreciating asset - NOT an investment!

Jack Mayer
F550 Centurion Conversion
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:08 AM   #13
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I see what you're saying Jack. The extra cost of the 2nd axle will build over time as added maintenance costs. Since onezman has expressed doubts that the extra axle has any resale or trade-in value given the high volume of axles lying around in salvage yards, my best plan might be to hopefully find a truck with aluminum wheels all around, drive it as a tandem till the tires wear out, then sell the rear alum. wheels to help recoup some of the cost of the tandem to single conversion. The other low cost option would be to perform a do-it-yourself conversion that leaves the front axle in place, as KZX11 did, save the rear axle for possible later substitution, and use the tires as replacements when the remaining axles' tires wear out.
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:20 AM   #14
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Mike,

If I was tying to cut costs I would try to find a truck with aluminum wheels and good rubber. I would then remove the back axle, sell the wheels and rubber and leave the front axle in place like others have done. Not the neatest job, but functional and you make a little money ASSUMING (and it may be a big assumption) that you can sell the tires and wheels. Then I would chop the frame myself - not a big deal if you have the equipment - a torch and grinder should suffice. I would do this right away and have a single axle rear. BTW, if you don't register as a motorhome, depending on your state, this could save you some money. This is kinda what you are saying, but I would do it all up front while you still have some good rubber to sell.

Jack Mayer
F550 Centurion Conversion
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:45 AM   #15
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jack Mayer:

Larry, there are 2 Jacks here. I only post under my own name wherever I go. I can not remember all the other names....
------------
Hello Jack M.

You and I know each other well through e-mail corrospondence. I had never seen a post by the "Dollarsok Jack" If he has posted in the past, I have not seen them. When I replied to his post I had no idea he was another "Jack"
that I have also had e-mail corrrospondence with.

On another subject, anyone buying a tractor with at least 90% tires will likely never wear them out. New steer tires generally go
at least 130K miles before requiring replacement if alignment etc is correctly set.

Surprislngly (to me anyway) drive tires last even longer. No RVer will ever wear out the transmission or rear axle. I don't care if you buy a tractor with 800K miles. If undamaged at time of purchase, they simply won't wear out. Especially pulling a 20K trailer.

IMO
onezman





Jack Mayer
F550 Centurion Conversion
36' Newmar Kountry Star<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 04-19-2003, 06:59 PM   #16
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Jack,

Yes, that was what I meant, chopping the frame right away if I did it myself. However, from what Larry says, if I wait for the tires to wear out, I'll be waiting a long time. While I was an OTR I had a few flats but I was loaded to 80,000# and maybe that just doesn't happen when using it as an RV. BTW, converting to a single doesn't save any money here in California since it is still considered a commercial vehicle unless it is converted to a motorhome and the weight tax is based on whatever its original GVWR was, which would be 80,000+ and cost about $1700 extra. To make matters worse, after Larry warned me that I would probably have only 30 days to do the conversion and register the truck, I checked and found that in California I only have 20 days. For that reason I may check the law in every state and buy the truck in a state in which I can register it as a non-commercial vehicle so I can gain a little bit of time to do the conversion. Since my parents live in Florida and I know that Bill (warpath) originally registered his FLD that way in Florida so he could drive it home, I may be able to do the same but I'd like to find out how much a non-commercial registration there actually costs.


Larry,

I have been checking the laws carefully here in California and it appears that on paper, as long as you are registering as a motorhome it doesn't matter if you have a single or tandem axle. However, despite that, in practice it may be more difficult to convince a skeptical DMV official to actually register a tandem as a motorhome when they don't even want to register singles.
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Old 04-20-2003, 10:58 AM   #17
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Mike,

I dont think I would want to try to register a tandem as a motorhome in CA. I have sold two 610s that are now registered as motorhomes in CA. Bill was the first. My second buyer, Ted had considerably dificulty getting his registered. At least two DMV offices refused to register it. He did get it registered as a motorhome last week. Congrats to Ted.

I sold a third Volvo that will be headed for CA as soon as the buyer heals up from kneecap replacement surgery. Dave will have two known previous registrations with Vin numbers to fall back on. Dave may still run into difficulties, but I know he will get it registered as a motorhome.

Some DMV people seem to want to give you as much grief as possible. I have been flatly refused myself. Just know the requirements, if your truck meets them , it's a matter of persistence.

onezman

[This message was edited by onezman on April 20, 2003 at 02:30 PM.]
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