Join Truck Conversion Today
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-01-2009, 11:43 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 105
Default

Wanted to get everyone's feedback on using a converted HDT as a daily driver. The idea is to buy an HDT and convert the bunk area to passenger seating, complete with windows on all 3 sides. Remove all unneeded fairings and convert the exhaust from stacks to a single weed burner style. Build a bed for the rear for use as a pickup (with the hitch enclosed for use as needed).

The overall idea is that instead of wasting money on a used 2500 or 3500 pickup that will only last for a couple hundred thousand miles at best, spend the same money and buy a used HDT that can easily go a million miles before a major rebuild is needed. The mileage will be similar to the smaller truck, but the versatility to tow any size trailer is unlimited. If all unneeded fairings and such are removed and the bed is built to "blend in" with the cab it will fit in somewhat better in the neighborhood than a full out HDT. Thoughts?
__________________

dgorila1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2009, 09:51 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

...WOULD DEPEND ON THE location of work and weather parking would be a PIA like in low overhead garages..... I work at a hospital every Tuesday nite and the security guards have a special place for me and the VOLVO 610 to park in.....close to the dumpster but within 6 feet of the main door to the Medical Arts building.....I don't even get wet in a down pour now......before it was all away across the campus near the new construction area......but the main security guy changed his mind for ....a......some "consideration" of a sort.....he likes good Ky Bourbon.........geofkaye
__________________

geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2009, 09:53 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

....BTW I can use the generator to keep the tractor cool or hot while I'm at work- no getting in to a cold "refrigerator" anymore......geofkaye
geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 06:56 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 105
Default

No garages to worry about. We can use the wife's car for any trips that require that. I'm still deciding if I would single the rear to make it shorter or just keep it stock. I'm planning on building a custom 5ver that will be much heavier than a stock unit so the main consideration will be the pin weight. I think even with a singled rear it would be well under the single axle limit. Once I get the design in AutoCad and add in the weights I'll have a better idea of the weight distribution. Since the HDT isn't any wider than a dually the turning radius is my biggest concern. I'll also have to get a CDL but thats no big deal.
dgorila1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 08:53 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Griffin, GA
Posts: 9
Default

Sounds like a cool idea. Biggest downside I see other than parking at other places is fuel mileage.
racerdude95 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2009, 02:41 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

.....Fuel mileage isn't an issue if you can afford an Truck Conversion......it just isn't an issue unless you travel a long long way to and from work-and this isn't even considering any personal comfort dynamics......last week I got this damn "cold" that is going around the country and making a lot of people very sick- on the way home from work there was the usual traffic accident and resulting clogged x-way and of course it snowed/iced to make things very pleasant for driving.....so I inched over to the brake down lane and turned on the flashers-with the inside temperature at 75 degrees -I took a 3 hour nap-ate dinner- watched the news on TV-made phone called and did some paperwork[taxes].....so the wasted hours became productive and I rested in comfort/safety [with the world's worst cold].....when they finally got the traffic situation sorted out I went home.....how many hours have you spent in traffic messes and had to wait out the situation- not being able to do anything constructive-including eating/sleeping/taxes or even close to a toilet should the need arise?.......The first year I had my Volvo I went to Pennsylvania to look at some military trucks and other military surplus......sure enough it snowed a foot and rather than risk an accident I pulled into a truck stop for 2 days till the roads were passable......total cost of the 2 extra days was 8 gallons of fuel.....I couldn't have done any better-3 day-500 mile round trip with 2 days lodging and hot meals for less than $32.00.....If I had taken my car and gone through the same situation It would be $300 at least[including the girlz].....the Volvo continues to cost me less and make my traveling easier and safer than any other from of transportation......where any overnite stay is possible and much reduced cost if there is any kind of snow emergency or flooding........geofkaye
geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2009, 09:04 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 105
Default

Da#! geof, you have me sold on the idea now :-) Now its a matter of coming up with the $$$$ to buy the rig and do the work I want on it. A volvo is what I want, so its just a matter of the models and specs.
dgorila1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2009, 09:30 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

.....'bout 20k and you got what you need....geofkaye
geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 01:15 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Griffin, GA
Posts: 9
Default

I got a good deal on my project. Found an old Jevic Freightliner single axle w/ aluminum tanks, air ride cab and air ride chassis, w/ 325000 miles and a Cummins 370 HP M11 for $8500 in Alabama. Stretched it and built my own box. If you dont consider my time I should be at $23,0000 total when finished.
racerdude95 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 09:49 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

.....ya had to steal the Freightliner with those miles at $8.5K....way to go!....the MH Conversion isn't that difficult in this economy with all the truck guys eating each others first born. It is a buyers market and one has to deal that way.....and never do anything without checking out the competition for a price....a cash price is even better!. Form personal experience I have knocked off 25% just for paying cash and another 20% for cash up front.....it is a leap of faith-but the owner is a minister and he does what he says he is going to do....0ne has to do what one has to do -these days to make it.......geofkaye
geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2009, 08:02 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4
Default

GeofKaye,

Hey I've often considered an HDT as a daily driver, I'd probably go with the Volvo mid-height sleeper. I don't remember reading in your many informative and entertaining posts which Volvo cab you have. The very reasons that you listed above and a few more make it a good idea. What I was wondering, I know you've had yours for a few years, what would be an average annual expense for one of these rigs. I'm not talking fuel and oil changes, I know these things are very well built and dependable, so are we talking over a 5 or 10 year period . . . a grand a year ? more ? Less ? I know it depends on the condition of the vehicle at time of purchase, if a guy did his homework, got a well maintained fleet rig, and it tested out good, could it be a low maintenance rig ? What are your thoughts ?

Miss your posts over on Escapees


RB in N.Ky.


.
builder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2009, 08:17 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

.....OK-YOU HAVE GIVEN ME A PROBLEM TO TACKLE....4 trips to Ky and back 150 miles each way this week....8.6 mpg at 70mph+or- most of the way....today's fuel was $2.129 a gallon-Blackstone evaluation for $15.00 maybe 3 times a year....insurance is $502 a year for this year....2 washings a year exterior at $25.00 each....engine oil change is 12 gallons at $12.05 per gallon and filters cost me $6.50 each for both oil and fuel and I use maybe 3 sets of each a year.....windshield wiper fluid is $2.50 a gallon for Rain-X and I use a case[6] per truck a year....spray DE-Icier is $79 cents a can and I use a case in the winter so that is times 24 or about $20.00... about.....fluid for anything else is not an issue[less than a pint at most] radiator fluid is $10.00 a gallon and I might use a full gallon over the course of a year.....I change out radiator juice only every 5 years......I do change the filter on the radiator at about $10.00 with a filter that has the concentrate blocks in it. I use the dipsticks to evaluate the pH....another $10.00 maybe now. I have new tires so that doesn't charge the account anything....alignment isn't an issue unless I see something strange start happening and then off it goes to John's Spring Service in Fairfield at about $150.00.....I've only had one alignment so far since 2003, when I got the tractor, and it was included in the deal with Freightliner Frank.....grease is something I do-so you are talking $3.50 for a tube of Red Grease from Rotanium.....other than that there is very little to do except drive.....1998 Volvo 610 Mid Roof N-14 super ten speed with 3.58's..10 each -11:00X22.5 Generals Tires...I got it with 248,000 one one odo and a replacement odo with 345,000 and a computer thrown in which was out of another yard wreck-I got: new hood-new radiator and air cooler-water pump and fan-bumper- hood shocks-Front End Shocks and with a 100,000 mile warranty from Freightliner Frank and access to wholesale prices from a parts dealer and access to the "THE REVEREND RANDY" for repairs at dealer cost [$64 and hour] Tires at dealer cost at BEST TIRE and some good friends thrown in which I consider more valuable and fun than a truck. anyway...It has worked out better and better every year for what I use if for......geofkaye.....BTW....maybe 20-30,000 miles a year-I have too much fun to care anyway......
geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2009, 08:33 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4
Default

geofkaye

thanks for the quick detailed reply, very informative. did i miss something or is it true that you haven't had any real "major" expenses on your 610 since you got it in 03 ?

and it also sounds like you may have gotten one of your usual bargains when you bought it, was it damaged and you had to do some repairs. i do rebuilds of insurance totals for my daily drivers (as long as their not real bad) and it almost sounded like that's what you might have done with the parts list you mentioned.

you ever need someone to run "shotgun" on those ky trips, i'd like to check out one of these volvo conversions in person one of these days. i know, i can go to a rally . . .

thanks again


rb



.
builder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2009, 09:56 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

....builder: just got back from Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot and saw your e-mail. Haven't had any major problems-except one that scared the crap out of me last week-and needs to be addressed this week....the ignition switch is worn and needs to be replaced-which I should have written in to the contract for purchase[I forgot!] anyway I need something to do Wednesday....it just shut off in the parking lot and the girl what was working for me went nuts about it.....15 minute check over and I remembered the discussion/replacement photos on Escapees-wiggled the key-took it off the heavy ring and it cranked right up.....meanwhile Kelsey was changing her panties as they were really twisted in a knot!....Other than that -NO SURPRISES!.....I was fairly aware of most problems and covered them in the contract for purchase....My Volvo was hit in the front end by a portable cement mixer and did superficial damage to the front end-but due to time constraints at the trucking company-they never rebuilt the truck-just used for parts....till it was time to trade it in and them they put all new parts on it-traded it in for $19.5k needing mostly superficial stuff which I added into the contract for purchase at the time....that and the guy I deal with is a good guy to buy trucks from.....geofkaye
geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2009, 10:02 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

....my trips are usually on the week days but occasionally I run on the weekends-glad to have you aboard if you have the time....1.888.513.5293 ....if you get the time-send your phone number and I will get back to you when it is time to head for the "recycling yard" just outside for Fort Knox for little used military truck parts and associated fun stuff.....geofkaye ['course every time I go down there I have to load up on valuable junk for my garage-having trouble getting the door closed now!]
geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2009, 06:07 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Bob E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: OKC, Ok.
Posts: 109
Default

Geo, I've got the same problem,...too much valuable stuff - not enough shop/garage.
Solved the problem - built more shop/garage (twice now)!!
Bob E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 10:00 AM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 7
Default

When I was driving truck a few years ago, I would use my tractor everywhere, I even had a partial dump valve in the suspension to lighten it up some. The worst problem I ever encountered was trying to get into some store parking lots, with narrow lanes and low bars. The truck would turn better than an F350, got about 9mpg bobtail, and so long as it was not to wet, kept to the road pretty well. But... In wet weather, with water on the road, it could get a bit hairy. Having only one drive axle would lessen that effect, and de-rating the suspension would help a lot. The main plus is that everyone makes room for the biggest truck around.

When I retired, I really should have kept that truck - I have missed the thing every day since then.
__________________

Wysart is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×