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Old 08-24-2002, 05:01 PM   #1
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Hi
I want to get up to speed on Medium Duty Trucks,models sizes engines drivetrains what's what.

Anyone suggest any online resources that might help?

Thanks
Keith
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Old 08-25-2002, 01:08 PM   #2
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In the link section there are a number of MDT manufacturers listed, check those sites for info.

Popular MDT chassis's are the Freightliner FL60 & Fl70 and also the International 4700 seems to be used alot. But there are many other options.

On the transmission issue, everyone has their own preference. I prefer auto and the Allison World transmssion is one of the best, but also big money. There is also a semi-automatic, you clutch to start and stop, the rest of the shifting is done by computer. The MDT manuel transmissions are usually syncronized 6 speeds so they are similiar to what you find in a pickup. The bigger Class 8 trucks (like mine) have a non syncornized tranny so your doubled clutching skills will need to be good. I really would like a auto for my application, just need to find a salvage yard with a world tranny at good price.


Check out Escapees MDT forum they have alot of great info going in there

Also check MDT FAQ

1995 FL FLD120, M11, custom interior.
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Old 08-26-2002, 11:16 AM   #3
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Keith,

The advice from Warpath is right on. You might also want to visit Kenworth and look at their T300s. Peterbuilt also makes an MDT. You should look at several diffferent MDTs before selecting one.

All MDT manufacturers will spec out a truck for you when you tell them what you will be using it for. Certainly you must have an air ride truck.

Engine size (horsepower and torque ratings) and transmission choices depend on how much you want to spend, and how fast you want to go up hills. Even with 300 HP models, you will still be climbing a 6% grade at 45 MPH if your towing a 15K travel trailer.

If you want more HP an torque, you might want to look at used late model Class 8 trucks. HP, torque, braking and overall performance is much better with Class 8. They are much less expensive and there is no 12% tax.

After looking at and driving these trucks, you may have several specific questions. Come back and post them here.

onezman
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Old 08-28-2002, 08:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Missing the links link on the page was a big 'duh' for me :-)

I (somehow-likely this : http://www.alumibunk.com/ the Snap_On truck on the Freightliner chassis) got the idea that a MDT might be a "better" solution for dog-hauler/tow vehicle than my current one which is a (woefully underpowered) one-ton cube van .
Stop me if this is foolish , BUT , I imagine a MDT has:
a better engine of your choice
better transmission
larger fuel tanks
better towing capacity
choice of front and rear axles
more durable?

than any of the current 'commercial cutaway'offerings from Ford/GM .For 2003 it seems that GM is limited to the 6.0L engine/4l80e trans with a possibility of the Duramax/Allison in 2005 and Ford's offering isn't interesting 'till you get to the E450 (is that a "Class 4 truck?) and I have little experience of these , still only 14500 lbs GVWR?.

Keeping in mind my limited knowledge , however what really confuses me/convinces me is that in my local market (Southern Ontario) , a used Freightliner FL50 , 1998 ,20KlbsGVWR , A/C , hydraulic brakes , aprox 120000mi , Cummins 5.9 is offered at C$27000 ,with many 1996+ G3500/E350-450 offerings at 23000-24000.
It's like finding out that the Tooth Fairy DOES exist [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

Or , I'm totally missing something here. Now , the used FL50@27K had too long a wheelbase for my needs and I happen not to have 27K at this moment but it would seem to me that there must be a big downside that I'm missing or else why would so many people pay so much more for so much less truck? Is there a generally accepted 'useful life ' for a MDT ? I assume that one can get 'more' out of a properly equpped Freightliner than an off-the-shelf G3500/E350-450.

All comments etc welcome!

best Regards
Keith
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Old 08-29-2002, 06:14 PM   #5
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Keith -

From what I here from people who could benefit from a MDT or a Class 8 for that matter is size. Many people just can't or do not want to deal with the size of these vehicles and having to park and maneuver them.

As Larry has mentioned he uses his class 8 truck as a daily driver. I also have been driving my Class 8 quite abit and just love it.

So if size is not a issue, go for it. The next issue is to make sure you size your vehicle to handle the load your going to tow. If you are going to be towing a 40' triple slide fifth wheel that FL50 is going to be a real dog. $27,000 could buy you one hell of a Big Truck.

1995 FL FLD120, M11, custom interior.
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Old 09-01-2002, 03:52 AM   #6
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Kieth,

I own and drive a Light Medium Duty Class 5, F550 Ford with the 30,000 pound Gross Combination Weight Rating. I've towed a 17,500 pound fifth wheel with it for nearly 20,000 miles.

I operate a consulting business to assist RV and horse enthusiasts select the correct tow vehicle for thier trailers.

Am affiliated with an Elkhart, Indiana based truck conversion company.

Please feel free to contact me for any information on this subject.

RV & Truck Conversion Consultant. Specialzing in light medium duty truck conversions used for RV and horse hauling enthusiasts.
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:31 PM   #7
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We spent some time finding out about MDT's after we decided on a 40' Teton - You might want to Look a Bill Farlow's books on MDT a good place to start - talk to people who have them and then decide on you needs - we spec out our own and have been very pleased with it - we went for function over wood grain aminities - good seats , air hitch - and storage (Highwayman box) , bob tailing we get around 12mpg pulling we get right at 10mpg -
Great Site Warpath - love both pages IRV2 and now this
M & D [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

Marcy & Don
FL60 - tiger Truck
Teton Royal - 2002 Aspen 40'
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