The hunt continues
I guess the hunt wasn’t over after all cause now we have a real viable option in a whole different arena. I can’t even believe I’m saying this but we are now looking at 2000 Classic. I don’t have a picture of the exact truck we’re looking at but it’s similar to:
I know, huh!! I never could have imagined we might be buying a Classic. In eight years on the road I’ve never driven a hood and honestly never much liked the look of them. They remind me of the Borg ship from Star Trek going down the road like a giant anti-aerodynamic block. Giant swooping blocks are just fine in outer-space where there isn’t any resistance but kinda silly rolling down the highway when there are much more aerodynamic options available.
But here’s the thing. We found this Classic nearby and it seems like a pretty good deal. It’s a 2000 and has a million miles on it. Never in a million years would I have thought I would consider buying a truck that old but this isn’t your average million mile truck. First, the engine has already had a P-3 Inframe done by Detroit. It has 300k on the Inframe. It also has only 3k on a new tranny and a little less than that on a new clutch. So basically the engine has already been rebuilt, the tranny is new, the clutch is new and the tires are almost new.
On another tact the interior is supposed to be a premium package. Course you have to keep in mind that it’s also ten years old so we have to take that with a grain of salt. It is promising that the truck was originally a Penske lease truck that was then sold to an O/O who had it for three years before he got sick and sold it back to this dealer. The dealer says he can document all of this and has all the maintenance and upkeep records on the truck. If it was an owner who cared enough to buy an ex-penske truck in the first place, he probably took good care of it. I say that because Penske trucks are almost always a lot more expensive than similar trucks you can find elsewhere. They can charge a premium because everyone knows Penske has excellent maintenance programs in place. I think that’s a good sign for us.
Another consideration for us is mpg. Clearly, when fuel runs $2.75 per gallon and you’re running 200k miles a year, mpg is an absolutely crucial part of the equation. It can make or break you. We knew in the Columbia we could look for about 6.5 to 7 mpg overall, but didn’t know what to expect from a Classic. Well it turns out that because we are looking at a pre-egr Classic we will probably be able to get 6.5 out of the truck if we’re careful with our driving. At least that’s what we’ve heard from different guys. I can certainly live with 6.5 mpg.
The other huge concern was the ride. The Classic is so much longer than the Columbia that it should ride better. The 260″ wheelbase on this truck is about a yard longer than the longest truck we’ve driven to date. Good for smoother rides but bad for turning radius. I imagine it will feel like the QE2 for a while when we first get it… if we get it.
Hmmm… other considerations… well we aren’t the type of people who like new things. By that I mean that we aren’t trade-up-for-the-sake-of-trading-up sort of people. We’ve been living in the same place for 19 years and we’re still driving a 1988 Toyota and a 1989 Isuzu for god’s sake. But why not? They run great, are almost never in the shop, and have been virtually free to drive for the past decade. The point is that we don’t get tired of our vehicles. So I would imagine that we would be the type of people to keep a truck we really liked for a very long time… as long as it didn’t start costing us an arm and a leg every month.
Another concern is that the truck is so old that no matter how good a shape it’s in we won’t be able to lease on with some companies due to equipment age restrictions. Bleh — we don’t care. We are talking right now to a tiny little company that doesn’t care what year the tractor is as long as it runs good. And our ultimate plan is to get our own authority so that shouldn’t be an issue. There’s also the problem of California… bleh — we don’t care about that either. Freight rates are so low in Cali that it doesn’t pay anyway. They can suck it.
Yet more considerations… truck is not pepto-pink which is a good thing. On the other hand, it’s supposed to be dark blue with white fenders, which wouldn’t be our first choice. On yet another hand, we don’t really care about the color when push comes to shove. Hmmm… it’s supposed to have really good tires all around. Also, it’s a 13-speed which we have never driven but I’m sure it will be a piece of cake after a few days. A down-side is that it doesn’t have an APU already installed. That kinda sucks, but you can pick a good one up for around $3k used and have it installed. An up-side is that they are only asking $14.5k which is dirt cheap. Let’s repeat that… they’re only asking $14.5k which means we could buy it and a used trailer for what we were talking about spending on the 2006 Columbia. That’s a pretty good up-side. Also, we could just pay for it so we don’t have to finance anything and pay 15% interest, which is the best they’re offering first-time o/o even if they have good credit.
Well that’s pretty much what’s going through our minds at this point. We are going to try to go down there and check the truck out later this week, but before that I need to get with Eddie and Jeffro to find out what else I need to focus on while inspecting the truck. Even though the large-ticket items have already been replaced or overhauled, there are still quite a few parts left on a truck (duh!) and I expect that every one of them will be on the verge of failure. We just need to minimize our exposure to high-cost repairs. I’ll update once we know more.
Here’s the specs for the truck junkies:
2000 Freightliner FLD13264T Classic XL
|Sleeper||Raised Roof Condo|
|Engine Type||12.7 L|
|Check for Over Drive||Yes|
1,050,000 miles with 300k on a P3 Inframe. New tranny. New clutch. Premium interior. Good tires. DOT inspected and ready to roll. Supposed to be dark blue with white fenders but don’t know about the interior color.