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Big Truck questions


Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2013
Collierville, Tn
If this is tech, move it please.

I am getting more and more opportunities :dunno: to buy tractors for my company. For some dang reason, they think I am an expert so I am not going to argue with them. I have a good idea of what we need out of a truck, and am confident in the buying process, I just don't know much about the components (engine, trans, etc) The majority of our location just buy what is around or what their local truck salesman has or says they need, so they are not buying smart. I basically buy two kinds of trucks:

1. Day Cab tractors that we haul tender trailers with
2. Straight trucks we add tender beds to

These trucks will be day cab trucks that make several short hauls a day. They are waiting on spreader trucks to empty their load so they will idle a considerable amount of time. They get used for 5-5 months and then get parked so they need to be reliable. I am willing to sacrifice power for reliability and cost because they are pool trucks and not over the road, plus most of our areas are flatish. I prefer a 10 speed, and generally do not like an auto truck.

Where I get confused is with the newer 2012+ trucks. I know the ISX15 pre emmsion era engines are a good reliable choice and make decent power, but what about some of the newer powerplants that are equipped with all the regen systems and emissions stuff? I want to balance value, reliability, and power and make sure my fleet looks like it is current and not from 1981. For you guys that run dump trucks, semis, fuel trucks, etc what are some good options? I am asking you because trucker forums are annoying, commercial fleet magazines and websites are biased to who pays them and I can find as many articles supporting one option as I can bashing said option. SO, whats up?

I know the International MAx Force is not a good option for what I want


Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
I'm no expert by any means but I can say we kind of run the same type of trucks on our farm and ran into some of the same questions on our last upgrade. We needed to update but didn't know about the newer trucks. Our go to truck repair shop told us to stay away from computer controlled trucks but that eliminates most anything newer. We settled on a pair of 2010 Mack Visions with MP-8 415 engines and 10 speed. They had around 500K miles and great maintenance records. They were Caseys General Store trucks bought from Mack dealership. In our area they come up often as they buy new trucks and turn in large amounts of trucks. Farmers snatch them up cause they are all daycab and lower miles. We love the trucks and everyone around who has bought them have been overly pleased with the purchase so far.

As far as emissions these have regen and we idle our trucks a lot too. The truck due to idle and short trips will flash regen codes because we don't run far enough for them to do the automatic regen when driving down the road. It will go thru a couple of stages and you need to either drive steady speeds for awhile or do a parked regen, which takes 20-30 minutes. If not done the truck will go to a low power mode and if still bypassed it will shut down and cannot be regened at that point. It has to be serviced by a technician then according to manual. The truck and exhaust get very hot on parked regen so you have to be careful where they are parked when it is done. Exhaust temps go over 700*.

I can't speak for trucks running DEF but the regen is the only downside we see. Don't know if this has helped any at all but this is what we see on ours with similar driving conditions.


Mar 4, 2008
I manage a trucking company, and have been around trucking since I was born, but as said above, I am no expert. The company I currently work for runs about 130 trucks. We run pre '08, or post '13 Paccar and Western Star. We have dump trucks, end dump tractor trailers and pneumatic tanks. We will keep the older trucks as long as we can and rebuild engines when needed. We also run several newer glider kits with a 60 series Detroit, but have had several problems with it. In the Paccar trucks we run the big Paccar motor and have not had but a few issues. We primarily run 13 speeds, but have recently been buying autos (Allison) or electronic autos (Eaton ultra shift plus). In our newer trucks we are unable to get 10 speeds because they will not hold up to the hp per the manufacturer. Allisons are great, but do not work well with pneumatics because of the blowers. The Ultra shift plus is a great trans, but the older models shift very slow, (stay away from the ultra shift). They have recently released a new shift pattern that will shift faster than you can shift a manual. The ultra shift plus is basically a manual trans that the electronically controlled.

Long story short, you can buy a cheap truck and work on it often and pay out of pocket for the repairs, or buy one under warranty and have the manufacturer pay for it. Either way if you run big trucks you are going to have down time and repairs. '08 - '13 are the biggest problems with emissions and staying broke down, which is the reason for us staying away from them.

The previous company I worked for ran about 450 trucks and went by the same principles as above.