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M2-106 Shopping Questions

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Greetings! 

I have been considering upgrading my dually to a MDT.   As I have been looking through ads I have noticed some 106's have air brakes while others have hydraulic.   For those of you that have had both ( in a MDT) what is your opinion?   I know HDTs use air exclusively.   Are the units with air more pricey than the ones with hyd?   Any other "watchouts" I should be looking for as I shop around?  Any help or experiences are appreciated!   

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Having had both, currently I have m2-106 with hydraulic disk brakes all around and works great.  I tow a gross of 50,000 lbs and no issues !  I also have air brakes and electric brakes hookups for the trailer and on that, prefer the air since it works great !!  Great thing with hydraulic, no adjustments needed but then the same applies to air disk brakes, drums need slack adjustments unless changing to auto slack adjusters.

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2 years ago when we were looking I was told that the units with air brakes required a commercial license.  It didn't make sense to me, but because we came across a used one without air brakes and only 2700 miles on it we jumped on it without checking further.  We tow a 22000 lb  DRV and with the 2 speed exhaust brake have had no trouble stopping.  Dick

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2 hours ago, Bobi and Dick McKee said:

 I was told that the units with air brakes required a commercial license

I also found that to be partially true. The CDL  would be if your are driving for hire or business purposes. . But for Private use most states allow the standard operators license to operate Class 5 vehicles with Hyd brakes . That allows my wife to able to drive Bob-tail .

That being said ,when you hook  on to the 10,000 pound plus  RV, the weights no longer allows my wife to drive with the standard operators license. I pull with a Class A Non CDL license.

I haven't had problems stopping with my FF M2-106. I had a F350 Dually when I found my new MS 38PS3 weighed much more than I believed it would when ordered. I was looking for newer Class 4  when I was tested with city braking occasions and decided to look for a used Class 5. 

Very happy I have the Class 5 especially my wife is happy with the stopping after an older Class A RV pulling a vehicle run a stop sign when I had no option but slow down quickly

Clay

2016 MS 38PS3/Dallas with Generator and 5,000# in the pin

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Don't have an mtd, hdt but I do like having air brakes. Also allowed me to do away with electric controlled trailer brakes. Converted mine to disc and Bludot air over hydraulic. Sweet setup.

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     Hydraulic or air is not as important as axle weight rating.  The heaver the rating, the bigger the brake, the better the stop. If you have deep pockets or are mechanical inclined go air. I have only had one issue with air brakes, but I have only driven 3,000,000 miles.

    I am running at 75% of my axle and brake rating.

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While shopping for MDTs I found that different states required different ratings.  For instance - in Washington state I am legally licensed to drive the MDT as long as it has a rating below 26,001#.  If I were licensed in Texas, any truck requires a special CDL if it has air brakes.  Different states different laws....once you are licensed for your domicile state requirements you can drive any Federal highways without worries.

The difference between my DRW and MDT stopping power is night and day.  The air brakes and 2-stage jake brake really make a big difference towing our 21,000# DRV.  I can usually descend a hill without touching the brakes and am not as concerned when that "twenty-something" in a compact car jets in front of me at 50mph and slams on her brakes. :o

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You are wrong about Texas. I'm a Texan with a HDT and non commercial liscene. Class A. You are only required a CDL for commercial work, for hire or making profit with it. Air brakes have nothing to do with this

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15 hours ago, GlennWest said:

You are wrong about Texas. I'm a Texan with a HDT and non commercial liscene. Class A. You are only required a CDL for commercial work, for hire or making profit with it. Air brakes have nothing to do with this

My apologies....while researching I read that there was a special "air brake test" that was required if the truck had air brakes.  Maybe it isn't called a CDL - but it is a "special" licence and test, which was my point.  Sorry for the confusion and thanks for the correction.

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Big difference in Class A and CDL. I have no DOT numbers, no log book, no truck stops, no required physicals, etc. 

Edited by GlennWest

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3 hours ago, ewacowboy said:

 

My apologies....while researching I read that there was a special "air brake test" that was required if the truck had air brakes.  Maybe it isn't called a CDL - but it is a "special" licence and test, which was my point.  Sorry for the confusion and thanks for the correction.

It's strange but yes the CDL license includes an air brake endorsement you must have, however if you are non CDL, having air brakes doesn't mean you need or CDL or even a requirement for the Non CDL license.

So basically in short, an air brake endorsement is usually only a requirement of having a CDL license.  

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Thank you all for your replies. I have a good handle on the licensing requirements. 

I do have a few follow up questions though:

1) it appears the FL may install the Allison 1000, 2000 or 3000 - any easy way to tell which a unit has (8.3 Cummings)?

(2) easy way to tell what reared ratio is?

(3). Towing near 20K - normally run 60-62 - what is the best guesstimate for mpg? ( and I understand there are lots o variables - just looking at what folks are experiencing)

(4) on a sport chassis - does the jack knife sofa fold up ( I know it folds out flat) but does it fold in a manner to expose the floor?   Or is it easy to remove/ install or is it bolted in?

 

many thanks!!

 

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We have 2015 with a Cummins ISL9  and a Allison 3200. The rear end ratio is 4.63.

The Bostrom/Serta back seat folds up just like a normal seat, there is no way to access behind the seat, but there is a ton of space under the seat. When we leave for the summer, along with all the other crap I put under the back seat is a 40 LB bag of dog food.  It is raised and lowered electrically.

At 60 mph, our normal cruising speed, we average about 8.3 to 8.6 mpg.  That mpg is uphill, down hill, head wind, tail wind.  Without the trailer the mpg jumps up to about 8.7 mpg! We tow a 22k DRV.

I've attached copy of the component information that came with the truck.  If you can find on the the truck you are considering, it contains a lot of information.  Dick

 

SPORTCHASSIS INFO SHEET.jpeg

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On 10/1/2017 at 1:34 PM, Bobi and Dick McKee said:

 the units with air brakes required a commercial license. 

Here in B.C. Canada any combination of truck&trailer with air requires a Class1 (commercial) license.   Class 1 requires a fitness test every 5 years from age 25-45, every 3 years from 45-63, every year above 66 years old.

Municipalities in Metro Vancouver will issue tickets (complaint from a resident) when a MDT/ HDT is STOPPED on a residential street that is not loading or unloading. 

MDT/ HDT are "suppose to"  pull in at the BC scales.  

If the trailer exceeds 10,00lbs and there is no air on the truck/trailer a House Trailer endorsement is require but no fitness tests. 

On a positive note the being charge with DUI while padding a canoe/kayak may soon be a thing of the past in Canada.

 

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In Nova Scotia, all that I am required for my class 5 is air certification. 15 dollars. I think that is the same up through class 8...as long as you are none commercial. 

I quite like my air brakes and if you have ever had to fix a blown brake like on a hydraulic system, you will love the fix on air.  AS well, with air, you know when your brakes are failing before you put your foot down unlike the other...

J-T...they didn't change the law so watch your consumption of bubbly pops while canoeing.

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On 10/3/2017 at 12:28 PM, gg923 said:

 (8.3 Cummings)?

- what is the best guesstimate for mpg?

Ouch.  7

Edited by hemsteadc

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Just as a point of clarification, a CDL A or B would have a RESTRICTION if you didn't test in an air brake vehicle.      In other words, a CDL generally includes a written and skills testing on air brake operations.       If you buy a truck with air brakes, learn how to inspect, test and, monitor them for everyone's sake.

 

Steve    

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Just as a note, M2-106 with air brakes was not produced by SportChassis.  SportChassis always made the smaller engine model in hydraulic brakes so no special endorsement needed and larger engine model with air brakes (always drums) which required a different license to operate.  There are lots of conversion places that use the generic M2-106 setup and has a wide range of configurations.  Do your homework with the VIN number otherwise you will have a nasty surprise !!  NOT ALL M2-106 are a like.  SportChassis is a manufacturer and not a brand / model.  When it was once owned by Frieghtliner, it was a custom truck division and now a employee owned manufacturer.

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