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question about truck maintance


twrtoad

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hello all,

New here and just testing the waters. Looking at purchasing a HDT but I am just curious from you all that own them what kind of maintance is required. I am looking for a real world perspective from people who use their's, not from a guy who is trying to get ym money. Things like how often do you do oil changes, Transmission fluid flushes, radiator flushes. How long do breaks really last. Is it like a car where you change the oil every 3k miles.

 

Thanks everybody in advance.

 

jim

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Typical oil change for OTR is 25,000 miles. I change my oil every year as I have the shop changes almost all filters and do a hard eyeball of the truck. That is about 7000-8000 miles.

 

Depending on where the brakes are when you buy the truck, you may have one change to do in you ownership time.

 

I had the transmission and differential fluids changed when I bought the truck. That is probably it for my life.

 

The coolant is extended life and that means at least 5 years before anything needs to be done.

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I do an annual service with a trusted local shop. The service includes a chassis lube, an oil and filter change and a good once over of the truck. If something specific has come to my attention throughout the year, I have the shop address the issue as needed. If they find something on their examination of the truck, then I decide if it is worth fixing right then or if it can wait.

 

When I first bought the truck, I had it in the shop a couple of times before the annual service to address some issues that came up that I didn't catch in the initial inspection when I purchased it. Since then I have had it in the shop once outside of normal service due to my ECM failing.

 

To answer your question above, Jack Mayer's website is a great resource. The site is located here.

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Pretty much Mark nailed it as far as routine servicing. Basically oil change once a year, or you can test and change as required. You should be testing oil at least yearly, regardless. It will tell you a lot about the engine health. Costs about $20.

 

Maintenance is where the LARGE variations occur. Parts on trucks break, but typically at far greater intervals than cars. So if you get a part replaced it is a "lifetime" replacement in most cases. What you will have to replace is a function of the age of the truck and luck of the draw. I encourage "preemptive" maintenance for most people. There are "marginal" items on any truck, either because of known service intervals, or because it is obvious they are getting towards "end of life". I typically search for these items and replace BEFORE failure. It makes my life easier - but I live on the road and HAVE to have my truck functioning. Other people have alternatives if they have a house....

 

No matter what, you should have a reserve fund for truck repairs. Not improvements, and not fluid replacements. Repairs. At LEAST $5K,and these days I recommend $8K. You may never need it. But it is not "pretty" to put all of your money into the truck purchase and improvements and then not be able to use it because of repairs you cannot fund. So expect that going into it.

 

An HDT is not for everyone - for lighter trailers the newer pickups are quite functional/capable. However they are not as flexible in use as an HDT - carrying cars, MC, ATVs etc is easy with an HDT.

 

Welcome to the forum, and you should likely plan to attend a Rally. The fall National Rally is a great event.

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Like others we do our yearly service which includes an oil change, oil filter, fuel filter and chassis lube. That is around 15000 miles or less. Just so you understand most of these trucks take about 10 gallons of oil. We sometimes do the oil change ourselves and we need a very large tote to catch it in. We have had to change a fuel filter during the year, it is fairly easy on our truck and we did it at the Hutchinson Rally one year.

 

We have had ours 3 years now and brakes and tires look good. Coolant needed to be topped off but not changed yet.

 

Ac will need a recharge this spring. It was getting a little week last fall.

 

Each truck will need different items depending on well it was serviced in its previous life.

 

Lots of good info on Jacks site. You will have information overload. Also, try to make it to either the ECR rally in TN or the National Rally in Kansas for a wealth of knowledge and resources.

Dave

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Is it time to retire the Resource Guide?

No

 

Not referring to this post, it's time for people to do some reading of it before posting questions.

 

I'd love to see a post start out. " I was reading the resource guide and didn't understand this or that. That would make Marks day!

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No

 

Not referring to this post, it's time for people to do some reading of it before posting questions.

 

I'd love to see a post start out. " I was reading the resource guide and didn't understand this or that. That would make Marks day!

Right. And specifically, this does not refer to new people, because they would not even know about the Resource Guide. But people posting here for years really should refer to it.

 

Oh, and lets not forget to provide updates to the HHRV Campground Guide....

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Is it time to retire the Resource Guide?

 

No!!

 

Mark, any way to pin a second line to the heading such as:

"The Heavy Haulers Resource Guide and HDT Rally Site:

First source for info about HDTing"

 

IMHO newcomers come to the site and start following threads but their attention isn't really called to the pinned headings and what great info is available there.

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Jack is pretty close on annual costs. We bought the Volvo in 2004 with 600k on it. It is now at 697k. In the 10-1/2 years I have spent $37,000 on repairs, maintenance, insurance and registration. That includes a new set of tires, but not fuel or building the deck for the smart. So that comes out to just about $3,500 a year. Well worth it too!

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Hello,

Again I would like to thank everybody and I am going to read the resource guide, I had no idea it even existed. I know people have talked about other rigs for towing depending on trailer size but I am going to go with a HDT because I am going to get at least a 38' or bigger 5th wheel when I go full time. Me and the wife talked about it and decided why buy something smaller just to upgrade later. At this stage of the game I am still just learning all I can and want to go into this as informed as I possibly can. So with that being said, my first real question is should I look for a truck with under a certain amount of mileage, say under 500k. What would be your recommendations from everbody's experience.

 

Thank you,

 

Jim

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I don't care how many times someone different posts the same questions. If you got a question, ask it!

 

There is no way everyone is going to stumble across some anonymous (to them) persons website. Someone's opinion is just one persons opinion no matter how informed that person is.

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So with that being said, my first real question is should I look for a truck with under a certain amount of mileage, say under 500k. What would be your recommendations from everbody's experience.

 

 

Mileage is somewhat irrelevant with an HDT. The better question is what is the condition and how was it maintained? I bought a truck with 827000 miles on it. There are a few on here with trucks with over a million miles and some with less than 500000 miles. My uncle is an over the road trucker with 1.5+ million miles on his truck and it is still running like it was new. As long as a truck has been properly maintained and cared for, it will last.

 

These trucks are meant to run for a million miles before needing any major engine work and that is doing 80000-120000 miles a year. Some make it longer and some need work sooner. In RV service, putting 10000 miles on your truck will be a lot of miles in a year. If I found a nice high mileage truck that was properly maintained, I would be just as likely to buy it as a lower mileage truck. For me it would come down to which truck fit my needs better based on the options and equipment it had (given both were well maintained vehicles).

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Chad is right on. The more diligent you are in checking a truck before purchase pays off. I prefer older trucks more than new ones, and mine sits with around 1.7m on the chassis. For straight up mechanical failure repairs items, not including any maintenance items like oil changes, tires, etc. I'm under $5000 in 12 years. I crawled all around, under & over when I first looked at it. Pulled plugs and shook everything I could get my hands on. The first test drive was to Kenworth to run the chassis and engine numbers, second stop was to Caterpillar for a cursory check of the engine (which was not the original 3406). For a truck that cost well under under 10k, it's been a sweet old ride. But it is old! So it's quite possible to find a reasonably priced used truck and not be saddled with huge repair costs, but you really have to check them out closely. Good luck.

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The biggest issue with higher mile trucks is that the auxiliary components (not the engine itself) are wearing out. Good maintenance practices mitigate this quite a bit. And preemptive maintenance practices can also help a lot. Just be aware of this and factor it into your buying (and pricing) considerations.

 

My personal truck has 725K miles on it. Some would say "that is a lot"....but like Chad said, it was well cared for by an owner/operator husband/wife team. I had all the records. Volvo did all the maintenance,and there was proof that the owners "babied" the truck. It dynoed well. So I did not have an issue buying a truck with those miles. It has proven to be a good truck. And Gregg identified suspect components before purchase, so we KNEW what needed replacing. He was spot-on, by the way. All this was factored into the purchase price.

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Here is the other side...

The truck we have is a 1998 Volvo with a baby Cummins engine in it. The truck has 456000 miles on it. The last 9k are since we bought it last November. We have found that non-use is a big issue as well. We have found that this truck had to have sat for extended periods of time with little to no preventive maintenance being done. And it's all little stuff that is or will turn into big stuff shortly. Hoses that need to be replaced, air lines and air bags, mud daubers nests in the wiring, etc. Fixing the little items along the way can prevent the big stuff later on.

The engine purrs along nicely, but it too needs a little TLC. No record of the last valve adjustment, several fluids that needed to be changed, stuff that should have been done along the way, but aren't critical if you let them slip a little, but can become expensive if you keep putting them off.

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