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Anyone have any experiance with a Freightliner Classic........


mr. cob

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Howdy All,

 

I can't help it, I just love the look of the old style trucks, there is a 1998 Freightliner Classic for sale near me that is really tugging at my heart strings, I have been watching the ad for a while the price has dropped to where I am seriously thinking of going to check it out. My present truck is a great rig, runs excellent and is in pretty darn good shape no real reason to replace it other then I would like to be able to haul my Smart Car on the truck and doing so on my present truck would entail considerable expense, money that I would rather put into a different truck that I could setup the way I want it not the way someone else built it.

 

So my questions are, going from a condo style Columbia to a condo style Classic, does anyone have any idea of how much of a drop in fuel mileage I would incur? The Classic has a 13 speed, 12.7 DD 500HP, I do not know the axle ratio but I am going to try and get the vin number so I can gather all this type of information.

 

My Columbia, has the 10 speed three pedal auto-shift and there are times when I sure wish I had more gears, we have spent the last month on the road most of it climbing 8-10,000 passes in Colorado, Wyoming and now Montana, many are the times when 9th was a tad to low and 10th was to high, having the ability to split gears would just be more efficient, this is the first auto-shift and 10 speed truck I have owned or driven and I do miss the over all in my opinion better driveability of the 13 speed.

 

How much MORE will the turning radius be with the Classic verses the Columbia, the Classic still has tandem axles which I would like to keep, more brakes, easier on the truck if hauling the Smart Car, better traction.

 

So anyone who has an opinion or knowledge of such a truck please post it up, I do NOT need this style of truck, but I do want it. So here's your chance to either talk me out of it or push me over the edge.

 

Dave

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While I am not a huge fan of Freightliners in general (sucks that most class 8 conversions(I own one) are built on them but....) I can agree with the appeal of the "classic long hood truck, regardless of make.

 

I cannot give you solid numbers/facts but I would be surprised if the fuel economy changed by more than a couple of tenths of a MPG (might gain some with the manual/extra gears but the aerodynamics of a Classic might cancel someof it out) although in my mind I have myself convinced that if I had a manual in my Coronado motorhome conversion I could get better fuel economy and al around performance...after a couple of million kilometers of driving 13, 15 and 18speed manuals I don't think my Freedomline autoshifts appropriately. The 13speed gives you the gear splits where you are likely to need them at the weights you are pulling, so I think pulling performance (and MPG probably) The turning radius is probably going to be noticeably larger, but not unmanageable (Classic has set forward front axle vs set back on Columbia, tandem axles will likely be longer wheelbase which further compounds the issue).

 

I gave up long haul driving years ago but if I could find my dream truck ... a long, square hood(make mine a Peterbilt 379 long hood), fuel economy, power and a big comfy sleeper, all equipped the way I like it...a freight train couldn't stop me (OK maybe my wife, and she is way smaller than a freight train).

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Dave, I run a 15 SPD (rto14615), and with high mileage it's quieter than a 13. No overdrive whine at the tranny tail because it doesn't split gears there. It runs out 12 progressive. I ran well over a million miles with 13's and 15's and like the 15's a lot better although the shift pattern takes a little getting used to. Other than that, I say buy it if the rest of it checks out. It's never too late to have a happy childhood!

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While I am not a huge fan of Freightliners in general (sucks that most class 8 conversions(I own one) are built on them but....) I can agree with the appeal of the "classic long hood truck, regardless of make.

 

I cannot give you solid numbers/facts but I would be surprised if the fuel economy changed by more than a couple of tenths of a MPG (might gain some with the manual/extra gears but the aerodynamics of a Classic might cancel someof it out) although in my mind I have myself convinced that if I had a manual in my Coronado motorhome conversion I could get better fuel economy and al around performance...after a couple of million kilometers of driving 13, 15 and 18speed manuals I don't think my Freedomline autoshifts appropriately. The 13speed gives you the gear splits where you are likely to need them at the weights you are pulling, so I think pulling performance (and MPG probably) The turning radius is probably going to be noticeably larger, but not unmanageable (Classic has set forward front axle vs set back on Columbia, tandem axles will likely be longer wheelbase which further compounds the issue).

 

I gave up long haul driving years ago but if I could find my dream truck ... a long, square hood(make mine a Peterbilt 379 long hood), fuel economy, power and a big comfy sleeper, all equipped the way I like it...a freight train couldn't stop me (OK maybe my wife, and she is way smaller than a freight train).

Howdy porky69,

 

Thanks for your reply, lots of good information. And YES, to your last paragraph, you have described perfectly my dream truck, however after looking at the prices such a used truck goes for it is sadly just a dream but without dreams life would be pretty boring.

 

Dave

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Ok my Dad told me when I got married to take care of the needs before the wants. Guess you have had the need now comes the want. Hey if its better for you down the road go for it. :rolleyes:

Howdy oldride,

 

Yes my Columbia fulfills my needs and does a great job of it, but I lust after a Classic type truck that I can setup to haul the Smart Car on the rear of. I think I'll go and check out the Classic, the worst that could happen is I'll spend more money and have more FUN.

 

Dave

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Dave, I run a 15 SPD (rto14615), and with high mileage it's quieter than a 13. No overdrive whine at the tranny tail because it doesn't split gears there. It runs out 12 progressive. I ran well over a million miles with 13's and 15's and like the 15's a lot better although the shift pattern takes a little getting used to. Other than that, I say buy it if the rest of it checks out. It's never too late to have a happy childhood!

Howdy Damian,

 

Thanks for your reply lots of good information. You nailed it with having a happy childhood, most folks revert to being a child as they get older, I have the advantage of NEVER having grown up in the first place so this would just be another BIG toy if it were to happen.

 

Dave

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My first childhood was nowhere near as much fun as my second, currently underway. We are in our tenth year of half timing. My Volvo 730 is a fine truck, but when I see a long nose Pete with those chrome frowning sunshades, its cool quotient is miles ahead of the Volvo. However, after having both knees replaced last year, I'm quite happy to chose Drive or Reverse and let the truck take care of the rest of the gear changes. I suppose I could put a sign on the back that says "I wish I was a Pete".

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My first childhood was nowhere near as much fun as my second, currently underway. We are in our tenth year of half timing. My Volvo 730 is a fine truck, but when I see a long nose Pete with those chrome frowning sunshades, its cool quotient is miles ahead of the Volvo. However, after having both knees replaced last year, I'm quite happy to chose Drive or Reverse and let the truck take care of the rest of the gear changes. I suppose I could put a sign on the back that says "I wish I was a Pete".

Howdy John,

 

I have heard it said that the only difference between men and boys is the size and price of their toys, I am living proof of that statement. I still have bikes I should have sold years ago but I just can't bear to part with them, its a darn good thing I don't have acreage it would look like a combination between a car-truck-bike lot and a junkyard.

 

Dave

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I spent a bunch of time in a 1975 Freightshaker similar to the one in the picture. It was the first conventional I ever drove, and I felt like it fit me like a glove! That was about the most comfortable truck I ever drove. Kinda wish I had it for my truck now, but with a 30" bunk it would be a bit small now.

e663cbe2-9979-421e-acc6-3cb5.jpg

Howdy Mntom,

 

That is a pretty truck, but those little sleepers are the type of thing they wrote songs about. Sorry click the link I can't seem to figure out how to embed youtube videos on this list.

 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-5iRnkU6qbU"frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Dave

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Dave, I found your truck!!!! LOOK HERE You won't even need a trailer with this one!

Howdy Mntom,

 

Its nice no doubt but a bit much for my taste, no way I could get something that long into the camp sites we have been staying for the last month, its was a real challenge getting into the one we are now staying in.

 

Dave

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Hi mr. cob - Ken Sweet's W900A represents a pile o'restoration work by the looks of it. Long hood conventionals are common in our land - majority are spec'd with wide track steer axles. If the Classic you are looking at has one - steering cut will be reasonable - not as short as your current truck. A little test drive will tell you if you can live with the turn radius of the long hood.

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Hi mr. cob - Ken Sweet's W900A represents a pile o'restoration work by the looks of it. Long hood conventionals are common in our land - majority are spec'd with wide track steer axles. If the Classic you are looking at has one - steering cut will be reasonable - not as short as your current truck. A little test drive will tell you if you can live with the turn radius of the long hood.

Howdy noteven,

 

I will be home in a few days I will ask my friend Steve who has CDL to go with me and check out the Classic I have had my eye on. With luck it will be in very rough shape not near as nice as it looks in the photos that way I will be spared the agony of selling my truck to justify buying another one.

 

Dave

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