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"Light" Offroading in HDT


sipester

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I see that a few of those with HDT's like to boondock, which is likely more enjoyable if you are able to get off the beaten path some and get away from others. For those that do this, has anyone ever looked into something like this: http://www.eztracaxle.com/ or this: http://www.tirepressurecontrol.com/

 

Not that I would expect serious offroading with and HDT and large 5th wheel, but if you have a large toyhauler being pulled by an HDT, it would seem that either (or both) of those would enable to get a little further out than a standard HDT with rear wheel drive only.

 

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The EZ-Trac (or something like it) got a little TV attention during the Swamp Loggers show. It makes less sense to me in the typical HDT environment, where so many of the rigs have the fifth wheel hitch in a maximum-aft position for more bed room; that unweights the front axle, shifting weight onto the rear axle(s) and making differential locks far more useful than an EZ Trac. I don't follow the show closely, so I can't confirm if they actually purchased or retrofitted a truck with an EZ Trac.

 

The tire pressure control also gets attention on Swamp Loggers, and it's something they definitely have.

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I see that a few of those with HDT's like to boondock, which is likely more enjoyable if you are able to get off the beaten path some and get away from others. For those that do this, has anyone ever looked into something like this: http://www.eztracaxle.com/ or this: http://www.tirepressurecontrol.com/

 

Not that I would expect serious offroading with and HDT and large 5th wheel, but if you have a large toyhauler being pulled by an HDT, it would seem that either (or both) of those would enable to get a little further out than a standard HDT with rear wheel drive only.

 

 

I have not previously seen the hydraulic front axle, but have had that project on my mind for a while. Thanks for sharing. It's definitely something that would solve a problem for me and many others.

 

It looks like it would provide close to 10MPH going forward, which would probably work well.

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For it to deliver up to 110HP to the front wheels, it's going to need a sizeable PTO to deliver that much power to the hydraulic pump, and the pump is likely going to have some serious size to it. Probably a no-go if your bed has existing boxes (I know that's not a factor for you, bmzero, but most others it is). The PTO would be probably 1/3 the diameter of the existing driveline.

 

Side note that's only slightly related: know the difference between a 1500gpm fire engine and a 2000gpm fire engine? 2000gpm needs more than 350HP engine to receive enough power to pump 2000gpm at +150psi net pressure, but the pump is physically the same as what you'd find in a 1500gpm rig. The transmission and main driveline drive a transfer case that acts as an A/B switch: in road position, the driveline drives the wheels/tires; in pump position, the driveline drives the pump. Most fire engines cannot pump and drive at the same time; those that do are dependent on a PTO-driven pump that's likely only 500gpm or smaller.

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I can only imagine what the price tag is on an Ez-Trac! Overall I'm pretty happy with the off road ability of my rig as long as it's got a load on the deck, but this could give the ability to run in the sand.

 

I would love to have the ability to control tire pressure in cab as this makes a huge difference in ride quality and traction with varied loads and road conditions. I'm surprised this hasn't caught on in the OEM side for maximum fuel economy and traction control.

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I can only imagine what the price tag is on an Ez-Trac! Overall I'm pretty happy with the off road ability of my rig as long as it's got a load on the deck, but this could give the ability to run in the sand.

 

I would love to have the ability to control tire pressure in cab as this makes a huge difference in ride quality and traction with varied loads and road conditions. I'm surprised this hasn't caught on in the OEM side for maximum fuel economy and traction control.

I'm guessing EZ-Trac is cheaper than full-on four wheel drive, though there is this place here that does that: http://www.tulsatruckmfg.com

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I have worked on a few conversions over the years when I worked at the alignment shop. They drove and rode horrible! The turning radius was bad and they were way tall. They always had tire balance issues and death wobble!

 

You would have to build a drop deck into your bed!

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I seem to recall it cost about 20k and raised the truck 8" cus you lose the front drop axle ...this was 10 yrs ago, I may be wrong.

Another 8" to navigate vertically would not be something to look forward to.

That's why the EZ trac solution seems so great as it doesn't add any height.

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With regard to "light" off-roading. How does a HDT with a 5er compare to a class A? I imagine that they are fairly close in weight on the front wheels and so they would have the same ability to maneuver around on a dirt road. I've not seen many blogs showing an HDT owner boondocking but several with Class A. Then again there are not as many HDT nor as many blogs with HDT. Just curious since the HDT is the route my wife and I are planning to take and we would like to park in public lands for some of our time on the road.

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An HDT and a DP both have a heavy front axle. However depending on the setup the weight on the rear axle of an HDT may be light. A lot of people have reported problems with even wet grass. Since we also like to boondock we set our HDT up to have some weight on the rear axles and found a truck with 2 air lockers. We have not had a problem. We even pulled out of a forest location where others with 4x4 PU's were spinning to get out without spinning. The problem is if the front axle sinks. That is like an anchor and could be an expensive tow bill.

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Can you fit the big super singles to the front axle of any truck? The SS aired down would make a huge difference over narrow tires. Bigger turning radius i imagine.

 

Add one of those track systems to the rear axles and you'd have something that would take a tank retriever to get out.

 

Because everything gets stuck, its just a matter of how hard it is to get out.

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There are a few ShowHauler owners that have installed floatation tires with good reports back, especially as it regards running lower tire pressures and getting a better ride. I know of one that said turning radius was unaffected, no rubbing, etc. on a second-gen VNL.

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Can you fit the big super singles to the front axle of any truck? The SS aired down would make a huge difference over narrow tires. Bigger turning radius i imagine.

 

As Nuke-E reports, bigger tires (alone) won't change turning radius. If the bigger tires would rub or get cut with the wheels turned to max, then changing your steering range would therefore change the radius.

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