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Planning the next HDT


Heavymetal

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Started working on our next HDT. After the past 12k miles that we have towed our RV with a HDT, we have figured out that we really need to start from scratch in stead of redoing a used truck. This is what I have own my mind so far.

 

Straight Detroit drive line with the DD14 or DD15 power plant along with the DT12 transmission I am thinking a 6x2 setup with the tag having the air lift on it and using the Super Singles. Wheel base on the truck will be 240" and have the 82" stratos sleeper, setup with the lounge and a Murphy bed along with a ductless a/c and heat unit for the sleeper and a rear door onto the bed. I will have all the newer electronics i.e. Adaptive cruise, front radar and lane keeping like we have now but I want my 7" camera monitor and gps hard wired in the dash from the factory along with all the new Bluetooth interfaces that make life so nice while driving. All of this will be done on one of two Western Star models either the old school long noise 4900 or the newer looking 5700XE (which is what we have now). The two trucks are the same other then the front end appearance.

 

For the bed I am thinking of caring the aerodynamic side skirting all the way to the rear of my bed and use something like the old school wheel well skirts like on a Buick or Cadillac to keep low and clean lines from the front of the truck to the rear of the bed. For the loading and unloading of the Smart I am thinking along the lines of the Mountain Master loader but having it built into the bed instead of sitting on top. I have a small 6.5 kW 1800 rpm water cooled diesel generator I will mount under my bed and plumb it into the trucks fuel tanks along with extra water tanks to extend our boondocking ability. For my drum box I am thinking of two, each facing the center line of the truck, one on each side of the rear door from the sleeper.

 

This is what I have been thinking! If you could start over and build from the ground up what would you do different?

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As far as I know the factory won't produce it with a liftable tag. If you want that to happen you will have to do it yourself, voiding all drivetrain warranties. There are various states that frown on the practice of being able to put different weights on the tandem axles because of the abuses the authorities have witnessed in the past, either unintentional or otherwise. i.e. 30,000 lbs + on a single axle.

If cool looking aerodymics is what you are after, take a look at the images of the Penske Racing Team tractors, and trailers.

 

post-30647-0-61989500-1487987881_thumb.jpg

 

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As far as I know the factory won't produce it with a liftable tag. If you want that to happen you will have to do it yourself, voiding all drivetrain warranties. There are various states that frown on the practice of being able to put different weights on the tandem axles because of the abuses the authorities have witnessed in the past, either unintentional or otherwise. i.e. 30,000 lbs + on a single axle.

If cool looking aerodymics is what you are after, take a look at the images of the Penske Racing Team tractors, and trailers.

 

attachicon.gifDSC_9679.jpg

 

I was talking to the dealer ( Freightliner/Western Star ) and he seems to think that since they use them on their motor home chasies that we could have in done. when it comes to the aerodynamics of the truck and the looks, I think blending the hauler bed into the design of the truck would not only look great but it might add a little to the mpg. I am thinking of using the same 4' side valance and caring all the way down the bed and doing old school removable wheel covers. Of coarse in the case of a blow out they would get trashed.

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I used to never order my trucks with adaptive cruise braking because they got it wrong way too much. But in the last three years they've pretty well got it figured out. I've been getting it now, but I still would have to think long and hard about doing it on my forever truck. I wouldn't think twice if it was just a 5 year truck but if it is going to be the last one forever then I'm not so sure that all the radars and wiring and stuff isn't going to be a real PITA in 15 years. I'd have to think real hard about it. Do they offer it on a 4900? ACB and longhoods don't usually go together. Lane departure I think is going to make the jump from just making noise to actually nudging the truck back to where it should be pretty soon in the next few years. Keep an eye out for that if it is important.

 

KW factory builds pushers and tags all the time and they will do them set at 52". But I don't think they are made at the right track width for a wide based single. The non steerable 20K may get there but you might have to compromise the drive axle track to match. It may commit you to wide singles for life of truck with wrong track for duals. I don't really know because I've never tried to set one up that way. Wide singles also get a 60mph resonance going on that I think the lift is going to amplify really bad. It might be fun to play with for a few years but again for a forever truck it is going to be kind of risky. Tags are also usually placed for fixed/dedicated loads so without that you'll be playing with air pressure forever. If you buy it into a state that requires outside of cab controls it is really going to suck. You can get them with ABS, but add a bouncy balloon tire with an air pressure that's hard to set, and an ADB tractor with a drum tag (20K n/a with ADB's) and you are going to get some mini flat spots and it just isn't going to be smooth. So I dunno, it could be super cool or it could be super risky........ you'll be the first one to know. Either way I'm pretty sure you'll end up ripping out the factory controls and inventing something of your own.

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I used to never order my trucks with adaptive cruise braking because they got it wrong way too much. But in the last three years they've pretty well got it figured out. I've been getting it now, but I still would have to think long and hard about doing it on my forever truck. I wouldn't think twice if it was just a 5 year truck but if it is going to be the last one forever then I'm not so sure that all the radars and wiring and stuff isn't going to be a real PITA in 15 years. I'd have to think real hard about it. Do they offer it on a 4900? ACB and longhoods don't usually go together. Lane departure I think is going to make the jump from just making noise to actually nudging the truck back to where it should be pretty soon in the next few years. Keep an eye out for that if it is important.

 

KW factory builds pushers and tags all the time and they will do them set at 52". But I don't think they are made at the right track width for a wide based single. The non steerable 20K may get there but you might have to compromise the drive axle track to match. It may commit you to wide singles for life of truck with wrong track for duals. I don't really know because I've never tried to set one up that way. Wide singles also get a 60mph resonance going on that I think the lift is going to amplify really bad. It might be fun to play with for a few years but again for a forever truck it is going to be kind of risky. Tags are also usually placed for fixed/dedicated loads so without that you'll be playing with air pressure forever. If you buy it into a state that requires outside of cab controls it is really going to suck. You can get them with ABS, but add a bouncy balloon tire with an air pressure that's hard to set, and an ADB tractor with a drum tag (20K n/a with ADB's) and you are going to get some mini flat spots and it just isn't going to be smooth. So I dunno, it could be super cool or it could be super risky........ you'll be the first one to know. Either way I'm pretty sure you'll end up ripping out the factory controls and inventing something of your own.

Lots of really good points Scrap and lots to think about, that's why I posted here. The adaptive cruise on our 5700 has really been a great feature! We came through Atlanta at 3:00 pm and I set it on 62 on drove the center lane and other then have to stop and creep past the interchanges I made it through with only hitting the brakes a few times and on the open road it has worked amazing.

I have the ABS disc on all three axles on the 5700 but I'm not sure that I care for the disc brakes. It seems that they are really touchy, I only really have about 1/2 inch of pedal to play with between applying brakes and full brake and it is really hard to work with only 1/2" of pedal. I have had them checked and the dealer so they are fine, if that's the case I had rather have abs drum. My having Parkinson's makes it even harder because a1/2" of pedal and a tremoring foot makes for some pretty funny braking action at red lights and in traffic.

As far as the lane keeping I think it needs to be a sense not a audible warning, maybe a vibration in the steering wheel are something like that.

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That would be the plus of a custom order as well. Since it'll have a flatbed you'd order it as a straight truck, which isn't required to have the RSD brakes your tractor has, so you can order it in the non RSD version. It isn't required to have stability control that is about to become law for tractors in August as well.

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