Veteran Advisor
Posts: 5,977
Registered: ‎10-25-2010

Tandem axle truck

Thinking about getting a 10 wheel tandem axle truck.  I bought a super-cheap 6 wheeler last winter, and I still couldn't keep up hauling what I wanted to, in the time I had to get it done in.  I figured if I put the $1000-$3000 I will probably wind up paying a semi each year to haul towards a bigger truck, I could not only get it all done myself, but also get the harvest in quicker.

However, I don't know much at all about them.

Here's a quick run down of my uses:
Hauling from field to home, maximum distance is 5 miles, maybe 500 miles a year, tops, probably less than that, because I have 2 gravity wagons, for the short runs.

Hauling from the bin, to neighborhood feedlots, this runs from 3 to 10 miles, maybe another 500 miles a year.

Hauling from the bin, to the elevator in town, 1,000 miles or less per year.

All in all, if I had a 550 bushel truck, I would probably put 2000 miles or less on it a year.  My biggest issue, is not distance, but the time it takes to get it hauled in.  I figure for another 5-10 minutes a load, I could be hauling 500+ bushels a load, instead of 325, and that would be enough to get it all myself.  If you ever hired a semi to haul, you know that the shorter the distance, the more it works out per mile.

I would be hauling from the field home, this involves driving along the field edge.  I smoothen the trail, so it isn't too rough, but I can only pack it by driving a tractor back & forth over it a few times, so it can be a little soft, so a good low gear would be nice.  Otherwise, there are no load limits on the roads home, or to the local feedlots, only on the blacktop going into town.

My general questions are:

Twin-screw, or tag?
Gas or diesel?

How big of an engine?  There are only two big hills from here to town, and neighbors are getting by good with a 366 GM, on a 400-450 bu truck.  How much more would I need, to haul another 100 Bu?

Air or hydraulic brakes (I'm definately leaning air as of right now).

Cabover or conventional (cabovers are cheaper, but I'm thinking there may be a reason for that)

Steel or wood box?  Or steel with wood floor?

Most of my hauling occurs in the 'warmer' months, meaning not in the dead of winter.  Usually in the fall, at harvest if it won't all fit in the bin, and then again in late Feb thru April, and then again July-Aug.  I think an easier starting diesel would fire up, but am not sure if I would drive enough miles, to justify the extra expense ($2500 - $3000 or so it seems).

What transmissions are good, what to avoid.  I test drove an older IH with a 5X4, and liked it had low gears, but is that a durable setup? 

What kind of hoist is better, the twin-cylinder scissor hoist, or the telescoping cylinder type?

Lastly, I'm not looking to spend a lot of money, and looks aren't that important, I'll probably wind up with an older (cheaper) but solid truck.


Subject Author Kudos Posted
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