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Contributor

miles on grain truck

I'm looking at single axle grain trucks from the sixties and seventies. My question is whether a truck with 30,000 miles is a major benefit compared to a truck with 80,000 miles on it. I don't plan on adding many miles to it in a year but would like something dependable.  Thanks.

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9 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: miles on grain truck

I don`t think whether a 40 yr old truck has had 800 miles a yr put on it or 2,000 miles a yr put on it is the biggest problem. Some of them might have been cobbled on and spent a few years with the odometer cable unhooked.  Or some might have been sitting since 1992 when the guy selling it bought a semi, and that sitting would be alot worse than it having ran a couple thousand miles each yr.  I guess just look it over and use your judgement.  JMHO   Good Luck.

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Senior Advisor

Re: miles on grain truck

Check for rust under the bed, side rails and cross rails. Make sure it has brakes and the hoist works.

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Senior Contributor

Re: miles on grain truck

I was thinking the same thing.  I'd go for the one with the least rust.   I have seen some fairly late-model trucks that had a lot of 'cancer' on them, and some older ones, where you couldn't hardly find any.   Watch wherever frame members meet, and especially any places that are double-framed, as road salt sometimes weasels its way between the frame members, and literally pries them apart.  (this is in addition to the obvious body rust).

As for brakes, I have the opinion if all else is equal, air brakes are the more desirable setup.   Hydraulic brakes work well when they work, but repairs will run 50% more than air.

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Senior Contributor

Re: miles on grain truck

I just don't see buying a truck that old. You can find similar size trucks from the 90's for less than $5000 dollars. I'm talking Cummins, air brakes, nice seat, good radio. Unless your getting a truck like you are talking about for lesss than $1000 I would consider other options.
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Senior Contributor

Re: miles on grain truck

Around good truck from the 70's with a gas engine will run close to $5,000 range depending on the condition. A 90's model tandem with a good deisel will run closer to the $20,000 and up range. I don't think mileage matters as much as condition.  Patrick

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Senior Contributor

Re: miles on grain truck

Those are similar prices to around here.

 

If you can find a diesel truck with air brakes, even a single axle, for $5000, it either has to be about worn out, rusted out, or have something else wrong with it.

Figure at least $7k for a diesel with air brakes, that is more or less ready to go, and even then, it will be hard to find something with a Cummins in it, more likely it will have something like an old Detroit, or maybe a 466 IH (not that they are bad engines, but they are not exactly powerhouses).  A good tandem diesel from the '80s will run close to $20K, and maybe more for a 'good' twin-screw.

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Senior Contributor

Re: miles on grain truck

I keep trying to figure why those type trucks are so much cheaper around here. As I'm finding out a truck good enough for a grain truck isn't good enough for a log truck. Last year I bought a 94 f800, 8.3 Cummins, air brakes, good body with a 350 bushel wood grain bed, and just over 200,000 miles. I only paid $4000. But it looks like it may need some work to pass inspection as log truck. Not many log trucks over 10 years old these days. Also have a 84 GMC, L10 Cummins, air brakes, 550 bushel steal bed, and tag axle. It also had just over 200,000 miles on it. It does have a little rust I had to paint over. I paid $6000 for it. I put about 5000 miles a year on the Ford and about 8000 on the GMC with minimal repairs. Both were bought from individuals, so I know that makes them a little less expensive.
Are these trucks similar to what you guys are saying would be much more expensive in your part of the country.
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Senior Contributor

Re: miles on grain truck

No idea.   Here's an ad from one of the better-known truck dealers in Nebraska, who generally has a couple 'reasonably' priced trucks around.  Note, this is from the late '70s, with a tag (not twin screw), and a gas engine, widowmaker (split rim) 20" wheels miles not mentioned, for over $16k. From the pics, it looks to have been shedded, with no major rust, and a steel box with a wood floor.  I just cut-pasted the details from the ad, because I don't think a link to an ad is permitted here. 

 

1979 Chevrolet C70 - $16,250.00 Details

  
Price
$16,250.00
Year
1979
Make
Chevrolet
Model
C70
New
Used
Description
1979 Chevy C70, 427, 20' Box w/Newer Hoist, Nice Local Truck $16,250
Standard Specification*
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Senior Contributor

Re: miles on grain truck

Every now and then, you come across a deal and take it. I bought a Kw t600 tri axle a few years ago for 5000. 350 big cam with a 16 ft aluminum dump. Holds a touch over 600 bu when full.
Mostly use it for silage chopping but it comes in pretty handy when all the trailers are full and there's a thunderstorm coming during grain harvest.
Truck had been sitting a few years and needed batteries and a couple tires. After a few days wrenching and a little paint, it's a good work horse with cold a/c!
A long time ago, pop bought a superliner bulldog triaxle with 16' steel bed as a repo from the bank. He bid to win and gave entirely too much for it. I've had more problems out of that 14k dollar truck than the 5k one. But have to say, that Mack with a 444 cummins is a tank when everything is going right.
For what it's worth, you can get an old road tractor and a dump trailer to hold 1000 bu for under 20k. Ive always wanted a hopper bottom, but can't justify the cost for the products they are limited to hauling.
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