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occupant272

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About occupant272

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    Participating Member

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  • Location
    Columbus, OH, USA

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  • Company
    TOAD Towing & Roadside Assistance

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  1. I have seen several different theories on why these engines fail. Something about an oil seal, high idle hours, lower weight oil, all contributing to a high failure rate. Ford now recommends 5W30 in all V10 engines regardless of year. There is this recall for 2012-2016 models. And then there's that one fleet owner with an 81% failure rate on his 2013 model bucket trucks. It concerns me deeply that an engine that's been made for two decades can have these sort of minor part failures eat the whole engine.
  2. Does anyone on here have experience with the gas Dodge or Ram 5500's as a rollback? I'm not going to be running police calls or impounding things, just taking the calls I ALREADY get so I don't have to send them to other companies. The towing companies around me are going to be upset when I stop giving them free business, but my wife spends enough time on the phone handing out phone numbers that I'd rather we make that money ourselves. I think we're ready. So everybody has a Ford. And a lot of them are sick of the problems with late model diesels and all the exhaust fluid and EGR issues and regeneration and poor performance. Some of those have switched back to gas. Then I see horror stories about the V10 engine cam/follower/head issues. They seem to show up regardless of weight class (F450, F550, F650) and upfitting (rollback, wrecker, service body, dump, etc). More so on engines that idle a lot and run PTO stuff and that sure sounds like a tow truck duty cycle to me. I don't have a problem with the fuel mileage they get. I definitely like the lower cost of maintenance overall. Less oil, lower cost of parts, shorter labor times for repairs. Gas is cheaper than diesel at the moment and has been for awhile. It's enough of a difference that the lower MPG isn't a factor. This engine has been built since 1998-1999 in these Ford trucks and there are still problems two DECADES later, and THAT worries me. So the other small gas option without going back to late 90s 3500HD trucks is the Ram 5500 (used to be called Dodge but Ram is it now, so forum name needs an update?) FCA has been building the RAM 5500 with the 6.4 liter Hemi engine for five years now. 2014 models were the first to be offered with this engine and there are a handful of used ones for sale around the country with a rollback bed that I've found so far and it seems they either hold their value MUCH better than the Ford F550 or people are really proud of them. I can say just from looking at asking prices today, that Ford F550 rollbacks 2014-2017 are selling for anywhere from $32,000 to $45,000. The Ram equivalents are fetching $45,000 to $60,000, with similar miles, similar beds, similar condition. So that makes me think it's worth going with the Hemi. This will be the first truck for a new company and I want it to be nice and I'm even considering a new one. That'll be more like $70,000 but if it is RELIABLE I don't care what the cost is. It would NOT serve me well to get the Ford and then have to put an engine in it within the first year. Forum posts are saying these issues can start as early as 40,000 miles and that's pretty disgusting to me. Kills me to spend $60,000 or more for a truck and then drink burnt coffee waiting on a TSB or recall to be worked on, or worse yet, waiting for them to total up a $5K repair for something in the design that isn't my fault. Don't get me wrong, if I can get financing for it, I'll GLADLY buy a 3500HD that's well sorted. Have plenty bookmarked and watched and saved and I'll be submitting those to the finance company as well. Just not so sure an old truck is right for a company's FIRST truck. And that's where something less than 5 years old makes sense. I couldn't care less for something BRAND new, just looking almost new is good enough, could probably go back to what, 2011 on the Ford and it'll still look like up to 2016. I have also seen some posts saying Ford is about to do away with the 6.8L gas V10 and replace it and the 6.2L gas V8 with a single engine, a 7.0L gas V8. I'm going to assume it will be a new design and not related to the old 385 series engines (370/429/460). I would be concerned about durability on a new design but at least it would be under warranty for awhile.
  3. Going through that ordering sheet seems there will be 19500 GVWR on the 5500HD and higher on the 6500HD. I see 25 gallon front and 40 gallon rear tanks, but I bet that rear tank is gone for a carrier with wheel lift install. Everything gets the same 6.6L Duramax engine, but they have several different 6-speed Allison automatics. I'm kinda bummed there's no gas option. I'd love a 6.0 Vortec3 gasser with a manual transmission in a 5500HD rollback. Guess I'll have to stick to buying up clean 96-02 3500HD's with 454 and 496 engines.
  4. Beautiful work. I didn't even have to open this thread to know it was an RX, though. Inability to drive is a prerequisite to buying one of those appliances. Acura has a similar program for the driving disabled called the RDX. If you can't afford to buy one of these every few months cash out the door, you can't afford to not know how to drive
  5. I'm not buying new until the business justifies it, but you can find deals on stuff 3 to 6 years old. Way less than new, still looks and drives new, just doesn't cost as much to get a hold of. Buddy of mine bought a brand new 2017 F550 rollback. He's making a monster payment on it, more than his mortgage. It'll be paid off in five years but as hard as he's running it, the truck will probably have 250-300K on it by then and be in need of a rebuild on the V10 and a replacement for the auto trans. That'll cost him eight or ten grand to do. Maybe he'll be able to run it a few more years without payments and make some of that money back up to not have to finance the next truck. But I look at it this way. Dude is putting like 1300-something a month into this truck. That's before insurance, fuel, oil, filters, belts, wiper blades, tires, brake linings, everything you need to keep it going. If he had picked a six year old V10 rollback that already had the motor done, it would've been less than half the money. The payment would at least be cut in half, or say by a third if he financed three years. And then he'd have it paid off sooner without as much stress to cover it each and every month. Or he could've bought something older, same GVWR, same engine, same bed, just on a 99-02 title. Cost him ten grand. 8 months of payments in one shot and then NO payments. Put the money away. Buy parts as needed to keep it going. I just don't see the value in a new truck. Maybe it's because I'm cheap. Maybe it's because I never buy new. Only my Corolla that my wife drives was new. We've put 84K on it in 16 months Ubering. Too bad Hino trucks aren't as reliable as their tiny cousins. The ONLY thing we've replaced on that car outside of oil, oil filters, air filters, and wiper blades...has been one set of tires. Still on the original brake linings. Still crystal clear coolant. PS and brake fluids not even close to needing flushes. I've done the little paper tests on this stuff. It's like the car doesn't age. So if a new tow truck can't be as reliable as a Corolla, give me something old I can work on myself. I don't want a $4500 Snap-On scanner to tell me what's wrong with a vehicle. I want to open the hood and eyeball it and say, there it is, change the vacuum hose or belt or injector pigtail, and be DONE with it.
  6. Personally I wish I had the money to buy a $1200 light bar and $400 traffic advisor stick for every vehicle I have. I'd love to stick little strobe lights in every nook and cranny. The next truck I'm buying gets a $300 Amazon 48 inch light bar and a coat of Plastidip over the control box. I've had it with spending money on light bars to a) have them ignored, b) have them quit working right when I need them to during a snowstorm or with lots of salt dust and spray in the air, and c) not feel any safer having spent more money. There has to be a breakover point with this stuff. Amber and white, LED, covers the roof, gonna be good enough for me. If it dies I can afford to buy three more before I get to the price point of some fancy Whelen or Federal unit. I'll add some little strobes when I have time though. I want some ambers and some whites and some greens. I'm tempted to get some purple ones too now that they are getting popular, but I think those are for funeral services. They seem to use green around here. I guess it depends. A red color blind Trooper will think I'm running blue and I'll get an earful. But maybe they test for that at the academy.
  7. The only good thing I can say here is that while I now receive 2 to 6 calls a day that belong in the round file bin, I am also receiving that many towing calls. Add to that the roadside calls which stay busy and the Honk app calls which I had eight of yesterday (but usually about 2-3 every 2 days), I'm too busy to answer the obvious scammer calls. If the prefix matches mine I don't pick up. You go to voicemail. You never leave one. If you do I know you're real and I can call you back. My poor wife gets so many robot-dialed calls that her contact marked "bull" has no more room for any new numbers to block. She had to start a new contact, "bull2" because so many new numbers get used. The problem with this is these large call centers will purchase a block of phone numbers, make a few million calls, then sell the block to another company. Eventually the company buying the block of numbers is someone like Tracfone or Cricket, and now those numbers get used on new cell phone lines, and they've now been marked as "spam" for so long that you can't get anyone to answer the phone when you call them. I'm so glad I have had the same number for 4-5 years now, I won't even consider changing my number now unless they overlay a new area code!
  8. How many members on this forum live near the AAA national headquarters in Florida? Anyone have access or a discount on printed banners? Blow up that damaged truck photo. Put it on a banner. Shame them like the Unions do local companies here during collective bargaining.
  9. I see the "if it fits it ships" crowd is still working hard. Needs to go nose forward. ON A WRECKER. But even if you HAVE to do it this way where's the HEIGHT STICK because I'm pretty confident this thing exceeds 13'6" looking at it.
  10. GVWR of the Thor Siesta is 11030. 88 gallons water about 734 pounds. 26 gallons diesel about 182 pounds. Figure about 1600 pounds cargo/persons headroom. If the truck is empty, it SHOULD weigh about 8500 pounds. HOWEVER, a similar older model on a Sprinter chassis with the same GVWR claims in an RV forum... "2009 (2008 chassis) Winnebago View (for sale since purchase of a Citation Sprinter SR). GVWR is 11030: Limits are 4410 Front, 7720 Rear with a GCWR of 15,250 (max tongue weight of 500) the per the specs in the sales brochure." This person went on to claim he weighed the truck with just him in it, full fuel and LPG and water, and with just that ONE PERSON and ZERO cargo in the RV, it was 100 pounds over GVWR on a CAT scale at a Love's. So if the front axle load is 4410 and the person isn't in it, that's quite a load for that wheel lift.
  11. From a former driver's perspective (but I did apply to be a driver again and first interview tomorrow), this is what boils my blood about towing in a competitive market. Those of us who tow vehicles correctly are the ones who get screwed. Those of us who perform damage free towing, don't drag stuff, don't throw chains through wheels. We utilize four or more points of tie down and no, the bridle does NOT count. We take the time to make sure nothing scrapes and nothing is loose and nothing will fly off and hit an adjacent vehicle. We're mindful of the vehicles around one's self and one's truck and one's towed vehicle. We are the ones following speed limits, stopping for red lights and stop signs, and driving defensively. The "good" driver doesn't ride the clutch or the brakes and inspects his truck daily to make sure everything works properly so his truck works as designed when it is needed most. All of these things mean NOTHING to the bottom line if the company owner doesn't care, and we struggle to make ends meet. It's the drivers who take risks, who damage vehicles and don't take responsibility and whose company owners don't hold them to their actions, they are the guys who make money, They cut corners, don't think about safety, and stay on the bleeding edge of dangerous. They make the big money. They do the impounds with their lights off, no straps, no tail lights. They go down the road with the bridle tight as a pickle jar and a single chain on the back and if you're lucky, it's in a hole designed for continuous loads. Their ratchet straps are rusting in the tool boxes. The last time they checked their engine oil level was when the oil pressure light came on at idle. Dumped a quart in for good measure but it needed three. Thank goodness that was a pre-emission truck, right? Cheaper to throw another used engine in it and get him back to work, right? That's the way the cookie crumbles. And when us good guys are two months behind on their car payment, eating spaghetti three times a week, drinking only the finest municipal tap water, and fending off collections calls, when we give up and go back to waiting tables, or driving Ubers, or stocking shelves at Kroger, that's when the towing industry loses something good. And insurance goes up. I'm still trying to start my own company. Insurance is the largest cost for a startup in my opinion. I can find a cheap truck in good condition and buy the right equipment for it. I already have the business. My wife's phone rings daily with 3 to 5 towing calls and even more for roadside. We pick the ones we have time to do and send the rest to other local companies. They don't pay us anything for it, but when they STOP getting those calls, they'll be sad I'm sure.
  12. Typical light box on a rollback contains side markers, tail lights, reverse lights, license plate light. If you're lucky, a backup alarm, backup camera, dedicated turn signals, and a tow harness plug. I'm thinking something a little more stylish than that. I've noticed there are two distinct groups of "DOT Compliant" truck lights. There's the expensive ones that you have to take a box and cut holes and install individual lights and grommets and then it looks like every other truck on the road. Then there's the cheap ones that look like they belong on a landscaping trailer or the back of a Jeep CJ. Then there are just "ATV/trailer/camper" lights that are good looking, sometimes LED, have red stop/tail lights, amber turn signals, and white reverse lights, and often come with a wire cage for protection, are water submersible, et cetera. These however are NOT for use on highway trucks. My question is, why can't I just grab a set of tail lights with DOT approval on them from another kind of on highway vehicle? Kinda like car tail lights get used on large Class A motorhomes? I'm thinking they make a lot of reproduction tail light assemblies for pony cars. Fox body Mustangs? Third gen Camaro? Why can't I just mount those in a box and use them?
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