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Suspension and Length Recommendations for build

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I'm stretching a truck to used with my Zacklift fifthwheeler.  We tow a lot of front loader garbage trucks.  Currently using a Tru Hitch to move them, but it takes a long time to hook up.

 

Question - If you had your choice, what wheelbase would you stretch too and what rears and suspension would you use?  I have a salvage yard so I have plenty of 40k and 46k rears to choose from, as well as air ride, Hendrickson, Chalmers, T Ride, and other suspensions.  Thanks!

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The larger zacklifts have a lot of stick out.... which means you need a longer wheelbase unit.

I have never heard any tower say they have too much steer weight.

330"-340".  Figure out a factory driveshaft you can use and run with that number.  This will save you some coin.

Work the formula: Half your front end weight in pounds, TIMES your wheelbase(center of tandems to center of front axle in inches), DIVIDED by your overhang(center of tandems to folded down underlift extended out as far as needed to tow garbage truck in inches), = safe weight to put on the underlift. Or at least a close enough approximation. 

Play with the wheelbase until you like the results.

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Instead of Zacklift, try the NRC extra axle on a tandem 55,000 Hendrickson Air glide.  Air up as necessary to increase front axle weight.

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On 6/5/2018 at 7:14 AM, EdsTowing said:

Well if you stretch it to 280-300" wb on air ride w/ some steer axle weight it will pick about half as good as your Tru Hitch does....LoL

Thanks for the feedback.  The Tru Hitch does do a great job.  We have moved several hundred garbage trucks with it and a 186 inch day cab!

 

7 minutes ago, silverhawk said:

Instead of Zacklift, try the NRC extra axle on a tandem 55,000 Hendrickson Air glide.  Air up as necessary to increase front axle weight.

That sounds great, but I already own the Zacklift/

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On 6/5/2018 at 10:38 AM, BlackAutoload said:

The larger zacklifts have a lot of stick out.... which means you need a longer wheelbase unit.

I have never heard any tower say they have too much steer weight.

330"-340".  Figure out a factory driveshaft you can use and run with that number.  This will save you some coin.

Work the formula: Half your front end weight in pounds, TIMES your wheelbase(center of tandems to center of front axle in inches), DIVIDED by your overhang(center of tandems to folded down underlift extended out as far as needed to tow garbage truck in inches), = safe weight to put on the underlift. Or at least a close enough approximation. 

Play with the wheelbase until you like the results.

Thanks for the driveshaft idea and the formula.  This definitely will help.  Would you install air ride or something heavier like Hendrickson?

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Zack lift 5th wheelers weigh nothing honestly I'd go 280 on a single axle with set back front and a little counter weight up front on a 23000 rear with heavy air bags. Small tunnel box behind sleeper if you needed and full fenders with some light weight fabbed sides just there for looks, or not, 315 rubber for extra tire rating to carry the weight. Before everyone gets excited if it's built lightweight that single axle won't be overloaded any more as if it were a tandem on a full size wrecker.  My objective Good turning radius and maneuverability in a city but still able to pick heavy stuff efficiently.  A single axle is still your best towing truck due to fulcrum/piviot point.  We have a guy around our area tows everything with a single axle he has 2 of them a short one and long one. He picks packers and pumps loaded quad axle milk trucks regularly with no issues. He doesn't run a zack but some custom Trebron units which would probably be a little heavier but the bodies are built like the old bro units...the lift is as close to the rear axle as you can get it and the tailboard represents the wheel well the sides are for looks and the bed portion is mostly like wire mesch (stuff you put on trailer ramps for traction)  they are tow trucks only. Just a thought if your building a "tow truck" only

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