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BangShift Question Of The Day: Why Not Own An Old Semi Tractor?

BangShift Question Of The Day: Why Not Own An Old Semi Tractor?

From the moment that I first saw him walk around the nose of the green Freightliner, I could tell that through and through, my father had every ounce of “trucker” in his bones. Throughout the 1990s, Lord knows how many miles he logged in under the companies he ran for. Whether it was a well-known national brand (and no, you smartasses, it wasn’t Swift) to the mom-and-pop cargo outfit that he finished up with before deciding to come off of the road for good, my father was all boots, blue jeans, Bob Seger playing and the smell of raw diesel mixed in with Old Spice cologne. As a kid, it was hard to not want to fall into that same line of work. To be quite honest with myself, if I hadn’t joined the Army, I probably would’ve wound up in trucking. It was just a logical step.

Outside of driving heavy trucks and container/trailer combinations during my Army days, I never really have messed with anything heavier than a Chevrolet Kodiak in my time. But I think about it every now and then. The idea of having a diesel-powered rig that I can park anywhere and sleep in, and use to haul stuff around in is very appealing. It’d be another notch on the list of skills and it’d be nice to skip the fun of hotels. For the most part they’re straightforward: frame, engine, transmission, axles, rolling stock, a massive fuel tank or two and a box with seats and if you’re smart, a place to sleep behind the front seats.

Downsides? From a BangShift point of view, I’m not certain. I’m not seeing them outside of parts cost and the initial buy-in investment. What do you think, readers…would you ever consider owning an old rig just for the hell of it?

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9 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: Why Not Own An Old Semi Tractor?

  1. phitter67

    Since I don’t have my CDL anymore, an RV plate would have to be obtained for one. Unless an antique plate would work. But the big hurdle is getting it past mama.

  2. bob

    I haven’t driven truck in 11 years and just found out about E-logs which was refered to as Obama clock. I believe to bypass that you have to use a 2000 or older truck. I don’t like flat tops, but it would still work. I don’t know how any body can make decent money with electronic logs. Goes a long way to explaining why everything is more expensive.

    1. tw

      Maybe with E-logs they will have to pay more to attract new drivers . Because driving with old school paper logs and cheating it, and being tired all the time is so cool…you are playing the game of greedy truck companies .

      1. colinv

        First rates are not increasing, if anything decreasing. However the saying how anyone can anyone make money on e-logs… is the most asinine thing i’ve ever heard. HOS has not, read NOT changed, drivers still have a 14 hour daily clock, paper or electronic 14 hours is 14 hours. In my opinion 14 hours a day is too damn many and and if I can’t make ends meet in 14 hours daily then I am not working for that place, but hey I’ve been told many times I’m hard to work with so… Continue to be mad at the computer and belly up to the bar at the truckstop whining about flexibility and such, all while pining of the days you could cheat you paper log so you ‘could’ work 18, 19, 20 hours a day to pay those bills.

        Oh and Brian in answer to your question I bought a 1973 Dodge 800 that I am converting over to air suspension and modern wheels and air brakes currently. I bought a 2000 Volvo day cab for parts for my OTR truck for 1200 and it came with a full hendrickson air suspension and will of course do away with the single chamber no air no brakes system on the dodge now.

  3. Matt Cramer

    The main problems with keeping a private semi truck are (1) those pesky licensing requirements, and (2) where to put it. Getting a ramp truck or a sub-26000 lb GVWR box truck reconfigured as a car hauler would at least get around (1).

  4. OKSnake08

    I drive LTL for a living and the answer is just no. Costs on every level rule it out even without licensing requirements. Also with today’s 350/450 or 3500/4500 trucks for you non Ford guys, there just isn’t any reason. Diesel dually And a dovetail goose neck And you’re done.

  5. KCR

    I could see owning an old Semi tractor.just for the show aspect .I don’t have one,and do not really want one. I’ll stick with my 2 ton dump truck and 66 Dodge 2 ton fire truck. so I’m good for now.

  6. JP Verweij

    Why not, diesel ban. Emission rules.
    If it aint Euro 6 emissions rated you are banned from the cyties in Holland.
    Anything old pre emissions means pay double + extra on tax.

    So what fun will it be to own an old semi and not be able to drive it anymore.
    I would like to own one and turn it into a big camper, but reality means no change.
    I drive a modern semi each day, a Euro 5 semi soon to be replaced by a Euro 6 emissions semi.

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