In the last entry we spoke about how technological advances have helped keep drive trains and transmissions on the road longer, sometimes for nearly a million miles. This time, we’ll finish up with advancing tech in tractor trailer parts, then discuss what should indicate at roadworthy high mileage truck you can be confident in purchasing.
Building Better Brakes
As you may have been warned, Before you use all that power to make your truck go forward, maybe you should think about how you’re going to stop it. Well thanks to the original engineer at Cummins Diesel motors, you can go downhill on a crowded freeway with a few thousand tons at your back and never break a sweat. This advancement came to be known as Engine Brakes.
Engine brakes not only help extend the life of the tractor trailer but also the life of the driver and others on the road. This advanced concept allows the driver more control, extends the life of the brake system up to 5x, reduces the cost of replacing drums, linings and components and helps eliminate wheel hopping and flat spots. When engine brakes are paired with anti-lock braking systems (ABS), this also enhances vehicle performance and extends engine life in used trucks.
What does this mean? It means if you’re examining a used truck for purchase that has engine brakes and ABS incorporated, there is a good chance that all the miles on the odometer have done less damage to the electronics and drivetrain systems of the tractor.
High Mileage Trucks with Life Left
Do these changes, additions, subtractions and technological advances extend the life of a Class 8 truck? We’ll say it once more to be clear “ Yes. There are, obviously, different aspects that have different impacts on mileage. Here’s one example of a difference: A line-haul tractor and a trash hauling truck may each have 200,000 miles on them, but clearly the line-haul tractor’s miles are easier miles. Yet any way you look at it, normal wear and tear on a used truck has less effect on the entire tractor if the original owner kept a regular maintenance schedule and used some advanced systems over the years. A well-maintained high-mileage truck is a whole lot cheaper than buying a new one.
Are we learning more than we really need to know? Not if we want to understand how we can drive a 3-yearold, 600,000-mile truck off a lot and be okay with it. A truck today will run longer, smoother, cleaner and more efficient than ever before. As all the manufacturers improve their products and give extended warranties to put their money where their mouths are, there is no reason why we can’t look at a truck with 600,000 miles on it and be comfortable and confident with its dependability and roadworthiness.
Have you bought a used high-mileage truck? How did it treat you? Do some models take road miles better than others? We want to know! Drop us a comment.