Tractor questions?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by QKRSTKR, Apr 20, 2013.


    QKRSTKR Active Member

    What is your favorite to drive? Easiest to shift? Most comfy?

    I'm qualified and came off the qualified list and am a feeder driver now. I have driven very little. (Seniority here dovetails at annual bid. Ive only driven in feeders during training and 3 days in jan. bumped back to packages since i was at bottom till now.)Participated in annual bid and have a regular bid run that starts in 2 weeks. The tractor assigned to it is a sterling. Today a few of us new drivers from packages worked on hooking up sets and I got to use the sterling. First time ever driving one. During training I mostly drove the ch Mack. Couple times in a vision Mack. I noticed with the sterling the shift range seems to be a lot less rpm s than the Mack's. in the Mack's to shift up or down the range needs to be in the 900-1600 rpm range. In the sterling it seemed I had to be around 600 -900 rpm. Anyone know what the optimal shift range is for a sterling? I know if the tach was anywhere near 1500 it wouldn't go into gear when trying to downshift.

    Most guys talk bad about the sterlings. Didn't seem to bad to me. Better than a package car is the way I look at it. Only have driven a Mack pinnacle through the car wash, but they seem real nice. I've never been in a international.

    Ps. This is my first ever started thread after being here a while. Woo hoo.
  2. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    You're in Feeder now. They're all your favorite.
  3. Brownslave688

    Brownslave688 You want a toe? I can get you a toe.

    CaseIH is solid. John Deere is reliable but stupid overpriced. I hear those kubotas are nice for foreign jobs.

    Oh wait never mind.....
  4. balland chain

    balland chain Member

    yeah, get use to all of them.. Personally I do not care for the sterling tractors.. I prefer to drive an International or older Mack.. With that said, I get the keys that are on my start time, and walk out of the feeder office.. whining about what you drive just makes you seem like a candy ass.. and as you said, all of them are better than a package car, and the A/C works ok in most tractors... GL.. be safe.. work by the methods you were trained on always...sleep when ever you can !!
  5. Mr Shifter

    Mr Shifter Active Member

    Sterlings turn the sharpest but I love the feel of the International. If I could choose a tractor to shift all night in it'd be an international.
  6. Butters243

    Butters243 Member

    old Volvos were the best
  7. bluehdmc

    bluehdmc Well-Known Member

    The nicest as far as ride, power, features in my opinion is the new air ride pinnacles with a single axle, rides like a caddilac, plenty of power up hills. I usually drive a Sterling, the senior drivers are assigned the new pinnacles, I like the roominess of the Sterling, once you get used to the cab rock from the travel in the cab air bags they ride well. The engine doesn't have the rpm range of the CH, when pulling a hill I wait till about 1200 rpm to downshift, usually upshifting at around 1600. The internationals have plenty of power but ride so rough especially bobtail. As long as the A/C works there all good.
  8. MaceFremonti

    MaceFremonti Active Member

    I drove a Mack the first 3 days of feeder school. Day 4 I not only got to drive a Sterling for the first time but got to learn coming ALL the way back across for 6th gear while pulling a 53' for the first times.

    QKRSTKR Active Member

    I hate going from a 8 speed to a 10 speed. When I went from a CH Mack to a Vision half way thru the night I realized I was going from 5th to 7th. Oh we'll. it got there. It'll be nice having the same tractor.
  10. BCFan

    BCFan Active Member

    My favorite tractor was my dad's 1990 Peterbuilt long nose. That was the smoothest rolling piece of equipment he ever had. He also had a International that was very sweet. But the Pete was always the fav with the Cat motor.....BC

    1BROWNWRENCH Amatuer Malthusian

    My experience has been that Peterbilt's are the most mechanic-friendly.
  12. over9five

    over9five Senior Member Staff Member

    I like my Mack Pinnacle best, BUT.........

    it's always in the shop like all the others. What the heck, Mack saw us coming when they sold us these!!!
  13. Old International

    Old International Now driving a Sterling

    My Sterling is SWEEEEETTTTTTT. 266666 is her # and she is by far the best tractor on our pool. The old Macks are small, don't turn as sharp as the Sterlings and Internationals. The Internationals ride like a brick in a tornado, and I can't shift one with out getting metal in all 10 gears. The only good thing about the International is that above 85% load, they will let you wind the cummins out to 2150 instead of the normal governed speed of 1900.
    I normally upshift at 1650-1700, with the 400 RPM drop, that puts you at the bottom of the power band at 1250.
  14. outta hours

    outta hours Active Member

    I like the Prostars we have. Ride really nice on the highway,& lots of room for someone 6'4" like me to grab a nap.
  15. BCFan

    BCFan Active Member

    When my dad passed away his mechanic actually bought the Pete and turned it into a show truck..every blue moon he will do a west coast turn around for grins and giggles.......BC
  16. pretender

    pretender Active Member

    So--You have been posing as Old International, when it should be Old Sterling...
  17. tarbar66

    tarbar66 Member

    I was out on the Interstate going to a hockey game last week and the Parcel guys all had twin screws and Freight had single axle tractors. How ironic is that!
  18. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    My take on our tractors:

    New Pinnacle single axle Mack with air ride: I am currently assigned one of these it is the best new truck I have driven. Power options are nice, ride is smooth, and pulling power is more than sufficient. My only complaint is the lack of a metal bench between the seats for me to set my lunch bag on.

    Kenworth: I was assigned one of these for about two months till I got the chance to drive the new pinnacle and was able to switch. Don't get me wrong I did like the truck as it rides as nice, if not nicer than the new Mack, is the best looking truck in our fleet IMHO, and is a twin screw which helps in winter weather driving not to mention it seals up like a refrigerator. What I didn't like was its poor power application when even the slightest hills would cause me a loss of speed, and some slightly steeper hills (my drive is mostly across flat terrain) it would cause me such a loss of speed that it would kill the cruise on its own and require a downshift to regain said speed. Its turning radius required a city block to turn a complete circle, and the stereo really lacked in quality sound. Other than that, I wouldn't complain if I found myself in one again.

    Vision Mack: For not having air ride these still ride pretty nice. Power is plentiful, and speakers for your brought in stereo sound good. The Visions we have are starting to close in on 1 million miles so they are showing their age some. The gear shifters in a lot of them are sloppy compared to the Internationals and newer Macks, and since a lot of these have been reduced to spare tractor status they simply aren't taken very good care of by our fill in drivers.

    Old Mack: I have a high level of respect for these old trucks. They are true work horses in every sense of the word. Nothing in our fleet matches these old trucks in terms of power. If you are not careful you can drag a full loaded 53' trailer off the door without trying. Of course the downsides to them is they are our oldest trucks and therefore they have seen the most use so they are the noisiest and are really lacking in the refinement you find in the newer trucks.

    International(267xxx-271xxx series)- For some reason every job I found myself in early on had one of these tractors, and most drivers don't like them. I did because they had a plenty of power(only 2nd to the old Macks) and had a real small turning radius, and shifted smoother than any other truck we have. They did ride like a bucking bronco, but it wasn't all that bad for me. I guess the older drivers with the bad backs are the ones who really didn't care for them.

    Sterling: I like the power and maneuverability of the sterlings, but thats about it. The ones we have did not age well and both the body and interior are falling apart. I don't know if its just me but when I end up in a Sterling in the summer time their A/C is the worst, and sometimes they aren't working at all if you get one in the early summer. Their speakers are sub par even if you brought in a decent head unit, and the all around vision sucks. Not to mention the cabs rock back and forth so much when hooking up that you can get sea sick if you are not careful.

    Old internationals(we call them tonka toys): There is a special place in hell for the engineers who built these trucks along with the people in corporate who thought it was a good idea to buy them. These trucks have no power, no ride quality to speak of, and are just overall junk. I had to take one of these back to Cach when one of our trucks broke down and I couldn't get out of it soon enough. The gear shift went down below the metal bench and you couldn't get into first if your life depended on it. Slipping the hell out of the clutch was the only way you could get started on this tractor and god help you if you had to start off on a hill. It is a joy to watch these get scrapped at our shop as the extended centers and Cach are the only ones who have them left.

    Thats my take on everything I have driven, and any tractor I didn't mention was because I probably never got to drive it.

    1BROWNWRENCH Amatuer Malthusian

    Is the engine in these old Internationals you speak of black? If it is then it's a Cummins M11. Total piece of junk. I had about 30 if these to deal with about 15 years ago at a refrigerated line haul company.
  20. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    I like the Mack Pinnacle overall for driver comfort and general utility. Seems like Mack really got it right on this one. I think the mechanical issues have more to do with the DEF systems, like most Domestic car manufacturers had lots of issues getting emissions equipment right back in the 80's and 90's. It's nice driving something clean but I wish they wouldn't push unproven technology to the market so fast, let them get most of the bugs worked out first. Might be also that the Volvo motor needs to be revved out to produce enough power, and 2000 rpms probably wears on it.

    Not sure what happened to the benches in the latest Macks. Trade off for air ride I guess. Someone enterprising should design a bench that will bolt up to the seats or something quickly and sell it.

    Those Internationals were all sold with defective rear cab air bags/shocks it seems. Get your mechanic to order you a new one and it will ride 100% better.