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Dick815th

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About Dick815th

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  1. Just got back from a 12 day business trip to Australia, am still not over the jet lag thing. The trip included stops in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Mackay and Moranbah. I'll never get used to sitting in the left front seat while driving on the wrong side of the road, and not having a steering wheel or brake pedal in front of me...... Anyway, while I was in Perth, the very first Mack I saw was what looked like an R model with twin crhome stacks.......and when the guy put his foot in it off of a traffic light, I heard the unmistakeable whump whump of a V-8 engine, along with lots of black smoke.........it was great. Saw many other Macks, including a new cab-over sitting on a dealer's lot in Perth. Must be a Renault design or something. There were several heavy haul rigs up in the Mackay and Goonyella mine area. It all seemed to me that Mack is alive and well down under. The Aussies are great hosts , and I had a great time down there. Dick Bowman
  2. Lmack,,,,,,I like your style Something that really scares the crap out of me around here - the farm boys. They're driving dad's new Sterling or Western Star, or binder, with a Cummins under the hood, and an empty grain trailer on behind. Weaving in and out of traffic on a two lane road, trying to pass everyone who is running 5 or 10 mile above the speed limit. And then when they get into their first emergency situation they find out they can't stop on a dime, or a half dollar or a string of dollar bills, and somebody gets hurt.
  3. MV, 36 years ago I had just wrapped up a year and a half tour in an Engineer outfit across the pond. My primary MOS was Engineer equipment repair but I ended up helping maintain a fleet of M51A1 and M51A2 5 ton dump trucks, M123A1C 10 ton tractors and a smattering of M35A1 2 1/2 ton trucks, about 35 trucks total in our company. Also had wheel time in each type - mostly hauling asphalt in the 5 tons. There were 4 Mack ENDT673 powered A1 series dump trucks on the roster and I can honestly say we had absolutely no mechanical or reliabilty issues with those four trucks. The Macks performed very well and they were on the job every day. They are a tad slower than the Multifuels. The only thing I remember ever having to do with one of them was change out a voltage regulator. And the old relay type regulators were prone to fail on occasion..... The Transportation unit tractors and cargo trucks in Vietnam were nearly all Mack powered. There were a smattering of Multifuels in each line haul company but those were usually tagging along at the rear as bob-tails to use if a loaded tractor had a problem. They used M543A2 Multifuel 5 ton wreckers as well. The Multifuels have received bad press, and deservedly I think. Their lower ends were good, always held good oil pressure and I never heard one knocking, but the top ends and turbos got shaky after a few thousand miles. I loved the sound of the original "whistler" turbochargers. The Multifuels were worked in Vietnam, not sitting around in a motor pool like here in the States, and they did not hold up. It stands to reason.......465 cubic inches turning at 2600 rpm, squeezing out comparable horsepower to the 673 Mack turning at 2100 rpm. You'll be a long time wearing out Multifuel doing parades or sitting in the shed, but you will never wear out an A1 series 5 ton doing the same duty. If you don't latch on to that Mack powered 5 ton please send me the info.....thanks.
  4. Here's a couple of recent pics of the Widow.....Ron called it the Gray Widow....... I always admired the curvature of the 5 ton's gear shift lever.......in reverse the knob was really close to the dash board but you had a little better knuckle clearance in 2nd and 5th gears (or 4th gear if it was a direct drive multifuel model)......
  5. The military has switched to automatic transmissions in their tactical vehicles because many of today's kids can't manipulate a manual transmission, let alone a non-synchronized one. They ain't coming off the farm anymore.......
  6. 20 years ago, the local hobby shop had a close-out deal going on the Ertl "Convoy" Mack kits. I bought two of them for like $7.50 each. A couple years ago I began thinning out my collection so I put both kits on eBay. The one that was still sealed brought $120!!! The other one, opened, brought $75! I wish I'd bought the entire case of the Convoy Mack kits when I had the chance.
  7. The old military M123A1C 10 ton tractors, with the Mack TRDXT72 transmission.......my experience with floating was learned in them. After I got out of the service, for several years I drove a '57 Chevy with a 327 and Muncie 4 speed. I lost the clutch in it once, out in the country several miles from home. Not wanting to pay a wrecker bill, I put the Muncie in 1st and hit the key. The 327 started and I was headed home, drawing on my "floating" experience in the 10 tons. Ease off the throttle and change gears, not rushing things. Ran one or two rural stop signs but got it home and in the garage.
  8. Last weekend I had to make a quick trip out to Kansas City....... On the north side of I-70, just west of Odessa, MO, there is a used truck dealer of some sort that has a Brockway wrecker on the east edge of the lot. When I first saw it I thought it was an R model Mack cab from the rear, but as I passed by I looked over my shoulder and spied the Brockway grille. Painted red, it didn't look too bad from a distance, at 75 mph.
  9. Yeah, I remember it. If it had been closer to IL I would have given serious consideration on bidding. Jeff, (I think his last name is Houghton or something close to that), is a computer aquaintence - we've conversed talked about these things several times. He's doing good work with his Line Haul Museum.
  10. Yeah, slick looking tractor. The Multifuels with the original "whistler" turbos did have a unique sound. Did you sell it on Ebay? I remember seeing one up for bid last fall or late summer. A computer aquaintence bought it....
  11. Here's another shot of Ron Smith's new Black Widow during chassis restoration. These things have air over hydraulic brakes, and Widow is getting everything NEW to ensure safety on our highways. This is a good view that shows the similarities between a 5 ton's rear suspension and the traditional Mack camel back design. Here's one of Ron giving the new Widow the power wash treatment prior to going to the sandblasters. Wet weather gear is a must!
  12. Here's a pic of the real Black Widow's graphics, from The Vietnam Guntrucks MSN Group site.
  13. Last weekend, The Discovery Channel was running re-runs of their popular Myth Busters show...... Someone had contacted them saying that he'd heard that concrete that had set up in the drum of mixer trucks is sometimes removed with explosives. Myth Busters set out to see if that was possible. A local concrete company donated what was described as an old mixer truck that had seen better days and was in need of repairs. It turned out to be an R Model Mack and it didn't look too bad on the surface. It had to be moved with a wrecker but was able to turn the mixer drum on an intermittent basis so I think maybe it had a driveline droblem. I caught a glimpse of the model number plate, I think it said RS600L. Could that be right? Anyway, the guys set out to prove or disprove the myth. It turns out they got a little carried away with the bang stuff. They set the charge off from what seemed about a mile away, and that Mack disintegrated into a thousand pieces. I remember seeing the seperated transmission and engine lying on the ground close the where the truck was sitting at the moment of detonation. Seems like a big waste to me, but I like Macks. Too bad they couldn't have scrounged up an old Louisville Ford or a Binder. All this Myth Busters activity reminded me of something that did happen 36 years ago in Vietnam. Upon arrival in Vietnam in 1967, my old unit took possesion of a number of pieces of civilian equipment that had been used by a US gov't contracted construction company in the area. Euclid scrapers, a Gallion motor grader and some civilian trucks.... One of them White 4x4 straight truck that my unit set up as a lube truck. It had a Detroit motor in it. Another acquired truck was a concrete mixer. For one reason or another, the mixer was pulled off the civilian truck and set on a short, M52A2 5 ton 6x6 tractor chassis. Don't cringe at the 5 ton capacity rating, that was the truck's conservative off-road capacity. Double that figure for paved road carrying capacity. And really, the 20,000 lbs paved road capcity was inaccurate 'cause those things had 44,000 rear suspensions that were similar to Mack camelbacks. Handy for little jobs, the 5 ton mixer was used in the '68 and '69 construction seasons. In the '70 season, somebody didn't get it cleaned out in time and the guys did what was then the normal clean out procedure: little chunks of C4 explosive set off inside the drum. But they too got a little carried away, one C4 chunk was a little too big and they split the mixer's drum open like a tin can with a cherry bomb inside it. That was the end of our batch truck and the Colonel was really POed.
  14. Great photos! Where is the location? The "UP" derived from Union Pacific is responsible for the moniker "Unlimited Power". UP has always gone for big stuff in a big way conquer Sherman Hill out in WY. They owned some of the largest rigid frame steam locomotives, the 9000 class, 4-12-2s as well as a large group of massive articulated locomotives like the 4-8-8-4 Big Boys and their smaller brothers, the 4-6-6-4 Challengers. The C&O RR's 2-6-6-6s are slightly heavier and have higher driver axle loadings. Several Big Boys were saved from the scrappers torch when UP pulled the plug on main line steam operations in the late '50s but none are operational. The UP still rosters a 4-6-6-4, the 3985, for excursion work, the only operational articulated locomotive in the country. I've seen in in operation and it is really something
  15. As a side note, the military 5 ton trucks were introduced in the '50s using Continental R6602 gas engines. The A1 version appeared in 1964, sporting the Mack ENDT673 motor. The military then came up with the A2 version that used the LDS465 Continental Multifuel engine. The M800 seriies appeared in 1971 using a Cummins engine though none were used in Vietnam. In Vietnam, and here in the States the A2 version was most common. The A1 with the 673 engine was a rare bird except in Transportation units. Trans outfits had first call on any Mack powered tractors and cargo trucks. Engineer outfits had a few A1 dump trucks. The Mack powered A1s were easy to spot since at the time they were the only ones that had the clear plastic pre-cleaner jar type air cleaner inlet . Multifuels, while having higher HP ratings from 200 fewer cubic inches turned at 2600 rpm and did not live long. Very weak kneed. The current crop of 5 ton gun truck replicas have been built using A2 Multifuel engined trucks but "The Black Widow" will be 100% the real deal, right down to its spider web graphics. She'll be slow - 51 mph top end - compared to the other A2 replicas that have had their direct drive Spicer transmissions swapped out for the OD version used in the Macks. They'll run 70 mph+. The builder has said Widow will be at Eustis this summer, I can't wait to hear it. Keep an eye out for it on I-95 in the middle of June.
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