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Low Mileage 95 CH613 Tri-Axle (Fact or Fiction)


DaveM
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I am looking a getting a replacement truck for my 78 DM685 and found a "low mileage" 95 CH613 Tri-Axle.  I went to look at it and sure enough the odometer shows 270,000 miles but then the hour meter says 28198.   28 thousand hours seem a lot to me for a 270k dump truck.  Is one of them lying?

I pulled the oil filler cap and with it idling there is just some little swirls of smoke coming out.  Nothing bad and no air volume.

65 lbs of oil pressure idling.

Starts quick and I think it sounds Ok.

Are there other indicators to look at for what the actual hours/mileage wear would be?

 

Concern #2

It has airbag suspension.  Is that good or bad for a truck that will be in the dirt a lot?

I was told if dumping off-road to deflate the bags first.  True or false?  I have only run camelback suspension and have no background with air-ride.

 

Concern # 3

It has a 9 speed with Hi-Lo but no Lo-Lo.    Does a Lo-Lo make that much difference.  I also pull equipment and wondered about backing up trailers.  Having never driven a 9

speed I am not sure how low the gears are.  With my 2 stick it had 5 reverses where the 9 speed has 2.  The kicker is I was not able to test drive the truck when I was there

because they were doing some welding on the bed.

 

Concern #4 (Sorry)

My 685 has a Jake and the CH does not.  Is that a concern or do the newer motors have the ability to help slow the truck down?

How about shifting with a Jake which drops the RPM really quick vs a CH without one?

If Jake-less is a issue how bad is it to install one.  From what I saw available online it looks like a couple of bolt on parts and some wiring/switches. 

 

Thanks for any input.

 

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1- hrs are high ; could have been situation with major idle time

2- always dump the air when body dumping

3- jake always a plus

4- the big riggers will shift with the jake- mechanically it is not recommended; MANY WILL ARGUE that statement. just passing on what I was told. 

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Thats an average speed of about 10mph which I can see it being a dump truck and all but I'd like to see 30-40 for an on highway truck. As long as the motor looks pretty clean (the seals aren't blown out) and its not burning too much oil I wouldn't be concerned. 

We always dumped the airbags whenever we would unload with our Mack, but that was because they leaked a bit and when sitting in line with lots on stop and go break application the air compressor couldn't keep up at idle. Dad got stuck on the scales one time and had to wait for the air to come back up. What would be another reason to dump the airbags when dumping? 

I wouldn't recommend shifting with the Jake brakes either. If you're in a hurry you're in the wrong rig. 

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CH never really was big enough to be a "good" tri-axle  chassis. They only got so big.....but I've seen plenty made into them . Not ideal, but they work.  Not sure where this truck is either, maybe weight limits aren't so high.  The hours sound sorta high, but may or may not mean a lot about how much life is left in it. I don't see a black or white answer for this guy's question by reading some text , easier to give him an evaluation (opinion) actually seeing the truck.

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#1 look on the valve cover engine tag, if it says "Remack" then the engines been rebuilt by Mack.  

#2 +1 on always dump the air when dumping.  Air ride is not as good off-road as camelback.  It doesn't articulate well when going over rough terrain.  It takes time for air to leave one bag and head to another, whereas camelback just seesaws instantly.

#3 not familiar with 9 speed low end ratios.  You really only have one usable reverse gear, the high range reverse is way too fast to be functional unless you're on flat blacktop with no obstacles.  There is nothing better than the 2 stick transmission you already have for off-road.

#4 I know what you mean with the Jake brake for shifting. My first daily driver was a 1979 R686ST. 283hp, 2 stick trans with a Jake.  The 9 speed ratios are much closer. You don't need the Jake to shift, it'll just screw you up. It should only be 400 rpm drops between gears, not the 800+ you are used to.

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It was most likely a tractor that got turned into a dump truck later in its life.  I remember Lapine Truck sales was big on turning light spec'd tractors into heavy spec dumps using vintage components.

That vintage CH had a very unreliable speedometer, it has likely been replaced.  With those hours you're likely in the 600-800k range.  Life of the engine is a gamble.

Dumping the suspension is necessary for stability and to prevent the suspension from overinflating when the load suddenly comes off faster than it can deflate.

Jake shifting isn't as helpful on a 9 speed as on a 6 like you're used to.  The gears aren't as wide spread.  Its just very beneficial for downhill grades wherever you're located.

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Thanks for the responses.

In reply,

The truck has a double frame

It has 10 lug Dayton rims on all the axles

I believe the front axle has 3 leaf springs. 

Listed as Front Axle Weight (Incl. Twin Steer Axles)
16,000 lb
Rear Axle Weight (Include Lift Axles)
40,000 lb

Don't have the VIN yet.

I almost hate to ask but would my 2 stick bolt in to replace the 9 speed without a lot of mods?

 

 

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3 hours ago, DaveM said:

Thanks for the responses.

In reply,

The truck has a double frame

It has 10 lug Dayton rims on all the axles

I believe the front axle has 3 leaf springs. 

Listed as Front Axle Weight (Incl. Twin Steer Axles)
16,000 lb
Rear Axle Weight (Include Lift Axles)
40,000 lb

Don't have the VIN yet.

I almost hate to ask but would my 2 stick bolt in to replace the 9 speed without a lot of mods?

 

 

You're most likely looking at a tractor someone made a dump truck out of. CHs in general were only so big as heavy spec goes. It'll probably work for some jobs and others would destroy it fast. You never mentioned if it's a Mack or Fuller 9 speed. Or how big the engine is.  Changing the transmission ?  If it's a Fuller in there now, an 8LL would be the one to change to.  In general, it sounds like maybe this truck isn't the best choice for you.

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RD or CV  GU CL   all depends what you plan on doing with it.  For some guys this truck in question may do the job....others it may not.  It's likely a Fuller RTX14609B in it and around a 4.11 or 4.30 axle (probably Eatons) an 8LL is like that tranny with a deep reduction (kinda)   Lots of work to put into something after buying it unless it was really a good deal.  Nobody's give'n 8LLs away or put'n them in for free. 

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I agree with all of the above. The vast majority of CH613s were road tractors. This one was probably converted to dump service. It is interesting though that It has a double frame. Most road tractors do not, however, maybe this one was specd for heavy haul and the drop axle is left over from pulling a lowbed and someone threw a dump body on it much later in life. Does it have a red button on the dash for trailer air supply? If it does that is another indication it could have been a tractor originally. The air ride would be a complete deal breaker for me for steel body, off road, dirt work. The transmission is another deal breaker for me. A Fuller 9 speed does not offer enough low speed and creeper gears for off roading and getting started in soft ground. Since it has a Fuller the rears are most likely set up for Eaton ratios (0.71 OD). With that being said your options are 8LL, 9LL, or possibly an 18 speed Fuller if you wanted to change out the transmission. If you change it figure on having to shorten the driveshaft since 8LL, 9LL, and 18 are longer than a straight 9 speed.  Switching to a Mack tranny (2 stick) would most likely require you to switch out the rear end gears too. Crossmembers and mounting locations are probably not the same to easily switch to a Mack tranny either. You will probably miss not having a Jake since you are used to having one. Although fairly weak on these engines they do help on big hills and save your wheel brakes. Just my thoughts on the subject.

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CHs could be made with a liner in the frame.  Wasn't uncommon to see them with 46s and a liner. The CH tended to be a little lighter in the front end. I'd think the frames only got so big too. (like able to handle some weight on the blacktop, not able to take it twisting over rough terrane)  I sold one of my tractors like he's describing 20 years ago to a guy that put a body on it and lined the frame with bent plate. It's still going to this day pulling the tag along and hauling 15 ton loads.  

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In Response,

It does have a Brake Switch Labeled "Trailer Supply"  but also has air connections at the rear for pulling a tag-along so I am not sure when the switch was installed.

There is also a toggle switch labeled  Suspension Control  "Trailer Coupling or uncoupling" up position  - "Normal Vehicle Operation" is down

Thanks for everyone's input I think this CH will be on my naughty list. 

 

I am looking at RD's and CL's now.  There seem to be some RD's out there but a lot are up north.  CL's must be specked heavier - most of what I am seeing are 5 axle dumps.

If anyone knows of a decent pre-2000 truck with LL trans and pintle hookups...   just saying.

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What state are you located in?  Best thing to do is download Truck Paper app on your phone and sift through to find a bunch of trucks you want to look at that are at the same seller. Make a day trip & get to see a bunch of trucks.  Downside of what you're looking for: double frame rust jacking. 

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If you're not afraid of computer engines then I'd recommend 2001 as the best year ETECH engines. (In my opinion).  Pre 2001 had the eecu mounted next to frame rail under turbo.  Loose/worn engine mounts could allow engine to rock and dent side of eecu, destroying it.  Late 2002 & 2003 introduced some emissions BS. Fortunately, the CV713's emission components can be swapped with pre emission year parts. Camshaft, exhaust manifold, turbo.  The CH emissions system used an EGR system. Can't be deleted.

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I am in Knoxville, TN

The posting you listed is the CH truck I looked at.  They also have some RD’s.

I have been looking through sites like Truck Trader, Machinery Trader, Rock  & Dirt, Richie Bros Auctions, Pro-Team Auctions.

 

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