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Freightliner Trucks

Trucks January 8, 2018

Custom Freightliner

What other trucking company can boast a vehicle on permanent display in the Smithsonian? Freightliner Trucks (child company of Daimler Trucks North America) not only has one of their first vehicles on display, they are largely responsible for creating the higher powered trucks that traverse the Western United States.

The company was officially created in 1942, after a decision was made to reconstruct the Fageol to suit the needs of those living in the Western US — other big trucks did not have enough power to climb the mountain ranges so prevalent on the west coast. Freightliner did not, however, have the sort of network required to make a profit off of this brilliant idea, so an agreement was entered into during the 1950’s with the White Motor Company. With plants in British Columbia, Indianapolis, California, and Oregon, the trucks became a familiar sight on the highways across the US.

Though World War II halted production, Freightliner managed to hang on long enough to outlast the war and began building trucks in Salt Lake City, Utah soon after. The very first vehicle they sold outside the company went to Hyster (a fellow company based in Portland), which is the vehicle now on display in the Smithsonian.

Unfortunately, the White Motor Company began having money trouble and in 1974, Freightliner terminated their distribution agreement and sought to step out on its own with a conventional cab-over-engine (COE) model that performed extremely well, especially in the west, where easy access to the engine, a smoother ride, and smaller size were of high importance.

Only a few years later, however, President Jimmy Carter signed into law a deregulation of transport, and in 1982, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act’s relaxed standards and heavier taxes proved fatal to smaller trucking companies, including Freightliner, which propelled the company to sell off its trucking production to Daimler-Benz. New plants opened up in Ontario and Mexico, and the Business Class FL-Series did very well in the 1990’s.

Now, after the turn of the century, Freightliner provides commercial vehicles (classes 5-8) to the North American and European markets, and leads the industry when it comes to diesel fueled recreational vehicles and walk-in vans. It even partners with Tesla Motors, which provides battery packs for the Freightliner’s Custom Chassis Electric Van.

Freightliner also makes buses, cargo vans, low COEs, conventional trucks, and regular cabovers, as diesel engines or natural gas engines. Some of these were popular in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa as of 2012. The Cascadia Evolution, revealed in 2014, became the 3 millionth truck produced by Daimler-Benz, but the first to use a Detroit powertrain.

At the time, between 140 and 150 trucks were being made each day, including those with natural gas engines. A regional headquarters and logistics center were added to the company’s property in 2015, though this did not create more jobs as might have been hoped.

Though the current plants in Ohio and North Carolina have seen some downsizing, there are still five Freightliner models being produced, along with three Western Star models, with a total of 2200 employees working to provide trucks to both the US and Europe for the foreseeable future.

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Nissan Titan XD Cummins diesel rig

Trucks January 4, 2018

Nissan Titan XD Cummins

SEMA, or the Specialty Equipment Market Association, is an automotive event held every year in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Its purpose is to showcase the newest and most  out-of-the-box vehicles on the market each year. And this Nissan 2016 truck/camper/rig is one of the most unique vehicles that has ever been created for SEMA 2016The many companies involved in creating this Nissan rig include Hellwig Products, Lance Campers Icon, Bushwacker, MegaFlow, Warn, Torklift International to just name a few.

If you think this rig is a little over-the-top Nissan diesel, you would be right. It is visually stunning and breaks all the rules of the conventional diesel truck-campers. For example, its new ladder-frame is much more heavy duty than the 2015 model. And the Nissan Titan XD even has a payload increase of up to 2.500 pounds. Even with the stronger frame the big news is that this vehicle has a Cummins 5.0-liter turbo-diesel V-8 engine. It is 310 horsepower with 555 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm, which is making people who attend SEMA taking more than a second look at Nissan as a company. And the gossip around this amazing truck is that with a lighter transmission and gas engine, the payload could increase to 3,000 pounds.

So, with all this increased technical wizardry, what are the benefits to owning and driving this one-of-kind truck/camper? First of all, it is a great vehicle for travelling and will be the talk of any campground you might visit. It can suit a small family or a single person, and has great off-road capabilities. As an all terrain vehicle it is unsurpassed by any of the competition. Its eye-catching appearance makes it a very cool truck to drive and can make you the envy of every other truck/camper owner.

The Nissan Titan XD has features unique only to this  remarkable vehicle. It is  versatile and that versatility is out-classed only by its gorgeous exterior. If you enjoy being on the road, seeing new places and meeting new people, this truck/camper and the compactness with which it has been built, are just the thing. It is easy and simple to load up, asks only for your bare necessities and your love of driving, and will give you back the ride of your life. There is fun and adventure ahead of you and your family in this fine rig.

This is stock inside.

You can see our gallery for this one below. All the images on our website expand when you click them, so you can get a better look.

For more from Old Truck Camper Magazine, find them indexed in our vehicles, trucking and RVing directory. You can search for the company’s name and look for suppliers and dealers in an area near you by looking at our regional headers. And to see more Trucks, click here.

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Think you could build one of these?

RVs December 21, 2017

Think you could build one of these?

Wondering if you can build a teardrop camper? There are many reasons why you think you could. People from all walks of life are doing it and there is no reason why, with the right instructions and materials, that you couldn’t build your very own custom teardrop camper. The internet is full of those who built their own campers and the instructions on how they did it, but you will find that instructions and materials will vary because you can build a teardrop camper to suit your needs and also it depends on what kinds of materials you can afford or get your hands on for cheap or free. First things first, you do need a plan. If you are building this camper with a partner, you need to get together and sort out your ideas and then see see who has the natural talent for drawing up plans and designs.

Where you get your materials is dependent upon who and where you are. Some people have access to lumber and wiring because of their professions or are lucky enough to have friends with excess building materials, generous friends. If you don’t fall into any of the above categories, you will need to go to a lumber shop or home store, but it needs to be a place that also cuts wood unless you know how to do that on your own, which makes things even cheaper. You will also need instructions for any wiring projects such as electrical wiring that will give you lighting and/or heating and cooling if necessary. Electrical wiring can be a bit risky, so get some help with that if you have no idea what you’re doing.

Once your wood is cut, it’s time to start building:(these are skeleton brief instructions) Details are linked below.

First you need a trailer, and you have to choose your size. 4×8 or 5×8 is the standard, but if you come across a trailer of different dimensions, you could most likely still make it work.

Now you need a piece of plywood for your trailer base. It should ideally be a 1/2 inch thick, 4×8. Bolt it into place and make sure it is fitting properly or you will regret it later.

With the wood that has been traced and cut, now it’s time to begin making the walls.

Once the walls are up, now it’s time to start the interior roof. Every 2 feet attach a 2×2 or rib flush, as they’re called, to the walls.

Wiring your trailer comes next and remember if you need help, now is the time to ask for it. Electrical wiring is super important and it needs to be done correctly. You can hire an electrician or a friend who knows what he or she is doing, to assist you.

Now, this is a skeleton set of instructions, but you can get all the details you need to build your own teardrop camper here 

Though it may seem like a daunting task, all sorts of people with various professional and personal backgrounds have built their own teardrop trailers. The key is a set of good and clear instructions, the correct materials, and enough patience to follow the directions precisely.

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Nauti-Craft

Boats December 16, 2017

Nauti-Craft

We have all heard of vehicles with strange technological names, but for many, the Nauti-Craft is new. These words describe Marine technology suspension. The Nauti-Craft technology works by separating the vessels’ hulls from the deck by using, what is called, a passive reactive interlinked hydraulic system. This system allows for a more comfortable ride, along with the vehicles’ control and stability.  The Nauti-Craft stabilizes the vehicle so that the occupants experience less shock and bouncing back and forth upon release from the deck. The creators, Nauti-Craft Pty. Ltd. is proud to receive awards for this outstanding and impressive technology. One if its awards was won from the Australia Maritime Industry Innovation,  a well respected award in the industry.

This prestigious award was presented by the Minister of Defence Industry, the Honorable Christopher Pyne, MP in 2017, at the International Maritime Exposition in Sydney. The award that was received was the Civil SME Innovation Grant for the technology that provides a smooth ride and more safety for Marine vessels, particularly during high speeds and rough waters. Chris Heyring founder and Chairman of the company along with Managing Director, Ken Johnsen, accepted the award at the official presentation ceremony. Ken Johnsen stated after receiving the award, “It is a great honor to receive this prestigious award as it recognises the efforts of the dedicated team at Nauti-Craft in developing a technology that can deliver tangible work place health and safety and operational benefits to vessels in the defence sector as well as range of civilian applications”.

Technology, such as, the Nauti-Craft, is highly important for the occupants of Marine vessels, because they are always seeking a more controlled and stable deck departure and a smoother ride on high seas. Nauti-Craft Pty. Ltd. has created technology that will make Marine vessels easier to drive and increases the safety of that ride. Nola Marino, Federal Member for the Seat of Forrest, brings up the Nauti-Craft technology in a discussion in Parliament. The technology was among only fifteen Australian innovators, among the Defence and Civil sectors. The award recognizes only the best and most innovative in the naval and maritime industries.

The Nauti-Craft is now displayed at the Seawork International Marine Exhibition with the Strategic Marine and Carbon Trust. Ken Johnsen and Development Manager, Alex Robertson, were there available to discuss all of the Nauti-Craft technology benefits with onlookers and Marine technology experts. Many leads for the technology were developed as the Nauti-Craft steals the show. The technology received great support from both organizations, the Strategic Marine and the the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator.

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Euclid Trucks: Once First, Still One of the Biggest

Trucks December 13, 2017

The Euclid Company of Ohio was in operation between the 1920’s and the 1950’s. It later became part of General Motors, and later acquired by the Hitachi Construction Company. Euclid Trucks produced heavy equipment for places like mines and quarries, specializing in dump trucks and scrapers that were made to move earth in large quantities in off-road settings, unlike other vehicles that were modified to be used off-road.

Originally, the Euclid Company was created by a father and his five sons, the Armington family, as the Euclide Crane and Hoist Company. The eldest, Arthur, eventually succeeded in persuading the rest of the family to turn the business from cranes to earth-moving, convinced that in the future more jobs would benefit from dump trucks and scrapers. Three very popular machines were built from the family’s prototypes to begin the new venture, and, just as Arthur imagined, the need was so great that the company even survived The Great Depression with little to no impact.

Euclid is known for producing the first 50-ton, 3-axle dump truck in 1951, as well as being the first to adopt the heavy duty Allison automatic transmission, and pioneered both the use of twin engines (Cummins diesel and then later Detroit diesel) and the high speed tractor belly dumper. They were also known for being the first major manufacturer to commercialize the articulated rubber tired loader, which is now used by everyone, especially the Caterpillar, Inc. brand.

The growing corporation was offered a deal by GM in the 1950’s, which was accepted in 1953. Though the Armington family continued working for GM and Euclid for the next several years, by 1960 the entire family had retired from the business.

The brand continued under the GM label until 1968, after GM acquiesced to the anti-trust lawsuit leveled at the business by The Department of Justice, who demanded they relinquish some of their power and property. They agreed to sell Euclid, and did so to the White Motor Corporation. Euclid suffered somewhat under the White Motor Corporation label, but seemed to recover after being sold to the Hitachi Construction Company Between those two acquisitions, it was passed from Daimler Benz AG, Clark Equipment Company, and Volvo Construction Equipment, with no real changes or direction until it was bought out by Hitachi Construction Company.

There are currently two types of Euclid rigid dumpers available as mining, quarry and construction trucks and are in use in strip mines, quarries, heavy construction sites, and military outposts in the US, Canada, China, Australia, South America, Indonesia, and Africa, though the Euclid name and standard color have been phased out by the Hitachi Construction Company since 2004.

The Hitachi Construction Company slowly took complete control of Euclid, desiring its vehicles to round out their mining vehicle package. After a join venture in 1993 and a complete takeover in 2000, they moved the original facilities from Euclid, Ohio, to Guleph, Ontario, Canada, and rebranded the vehicles. Despite the erasure of the Euclid name, these vehicles are still being made, sold, and used around the world.

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The Marmon Truck Premium

Trucks December 13, 2017

The Marmon Motor Company has ties to several Marmon brands from the span of the late 19th century to the 20th century. Though there is no direct link between them except the name and product, the Marmon Motor Car Company (which produced luxurious cars such as the legendary Marmon 16), Marmon-Herrington (which began by producing military vehicles), Marmon Motor Company, and the current Marmon Group produced premium trucks for over one hundred years. The name was used, repurposed, and passed around from company to company, but always stuck with the commercial vehicle business.

The Marmon Motor Company was around from 1963 to 1997, when it was dissolved. Navistar purchased the construction plant, which is in Garland, Texas, for their Paystar division. While it was around, however, the Marmon Motor Company was known for its handmade, low-production vehicles, which were dubbed “The Rolls-Royces of trucks”. Unfortunately, the quality and unique look of the trucks were not enough to compete with the lack of a national sales network and the more well-known, mass produced truck brands such as Peterbilt, Kenworth, and Freightliner.

The trucks made by Marmon were suited for a variety of tasks — cabovers, as well as trucks with towing and hauling capacities were most common, some of which have been gathered and curated in a collection of photos by enthusiasts such as Wayne Crane and Russ MacNeil. Of course, some owners hired their own mechanics to make parts in order to put the trucks to other uses, such as logging. There are several Marmon vehicles today that are comprised of various other vehicle parts and even specialty parts to suit their owners’ purposes.

Marmon only made around 100 trucks a year, contributing to the hand-made image of their vehicles. Each one was put together using aluminum and fiberglass, materials that made the trucks pretty light on their wheels. Though there are very few Marmon trucks still on the road, there are still so many enthusiasts that a group gets together every year in Texas to show off their finds and swap stories.

The P57 (P as in “Premium”) seems to be a popular model with the fans, some of whom have purchased their own Marmon truck and refurbished, upgraded, or altered the vehicles, which are now considered classic cars. They attend shows throughout North America to meet other fans, see who has which Marmon truck, and get pictures taken of their vehicles, which are then posted online for those not fortunate enough to attend the various festivals and meets.

The Marmon has been used for film (most notably the Transformers franchise), and it has also become popular as a model car kit, including one for the Transformers vehicle, available in pewter. There are several other models available as well, such as the aforementioned 57P, a 110” cabover, and an 86” cabover. There are plenty of fans who may not be able to afford a Marmon or the cost of refurbishing one, but the kits are often less than one hundred dollars, making them a more cost-effective way of showing off a love of all things Marmon.

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Caterpillar, A Surprise Decision from an Industry Giant

Trucks December 13, 2017

Caterpillar Cat CT660

Last year, Caterpillar shocked the heavy equipment world by announcing their retirement from the game, even though a year previously in 2015, they had committed to building their own trucks. The CT660, CT680, and CT681 will no longer be produced, though there will be support for those vehicles already being used. The vehicles, sold only through licensed Caterpillar Inc. merchants, will continue to be used on the road until they are no longer capable of being repaired.

The CT660, a class-8 vocational truck, is used for highway trucking and was built using Navistar’s facilities in Garland, Texas. The specifications for this particular vehicle include axles from either Meritor, Dana, or Fabco, fuel tanks with the capacity to carry between 60-120 gallons of fuel at a time, multileaf shackle or slipper type suspension, heat-treated alloy steel frame rails, and Set-Back Axle (SBA) (166 or 122 inch available). It comes with a Cat CT13 diesel, 4-cycle engine (365-475 horsepower), a Cat CX31 Automatic Transmission ( with maximum input speed of 2500 rpm).

Since 2011, Caterpillar has partnered with Navistar to produce its vehicles. The plan in 2015 was to separate from Navistar and set up a manufacturing plant in Victoria, Texas, in order to commit fully to creating their own trucks, which would allow for more control over the designs and specifications. Unfortunately, the move, time, and finances that would have allowed Caterpillar total control were deemed to be too high, and the company has decided to shut the project down.

Ramin Younessi, the Vice President for the Caterpillar Industrial Power Systems Division, stated, “Remaining a viable competitor in this market would require significant additional investment to develop and launch a complete portfolio of trucks, and upon an updated review, we determined there was not a sufficient market opportunity to justify the investment,” which led to the decision to cancel the move to Victoria, Texas, as well as consolidate the number of employees to cut costs, which will happen gradually throughout the next year at least.

If Caterpillar’s history is anything to go by, however, we will still probably see plenty of their class-8 trucks remain on the roads for some time. Caterpillar is known for its rugged, heavy-duty equipment as well as its maintenance and support available to owners and operators, both of which ensure the longevity of Caterpillar’s popular vehicles.

Despite the decision to forego building their own production facilities due to a lack of ability to compete with larger brands who produce more popular class-8 trucks such as Freightliner and Kenworth, Caterpillar will still remain as one of the most reliable producers of other heavy-duty equipment for building and transportation. It remains to be seen, however, whether Caterpillar will find another niche to fill or if it will just stick with what it knows best, which is nothing to sneeze at, since Caterpillar is the largest construction equipment manufacturer in the world, producing vehicles, engines, insurance, and even a clothing line for its loyal customers. Dedicated to environmental concerns, economic developments in developing countries, and innovation will continue to sustain Caterpillar beyond the present day and into the future.

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A Classic, Never Forgotten: Brockway Motor Company

Trucks December 13, 2017

Brockway Motor Company

Brockway Motor Company, originally the Brockway Carriage Works, began producing vehicles in 1875 in Cortland, New York. It passed from father William Brockway to his son George Brockway, who shepherded the company through the change from building carriages to trucks in 1912. Though the Brockway Motor Company became part of Mack Trucks Inc. in the 1950’s, and closed its doors in 1977, it remains as a beloved part of trucking history, celebrated every year at the Central New York Living History Center in Homer, New York.

Represented by the Huskie (hence Cortland’s nickname of “Huskie Town USA”), Brockway Motor Company’s dogged determination and devotion to producing quality custom-built trucks and military vehicles is still appreciated by fans today. There are several models available to view at the Living History Center, along with a documentary from Wiffle Ball Productions. There’s also a yearly Brockway Truck Show in Cortland for those who are nostalgic enough to make the trip to appreciate these beautiful vehicles.

During World War II, Brockway Motor Company joined the war efforts by building bridge erectors and cranes to accompany their B6 heavy truck and the 6-ton 6×6 bridging trucks. Their vehicles were equipped with Cummins engines, Detroit Diesels, or inline six engines, which were often paired with Rochester 2G carburetors.

Interestingly, Brockway was one of the first manufacturers to include sleeper cabs and quads with their class 3, 4, and 5 vehicles. Provided mostly to municipalities as road maintenance or show shoveler vehicles, or to various businesses such as breweries, dairy farms, oil companies, and meat packers, Brockway trucks were proven to have quite a bit of longevity, some even lasting 40 years after production ended. Used up and down the East coast, the Brockway was popular with conservative businesses that appreciated the Brockway commitment to consistency in specs and design, which helped keep the cost of maintenance and servicing to a minimum.

Its reputation for quality along the Atlantic seaboard helped keep Brockway in business for one hundred years, despite its “assembly” style and unique look due to its backward fenders and hood-top vents. These helped create its singular look, which it kept for its entire run. The majority of the vehicles were put together in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and then sent out to businesses on the North American East Coast, South America and the Middle East.

“The Right Way” slogan of Brockway Motor Company proved true for decades as the popularity of their vehicles remained steady. Unfortunately, Mack Truck Inc was not able to uphold its reputation and after being sold to the Mack Truck company, the Brockway Motor Company became a small division before being shut down in the late 1970’s for good.

Despite the fact that Brockway Motor Company is no more, people still gather yearly to remember its long history, its unique and sturdy vehicles, and its contribution to America’s bridges, buildings, and businesses. If you’re ever in Cortland for the National Brockway Truck Show, you can see the evolution of the business in over 100 vehicles, from the carriages that were made in the late 1800’s to the military vehicles and commercial trucks that served communities along the coast for decades after the manufacturers closed their doors.

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  • Legacy Classic Trucks

    Legacy Classic Trucks

    by on January 8, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Hailing from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Legacy Classic Trucks has been converting and altering classic trucks and other vehicles for recreational and vocational purposes for almost a decade. Called “The Premier Truck Restoration Facility in the United States”. Not only are they known for their Power Wagon Conversion, Legacy Scrambler Conversion, and the Legacy Napco, they […]

  • 1951 Ford Pug CEO

    1951 Ford Pug CEO

    by on November 28, 2017 - 0 Comments

    The Ford 1951 Pug CEO is a beautiful combination of a truck and a classic car. With its bright yellow color it stands out on the road like no other classic vehicle. The owner of this Ford 1951 Pug CEO will need to be someone who reveres classics and is willing to keep this mint […]

  • Brockway Motor Company

    A Classic, Never Forgotten: Brockway Motor Company

    by on December 13, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Brockway Motor Company, originally the Brockway Carriage Works, began producing vehicles in 1875 in Cortland, New York. It passed from father William Brockway to his son George Brockway, who shepherded the company through the change from building carriages to trucks in 1912. Though the Brockway Motor Company became part of Mack Trucks Inc. in the […]

  • The Marmon Truck Premium

    by on December 13, 2017 - 0 Comments

    The Marmon Motor Company has ties to several Marmon brands from the span of the late 19th century to the 20th century. Though there is no direct link between them except the name and product, the Marmon Motor Car Company (which produced luxurious cars such as the legendary Marmon 16), Marmon-Herrington (which began by producing […]

  • Euclid Trucks: Once First, Still One of the Biggest

    by on December 13, 2017 - 0 Comments

    The Euclid Company of Ohio was in operation between the 1920’s and the 1950’s. It later became part of General Motors, and later acquired by the Hitachi Construction Company. Euclid Trucks produced heavy equipment for places like mines and quarries, specializing in dump trucks and scrapers that were made to move earth in large quantities […]