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old wreckers

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occupant View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06-October-2013 at 4:18PM
This is the one I want...



1986 Chevy one ton, 350/4-speed, wheel lift, boom, and light bar. All I need to add would be dollies and change the lettering on the doors. He only wants $2500 for it and I'm sick to my stomach about buying the minivan because I could be using that money towards it now.

But I do want to get some sort of wrecker for myself so I can earn more money (better percentage when using my own equpment), pick something running gas ($3.09 gas, $3.89 diesel, and the truck I'm in barely gets 10mpg on diesel, so 10mpg on gas would be way better), and be able to fix my own problems without waiting for them to get around to it.

I'd like to find about an 85-87 Chevy or GMC wrecker with the wheel lift, boom, and dollies. Twin boom would be nice, or at least twin winches. And 350 small block would be something I could upgrade to TBI injection (or swap out for a 5.3 or 6.0 LS engine) but I'd kill for one with the 292 straight six (the tall deck 250).

I'm sorry I've been gone for so long. It's been very busy with the towing thing, I'm pretty much working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, breaks here and there for naps and to run kids to/from school functions. We barely have time to run through a Tim Horton's drive thru to get coffee. Yesterday (Saturday) was supposed to be our day off, but they sent the other driver out of town so we had to cover any priority calls while he was on the road, and then when he got back he got busy doing something else, so we ended up running 13 calls. Today (Sunday, our day to be primary), we ran 11 calls. It's crazy, but Amy (wife) runs with me and we're damn fast together. I feel like a hustler. The money is stupid. I figure by this time next month I'll be able to afford to swap a transmission in the minivan, turn around and sell it, and be able to get a wrecker of my own.

If any of you guys see a good solid, ready to work, wheel lift wrecker, let me know in this thread. I might be willing to travel to anywhere in OH, PA, IN, MI, KY, WV, or TN or anywhere within a few hundred miles.
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unlovedford View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-October-2013 at 2:34AM
A gasoline 3500 series wrecker won't get 10 mpg. I worked with a towing business and diesel is the way to go. We had a 7.3 Ford rollback, a 6.5 Chevrolet rollback and a 400 Chevrolet rollback - the Ford got the best mileage but was low on power, the 6.5 was unreliable and got terrible mileage, and the 400 was loud, sucked gas but would do the job on lighter stuff. A small block wrecker will get about 6-8 depending on the gearing and load.

There are an abundance of cheap rollbacks and wreckers here locally. Some have stingers, some have wheel lifts, just depends.

Newer regulations have all but eliminated 1 ton (350, 3500) series hauling equipment here because of the weight ratings. This started in 2000 and anything not grandfathered in is being sold to get it off their books. Ford 450-550, Internationals, ect are fast replacing them. Just an fyi - your area may be different, but would hate for the DOT to hammer you with a fine if that is the case.
Joe
1972 Mom's Squire Wagon
1972 Torino Wagon
1976 Torino       
1968 Cougar XR7-First batch
1972 Torino 460
1989 BroncoII/Jeeps/Titanimous
Popeye and Brutus (Rams)
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occupant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote occupant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-October-2013 at 9:24AM
We've got towing companies here using 1 ton single rear wheel pickups with slide-in "repo" units. I think a good 20-30 year old truck with a proper Challenger or Holmes or Century or whatever wrecker bed, wheel lift, dollies, and a boom with a twin line winch would be more than adequate. Even AAA themselves around here run F-350 trucks like this one:



That said, after driving the OTHER driver's truck, I think I'm pretty set on wanting a Ford. His truck is a 1992 F-Super Duty with the non-turbo 7.3 engine and S5-42 ZF 5-speed manual. It's a rollback and it's long and heavy but it has that twin I-beam suspension and it rides like butter. I want one. It also has a mean muscle car rumble to it with the shortened exhaust and a cherry bomb muffler. Seriously. I need to record a video. The transmission has a whine in the lower gears too like an M22 Muncie 4-speed. And you skip first gear most of the time so it is just like driving a four on the floor. I love it. I bet an older 87-91 model would be the same way and I found a couple of them in the $5000-$7500 range in really nice shape. So yeah, that's what I'm shooting for. 1987-1991 F-350 or F-Super Duty with dual rear wheels, 6.9 or 7.3 IDI diesel, 5-speed manual, wheel lift and dollies and boom. If I can go older, an 83-86 F350 with the 6.9 and 4-speed would be an OK alternative although I would want to swap the transmission out for an overdrive. At which point I might as well get the 6-speed ;)

Edited by occupant - 11-October-2013 at 9:38AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote occupant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-October-2013 at 1:39AM
Boss man has an interesting compromise available to me.



Imagine that without the chrome brush guard up front. It's a 1977 Chevy C30 3+3 truck (crew cab and yes it does have a seat back there unlike some of the early 4-door trucks) with a 1996 Vortec 454 (converted to carb, RV cam, Edelbrock intake manifold, and he has a 2-barrel Rochester carb and intake to match that goes with it, as well as the original MPFI manifold and injectors and all that), built TH400, and 4.10 gears in a 14-bolt axle. It has that fiberglass bar over the bed with a round amber rotating light, all four of the chrome simulators on the wheels, good meaty tires, big tow mirrors, a shaft cassette stereo (Pioneer IIRC), tilt wheel, and it's tan inside (cloth bench seats, carpet, crank windows and manual locks). It also has a FULL auto loading wheel lift out back with a remote in the cab and a backup camera LCD screen built into the dash. Here's what the lift looks like (but this truck has a tailgate and bumper and everything, too):



This was the original Off Road Recovery company repo truck. The first truck they ever bought and built back when they were doing only repo work. He wants $3000 for it as is. It does have a bit of rust on the tailgate and in the pickup bed, and the tailgate is bolted shut so it doesn't interfere with the lift at all. Since it's a full wheel lift truck I could throw dollies in the bed and be able to do anything but winchouts. But wait, there's more. Boss man bought a new pickup truck for himself and took the winch off his old truck but it DOESN'T fit the new truck. He's buying a purpose built front bumper for the new truck and is getting a new winch. So he's going to see if that winch will mount to this older truck (his was a 2002 Sierra, he thinks he can get a front mount receiver and put the winch on that). He would also offer to put two fresh batteries in it (it has one now, starts fine, drives fine, but would need a second battery to help run the equipment and if I added more lights to it).

I'm very tempted to go for it but he can't take payments if I take the truck. Trying to put it on layaway in a way, taking some money from my paychecks to go towards it and when I fix and sell the minivan I should have enough to pay it off. We'll see.

Edited by occupant - 21-October-2013 at 1:45AM
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