Minimal towing rig for a 7-ton CRV(T)?

teletech

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I'm shopping for a british FV10something so 17' long and 7-8tons and am located in CA. What are my towing options?

I'm tempted to look for something old enough to count as a collector car for regestration but I also live up a really twisted mountain road so something with some cornering ability or self-loading might be good. I could modify the trailer or truck bed for the purpose and save some weight that way. Checking CL it looks like I could have an old F7000 and 9-ton equipment trailer for $5k total but regestration and insurance would be spendy and the combined length is annoying.

I'm a newbie to the site and the largest MV I've owned was a M35 (no suffix and one of the first gasoline-powered ones to boot, gutless and 3mpg)

thanks,
P_
 

teletech

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Mine sounded fine and had good compression but was a total dog with any meaningful weight in it, put a ton in the back and loaded sand trucks would pass me. 1953 REO it was that I basically gave away after the brake booster went, being young and foolish, sigh.
 

Autocar

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Make sure you look for a truck/tractor that is at least 25 years old so you can get historical plates. If not, you will have to pay weight fees on top of registration. This would be more than $1k/yr for a loaded tractor trailer rig. Worst of all, if you registered it commercial, you would have to replace the engine with a new "green" engine($30K engine for a $5K truck). Gotta love California!
 

martinwcox

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Here is my setup I use to transport the Scorpion, M915A1 'Trucktor' with a 12 Ton Tilt trailer, combo weighs in around 44,000lbs.

I used to use a M923 5 Ton but the 250 Cummins really struggled on the hills, the 400 in the M915A1 is a different story.

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teletech

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Thanks for the suggestions. 25+years is a good consideration. A 5-tonner was my first thought but that and a trailer is really cumbersome to get up the road. I actually started to wonder about a MK48 I saw for sale locally but even a good deal on one digs into the wallet.
The idea of an M125 or similar and using a self-loader body or ramps has it's charm but the long wheelbase would be tough. I was hoping for something with a little personality but I think I might be looking at just buying a old Ford C700 and calling it good.
 

Autocar

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The M818 in my avatar didn't have the power to pull the trailer. Had to switch to an M915A1. Like other guys say, it's a really nice tractor with tons of power. If you put a bed on a truck, you can get by with a Class B license. I thought about it but decided I didn't want 15,000# of halftrack crashing thru the cab if I got into an accident.
 

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Madmedic

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Perhaps you should think beyond an MV (MV Gods forgive me!).

This truck sold on an auction here in Texas yesterday or the day before, for roughly $3,000. 1989, Diesel, AC, and the other creature comforts & snivel gear, had 106,000 mi on it, with ac etc. And no commercial license needed for operation. (in Texas)

Would have bid on it myself, but have no room to store it right now.

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quickfarms

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Perhaps you should think beyond an MV (MV Gods forgive me!).

This truck sold on an auction here in Texas yesterday or the day before, for roughly $3,000. 1989, Diesel, AC, and the other creature comforts & snivel gear, had 106,000 mi on it, with ac etc. And no commercial license needed for operation. (in Texas)

Would have bid on it myself, but have no room to store it right now.

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What was the GVW of that truck?

In order to get the 7 ton payload you will need at least a GVW of about 33,000 lb. even then it will be real tricky to get the axle weights correct.

In CA you need at least a class B for vehicle over 26,000 lb GVW.
 

Madmedic

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Don't know what the exact weights are on Cat D-7's & D-5's, but that's what this truck had been towing, on triple axle flat trailer. Again, this is all in Texas and I'm completely ignorant on what the Regs are or would be in CA.

I really would have loved to have bid on that truck, it would have pulled any of the vehicles we have including the Dragoon when the resto is finished, and the crane would have come in handy for some of our projects. Especially for the price it sold for. Used heavy equipment tandem and triple axle trailers are surprisingly cheap too. We simply are out of room to store any more.
 

quickfarms

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Mad medic

I was thinking of putting the vehicle on the truck.

You are thinking about towing it on a multi axle equipment trailer.

I do like your idea of thinking outside the MV's and including civilian vehicles or COTS vehicles as the military calls them.

I see a large amount of military equipment being hauled by civilian tractors. Some of these are contractors but there are quite a few white painted three axle day cabs running around that are marked USMC or US NAVY.

Each option has its Merritt's.

If you build or get a truck so that the vehicle can ride on it you will only need a class b license in CA. Your typical flatbed that is under the 26,000 lb GVW only has a cargo capacity of about 7,000 lbs. If you get a larger two axle with a GVW of 33,000 lbs you can get a cargo capacity of 14,000 lbs, but this would be marginal for your use as the ramps or rollback equipment would reduce your capacity a little bit and the weight distribution could be an issue. The capacity and weight distribution issue would not be an issue with a three axle because your GVW would probably be around 50,000 lbs. The disadvantage would be that the deck would be about 4 feet high and the vehicle would be about 30 feet long.

The second option is a truck, or tractor, and trailer. In CA a class a license is required to tow any trailer with a GVW over 10,000 lbs. If you use a tractor the combined GVW would not be an issue. If you use a truck the combined GVW can be a large concern. Most trucks with a GVW of 26,000 lbs or less are not specified to be able to tow a heavy trailer. On trucks with a GVW over 26,000 lbs you have to go through the specs to see if it will work. I have found that equipment trailers in California are not cheap at the auctions. The advantage of this method is that the deck of an equipment trailer will probably be about 3 feet high. The disadvantage is that the trailer will probably be almost as long as the truck in the first option and then you have to add a truck that will be about 20 feet long.

A previous poster was concerned about the vehicle crashing into the cab in the event of an accident. Properly secured this is not a real issue. I have seen multiple accidents where the cargo is still securely attached to the truck after the accident.

One question I have for the OP is do you know how to drive an unsyncronized truck transmission. Either double clutching or floating gears. I learned to float gears but you have to double clutch for the CA test. If you do not then you should look for a truck with an Allison.
 

teletech

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I agree that it is a sobering thought to consider an accident is a one-piece rig and gives one pause, I think I could get enough heavy chain going to feel alright about it with the idea since it makes the total rig much smaller and lighter than going with a trailer, which should reduce the odds of being in one. I'm of course more worried about maneuverability (winding road like I said) and the operating cost than the initial purchase price.

I learned to drive in a '53 dodge (navy surplus) with a straight-cut gearbox so I don't anticipate any transmission issues.
I see commercial tilt-type equipment trailers locally for $2500-3500.
I have a pretty complete fabricating shop at my disposal so am happy to modify a vehicle or trailer to suit my needs. I also might have access to a '30s Diamond-T that was an ag truck and needs a rebuild, I wonder about towing with a rig so old there isn't any GVWR data, with a new motor and some modern axles it would make some classy travel but I was hoping for a less manpower-intensive solution.
For a one-piece rig I was thinking an old cab-forward unit would help with length and weight distribution or even just going out and buying a (somewhat cheap) rollback tow rig, but finding something I could get insurance on is going to be tricky.

Speaking of tricky, obviously a class A or B license is going to be needed out here in CA. What is not clear is if I can get by with non-commercial? According to the DMV site the commercial if for-hire but the non-commercial is for house-trailers. Any MV folks in state able to speak to this?
 

quickfarms

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If you like the old truck you would be better off putting the body on a newer chassis and run it that way.

The non commercial class A or B is legally only for RV's according to the vehicle code and CHP.

Remember even though you are not using it commercially the CHP can pull you over at any time and perform a dot inspection.
 

Rick007

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Follow the Ritchie Bros auctions. Ive seen a number of Penske and Hertz and others 3 axle Rollbacks go through. You would need a Class B license. Those type of trucks sell very reasonably. With the truck painted camo nobody would think it wasn't authentic. The govt used Freightliner tractors. I like Martins setup but couldn't use it in the mountains I live in In Northern Calif. Willow Creek Ca. I have a FV101 Scorpion and a Abbot SPG. I have equipment in my business that I can pull mine around with. Although I acquired a M1070 Het to pull both. I have to modify the 5th wheel etc. and I have a 1966 KW W900 that is going in to get painted green to pull the Scorpion or the Abbot. You see a lot of 1 ton pickups pulling trailers with large loads. Any truck pulling a trailer over 10000lbs weight rating needs a class A license except RVs in California. You can be 80. Cant see,cant hear, cant drive and still operate a large RV in California with no special license until you get above 40 ft. Martins setup would require a Class A in California. Remember to check whatever you buy that the gross vehicle weight rating GVWR is large enough. The Scorpion is 17800 lbs that leaves you 15200 lbs for the truck to weigh if it was on a 2 axle truck.That is why I would go 3 axle with 54000 GVWR. Also CHP doesn't usually look at GVWR. They look at tire ratings. You can have 54000 GVWR truck that isn't if it has cheap low ply tires. First things first. Get the FV whatever. Then get the equipment to move it. The FV sitting in your drive will motivate you to get the right equipment. That is what I would do because I have a 10 year old heart stuck in a 50 year old body Ha ha. "Remember its not the age its the Miles" good luck Rick
 

kcimb

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Fort Worth, Texas
Perhaps you should think beyond an MV (MV Gods forgive me!).

This truck sold on an auction here in Texas yesterday or the day before, for roughly $3,000. 1989, Diesel, AC, and the other creature comforts & snivel gear, had 106,000 mi on it, with ac etc. And no commercial license needed for operation. (in Texas)

Would have bid on it myself, but have no room to store it right now.

View attachment 508390View attachment 508391
To use it while towing any MV you would need a class a or b license. That truck is pretty close to 20k as is. Add any MV and it's over.
 

Rick007

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Frankly if its in California you need a A or B license to pull a CVRt. That is because Calif has eliminated all fun from doing anything. They now regulate every move you make and how you will protect yourself from yourself in the name of safety. OOPs I digress here Sorry Yup you need a A or B License:tank:.
 

Autocar

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California
In regards to safety with the vehicle being chained down properly to the deck if its a straight truck, the issue is not the chains. The issue is that the deck/body is held onto the frame by a half dozen u-bolts pinching some wood slats between the body and frame and these will slide or give way before the chains do. The slickest way to carry anything would be a 3 axle roll back painted green. Deck is solidly fastened to the frame and plenty of strong points to tie the chains to. The real problem here in California is the emissions issue. Anything that is not new or not registered historical is going to have to have the engine replaced. A 3 axle rollback that is 25 years old is probably going to be pretty beat. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't.
 
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