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Hello everyone, I am new to dump trucks. I am looking at getting into asphalt hauling and I have a few questions about rear suspensions. Looking to buy a tri axle. I have always been told that if I wanted to do this then to run a steel leaf spring setup. I have been looking for trucks that are spec'd to what I am wanting and they usually have one or two things that make the truck not right for the application. As I have been looking I have come across a few trucks with air trac. I know nothing about them. I have been reading some good and bad about them like you will with anything.

With what I am wanting to do it will be a lot of asphalt hauling, hauling chips for chip and seal, stock piling rock for the asphalt company and do some tear outs. I have found a couple Pete 330,335, & 340's that have air trac and wonder if this would be good for what I am looking at. A person gets told so many things about all of this and just not sure what I should really be looking for. I have one person tell me to stay away from a chalmers suspension for this work. Any input would be appreciated. I am still do my research on this as I go.
 

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We are a contractor that hires dump trucks frequently. Having said that, I much prefer hiring a non-air ride truck because the air ride trucks always have to dump the air before dumping, and then they are helpless on uneven terrain and get stuck a lot easier. From that perspective any truck that has a lot of free axle travel would be my choice for uneven footing situations. No doubt the ride suffers though.
 

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Air trac is probably the best rough use air ride suspension, it is stable but allows the tires to follow the terrain, a quick acting dump valve is a necessity for a dump box application. I haven't seen a spring ride dump truck for years.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Air trac is probably the best rough use air ride suspension, it is stable but allows the tires to follow the terrain, a quick acting dump valve is a necessity for a dump box application. I haven't seen a spring ride dump truck for years.
That is pretty much what I have read up to this point about the Air Trac. I have been looking at some Sterling and Peterbilt 330,335,and 340 dump trucks. I found an 05 Pete 335 tri axle with spring suspension with 267,000 miles. Short of $60,000 for it. Then I found an 08 Pete 340 tandem with Air Trac 118,000 miles for $52,000. Both Cummins engines and 8LL trans. I like the short round nose trucks over the long square nose for visibility reasons. Just trying to sort through these suspensions first.
 

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That is pretty much what I have read up to this point about the Air Trac. I have been looking at some Sterling and Peterbilt 330,335,and 340 dump trucks. I found an 05 Pete 335 tri axle with spring suspension with 267,000 miles. Short of $60,000 for it. Then I found an 08 Pete 340 tandem with Air Trac 118,000 miles for $52,000. Both Cummins engines and 8LL trans. I like the short round nose trucks over the long square nose for visibility reasons. Just trying to sort through these suspensions first.
My choice would be Air trac, Spring ride is rough and expensive to fix. The only spring ride that I would consider is Hendrickson spring over walking beam, but I would have to be desperate.
the Sterlings would probably have Airliner ?? which is Ok it is basicly the same as low air leaf and Hendrickson's version.

I do know a Guy that got talked into spring ride on his sterling, rides really rough and he said he doesn't like it at all, he would have much rather had Airliner, he has had dump trucks for decades.
 
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Many of the trucks here that are ordered as dump trucks, especially the super dumps, come with Chalmers. I have not driven one, but the axle travel is great, no dumping air when dumping, and the ride must be acceptable if not quite as nice as air.
 
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