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Old 6th July 2007, 06:11   #1
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Cool company truck driver for a day!

today was my turn to be the designated truck driver for my company.

we generally rent a smal flat bed pick-up for picking up shipments from a warehouse, however, this one was a HUGE shipment coming over from India and we needed something BIG.

this is a small company so we don't have a dedicated shipper. also time wasn't on our side as the material being received had to be processed and sent out within 2 days - 8 pallets weighing over 4000kg is a lot of stuff!

off goes our purchasing dept looking for trucks - no shipping company available today to pick our stuff immediately so eventually, we decide to do it ourselves.

3 names well-known for moving stuff around - U-Haul, Penske Truck Rental and Budget Truck Rental.

first up is U-Haul. two of us go down to the local U-Haul chaps and ask for the biggest thing they have. this being USA, people are generally afraid of driving "stick" (manual transmission) - and the 3rd pedal is taboo.
the big rigs are available only in manual transmission and i gladly volunteer for the job. i have driven one of these before but only a few feet () so this is "officially" my first time driving a truck.

here's some pictures of the "thing" by International:


here's more information for those who might be interested: U-Haul - 26' Super Mover. i don't have the engine specifications, unfortunately.

so off we go to the warehouse.
driving the truck wasn't as bad as i thought it would be. 1st & 2nd gears for crawl only. use 3th, 4th & 5th for regular use. the thing was a huge, loud mess though - very similar to the State Transport buses back in Maharashtra (or anywhere in India for that matter). turning radius isn't exactly small and i do jump over a curb or two before getting hang of the thing. funky parking break lever on the left below the steering wheel and a radio from the '80s. it was a mechanical monster.

once at the warehouse we realise that this is a low-deck truck and we can't back-up to the higher loading docks. also, the wheel arches intrude into the loading space of the truck, so there's no way the warehouse guys can push 8 pallets in.

luckily someone mentions that Penske Truck Rental does have high-deck trucks that can back-up.

off we go to Penske, in a U-Haul (they're competitors), and the Penske fellow refuses to let us park the U-Haul there (duh!), while we rent his truck. anyhow, I manage to get the International back to work, and have another colleage drive us back to Penske.

now I am the "owner" of 2 trucks for a day!

the Penske truck was a Hino! compared to the International, this one is a HOTT! all with power windows, a CD-player, adjustable seats, funkier parking brake, etc.

to compare - the International would be a Willys Jeep, and the Hino would be a Land Rover Discovery. both tremendously capable vehicles but one much cushier. this one had 1st gear for crawl, 2nd also for crawl but could be used to start off with a huge paylod, and 3rd, 4th, 5t & 6th for normal use. it was also a breeze to drive compared to the U-Haul.

it could be backed up to the loading docks and the warehouse guys drove their fork-lifts right in! also, it has a fancy lift-gate at the rear which proved to be a major boon for us while unloading - no pics just yet, maybe tomorrow.

some pics:


more information here: Penske - Vehicle Specifications.

it was quite an adventure for me. the U-Haul had to be returned as my car was parked on their lot. i still have the Penske tonite - has to be returned tomorrow.

needless to say, after driving these - driving a car feels, let's just say, different.....

the pictures are big but not very good - taken in a hurry using my boss's camera.

Last edited by aah78 : 6th July 2007 at 06:20. Reason: pictures - comment
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Old 6th July 2007, 07:45   #2
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Now thats something that has me jealous! Always wanted to drive a big truck. I am sure you must have been on top of the world!

Know something? My dream is going to come true very soon. Am going to take heavy vehicle driving license this month.

Can i ask something? Why those extra 3 spaces in the dashboard? (4 including one that has HU fitted)
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Old 6th July 2007, 08:02   #3
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Awesome! Two trucks in day? I felt on top of world just by riding passenger in a Ford 2500D... I wonder how it feels driving a big truck like that. I have ridden in several lorries in India though, both as a passenger in the cabin and a hitch-hiker sitting on top of a granites in a tipper.
Last year me and roomie rented a U-haul truck of same size, may be a bit smaller, when we were moving to a new apartment. I was a bit apprehensive about driving it but fortunately my roomie, a sardar volunteered. So we loaded our stuff and me was driving the pilot car, a hyundai, and my dear friend was driving the truck behind me with full concentration, like a man on a mission. We reached our new apartment, unloaded the truck and parked it for the night and returned it the next day. After returning I commented on how well he drove the truck as if he has been driving trucks for ages and he commented 'yaar, we sardars are natural born truckers'
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Old 6th July 2007, 09:43   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Can i ask something? Why those extra 3 spaces in the dashboard? (4 including one that has HU fitted)

Meant for GPS, radio & stuff, i guess.

Great experience aah78. When will this kind of system come here ?
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Old 6th July 2007, 11:19   #5
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Nice report & experience there Aah, must have been fun driving the beasts around after the intial few minutes of apprehension & getting used to!

How was the performance & top speed

P.S. More importantly did you get a chance to scare & nudge away a few of them pesky cabbies?

Last edited by iraghava : 6th July 2007 at 11:22.
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Old 6th July 2007, 12:05   #6
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As a fellow Bhpian mentioned elsewhere, How would you Upsize the tyres on one of these ?
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Old 6th July 2007, 12:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
we generally rent a smal flat bed pick-up for picking up shipments from a warehouse, however, this one was a HUGE shipment coming over from India and we needed something BIG.

the big rigs are available only in manual transmission and i gladly volunteer for the job. i have driven one of these before but only a few feet () so this is "officially" my first time driving a truck.
Interesting experience. Don't these big trucks require a separate driver's license in the USA, as compared to driving a small pick-up? I thought these vehicles are in different classes.
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Old 6th July 2007, 17:28   #8
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Recently drove one (U-haul) from Chicago to Detroit. Sucks gas like nobody's business. Got 11 mpg.
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Old 6th July 2007, 17:33   #9
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I've never driven something of that size. But I guess if you have to do it, the US is the place for it! Wish you would elaborate more on the driving experience part.
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Old 6th July 2007, 17:54   #10
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I have driven the 26" Uhaul shown above in Kansas City while helping a friend move from bachelorhood to the altar preparation -- he purchased quite a bit of stuff to impress his to be wife and i was the designated driver for a day on this truck -- it was fun driving it and wasnt really very difficult
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Old 6th July 2007, 18:26   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks View Post
Interesting experience. Don't these big trucks require a separate driver's license in the USA, as compared to driving a small pick-up? I thought these vehicles are in different classes.
Yes they need a seperate licence.
I always wanted to rent an RV when I go to the US. Any idea if RV also needs a heavy truck licence?
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Old 6th July 2007, 18:32   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks View Post
Interesting experience. Don't these big trucks require a separate driver's license in the USA, as compared to driving a small pick-up? I thought these vehicles are in different classes.

being the "bigness" lovers, americans designed the basic car license for upto 26000 pounds vehicles (with some complications over axles). most of the U-hauls can be covered. but I am not sure if it was OK with those shipments on top of the truck.
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Old 6th July 2007, 18:39   #13
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I once drove the 'Shaktiman' trucks they use in the army (we just called them 3-tons back then). Was 15 and had a big open field to try it in....Man, those 5-600 mtrs were really memorable!

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Old 6th July 2007, 20:59   #14
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I just remembered a day (a few years back) when a Toyota Camry shout out loud "paaaaaa" (Meaning " hey I just sneaked in to your right side") as I was about to change to the right lane I was driving on.
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Old 6th July 2007, 21:17   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porsche_fan View Post
I once drove the 'Shaktiman' trucks they use in the army (we just called them 3-tons back then). Was 15 and had a big open field to try it in....Man, those 5-600 mtrs were really memorable!


Were the 0-5 metres unforgettable or forgettable ?
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