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Old 07-09-2019, 07:14 AM   #1
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Who has driven both?

Iíve got an M2-106 based coach (not a renegade) that Iíve put about 20,000 miles on...mostly pulling a heavily loaded 32í enclosed trailer. While the coach has been great, there are a handful of driving characteristics that Iíve convinced myself would not exist in a heavier, tandem axle, class 8 based coach.

Is there anyone on here that has relatively significant seat time in both a class6/7 and a class 8 based super c that wouldnít mind sharing their thoughts on the differences between the two and possibly fielding a few specific questions?

For reference, Iím looking for a 45í classic...possibly on an updated Volvo VNL chassis (although Iím not opposed to a Cascadia). I came across this thread while familiarizing myself with this forum and was disappointed to hear the feedback on the DD16/12 speed setup:

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f18/new-renegade-classics-430731.html

Thanks!
JT
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:55 PM   #2
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I pull a 20000 pound fifth wheel with a 2014 volvo 630 d-13 425 HP I shift transmission. I had a 2005 freightliner C-7 cat 300 HP ultra shift trans pulling 14000 pounds. Absolutley no comparison in power and ride comfort. The I shift of the Volvo is night and day different above the ultra shift. I think if you drive a Volvo you will see what I mean.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:44 PM   #3
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We had a Dynamax Grand Sport 380 with a C7 and Allison 3000MH transmission. It worked fine as long as we were on flat land keeping our speed around 60mph. The suspension was a little light for the load and I often thought about changing shocks to stop quite a bounce back over some bumps. We only towed a jeep so I can't really tell you how it would have been towing a significant trailer. What I didn't like about this rig was mountain driving. You had to pick the slow lane, turn on your flashers and settle in at 45mph. That wasn't the worst, once you crested the top you were on the brakes all the way down since the exhaust brake was worthless. It got 7.5mpg no matter how you drove it and the engine ran great for the 40k miles we put on it.
Last Year we traded up to a Haulmark with DD60 series and the ZF automated 12 speed transmission and tandem drives. There is a significant difference between the two. Now when you set the cruise @ 65-70 it is going to stay there in most conditions. It will climb many grades without even downshifting. The other nice thing is that our rig has a 2 stage engine brake so you can stay at a controlled speed without burning up your brakes. Even though the rig has a GVW of 54,000 and is capable of towing up to 40,000 the ride is significantly smoother. Small bumps, like overpasses, don't send you to the ceiling. This rig averages 8.5mpg towing the same jeep.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:35 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback, guys.

bhammond1980 - I know you mentioned the Haulmark having a smoother ride, did you notice any differences in the handling...specifically around required steering input, the pulling impact of ruts/grooves in the highway, and how the coach was effected by strong side winds or by passed or passing big rigs? My assumption is that the heavier coach with 4 additional tires on the ground would have a significant advantage in each of these areas.

JT
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:25 PM   #5
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The Dynamax on the M2 heavy chassis definitely got pushed around by big trucks roaring by. Still, you could keep it under control. The Dynamax wasn't effected by grooves or highway seams but the ride was like driving a large boat.
The Haulmark is just a different class all together. You can feel other large vehicles pass but it does not get pulled and pushed like the M2. I attribute the better ride to the tandem axles and the overall length of the chassis. The only downside to the Haulmark and Columbia chassis is its turning radius. You definitely have to plan your escape route in advance.
Other than that, the Haulmark on the Columbia is less stressful/work to drive, much more solid than the M2.
I have attached pictures of both.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:53 AM   #6
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Awesome feedback...I appreciate it.

Do you happen to know what your Haulmark weighs all loaded up?

JT
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:38 PM   #7
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I think mid 40k, I am curious also and will run it across a scale in the next few weeks. I will check with all of the tanks full.
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