aka... "Big Daddy"
Product and Company Reviews
July 25 2013 - Shout-outs!! ... and discussing links on my website
The links that I put on my website are always "Crazy Canuck" approved. I have a high standard that must be met before I'll add a link. If you see a link, rest assured that I believe that the website or company is of the highest quality and promotes the same values that I have.
Time to catch up on a few shout-outs to some great people.
I'm going to detour off the trucking highway for a talented writer.
I mentioned Susan Orlins briefly in my last post. www.confessionsofaworrywart.com
I love her honesty and candor about life. She is well worth reading and following. Her daughter, Eliza, a former contestant on Survivor, has been on a trip lately through the Far East and has posted a lot of interesting stuff. Their family has had some cool life experiences. No matter their situations, they all seem to thrive and never let things keep them down. Buy Susan's book, follow them on Twitter, read their blogs, Instagrams, whatever you do I think you'll be entertained and enriched.
Ok, back to grabbing a handful of large car gears...
House of Chrome on the south side of Hwy #1 in Headingly MB. www.houseofchrome.ca
I have been in many shops for shiny accessories all over North America. I had passed their shop many times since it opened before I went in for the first time. My first impression when I walked into House of Chrome was the appearance. It is clean and well organized with a good variety. I had passed by so often without stopping because many shops in Canada are not like this and I did not want to waste my time looking at over-priced items in a dingy shop where chrome was an afterthought. House of Chrome stands up to the standards set by the American shops that I'm used to.
The second thing that sets them apart is that they also install accessories. There are some good chrome shops that sell parts, but really have no idea how to install them or what works best. The owners, Russell and James, know their products because they work with them on vehicles and follow what happens. They sell high quality products for anything from little cars to large cars.
The third point is their customer service. This keeps customers coming back time after time. Customers love when the owners are behind the counter, know their stuff, back it up with a good warranty, remember them later and still provide their goods at a competitive price.
Wait! They're not just a pretty face! They also put on a truck show every summer. Free to enter your truck. No competition, just truckers getting together, showing their rides and taking a breather from pounding pavement. This year is bigger than ever! There's a BBQ and Blues concert. Something like 25 bands. This is a can't-miss summer event whether you like trucks or not! August 16-18th.
Last, and certainly not least, is the location. Truck accessible and visible. What more does a trucker need?
House of Chrome has it all and is among the best in the business in North America.
Off like a herd of sleeping turtles!
2013 Freightliner Cascadia
DD-15 @515 hp. 13 double overdrive
Last July I bought my first brand-new truck. Until my last couple of trucks I have had good luck buying used trucks and getting more miles out of them. With the advent of more electronics and emission controls this didn't work out so well anymore.
After crunching the numbers I realized I was probably going to be better off buying new.
I spent a month or so talking to dealers, other drivers, and service managers.
I decided on the Cascadia with some decent options. It is virtually the same spec's as Penner International Inc buys.
Almost 1 year later I'm still very happy. My odometer currently sits at 182,000 kms. (113,000 miles)
It has never stranded me anywhere. I have been in the shop less than 1 week in total. I have done 3 oil changes which accounts for most of the time.
Just a couple very minor warranty issues.
Fuel mileage is as good as I was getting back in 2001. (it still bothers me that for too many years the mpg went down. NOT environmentally friendly despite government claims)
Ride comfort is great. I thought that I would sacrifice a little going from an air-ride front axle to spring, but that hasn't been the case.
A big selling feature was how the sleeper was set up. Still think it's among the best.
Visibility is great.
Handling with the 235" WB and full lockers is great. I run the mountains a fair bit in the winter and traction was excellent. The full lockers are worth the money.
Fit on all of the doors and latches is good, you just need to be careful with the plastic latches in the sleeper in cold weather.
Turning radius and manoeuvrability is at the top of the charts. At 39.5 metres (2-53' trailers and converter) long this is important.
Horsepower with the DD15 515 has been adequate. I'm not sure the extra $$ for the 535HP would be worthwhile. Compared to some stuff I drove in the 80's this is awesome. I could gain a little more if I had a little more rpm but I may suffer mpg which would not be good.
I have a swivel seat, but it's not much of a swivel. Fortunately there's enough room that it doesn't matter too much. It would be nice to turn 110deg or so.
My local dealer "Trucks Unlimited" in Steinbach MB (a satellite dealer for Freightliner Manitoba) has been very easy to work with.
Key points Fuel mpg - excellent
Reliability - incredible
Comfort - very good.
All points considered, this is the best truck I have ever bought. Absolutely recommend it to anyone.