General Discussion     Tech Questions     Parts & Services     Suggestions/Ideas     Help & Website Instructions     Blogs    

New to the forum and ATHS.
Print Topic | Close Window

By Tommyz - Saturday, December 17, 2011 8:17 AM
Hello, just got to where I could log in; been a few days ironing out the bugs with passwords and such.

I'm appreciative to be a part of ATHS and all that is associated with it. I've seen copies of WOT magazine in the past and loved I get my own!

I just picked up a 1981 Freightliner cabover 7 days ago up in New Hampshire. I'm the 3rd original owner of her. The last guy is from Maine and owned it for 24 years. It recently had a ton of work done to it, including an inframe major about 180K miles ago, front end rebuilt, starter, and many other little misc. items. The previous owner hauled lobster bait fish in a big aluminum body that dumped, but retired this cabover for a newer 2006 triaxle conventional.

It's got a 3406A 380 horse Cat, a 15 speed and 44K rears, but I haven't crawled under her to see what ratio. Judging by the way she ran down the interstate heading home last Saturday, it felt like 4:33 gears. I'll find that out for sure and repost when I get to it.

Well, time to go work on "Ms. Piggy". That's the portrait on the sidebox, so I guess she'll keep her original name.

Thanks for this great site.

Tommy Z.
By Tony Bullard - Saturday, December 17, 2011 8:51 AM
Welcome to the forums Tommy. I like Ms. Piggy. Where abouts are you from? Are ya gonna bring her to Springfield to the show?
By Brocky - Saturday, December 17, 2011 8:54 AM

Welcome to the board.. Neat Freightshaker!! Drove one similiar for a few years
By Steven Millam - Saturday, December 17, 2011 8:55 AM
Welcome aboard, this is a good place to hang out. Like your truck, looks like it is in pretty good shape.
By clyde318 - Saturday, December 17, 2011 9:40 AM
Welcome,Tommy,to you AND Miss Piggy. Looks like a nice 'Shaker.
By wayne graham - Saturday, December 17, 2011 9:47 AM
Tommy, Welcome aboard and hope you enjoy it here. Nice looking freightliner. Wayne
By Michelle Cole - Saturday, December 17, 2011 9:49 AM
Welcome from the great state of Central Texas. I like your Shaker, it is very truckly as someone on this board once said.
By newfie-trucker - Saturday, December 17, 2011 10:26 AM
Welcome from the great white north (no snow at the minute lol) ..  dont be scared to ask any questions  we are more than willing to help you out and also you have a sharp looking ride there.. are you going to work it or just for shows? good luck and welcome aboard
By junkmandan - Saturday, December 17, 2011 10:43 AM
Tommy----Welcome to the best forum for older trucks ,Freightliners included ! That's a classic model that was still assembled with metal ,not plastic ,and is worth investing your time and money in .
By BBRADMV - Saturday, December 17, 2011 11:37 AM
Tommy, Welcome aboard. I too have a freightshaker that I acquired from a member of this Forum who was going through a midlife crises. I know this was the reason because lately he has started to praise Mack trucks which is way out of character for him. Anyway nice to see you here. If this crises member appears you'll spot him right away. All kidding aside each and every person you encounter here will be first rate #1.

By Tommyz - Saturday, December 17, 2011 12:25 PM
Thanks everybody...I'd do it individually but I was bombarbed with warm welcomes! So to each and all, I appreciate the opportunity to hang around.

To try and answer a few questions about Ms. Piggy; I bought her strictly to tinker on and restore to eventually pristine condition.

I'm an old burnt out roady, still doing it, but closer to home nowadays. I had trucks since I was 21 yrs. old, almost 30 years now. I think I smartened up back in '06 when I sold my last working truck, a '97 379 Pete that I pulled tankers, flats, vans, whatever I was doing at the moment with it. I emphasize the word ""THINK", because some days I'm not so sure I should have gotten out altogether. I've had 15 jobs since I sold out, simply because the people I work for just don't do things exactly like I want them to, and that's tough to handle LOL. But all things considered, a steady check and health insurance overrides the desire to be the "General" instead of the private for the most part.

I broke my neck and my left forearm 2 winters ago on my snowmobile (or, I should say "OFF" the snowmobile...sliding across a frozen lake at about 50 mph on my belly,) and that made me realize the importance of having insurance for being stupid. A couple of titanium parts in the neck and a bracket with 4 screws to keep my head from bobbing front to back, put it all into perspective for once. I asked the surgeon if he would install a port in my neck to squirt some PB Blaster into it to keep the parts lubed up, but he wouldn't hear me. The good news is, since that day of my proving how stupid I am, I haven't had a neck ache since he changed all the components in there. So all's well that ends well.

Tony Bullard...we're almost neighbors, about 150 miles apart or so. I'm down on rt. 9 between Bennington and Wilmington, atop this God-foresaken mountain where it snows in July. I was almost headed to Hardwick, Vt. today to buy a used mobile home furnace to heat my mancave so I can tinker and polish Ms. Piggy's wheels over the winter...but found one 22 miles away in Massachusetts instead.I'm alway up in Berlin/ Richmond, Vt. as I haul propane, and I load in Berlin a lot, deliver in Richmond quite often too. I'll be there Monday matter of fact.

I plan on being in W. Springfield, Mass. with Ms. Piggy, done or not done. It runs perfect, drives perfect, so why not bring it there as a work in progress? I've been to Cortland, NY to the Brockway show and have seen many an old Brockway that was still in progress. I should have it shined up enough to attract a little attention anyways.

I'm not really a giant Freightliner fan myself, but I grew up a product of the '70's when my 2 older brothers drove for Kroblin Transportation out of Waterloo, Iowa. The ran swinging beef from Iowa to Maine every week for several years, in them old Freightliner cabovers. They had shiny 290 Cummins and 10 speeds, and a sleeper just wide enough to lay in sideways. Cardboard interiors, bare bones. But they took pride in making them run good.

 In my own opinion, true Freightliners were discontinued in 1976 when White Motors split off from Freightliner, Western Star, Autocar and they all went on their own. But this one is still the old style look and interior I absolutely love. I think 1985? they changed over to the new interiors, and grills, etc. From that point on, I don't take a second look at them unless there's something extraordinary about them.

Back in the olden days, my brother's CB handle was "C Clamp". It was derived from his trick of putting a c clamp on the return fuel line to increase pressure to the pump back then. At night, there'd be a piece of flame from the stack a foot long, and she'd be whistling along like nothing was wrong. It must have been amusing seeing an old stripped down, fleet spec Freightliner sifting on by like they had some big power. Those were the days.:P

I hope I'm not breaking the forum rules by being so "long winded". I tend to ramble a little once in a while. If so, let me know and I'll condense my nonsense.

Thanks again for the welcome here.
By Warren Bauck - Saturday, December 17, 2011 12:48 PM
Great looking truck Tommy. You done good with that ol good lookin rig  . I hope to find something in about the same shape whatever make I end up with.

  Congrats , looks like alot of fun.
By Tommyz - Saturday, December 17, 2011 12:50 PM
Thanks Crackerbox. I really like that line of Generals. Good looking collection.
By Tommyz - Saturday, December 17, 2011 12:55 PM
Thank you Warren, you'll find something I'm sure. I hallucinated about having an old truck to tinker with now for so many years I can't recall, now I've got one finally. All from just looking around while out and about, working, etc. Came across this old gal at a welding/repair shop. I never thought of stopping to ask about it for several months until one particular day I had a few extra minutes, so I did and it was well worth the stop.

They laughed at me at first. Once I got it fired up and drove it down the road, they sort of changed their tune. That's part of the fun.
By John Stephens - Saturday, December 17, 2011 2:02 PM
By rickknox - Saturday, December 17, 2011 3:22 PM

I'm a Freightliner nut myself. I just sold my beloved 78 96" cab Shaker to Bill a couple of months ago and lowered my standards by stepping into a 359 Pete. It has the same interior as your only in blue with the wood grain top door panels. I also have a 62 Shaker sitting in the wings waiting to come in to be restored. Right now I'm finishing my 59 Acar.

Man, I sure miss my Shaker! If I can hit the lottery, I will own it again.

Again, WELCOME to the board and the ATHS.

By Don Hancock - Saturday, December 17, 2011 5:30 PM
Welcome Tommy, I'm a cabover guy myself. Looked at an 81 359 Pete in Maine a few weeks ago but it needed a lot of work and I didn't feel in my comfort zone driving it. I have always driven cabovers and they are few and far between. I just picked up an 83 362 double bunk Pete 2 weeks ago in Jersey. I will be at West Springfield also work in progress, I've had a 68 Crackerbox for the last year and showed that as is in mostly original condition.
By GEOFF - Saturday, December 17, 2011 6:03 PM

Imagine saying that you LOWERED your standards to get a 359 Pete!!!!!!  Truthfully now, I'll bet you've never felt SO GOOD as you do now that you are a proud owner of such a fine piece of class!!!!  LOL!!!!  A Pete 359 is about as classic Americana as you can get!

By dieselsmoke - Saturday, December 17, 2011 6:35 PM
Welcome aboard Tommy from the northwestern corner of Vermont. Lookes like a good starting point. Good luck with miss piggy.
By Tommyz - Sunday, December 18, 2011 1:32 AM
I'll forgive you for lowering your standards even if no one else will rickknox...I'd hazard to say when I find the right one, I'll jump on that too!!!:laugh:

Right now I'm having a midlife crisis/flashback/hallucination issue with cabovers for some reason. Especially the old classics I used to marvel at as a kid. Now that I'm a big kid, I am thinking I need one of each flavor to complete my hunger someday. The next one is going to be a double bunk 110" bbc cabover Pete to play with.

The reason I got this Shaker was simply for the amount of new work it had done recently. I am starting off with a good, sound piece to clean up for sure. The 2000 379 I drive daily has way more leaks than Ms. Piggy!

In the event I come across a 359 in decent driveable shape with two shift levers sticking through the floor though....despite love, finances, or circumstances, I would be owning that for sure. It will have to have a bedroom attached though, for a place to stay while going through the legal proceedings with the wife unfortunately. I'm crazy enough to trade 25 years of marriage for a set of crowbars...:Whistling: That's a disease right there.
By Tommyz - Sunday, December 18, 2011 1:34 AM
Thank you dieselsmoke, you're another neighbor, only 3.5 hours up route 7.:P
By Tommyz - Sunday, December 18, 2011 1:41 AM
That's good to hear Don, that you're showing in the progressive stages of working on them. I was hesitant to do that originally, because the average person doesn't "get it" when it comes to something old, faded, but working well. I pulled into the dooryard with this old Shaker last Saturday expecting my wife to have the same Cheshire Cat, ear-to-ear grin on that I know, the one a possum has on when he's fooling the dog kind of grin...but I was grossly discouraged. No grin, not even a smile. It was more like an "eeeeeeeewwww, what's that hunk 'o junk" type of facial expression that really knocked the wind out of me. But, I shall press on, enjoying the fruits of my labor and listening to the voices inside my own head encouraging me to look past the rust, scale, and faded paint to a happier place. Some people just "don't get it", do they?:laugh:
By tomchristopher71 - Sunday, December 18, 2011 2:51 AM
Welcome. Nice Cabover Freightliner. Looking forward to see it in Springfield.
By Don Hancock - Sunday, December 18, 2011 3:04 AM

I got the same reaction from the wife when the Crackerbox came home but it was much better with the Pete.
By dieselsmoke - Sunday, December 18, 2011 3:08 AM
I know all about that. My wife was very discouraged with me when I told her what I was bringing home.I think I have a few friends and family members that think I'm nuts too but thats ok. Sometimes a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do. They will see when there all shined up and all the fun we are having with them.
By Don Hancock - Sunday, December 18, 2011 3:24 AM
Most people outside the fringe don't get it, but it's the same as a "normal person" collecting and restoring old cars.  Heck my brother in law collects paintings of olives! I can't see that you can't listen to em touch em or DRIVE em.
By kblackav8or - Sunday, December 18, 2011 4:43 AM
Wives get over it over time after you drag them to a show or 2 or some other event.  It may never be "their thing" but they grow to accept it is part of what you are.  Explain how it is no different then collecting motorcycles or any antique for your house. 
By Terry Tombaugh - Sunday, December 18, 2011 4:48 AM
Welcome aboard!  Nice truck you have there...

By wayne graham - Sunday, December 18, 2011 5:38 AM
kblackav8or (12/18/2011)
Wives get over it over time after you drag them to a show or 2 or some other event.  It may never be "their thing" but they grow to accept it is part of what you are.  Explain how it is no different then collecting motorcycles or any antique for your house. 
Kevin, This may not be their thing but when I am in my shop I am not in a saloon or out buying a 20,000.00 bass boat or gone to a golf tournament with a bunch chasing skirts or a whole lot of other things I can think of. I even swore off bikes and I don't smoke or drink so I think some one should indulge me a little KW or Pete or both. Wayne
By Tommyz - Sunday, December 18, 2011 7:36 AM
Don Hancock (12/18/2011)

I got the same reaction from the wife when the Crackerbox came home but it was much better with the Pete.

Hehehe, probably a bit more pleasing to the eyes for her Don. I saw you're from Shelton. My parents (many,many moons ago,) lived in Shelton and Ansonia, then migrated to East Haven. I then migrated to here. Take route 8 north to the very end, make a left, and I'm 1.5 miles on the right side. Ms. Piggy's the new landmark for those who understand.;)
By Tommyz - Sunday, December 18, 2011 7:37 AM
Terry Tombaugh (12/18/2011)
Welcome aboard!  Nice truck you have there...


Thanks T. Glad to be on board.
By Don Hancock - Sunday, December 18, 2011 7:49 AM

Be a pleasure to meet you in Mass in the spring. We are actually migrating south after the show, the company I work for has an office in Ft Lauderdale so we are working on a transfer. Now I gotta find a cheap trailer to load up for the move.