Trailer Talk

Las Vegas Pete Uses an 'Anvil' as a Billboard

February 25, 2011

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Most trailers used for product promotion are vans whose broad sides become rolling billboards for truck components of some kind or other. But here we have an end-dump trailer whose message is aimed at construction guys.
Ranco Anvil 34-foot end-dump is part of a demo rig for Paccar's MX-13 diesel.
Ranco Anvil 34-foot end-dump is part of a demo rig for Paccar's MX-13 diesel.

This 34-foot Ranco Anvil, so named for its all-steel fabrication and its presumed toughness, is part of a demonstration rig ordered by Sales Manager Wes Gayhart at Las Vegas Peterbilt. Graphics on the trailer proclaim, "Powered by Quality... Paccar MX."

The Model 365 tractor up front has an MX-485, the most powerful rating of the 12.8-liter engine. Paccar introduced the MX a bit more than a year ago, and it's now standard in many Class 8 Peterbilts and Kenworths. This tractor has western vocational specs, including a forward-set steer axle, a long 227-inch wheelbase, and a wet kit to tip the trailer.

Gayhart says the tractor and trailer are for sale, but in the meantime the rig's there for demos of the strong MX. Like colleagues at other Pete and KW dealers, he's trying to show truckers that the modern 12.8-liter engine can perform many jobs traditionally done by bigger 15-liter diesels.

One is pulling single or double aggregate trailers commonly run in the Las Vegas area, though not nearly as much at the moment, as most home and commercial construction is at a recession-induced standstill. There were still some running in mid January, when I was there for the World of Concrete show. Those rigs are supporting road building, and some of the projects are being paid for by federal stimulus money.

The MX ably pulled the Anvil, which had been loaded with river rock to bring the rig's gross combination weight to about 77,000 pounds, close to the federal Formula B's legal limit for the rig's "outer bridge" (the distance between axles 1 and 5) of 47 feet. I drove it up several healthy hills, and between its 485 horses and torque of 1,650 pounds-feet, the MX maintained the road speeds we started with at the bottom of the hills. It dropped only a couple of miles per hour when I began at 65 mph, but otherwise just hung in.

Gayhart thinks the MX would also do a good job of pulling double belly dumps. In Nevada such rigs can gross up to 129,000 pounds on nine axles. "Heavy haulers would want something more" in performance, he concedes, and for them Pete and KW offer the Cummins ISX, which he fully supports as a choice.

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Author Bio

Tom Berg

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Senior Contributing Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.


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