1953 International R-182 COE Fuel Delivery Truck
I added another COE truck, or Cab Over Engine, to the vehicle fleet!
This COE truck was relatively “close” to home, and on auction, so I took the opportunity on an afternoon to go preview it. The picture that the auctioneer’s had posted on their website was pretty poor, so I wasn’t too excited about it.
However, in person, the truck showed a lot of promise! Fairly straight, complete, and minimal rust for the year. Cab corners were solid, and overall seemed in decent condition. They had also cleaned it up, so you could actually inspect the truck.
Here’s the pics during the preview:
I couldn’t be at the auction in person, so I put in a pre-bid with the auctioneer, and decided to watch it online.
Glad I was watching, because when it came time for the bidding, it slowly went up, and just over my pre-bid. I quickly bid online, and after only a little bit of back and forth, I was the winner!
I then arranged to pick it up the following weekend….
Weekend came, and we (wife, daughter & I) headed up with the truck and blue flatbed trailer to pick it up. I knew I would be right at the upper limits of this trailer’s capacity, and I also knew that the tires were getting pretty old and dry rotted….
The loading process was pretty simple, I tilted the deck, and then some guys helped push it on with a large forklift. It was a tight fit! I could also see that my trailer tires were really squished down, and I knew this truck was heavy, a lot heavier than I had imagined!
I had my air pump with, so I pumped up the tires, getting them up to 50psi, and they still looked mighty squished down!
The pickup truck struggled to even get the whole rig moving, and that verified just how heavy this might be. We very slowly pulled out, cautiously made our way along the 3 miles of gravel until we got to the main asphalt road. At this point, I knew I needed to continue to go very slow due to weight and concern for trailer tires. I kept the speed to ~25 mph, and that was plenty fast! We were only 38 miles from home, so going slow wouldn’t be a problem. After a few miles, I stopped to check the trailer tires…. they were slightly warm, but not enough to be super concerned as long as I kept the speed down. We continued on, and when we’d gone a total of about 10 miles, I was discussing with the wife how tires that get too hot can blow, and sure enough, a trailer tire blew out!! It was the passenger rearmost tire of the trailer.
Fortunately, going slow it wasn’t a concern, and we were right at a gravel approach, so I backed into the side we were close too, and then pulled across the road and straight into the other side, as the gravel was better there. Because we caught the blown tire so quickly, the rim didn’t even get scratched!
I only had the OEM pickup jack with me, and no spare tire, so I jacked up the trailer (jack barely lifted it) and got the blown tire off. Unhitched the trailer, left it on the approach, and we headed into town to Walmart to get a new tire. No other tire shops were open… While we waited, we had some lunch, shopped for a few items (a new SUV jack), and got the new tire. Then we headed back up to the trailer. Having the new jack with 6000 lb capacity was nice, as I needed to lift the trailer much higher to get the new tire on. Even with the new jack, it was not easy to raise it up higher, which further confirmed just how heavy this truck was!
Tire back on, I carefully backed out onto the road, and we continued on. I kept the speed even lower, only going 15-20 mph, and decided to check tires every couple of miles or so. Sure enough, the otherside rear tire was getting hot, so we stopped for a few mins to let it cool off. The COE truck is so heavy in the rear, so the rear set of tandems were carrying a majority of the weight. We ended up making it another 6 miles or so, stopping regularly to let the tires cool and even then the driver’s rear tandem tire blew. Fortunately, we were right by a grain bin operation with plenty of space to pull in and work. Again, we were fortunate to be so close, so the second rim didn’t get scratched from the road.
I took off the tire, left a note in the cab of the COE truck, and we headed into town for another visit to Walmart! Everyone else seemed to be having similar problems, as they were busy, and the wait was going to be ~2.5 hrs! That was going to push us into evening, and it’d be dark by then. We took a leisurely supper, and afterwards checked on the tire, it was next up so we killed a bit more time, and finally got the tire. It was dark by this time, and I was tired, so we punted on going back to the trailer, and went to the rodeo instead! That was fun and relaxing, and then we called it a night.
The next morning, I headed back up to the trailer by myself with the 2nd tire, and got it back on. I also noticed that the new tire was basically touching the outside dual tire of the COE truck, as the inside dual tire was low on air. So I put the jack in there, and lifted the truck up slightly to keep the truck tire from rubbing on my new trailer tire. Here’s before and after:
I had the truck hitched up, and continued on with the journey. I thought I should probably still check the tires, so after 1 mile, I pulled off, and checked. The new tires were doing just fine, and there didn’t seem to be much heat in the old tires. But, just as I went to pull away, one of the old tires blew! Fortunately, there was again a nice pull off area, as there was a water treatment holding tank place, so I pulled in there. Since these old tires were just not holding up, I decided to remove both of the old tires, and get them both replaced. I knew it was just a matter of time before the last one would blow, so enough was enough. I had enough blocks with me to get one tire off, let it down on blocks, and then lift the other side with the jack to get the second tire off. My wife and daughter grabbed a second SUV jack that I had in the garage, and some more blocking and met me there, but I already had both tires off. But I put the extra blocks under the trailer for safety, as well as the second jack, and then headed off to Walmart again! Fortunately, they still had 2 trailer tires left, and only about an hour wait. I also decided to check Runnings to see if I could get an additional spare tire/wheel combo, which they had. By the time I finished there, my tires were done at Walmart. I loaded up all 3 tires, and headed back up to the trailer. Using 2 jacks was a lot easier to lift the trailer up to fit the new tires back on.
So now I had 4 brand new trailer tires on… I better be able to get the rest of the way home!
I still checked tires every couple of miles, and kept the speed to ~20 mph, and I made it home! What a relief, what should have been a round trip of 76 miles turned into 211+ trip over 2 days!
Since the COE truck is so heavy, once I got home and backed onto the driveway concrete pad, I jacked up the trailer and put wood blocks under it to keep a majority of the weight off of the trailer tires. I suspect that there might be some remaining fuel oil in the tanks of the truck, which would add a lot of rear weight.
I want to check to see if the engine is free, and see if there’s a chance it would start.
I am also open to offers on this truck if anyone is interested in buying it. It would make a great water truck for a dirt track, and lots of room for advertising on the truck itself.