Here’s Why I Bought a Semi Glider, Instead of a New Truck: Dude, I Love (or Hate) My Ride (Video)

What is a semi truck glider kit? What is it like to be an independent truck owner/operator? We speak with Dan, owner of this 2017 Freightliner Cascadia glider kit, to learn as much as possible the world of heavy trucking on this TFLtruck episode of “Dude, I Love or Hate My Ride!”

A “glider kit” is a new semi truck chassis that uses older remanufactured engine, transmission, and/or rear axles. In fact, two of there components must be remanufactured in order for the truck to be a “glider”. Basically, the chassis, suspension, and the cab are new (in this case a 2017 Cascadia), and the engine, transmission, and rear axles are rebuilt. Only a certain number of “glider kit” trucks are allowed to be sold per year. It’s not easy to find one for purchase.

This particular truck has a 1999 Detroit diesel engine and a 13-speed Eaton manual transmission. The rear axles are also remanufactured. This truck does not have the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) emissions system, nor does it have an electronic trip logging system.

Dan has owned this big rig for two years and put about 302,000 miles on it, hauling freight all over the lower 47 states. It’s not the lower 48 states, because California has stricter emissions regulations that do not allow an older diesel engine without the DEF system to enter. Technically, there is one-time trip exception in California for older trucks.

There are some upcoming regulations in process now that

Dan takes me for ride around town in this big rig and shows me how to “float through the gears”. Join the video for big rig fun.