International Harvester SF180 Truck

Sf180a.jpg - 7.4 K
IH SF180 7-9 yard dump
SF180 on the way out
Waiting for a ride to scrap yard

Shown here is the Van Natta's first tandem axle dump truck. This 1958 model (circa) was a tad newer than the SF170 fire truck shown elsewhere because it had a 12 electric system. the cab was essentially the same however. The interior featured a separate drivers seat instead of the classic bench seat. We acquired in in 1969 with a blown engine for as I recall $1,100.. We rebuilt the engine and used it for nearly a decade. The engine was a BD308 followed by a 5 speed main and a 4 speed 60 series progressive brownie. It had full air brakes and 28k rear ends and 10 hole budd wheels.

The dump box was of the 7-9 yard variety which was plenty for this truck. It was geared low enough that it never ran out of power, but first in the main box and lots of shifting in the browie was the order of the day for the steep ground that we worked on.

Ultimately we were through most of the boxes on it, but it is hard say that it wasn't a good truck. It was a relatively light duty gravel truck (though it had a double steel frame) and we used it off highway for building logging roads out of pit run. When we finally retired it , it was not because it was completely dead, but rather we were simply impatient to get the roads built in the limited amount of time available, and we calculated that a stronger diesel truck would haul more rock faster.

It was trucks like this that created the legends of 'slow trucks' on hills. With a BD308 engine (308 CU inch displacement), you just shifted down. This truck featured IH's small block 6, which was fundamentally the same engine they had been using in medium trucks since the 1930's, although the displacement was increased slightly. The IH D-35 featured elsewhere had this same engine with a 250 Cu. in. displacement which upgraded to 262 by changing the sleeves on overhaul. The BD 282 was this same engine without replaceable sleeves, and the 308 was a restroked version of the 282. It was a reliable and popular engine, but in a tendem axle truck it didn't cut it. You were talking about going up hills at 2 to 5 mph. On the 10 to 15% grades that we worked on, it was deep low all the way at about a fast walk speed.

By way of evolution, the S series IH had the same cab as the earlier R and L series trucks. The Front fenders, and hood were different. The R series trucks had a butterfly hood, but the hood on this was a single piece. It was hinged on both sides and had two hood releases so you could lift the hood on either side, or if you released both sides you could take the hood off. IH moved to a V-8 gas motor family in the early 1960's. They ultimately released the "Loadstar" series which was designed for a V-8 around 1963 or 1964. The V-8 motor arrived before the "Loadstar" did, and some later trucks with this cab and still different reworked fenders had smallblock V-8's (V-304 and V-345) in them.

- - Updated 01/20/2013
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- - Updated 9/05/2005
- - Updated 03/27/2008