IH Loadstar 1600 Series 4x4

1973 IH 4x4

What you see to the left here in a 1973 LoadStar 1600 4x4 service truck. It spent its youthful years as a service truck for the Southern Pacific Railroad and came to the VanNatta's in the early 1990's. It has a V8-345 engine, a 4 speed Transmission along with a 2 speed transfer case. The tool body provides ample storage for a welder, air compressor, and tools to fix almost anything. It is has rather rare "Motor Wheels" instead of the more common "Budd Wheels". It is a 2-piece wheel for tube type tires, similar to a Budd, but the lug bolting is different. they are something like you would expect on a 'dually pickup' instead of the classic Budd 'inner and outer' nuts. The driving front axle features Warn hubs just as were common on smaller 4x4's of the time.

1600a.jpg - 6.4 K
1698a.jpg - 5.8 K
1973 IH 4x4

That Gas Drive Miller welder which is traditionally located behind the right front door is of the contractors special type which provides electric power for various hand tools, and also for a 'hot shot' battery charger which we use to take care of those low batteries. Many of the logging machines have 24 volt systems, and a set of jumper cables from your pickup just doesn't do the job. A few minutes on 'quick charge' and most sleepy batteries are perked up.

With the heavy equipment, heavy tools are called for, and that means impact wrenches. This is the reason for the compressor as much as anything. Its not that you don't need air for a tire once in a while, but most of the equipment has its own air, and we have air chucks for that on every machine with air, but to run an impact wrench you need real air. We carry a 2 stage gas drive 17 CFM compressor. This will provide full duty cycle for the 1 inch drive impact wrench, but runs behind on the 1.5" impact wrench. The latter which is best reserved only for bolts over 1.25" or so and larger in diameter we don't use all that often, but when you need it you need it. It works to 3,000 lbs torque which means that it does quite nicely on things that 2 strong men and a 6 foot bar can't move.


When it comes to dealing with tool bodies, one must remember that there are a number of manufacturers and all tool bodies are not alike. To be sure they usually have doors down the sides and a cargo space inside but there the similarity ends. Beside being made for various wheelbase trucks, the side compartments will be of varying depths. If cargo space inside the back of the truck is important you will want shallow side storage compartments to maximize interior space. Some are less than 96" wide and others aren't. As in the case of a utility bucket truck, the storage is secondary but in the vehicle shown obviously storage is the function. Some trucks will have a sliding roof and locking back doors while others are open topped. Some will have nifty little 'good thing' compartments while others don't.

It isn't obvious in the photo, but this service truck has the right front compartment cut out, and a Gas Drive Miller Welder generator is plopped securely crossways in the crossways in the front of the truck. Open the side door and the welding leads are hanging in the compartment and the business end of the welder is flush with the back of the compartment. Elsewhere in the back is a 15 CFM Gas drive air compressor. These delightful Miller welders also provide 115/220 volt AC current up to 5 KW so this unit is is a full shop on wheels. The generator will handle various lights and electric tools as well as a large hot shot battery charger which is very important when you have big diesel engines which may sit around for a while and cold weather.

What it doesn't have is a shop crane. In the logging business nearly every part is too big and heavy for even a man with a strong back and a weak mind to lift. If the business plan contemplates that the truck will work alone, the service truck will likely also have a crane for lifting the pieces. This usually means that you have to trade off some of the storage space and usually the rain roof for a crane mount on the right rear corner. The boom is suppose to lift off the parts and load them in the back of the vehicle. This vehicle lacks that boom which implies that other arrangements will be made for a crane.

There is no perfect design for a repair truck. You have to make some trade offs and compromises. There is a limit to the number of features that can be crammed into an 8'x10' space and the density can easily add up to a vehicle that is overweight as well. Loggers usually have a log loader around which doubles as a yard crane. Whimpy log loaders will almost always lift 5 tons (because they need to be able to lift a log trailer) and strong log loaders will lift up to 20 tons which is usually enough for a yard crane. When it isn't, most loggers can marshal a couple log loaders for a cooperative lift when there is serious lifting to be done, so getting something lifted where there are loggers is usually not a problem. Now, if it needs to be lifted gently, that may be a problem, however.

- - Updated 01/20/2013
- - Updated 04/26/2008
- - Updated 2/08/01
- - Updated 03/27/2008
- - Updated 04/01/2008