Truck of the Month

February 2018
Ricky Hippler's Consolidated Freightways 1993 Freightliner FLA
1993 Freightliner FLA and Road Systems Trailer
WRITTEN BY:
  • Duncan Putman
PHOTOS COURTESY OF:
  • Ricky Hippler
We all know truckers who buy and or restore vintage trucks. Some of them even have trailers that were from the same era as their antique tractors. Very few, however, are able to assemble a tractor unit with a matching doubles trailer setup.

Ricky Hippler is one of these few and has put together an impressive Freightliner and doubles set of pups from old Consolidated Freightways equipment.
1993 Freightliner FLA with Road Systems Doubles
1993 Freightliner FLA with Road Systems Doubles
Hippler’s 1993 Freightliner FLA cabover is powered by an 11.1 liter Series 60 Detroit Diesel rated at 325 bhp. The original transmission was a seven speed Eaton Fuller T14607a direct 1:1. He has since changed it out with an FRO16210C Fuller 0.74 overdrive to allow him to run at highway speeds.

Ricky, from Weare, NH, says his tractor is a typical “plain Jane” Consolidated Freightways unit with no factory installed radio, tachometer, odometer, nor extra gauges. He did, however, install an AM/FM radio in the dash and has XM radio. The FLA was a low-cost fleet rig with manual steering, air start and spring suspension. CF purchased it in 1993 and designated it as an 18 series linehaul truck. When new FLB cabovers were purchased in 1996, the tractor was re-designated to a 14 series. These unit numbers are still lettered on the front of the tractor. Calculating the mileage is difficult as it has no odometer, but the ELM indicates 23,500 hours.
1993 Freightliner FLA with Road Systems Doubles
The former CF trailers are 1991 and 1992 Road Systems models CF28102. They’re connected by a 1985 RSI converter.

Hippler also owns a 1990 Ford LN700 that he bought on Ebay in 2010. The tractor was located in North Carolina where it was used by a tow company that had bought it at auction in Atlanta. It turned out to be too low-geared for towing purposes and was sold. Ricky drove it home at a top speed of 47 miles per hour! As he entered Connecticut on I-95 it broke down because of clogged fuel filters. He improvised using a bucket, and some hose line running through the heater box to make it home.
1993 Freightliner FLA and 1990 Ford LN with Road Systems Trailers
As the Ford was originally a CF unit, he changed it back to its original look with Consolidated Freightways lettering and stripes. When he bought it, it had 180,000 miles and was powered by a 6.6 401 ci Ford Brazilian 6 cylinder 170 bhp engine. The transmission was a Spicer 5 speed ES53-5D. It had manual steering and a bench seat.

Ricky souped up the engine a bit and has switched out the transmission to a 6 speed FS6406a Fuller. He also added new seats, a Lund visor and a chrome bumper. Hippler says the Ford is a lot of fun to drive as it’s a good runner and turns heads wherever he goes.
1990 Ford LN with Road Systems Trailer
1990 Ford LN with Road Systems Trailer
Ricky plans to attend the 2018 American Truck Historical Society National Convention in Lexington, Kentucky and will have his former Consolidated Freightways unit on display. He's currently readying the Freightliner for the trip, plus he's been updating the trailers with new brakes, seals, air lines and tires.
EDITOR'S NOTE:
  • Special thanks to Ricky for taking the time to talk to us and keeping a few pieces of Consolidated Freightways history alive for all of us to enjoy!
  • Do you own a unique rig? Get your truck featured here on our website and show-it-off to the world! Click Here to contact us and tell us about your truck!

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