Low-Mile Tandem Day-Cab: 1994 Ford L-8000 H.D.

When I was a little kid, I had this Tonka interactive computer game that hooked up this toy control to the keyboard of my family’s computer. In that game, I got to play all kinds of activities with trucks and construction equipment (bulldozers, excavators, front loaders, backhoes, etc.), and played a simulator driving a tractor trailer. Since then, I have been smitten with full-size trucks; their appearance is so aggressive and brawny to me. This 1994 Ford L-8000 H.D. is a perfect example of the statement above, and features low miles, the optional Cummins diesel engine, and original and beautiful red paint. Find it here on Hemmings in Belleview, Missouri, with an asking price of $18,500.

Introduced in 1970 to compete against GMC commercial, Kenworth, Mack, and Peterbuilt, the L-Series (nicknamed “Louisville Line” due to its manufacturing being done in Louisville, Kentucky) was Ford’s first Class 8 truck and replaced Ford’s N-Series. The L8000 had a 35,000 pound GVW as its base gross weight, and could be made available in any style of Class 8 truck. This L8000 is a 1994 model, features a 52,000 pound GVW, and was originally used by the Hamilton County Highway Department truck (most likely to haul trailers, since it is set up as a dual-rear axle tractor. Overall, this truck is in perfect condition, featuring R/22.5 Bud wheels wrapped in virgin 90% rubber, red paint with white rear fenders and a gray front bumper, air dryer, air brakes, dual air horns, dual fuel tanks, and a slew of other cool features. This truck is nicely spec’d, and the seller recommends converting the truck to a dump truck. Personally, I would leave it as-is and take it to truck shows all around the country.

Much like the rest of the truck, the truck is nicely spec’d in the drivetrain department: a Cummins diesel (most likely the 8.3L). Rated at 250 horsepower, the C8.3 Cummins (the engine in this truck) in this Ford L-8000 has only covered 69,041 miles in its 23-year life, and is so clean you can eat off of it. The C8.3 is backed by a Road Ranger RT-7608LL Eaton Fuller 8LL transmission, and features a differential lock-out rear, block heater, wet kit, and live PTO. If properly maintained, the truck and its drivetrain should be able to rack up the miles no problem (personally, I would drive this truck sparingly). The truck was recently serviced, and two new batteries were put in during its service. I would take all the necessary steps to keep this truck’s drivetrain in tip-top shape.

In the words of the venerable David Freiburger, the inside of this truck (much like the rest of the truck), is “mint”. The gray cloth-and-vinyl seats and gray dash nicely complement the red door panels and the black steering wheel, and I love that this truck has manual windows. Overall, this truck is one of the nicest I’ve seen for sale today, and its mileage might be the lowest I’ve seen to date on a L-Series truck. I’ve seen a same-year truck online for sale for more than three-times more than this truck’s selling price. What are your thoughts on this low-mile 1994 L-8000?

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  1. Matt

    Would make a great dump truck but wheel base to short, it would be worth changing the wheel base tho. Small power for any heavy hauling . I would buy it if was closer to me

  2. Ralph Terhune

    I think Freiburger would have called it “minty fresh”.

  3. Carnutdallas

    Truck will literally beat you to death if not loaded down with something. I use to own similar truck in white and a single screw. Drove it all over the country hauling my Wally Mo 4 car hauler. Was dead reliable, but not one to really run around town in. Give me an air ride 9000 or better yet, a real truck like my KW t800 wide hood. That is a truck!!!

  4. Howard A Member

    Oh Mitchell, how could you? Just when my back was beginning to feel better,,,
    I made my living in one of these. Well, several different versions of the Louisville, actually. These were in direct competition with IH at the time. Both about neck and neck. One wasn’t any better than the other, pretty much the same mechanical’s, except Ford was much more popular. The Louisville’s I drove were a single and tandem dumps, single axle tractor, 238 Detroit, a tandem axle like this, only a L9000 with an L-10 270 hp Cummins, which was totally worthless. I’m a fan of big motors in trucks. It’s foolhardy to plod along with an underpowered truck, like this, when so many nicer motors are out there. This truck was clearly spec’d out by some bean counter, looking to save the company money in alleged fuel savings, but what happens, is the driver has their foot to floor all day, and burns the motor out, so give the driver a decent motor, I say. The Louisville line was the staple of the trucking industry, city wise, although, I have seen some brave souls doing OTR with these. Not the toughest city rigs, that would be a Mack, but you could probably get 3 Ford’s for the price of 2 Macks. I remember talking to a waitress in Louisville, Kentucky once, I mentioned the Ford trucks, and the smile ran away from her face. She said, when Ford stopped the Louisville line, it devastated the city, many jobs lost. Great truck, but again, horribly underpowered.( and the 8 speed is also worthless) With a tandem, you know you are going to have to pull a heavy ( 80,000gross) load, and struggle you will. Hope you are getting paid by the hour.( like the county worker!) Today, I wouldn’t drive a truck with less than 500hp. BTW, the “wet kit” mentioned, means it is set up for a dump trailer. Thanks for the write up, Mitchell.

    • Howard A Member

      Oh, one more thing, ( hey, sorry, trucks is me) that rear suspension, a “Hendrickson walking beam” will give you a back like mine. Shake you, and the truck to pieces, it will. And “weed burner” exhaust, pfft, come on.( typical company truck) Already got the holes in the dash for the CB, but more accurately, it more than likely was a 2 way radio. Reason for the low mileage, these county trucks didn’t go far, and sat most of the time.

  5. Rod444

    I’d take off one rear axle, put in an air ride seat and use it to haul a monstrous 40 ft fifth wheel travel trailers that some guys seem to think they can handle with their F250 dually. Sure, you can get it rollin, but can you get it to stop?

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