Layout and truck driving.

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by KCS, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. KCS

    KCS Member

    Well guy's, I'm fixing to start driving a truck and I'm being forced into a prehire with Swift trucking sense the finance company want's something to fall back on that I will pay my school money back. Sense I'm gonna be driving over the road for a while, I'm thinking after I get my own truck about building a small little switching layout to put up in the top bunk to run when I'm sitting in a dock door or something. Anyone have any idea on what would be good? I'm planning on getting a couple of SW-1's because that's about all I'll have room for. I have a tray box that will hold just enough to keep me tied over.

    The layout will be portable with maybe about 6 hand throws. It shouldn't be hard to build and be able to be done in a weekend. I just need a few idea's. I'm thinking maybe no more than 4 feet long and 1 1/2 wide.
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    What about the good old Time Saver in N scale.

  3. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    try it has a boat load of small layouts in all scales.hope this helps.--josh

  4. KCS

    KCS Member

    Thank's for the link Josh and no hard feeling's but I've already seen it a bunch of time's and I haven't liked much of what I saw on there. Thank ya though. Na, I'm looking for something that hasn't been created yet. Something fresh to where I have to work to figure out how to work with it.:thumb:
  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    I would recommend looking at for some ideas for very, very compact layouts--the section on shelf switchers will probably provide some serious inspiration. Consider a GE 44 or 70 tonner as your motive power--a little easier to find than the Walthers SW1, although that is a great locomotive.

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  6. KCS

    KCS Member

    I dunno about the Walthers SW1's. I didn't know they had them. One of our club memebr's has a couple in SP but I think they are life-like or atlas. They have some really good detail so I know they aren't Walthers. Thanks for the link. I don't think I've been to that site before but may have and don't remember. I'll check it out.
  7. KCS

    KCS Member

    I dunno about the Walthers SW1's. I didn't know they had them. One of our club memebr's has a couple in SP but I think they are life-like or atlas. They have some really good detail so I know they aren't Walthers. Thanks for the link. I don't think I've been to that site before but may have and don't remember. I'll check it out.
  8. BNYC

    BNYC New Member

    Hey KCS, I havent posted much on this site not much to post yet, no digital camera for my layout. I see your going with swift, I drove for a couple of years with schneider national and now with roadway. I thought about putting a switching type layout on the top bunk myself and gave it a try when I drove OTR and that small layout 3x6 didnt last long on the top bunk. The truck rattled it to peices. Maybe it was the truck I dunno (I had a freightliner aka "Freightshaker") Those are rough trucks to drive in let alone have something like a model layout on the top bunk. With that said there are somethings you can do with a layout in your sleeper. I used to do weathering,building small strutures maybe a bridge or two. An airbrush is not going to work,no place to vent the exhasut and swift wouldnt be to happy when they see it in your bunk. Small projects are great to do when your shut down in a truckstop or at the customer waiting to be loaded or unloaded. And if you get stuck at a food warehouse youll be able to bulid alot of model railroad stuff those customers dot move very fast when it comes to drivers. Another plus are railyards I dont know how involved swift is with intermodal but with schneider I was always in railyards waiting and looking for containers. Great spot to railfan if you have some extra time. Chicago is fun for railfanning not so much for driving a truck in or out of Im afraid. :wave:
  9. KCS

    KCS Member

    Welcome to the Gauge BNYC! Yea, as far as I know Swift has a nice sized intermodel operation going on but for one I doubt I'll be doing that sense the hiring area I'm in will keep me in the South western part of the country so no intermodel for me. I was hoping to get a freightshaker more than anything except a KW T-600 which they don't have but as far as building a small layout to put in the top bunk I was thinking of some type of soft rubber feet to absorb a lot of the shock from the cab, reducing damage. Plus I have in mind a way to build it to where I can put the building in a safe place when not in use and securing the layout to the bunk so if any hard bump's or "truck eater's" happen to come up the layout won't end up on the dash of the truck or as a hood ornament for that matter. lmao.
    I think I have a good idea on how to do all this but then again it's by trial and error. I have some old building's I think I'll just use for a test dummy just to see how it play's out sense the building are in bad shape and a bit old it wouldn't be hurting them any. I know when I was riding over the road when I was younger I carried a small box of several kit's and built them going down the road in the sleeper. It wasn't all that bad when you had a truck that road decent. I dunno though. Maybe I could start out by building the layout base and testing it with the old buildings on it. I was thinking of packing the building's in a box at the end of the bunk anyway because there wouldn't be very many and they wouldn't be all that big because it's a small layout.
    As for weathering, I don't know if I would really want the kinda mess in my truck lol. My hand's get dirty when I work on those locomotives. :) But kit building in the mean time sound's like a good idea. I have a while to work on the theory because I have 3 week's of school to go through and then about 4-8 week's on the road with a trainer before I get my own truck so yea. The hard part is the track design. The rest of my ingenuity is great except for track.
  10. BNYC

    BNYC New Member

    Yep lots of things to do while in your sleeper, weathering, kit building also track layout plans for a home bound layout. I dont even know how many track plans I came up with when I was on the road. Mostly I would buy books on the railroad I want to model, The NYC. Research the prototype ya know. Detailing and building locomtives can also be done. I did a few F7AB for the NYC and some rolling stock. Right now Im looking for more pacemaker boxcars it seems as fast as manufacturers come out with them there discountined. Im modeling 1949-1956 so I also need early piggyback cars. If I was still on the road Id be able to try my hand at scratchbuilding those flatcars.. Which reminds me you might not have to much intermodal stuff where your located but you will probably have to go to a railyard to pick up a trailer that was or is going to be TOFC. I see swift trailers out here on flatcars not as many as schneider and JB Hunt though. Im in Buffalo,NY lot of TOFC coming out of the Northeast.
    Now that I think about it you may not get a freightliner Im seeing alot more Volvos around here for swift and around the syracuse terminal. Nice riding trucks I have one now its just a volvo daycab,pulling double pups. A layout might work in these trucks. Good Luck with the trainer remember two things, G.O.A.L. Get Out And Look and keep the shiny side up :D :wave:
  11. LocoIndy76

    LocoIndy76 Member

    I was about to post the same thing when I saw your post.... I drove for Schnieder National for 5 years... Honestly The Freightliners where no more rough than KW, Petes, and Internationals I've driven since...... That being said, a layout on a top bunk WILL be shaken to peices like BNYC said. Also, LIKE BNYC SAID, you will definitely have time to work on it when you waiting to be load/unloaded. I have sat anywhere from 1hr-8hrs waiting.... One time in Columbus, Oh, I waited from Saturday evening to Monday morning to get into a yard to DROP the trailer(Schnieder rushed me from L.A. to Columbus just to get to a "CLOSED FOR THE WEEKEND" company!!!! :curse: ) Then I waited 4hrs to find a EMPTY trailer!

    Honeslty, IMO, you won't have a whole lot of time to do so while at truckstops(I tried to get as much sleep as I could. The most I was ever at a truckstop(unless something was wrong) was 10hrs. I would sleep 6.5-7hrs, shower, and eat and be back on the road....

    All in all, it sounds like a good idea to work on a layout in the truck, but leaving it on the top bunk isn't going to work(I don't think) If you could make it easily movable you could put UNDER lower bunk in storage while you drove.... While it is still rough, it isn't as bad.

    I hope you enjoy driving. I LOVED IT, but I got married and being gone 3wks at a time and being home for 3-4 days a month wasn't going to work.... I really miss it sometimes..... This time of year I don't miss it as much!!! :rolleyes: Some of the roads out west get scary in the winter!!!!! :D

    BTW, I agree, while driving in Chicago is bad at times, for chances to "railfan" it is TOPNOTCH!!!! I've been to some GREAT railyards and been as close to a SLOW moving train as you can get without getting hurt! :)
  12. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    KCS - good luck with the driving - go and join
    and poke about in the files - you should find plenty in there
    Also note that on the homepage there are two sister groups also listed - they were established as overflows for more designs (also in their Files sections)
    Also take a look at
    This is due for an UPdate soon - but Andrew is currently in the midst of a housemove
    Shortliner(Jack) Moderating here in the snowy Highlands of Scotland
  13. LocoIndy76

    LocoIndy76 Member


    Thought of something else... I don't know if Swift is like Schneider, but if they are they will loan your truck out while you are at "time at home" or on Vacation. ALso if YOUR truck breaks down they may give YOU a loaner truck and it may be days or even WEEKS before you get YOUR truck back(You might not get it back). SOOO I would make your layout VERY easy to remove if needed.... Believe me, it happens more than you'd like it too........:rolleyes:

    Enjoy driving and be careful and stay safe!!!!! :thumb:
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I would second the suggestion of a portable timesaver layout. Make it out of foam with a wood frame around it perhaps. I wouldn't put any fine details on it to keep them from breaking. I would reccomend an Athearn Sw1500 for motive power because Athearn locomotives run very well, and they have the best boxes on the market for their locomotives. You will need something to protect you locomotive when in transit. I would also use Athearn, MDC, or Atlas r-t-r or shake the box kits. Stay away from craftsman kits like P2k, Intermountain, or Red Caboose because the details will break off.

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