View Full Version : what should i buy

swing blade
07-15-2002, 12:47 PM

I am 18 years old and am going to be attending college in January in Oklahoma for a degree in horticulture and Landscape Archietecture. i am doing some landscape work now and am in need of a good sized truck. My problem is that i am not sure what to get, and I am really getting frusterated. Whatever I do purchase will be on a loan for 48 to 60 months. I can handle fianancing about $10,000.00 at most. The uses for the truck will be for towing a trailer with mowing equipment on it. The trailer will be around 16 Feet, tandem axle. It will also be used to transport new plants, and lawn and garden waste from the jobsite. I will also be hauling mulch, Topsoil,Gravel ( on the trailer), and a mini excavator like a dingo or a very small bobcat, or tractor with a bushog. I have been looking at a dodge, and I like the looks of them, but they are expensive so I am now looking at Ford. I used to work for a nursery that had Chevys, but they never seemed to good enough for the job. I will be getting a manual, probably with an extended cab, and a long bed. With that Info, What would you recommend to buy???

Thanks ahead of time

Randy J
07-15-2002, 02:51 PM
Hey Milo,

Sounds to me like you want a diesel, with the way you plan on working it. And as a bonus, you'll get better reliability and better fuel mileage with a diesel.
Although everyone has their preferences, for the money you're wanting to spend, I'd definately recommend a Dodge. Around $10,000, in a diesel, it's going to have a lot of miles on it. And although they're all fine engines, the Cummins in Dodge will most likely last longer (on average) than the Powerstroke, or old GM 6.5 turbo diesel, as it's heavier built. I would not be afraid of a Dodge diesel with 200,000+ miles on it. You'll be able to find a first generation Dodge/Cummins for under $10,000, especially a 2 wheel drive. Try Dodge Diesel Website (http://www.turbodieselregister.com) , and look under the classifieds. In the 1st gens, I would recommend a '92 or '93 as they are intercooled and have more power than the '89 - '91. The 2nd gens (current body style in the heavy duty trucks) have more power, although they have things to be concerned with. There was a '94 regular cab, 4X4, 1 ton (dullay) for sale for right around $10,500. It had about 200,000 miles on it. To give you a little perspective, I'm going to sell mine - it's a 98, quad cab (4 door), 4X4, 3/4 ton, fully loaded, with 125,000 miles. Mine has been perfectly maintained, and I have a log book with everything that's been done to it. But I need about $18250 out of mine.
I really think a '92 or '93 would be less maintenance than later models, as they are simpler. Although the later models certainly have more power.
If you go with a Ford or GM, try to keep mileage down around 125,000 or so. More than that, and you'll be running a risk of substantial upkeep. I would recommend thinking hard about an auto in any truck you use for heavy frequent pulling (mine is an auto), unless you want to throw some more money at it. They can be made to hold up to just about anything, but will cost around $2000 to do so.
Good luck with your future plans.


swing blade
07-15-2002, 04:06 PM

Thanls for the advice. I am looking at a deisel truck as i know it will outlast the durability of a gasoline engine. I am almost set in my decision on purchasing a dodge truck, unless someone else can convince me otherwise, and am just simply getting frusturated in trying to find one with the right options, the fewer the better, and decent milage. As for what i said that i will be doing with the truck, only about 10% of the time will I be pulling anything other than mowers, but I want a truck that will do whatever I need it to do.

thanks again

07-15-2002, 10:42 PM
Keep a good eye open for the Dodges. I have seen 91 to 93s going for $6K and $7K. Still in good shape.

Personally I don't have a problem with the engine but care very little for the truck. If I could get a Cummins in the F250 I almost think that I would.

07-16-2002, 06:45 PM
well i have seen a cummings in a ford 250 and it looked good you'd have to get a retro kit for it.I agree with you love the engine hate the truck .I have seen a dodge pickup an older model and it has an alluminum slide in dump bodie by truck craft soon as i saw the dodge i keep driving.maybe i should truy to get the truck cheap keep the bodie and resell the truck? go chevy or ford .

07-19-2002, 01:05 AM
Although I'm a Ford guy, I'm also a Cummins fan. If towing is what you plan to do, the Dodge should be able to handle it. When it comes to carrying big loads on the truck, the Dodge has some shortcomings. I'd go with the stick, a landscape contractor I know is on his 5th auto in his Dodge dump truck.

Availability on a Ford might be better, they've built more of them, which might make the price better too. You'd want a '95 or newer to get the PowerStroke, pre '95s were without the turbo.

I'd stay away from GM's offerings, their diesel is gutless. The new Duramax is a good engine, but out of your price range.

scott's turf
07-24-2002, 03:24 PM
I have a 92 F250 diesel. The engine is still running good but the maintainence is painful. It has around 250k mi on it and I have averaged about $2500/year on repairs and I have done 90% of those myself. Still cheaper than buying new and I swear that there is nothing original left on the truck until it breaks down again. Plenty of power without the turbo. Love the later series cab. I can fit four adults easily across the bench seet and still have room with the extended cab.

Gravel Rat
07-29-2002, 01:59 AM
Personally I would never buy a Dodge truck they are so poorly built it would snap in half with the loads I carry no trailer pulling for me the truck has to carry the load on the deck. I live in a rural area and you can't get a truck and trailer into driveways some a mile long and real steep and some with switch backs.

I have and my family have been using Ford trucks for 30 years for work trucks and never have let us down they full fill our needs fully. Most of the contractors here use Ford or Chev trucks Dodge is out of the question especially with the forestry guys they would laugh at ya if you took a Dodge into the bush.

You will have to decide what you want but from the work load your gonna do you will want atleast a 1 ton dually.

Randy J
07-29-2002, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by Gravel Rat
Personally I would never buy a Dodge truck they are so poorly built it would snap in half with the loads I carry...

Check the highways. Dodge is by far the most used "hotshot" truck in business. I won't argue interior quality, but Dodge is a very tough truck and will carry about any load you can throw at it. As a matter of fact, it is the only truck that still has a solid front axle in a 3/4 ton 4X4. I've owned a Ford, my Dad has always been a GM fan, we both now own Dodge/Cummins and won't go back.


07-29-2002, 11:43 AM

You had better go check the Ford 3/4 tons again! My 2000 has a solid front axle.

As for Dodge hotshots, I have talked to several, and the only reason they were running them was because of fuel mileage. Which is kinda a mute point now with the 24 valve engine. Their mileage is much like the PS. Now the 12 valve, that was an engine.

07-29-2002, 08:29 PM
Yup, 1999 and up F-250s returned to a solid axle up front on the 4x4s.

I don't think anyone can argue that the Cummins is a great engine, but I also don't think you can argue that a Hot Shot's life is quite a bit different than a dump truck's. My buddy had a Dodge 350 dump and went through 3 sets of rear shackles in 4 years. The landscaper I referanced above is on his 5th automatic trans. in his dump. No engine problems though.

08-15-2002, 05:58 PM
Ford's and chevy's are prob the best for haulin tuff, but dodge has some good used trucks, too

Tony Harrell
08-16-2002, 06:55 AM
Th fact that there are a lot of them on the road is meaningless. There are also a lot of Murray lawn mowers out there. Terrific mower?

Randy J
08-16-2002, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by Tony Harrell
Th fact that there are a lot of them on the road is meaningless. There are also a lot of Murray lawn mowers out there. Terrific mower?

The very same could be said of the Ford. A lot of you guys don't like Dodges, that's fine. I don't like Fords. I owned one once, it was a great truck, for a light duty pickup. If I needed a real heavy hauler (bigger than my truck), I'd look to a F550, or F650, only so I could option out the Cummins motor (real shame Dodge doesn't import the 4500 & 5500 from Mexico). Chevy's can be great trucks also, I guess it comes down to a matter of personal preference. The one thing that can't be argued though, is the Cummins vs. the other diesel engines. The Powerstroke and the Duramax are both fine engines, and I'd take either one of them over their gas counterpart. But, the Cummins is more like a "big rig" engine. It makes more usable torque - at a lower RPM. That's what's better for hauling. It also has a longer rated life expectancy (of course most people don't keep their trucks that long). The Cummins is rated as a medium duty engine, the others as light duty. Cummins is used in more industrial combinations than the other 2 combined. Drive what you want, I'll drive what I want. But, as I said earlier, I wouldn't consider buying a Powerstroke with over 125,000 miles, while I wouldn't hesitate at buying a Cummins with over 200,000 miles. Oh, and as for fuel mileage, I have a personal friend that just bought a 24 valve, 6 speed, quad cab, 4X4, with the heavy Ranchhand type bumpers. He's getting around 22.8 mpg on the highway. And that's not uncommon at all for these trucks.
Again, for my money, this is the best work truck out there (short of course the F550, F650 class).

08-16-2002, 10:32 PM
Randy a friend bought a 2001 Dodge 3/4 ton shortly after I got my 2000 F 250. He has a six speed same as me, 4x4, and 3.73 rear ends. His truck in the same gear as mine runs about 250 RPM higher than mine. Torgue at a lower RPM?

As for the 22+ mileage that is the first I have heard of that. All the guys out here say theirs runs about like my PS. But then out here the speed limit is 75 MPH with long distances between every where, so people have a tendance to have places to go, people to see and they should have been there yesterday. I have noticed that wrecks havoc on MPG.

I am not agueing the Cummins being a good engine. If I could get a 12 valve in my F 250 it would have already happened.

And for the record the Ford book I have says the only engine choices for the F 550 is a V 10 and the PS. For some reason you don't have the option of Cummins except in the F 650 and 750.

As for mileage on the engines I have heard of both PS and Cummins getting 700K to 800K on the original engine. Of course the way I drive, 300K will be wore out. :D 300K for me would be like 600K for most every body else.

My honest opinion is that Dodge is shooting them selves in the foot for not building a 450, 550, 650, or 750 version of truck.

Gravel Rat
08-16-2002, 10:49 PM
I wouldn't have a 5.9B in anything bigger than a 1 ton you need real power for a medium duty like here in B.C. Canada we have hills puny engines don't work. I wouldn't have a PSD in a F-650 either not enough power it would be a 3126 Cat or a 8.3 Crummins matter of fact I wouldn't even buy a 650 it can't carry enough weight.

Cummins ratings for the B series is a bunch of bull Cummins is so full of **** they got so many people brainwashed its unbelievable. I would like to see a B series engine in a truck with a 50,000lb gvw even a M-11 can barely pull a truck with this gvw in this area.

Who gives a **** if the engine goes millions of miles P/U trucks around here are worn out at 124,200 miles the repair bills exceed the cost of payments on a new truck. Most guys here trade their trucks in at 200,000 kms doesn't matter what brand you drive any more mileage than that you are looking at expensive repairs.

If I was going to spec a medium duty in the Ford line up it would be a F-750 with 33,000 lb gvw if I could get a 35,000lb gvw even better the truck would definatly be on air with a 8 road ranger tranny. I don't know what power choice I would take it may have tobe a 8.3 supposidly the Cat isn't working out that well the truck would definatly be equiped with a exhaust brake. The truck has gotta beable to pack 7 to 8 ton or theres no point in owning a MDT its cheaper to run a tandem then you can pack 15 ton.

I think this guy that posted just wants a P/U truck not a MTD and I wouldn't class Ford trucks as light duty like I said you would never see a working man buy a Dodge in this area. At the pit they had a Dodge it was such a POS we buried it nothing but Ford or Chev used.

I could go on forever about the reasons why not to buy a Dodge but one last thing to leave with ya why do you see more Ford and Chevy Tow trucks Ambulances Rescue Vehicals Firedept trucks etc.

Randy J
08-16-2002, 11:44 PM
The only reason for that is what Brickman Lawn Care posted, Dodge doesn't build a 4500/5500 or bigger (in the States). I would like to see them start importing them. As for Ambulances, etc., more and more are Freightliner FL60/70's. And guess what engine is most common in them? That's right the Cummins B series.

I really like your comment "Who gives a **** if the engine goes millions of miles P/U trucks around here are worn out at 124,200 miles...?" I personally do. I want an engine that will last. My Cummins has 125,000 miles on it, and is just getting broke in good. Oh, and the Dodge skin is holding up just fine.

I can only hope that you enjoy your Ford as long as I hope to enjoy my Dodge.


Gravel Rat
08-17-2002, 01:07 AM
If you ever come to B.C. you will find out why trucks don't last around here the most of the hills here range from 3 to 14% the straightest stretch could only be 1 to 5 miles long.

I drive commercial truck and I know what I'am talking about I noticed you meantioned Freightliner another POS alot of guys here won't buy them either.

I want you to explain something Randy why do Dodge trucks go so cheap at Ritchie Bros auctions I don't know if you ever been to one but the auctioneers have a hell of a time getting guys to bid on them. A couple auctions ago I was at there was a 01 Dodge Cummins quad cab 4x4 it went cheap couldn't get many interested in it a 99 F-250 Superduty 4x4 V-10 extended cab went over the ramp man the bidding war was sure roaring the truck went for 3 grand more than the Dodge. There was a Chevy truck I can't remember the specs it was the same it went for a high buck. There are alot of older gasser trucks like 1/2 tons 3/4 tons etc the Fords and Chevs go for a good dollar the Dodges guys couldn't even careless. There was a 92 1/2 4x4 Dodge it was a clean looking truck it went for 2 grand a old beat up 89 Ford 150 4x4 it went for 3000 grand.

Sorry Randy I might have POed ya but its sure funny the way you think your Dodge Cummins is tough good thing you don't live here you would be friendless if you don't own a Ford your not part of the group :D

08-17-2002, 03:45 AM
Gravel Rat brought up a point that I have long wondered about.

Why is the resale on Dodge so much lower, $2000 to $5000 lower?

I have seen in truck mags where a very similar Dodge was priced at about that much less than a Ford or Chev. Personally I have looked at buying a low mileage Dodge with the 12 valve Cummins for car hauling. Why? Simple matter of $$$. Altho the 5 spd. trans would never take how I drive. I would have to get a 6 to hold up.

Randy is this a question that you can anwser?

Randy J
08-17-2002, 08:58 AM
Originally posted by Brickman Lawn Care
Gravel Rat brought up a point that I have long wondered about.

Why is the resale on Dodge so much lower, $2000 to $5000 lower?

Personally I have looked at buying a low mileage Dodge with the 12 valve Cummins for car hauling. Why? Simple matter of $$$. Altho the 5 spd. trans would never take how I drive. I would have to get a 6 to hold up.

Randy is this a question that you can anwser?

Yeah, sure is. Check your figures again. You can't find a good used low mileage Dodge/Cummins for less than $20000. A standard cab with 200,000 miles, as long as it's clean, will go for $10,000 to $15000. That's holding resale pretty good in my book. If you like Fords so much, I can find you a used Power Stroke, with right around 100,000 miles, for pennies compared to that down here.
As for hauling, you might consider looking at the 24 valve, many people that have bought one like them better than their 12 valve. Of course many people like the 12 valve better also. But, a good 24 valve will pull, get as good of fuel mileage, and run as well as a 12 valve. Put less than $1000 in a fueling box and injectors, and there's nothing that will pull like it. Of course, there are some bad 24 valves, just like any other engine. As for the gentleman getting 22.8 mpg in his 4X4 quad cab, six speed, it's a 24 valve. Mine doesn't do quite as well, I only get around 19.5 empty. With about 10,000 pounds behind it, in hilly (not like BC, that's for sure!) I get 14 mpg. But then mines an auto. The 5 speed is a good transmission, but has had its problems with the 5th gear nut. There are fixes, and it's my understanding that the newer ones don't have that problem. The 6 speed has had its share of problems also, although relatively minor. The auto, is very weak stock, but with a little work can be made to pull any load you want to put behind it. I've said it in the past 3 posts, you guys drive what you want to. I hope that you're happy with your Fords as long as I plan on being happy with my Dodge. But to say that Dodge is no good as a work truck is a subjective feeling that you can't back up. As cheap as you say Dodges go in BC, I can tell you Fords go that cheap here. I can give all kinds of examples of Ford problems, and tell you how good Dodge is. That doesn't make the Ford junk and the Dodge rule. Before buying a Dodge/Cummins, my Father would have argued Chevy was the only truck to have. I wouldn't own a Chevy. Not because they don't make a good truck, but because I haven't had good luck with them, and I don't like them. Buy what you like and have had luck with.
If you guys have good luck with your trucks and would buy another Ford, great. But, if you want to live a fairyland and belive that Dodge/Cummins isn't a good work truck, well then Alice, say hi to 10' tall rabbit for me...

08-17-2002, 12:56 PM
Randy the truck you meantioned with 200K miles around here would not bring that much. How ever one with less than 100K would probably run less than $20K. $15K to $19K.

This whole Ford versus...................................... brings to mind a saying a friend of mine has.

"If your happy, then I am happy. And even if you aren't happy, I am still happy." That could be applied to many things.

In case you hadn't noticed Paul likes a good Ford versus.......... arguement. :D

Randy J
08-17-2002, 07:08 PM
Yeah, no sweat, sometimes I enjoy a good Dodge vs. ??? arguement too much! The Ford is not a bad truck, but I still like my Dodge!

08-18-2002, 07:46 PM
well i am a chevy man but have a ford also.........both my chevy diesel and my powerstroke were great trucks......never had a problem pulling anything at all.......as far as doges, i have quite a few friends who went thru trannjy,s and such.......as for fords, ihave a few friends who have been thru tranny,s also on them but only on the automatics.........i own all straight drives ....... as for dodge over ford, never in my book..........i pull a 30 foot flatbed trailer half the time..........i had a new holland skid steer on it one day, went to a friends house and unloaded it onto a 16 foot trailer behind a dodge cummins........i drove the dodge and was not impressed at all..........even in areas where the ground was slightly elevated, the truck had to strain so hard to pull that it basically did nuttin other than it would if it was going downhill.........i was very disappointed after all i heard about the dodges........just my opinion but now that i drove one, i wouldnt have on

08-18-2002, 09:42 PM
And another contender enters the fray...:dizzy: