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cubedmack
04-09-2011, 09:41 PM
What's a good truck to run with these high gas prices? Thinking about downsizing to a small V8 or maybe a V6. My Chevy 2500 is killing me on gas.

cgaengineer
04-09-2011, 09:47 PM
Well I have a 4cyl Toyota and I get about 13mpg because it works so hard. so I guess it depends on how hard you plan to work the vehicle.

Lance712
04-09-2011, 09:50 PM
Small v8. We have a 1/2 ton v6 for a spare. Its a turd when it comes to pulling a trailer it just works it like crazy.
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weeze
04-09-2011, 09:51 PM
if you can pull a small trailer like a 5x10 with a 4cyl toyota then you can get 18-20mpg. depends on how weighted down it is. all i carry on mine is a ztr and a pushmower. trimmer and blower are in the bed of the truck. if you have a big load then try a v6 if it isn't too heavy. you might get 15mpg if you're lucky.

EvenCutLawnCare
04-09-2011, 10:01 PM
I would recommend a Chevy 5.3 liter. In most unloaded conditions it gets very similiar milage to a small v8 (like the 4.8 liter), but when towing it will probably get better mileage because it doesn't have to work as hard. Just by stepping down to a half ton, you will see a considerable increase in MPGs. Your 2500 is heavier, geared lower, and has a larger tranny which takes more power to run.

Dogbonz
04-09-2011, 10:21 PM
my 94 6.5 diesel gets 14! loaded, unloaded, what ever,, 14! Sad, but then again, it's a Ex-cab Longbox 2500 3/4ton with a 8500 GVW. I'm a small solo guy W/ a trailer, 1 ZTR & rest of stuff in the bed. But I can make BioDiesel in my polebarn for about $1.25- $1.50 per gallon, and my truck love's it!! Mileage does go down to 11 or 12 on Bio,, but who cares at that price. ;)

cgaengineer
04-09-2011, 10:23 PM
if you can pull a small trailer like a 5x10 with a 4cyl toyota then you can get 18-20mpg. depends on how weighted down it is. all i carry on mine is a ztr and a pushmower. trimmer and blower are in the bed of the truck. if you have a big load then try a v6 if it isn't too heavy. you might get 15mpg if you're lucky.

I didn't see that gas mileage without a trailer and a supercharger!
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Keith
04-09-2011, 10:39 PM
If your truck is paid off and not falling apart, it's a losing proposition. You would not save enough on gas to pay for a new one. Besides that, it remains to be seen how well a new 1/2 ton would do towing. My regular cab F150 with a 302 and a 5 speed got 10 towing around town. My 4x4 F350 Crew Cab V10 gets 8.5-9mpg.

Now, if you are using this truck for personal use as well, then it might be a decent idea. The difference in mpg in a 3/4 ton and new 1/2 ton unloaded will be huge. My solution to this was to buy a 4 cylinder Ranger for that, and to use the F350 only for business.

BINKY1902
04-09-2011, 10:41 PM
I roll with a Nissan Frontier 4 cyl, get over 25 without trailer and around 21 mpg's with the trailer. I pull a 5x12 with 1,000 lb ZTR, handhelds, tools, and walk behind. For larger jobs, I have a regular cab dually 454 that stays hooked to a larger trailer.

SNAPPER MAN
04-09-2011, 10:49 PM
Binky, is your frontier a extended cab or crew cab? Also is it standard or manual? I'm really thinking about getting a small truck to save gas. My f-250 is killing me, definatley don't need a diesel for hauling around one walk behind.
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TheChiefsLawnCare
04-09-2011, 11:01 PM
cant buy a truck and call it a truck unless you got a v8. if you pulling a load and using a small v8 your gonna get worse gas milleage than a truck that has a bigger engine cause it dosent have to work as hard. it might end up being close to the same but still a truck should have a v8. 2500 or f250+ should be diesel deff not gas.

weeze
04-09-2011, 11:07 PM
I didn't see that gas mileage without a trailer and a supercharger!
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supercharger decreases mpg lol. i get 22mpg without the trailer and mine is 4x4

cgaengineer
04-09-2011, 11:13 PM
supercharger decreases mpg lol. i get 22mpg without the trailer and mine is 4x4

Yeah, mines a 4x4 too...before supercharger it didn't get but about 16 mpg tops...mine is the 2.7L

lovemysan
04-09-2011, 11:18 PM
2005 suburban 2wd with 5.3 does 10.5 mpg at 70 mph pulling 6500 lbs. It does 13-14 mpg with my small 6x12 trailer.

7625
04-10-2011, 12:22 AM
That really depends on your use. Only you can decide. I have a chevy 1500 half ton,paid for and wouldn't dream of getting anything smaller for better gas milage why. Here's why. On day's I don't need the trailer,( tandem axle 18 ft used to pull zturn,push mowers, and capable of hauling my JD tractor 4,000lbs and other stuff it will get 18-19 miles mpg when pulling big trailer it drops to 10-11 miles mpg. On the days that I can get by using my smaller 14ft tandem it still drops mpg to 12-14 mpg. If you have to your equipment to do the work then you have to have a trailer. A single axle trailer bounces your equipment all over, up and down and beats it to pieces. And if you have a blow out, look out. A smaller truck won't do the job. It will either struggle with the engine trying to pull the load, thereby using just as much gas and putting a strain on the engine and maybe tearing it up sooner or tearing up a transmission. Most people that by a truck for good mpg's are people that just go to work to the office every day but not real work, and get a high speed rear end to match the transmission to get the best gas milage. However if you want a truck that is going to do pulling and you want the transmission to stand up to the jerks and strains of everyday wear and tear, then get a real work truck, but only you can be the one to know what you needs are.

dishboy
04-10-2011, 12:38 AM
V-6 Ecoboost 16-22 epa MPG, 420 llbs torque with 95% all in by 2250 RPM.

madisonpressurewashing
04-10-2011, 12:45 AM
V6 Tacoma get 17-19 no matter what I am carring

cgaengineer
04-10-2011, 12:50 AM
V6 Tacoma get 17-19 no matter what I am carring

Have one of those too...never seen it.
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Tinkerer
04-10-2011, 01:33 AM
One variable that is usually overlooked is the axle ratios:
One of my old trucks is a 93 F150 regular cab, long bed, 2 wheel drive, no a.c., 300-6 & 5 speed manual with 2.73 rear axle ratio. In town it got 13.5 mpg. Highway it got nearly 20mpg. With good tune and alignment low 20s on the highway. Most of my driving is in town. With some research I found out the same truck with a 3.55 rear axle ratio would get 15-18 mpg in town & about 18 mpg on the highway. Those years F150s could be bought with 2.73 (2wd only) , 3.08, 3.55 axle ratios. In 94 they started offering a 3.31 axle ratio.
A friend of mine has owned many 1/2 ton Chevy/GMC trucks with the 4.3 V6 and 3.42 axle ratios. He would get about 17-19mpg everywhere he goes. His newest GMC 1/2 ton 4x4 shortbed with 4.3 V6 truck only came with a 3.73 axle ratio and he gets 14mpg everywhere he goes.

topsites
04-10-2011, 01:54 AM
It's just like with all the folks who would like me to work for free :p
I can't do it, I'll do it as low as I can go above the bare costs, but free ain't happening.

The problem is that at least with used trucks which are capable of pulling the weight and also get good fuel economy,
they are in such high demand that the price difference is more than noticeable, the cheapest trucks always have the
biggest engines, with used trucks nobody wants the gas guzzler.

It's so bad, when I bought my truck 4 years ago for $2500...
An equivalent truck that got decent fuel economy would have cost me $4000!
No, I am not kidding, you want a truck that's even remotely priced around Blue Book, then you're getting a guzzler.
Amazing how vehicles can be priced 40-100% over the price of Blue Book, but that's apparently the way it is.

We're talking my truck gets 10mpg, one that would have gotten 14+ would've cost me.
Well I can tell you for that $1500 I can buy a lot of extra fuel, it takes me 3-4 years in the price difference to even notice.

The only other truck you can find that gets good fuel mileage and does not cost an arm and a leg
is usually a bit slow on the uptake, like perhaps certain used government vehicles, or as someone
else mentioned, some V6 / 5.0 (305 / 318) V8.

Which is why I am always either driving a gas guzzler, or a truck that's a slouch.

Because you won't find powerful economy cheap.

topsites
04-10-2011, 02:02 AM
I will tell you this:

Extended / King cabs are bad for fuel economy.
You want fuel economy then don't get one with a back seat.

Engines much over 5 liters (~300 cid's) are not so good either, you want decent fuel mileage
then that engine comes in under 318 cid's or under 5.2 liters, no two ways about it.

Air conditioned luxury trucks (SLT's / XLT's) bad.
Get a standard truck, no frills, no thrills.

Short or standard beds are far better than the long bed as well.
Every foot of truck adds 500-800 pounds of weight.

Height is bad, the higher the truck sits, the worse your fuel economy will be.
Avoid buying raised trucks, avoid raising them, stick with OEM shocks and springs and wheels and tires.

Inflate your tires to Max.PSI sidewall, check them often.

Start learning how to drive with load.
(Certain hypermiling techniques such as Driving Without Brakes might come in helpful as well).

KINGMADE
04-10-2011, 03:06 AM
I run a little v6 in my S-10 and pull a 5X10 with a walk behind, push mower, and a tractor on it and it does a lot better than the V8 Titan I had last season.

jp1119
04-10-2011, 08:38 AM
ive parked my 2500hd gmc and started using my 1500 silverado (work truck regular cab) with the 4.3 v-6 pulling my 7x16 trailer with 2 grasshoppers and to many hand tools to list getting 18 to 20 mpg depending on which route im working. I was very surprised how well the v-6 does

lawnboy dan
04-10-2011, 09:12 AM
my tundra v6 tows great but mpg is only 12.5

BINKY1902
04-10-2011, 10:23 AM
Binky, is your frontier a extended cab or crew cab? Also is it standard or manual? I'm really thinking about getting a small truck to save gas. My f-250 is killing me, definatley don't need a diesel for hauling around one walk behind.
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I have an extended cab auto. I would recommend a manual, as it has an increased towing capacity. I added a transmission cooler, an exhaust, high flow intake, etc. Pulls real good and keeps me real efficient.

BenThere Lawncare
04-10-2011, 11:54 AM
Im honestly not even that worried about fuel prices with the mileage im getting in my F250. Its a 99 4x4 Ext cab Long bed with the the 7.3 diesel. When I first bought it everything was stock and I was getting around 14-15 mpg city. I then put a new 5 inch exhaust on it, cold air intake, and put a superchip in it to increase performance. I now am getting around 19-20 mpg in the city with much more power then before. Towing my 5x12 trailer drops my mpg by about 1.5. I recommend you diesel owners look into getting some modifications done.

madisonpressurewashing
04-10-2011, 12:00 PM
have one of those too...never seen it.
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do you drive hard?

joed
04-10-2011, 12:42 PM
What's the city and highway fuel economy for the 5.3/6 speed combo on the Chevy/GMC 1500 ton? I currently own a 2000 Sierra 2500 with the 6.0 gas. It's been a great truck and motor but it guzzles fuel. I was thinking of stepping down to a 1/2 ton too.

SNAPPER MAN
04-10-2011, 01:50 PM
What's the city and highway fuel economy for the 5.3/6 speed combo on the Chevy/GMC 1500 ton? I currently own a 2000 Sierra 2500 with the 6.0 gas. It's been a great truck and motor but it guzzles fuel. I was thinking of stepping down to a 1/2 ton too.

The 5.3 is a dog. I was just working this morning using mine. I have a 2010 chevy 1500 5.3/6spd z71 and I was pulling my 12' single axle trailer with my small toro 48" ztr and I was getting 10mpg. Pretty pathetic IMO. The truck gets great mileage when empty but towing is a joke. Not even that powerful.
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joed
04-10-2011, 02:06 PM
The 5.3 is a dog. I was just working this morning using mine. I have a 2010 chevy 1500 5.3/6spd z71 and I was pulling my 12' single axle trailer with my small toro 48" ztr and I was getting 10mpg. Pretty pathetic IMO. The truck gets great mileage when empty but towing is a joke. Not even that powerful.
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Is your truck a reg. cab, crew cab, or ext. cab? What does it get when it's empty?

SNAPPER MAN
04-10-2011, 02:12 PM
Mines a extended cab shortbed. Empty it gets about 15 city and will get 20 on the highway cruising at 70.
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RGM
04-10-2011, 02:33 PM
My f 250 was killing me with gas so I bought a 4x4 ranger with a 4.0 v6 it gets about 15-20 mpg. I only go out with one big mower (60'' Lazar or 48'' snapper walk behind) and a 22'' walk behind using my small trailer 5'6''x10' 2 axle. Had it for 2 seasons now and I really can't complain it plus my equipment very good no problems, and have pulled 5 yards of mulch with it short distance but all good.

weeze
04-10-2011, 06:35 PM
to be honest i never understood why people use big diesel trucks and so forth to haul lawnmowers. it makes sense for heavier loads but lawnmowers don't weigh that much. my 4cyl toyota is rated to haul 6500lbs and i think the v6 version is too. what are people hauling that weighs more than this? that would be 4 or 5 ztr mowers and a huge trailer to weigh that much. i imagine the most anyone would need would be 2 mowers at one time. trimmers, blowers, pushmowers, etc. don't weigh hardly anything. i dunno it's just something that i've never understood really. it's like overkill. i can understand if you pull things like bulldozers or really heavy stuff but to just pull mowers it doesn't make sense. i think at the most i'm pulling 1500-2000lbs with my trailer and mowers.

topsites
04-10-2011, 09:29 PM
Some of us do a little more than just cut grass...

For that you need a trailer, for most of us one trailer is enough, so I got a one size fits all jobs.

Dogbonz
04-10-2011, 10:01 PM
Well I had my truck before I started this biz,, and I also plow with it,, nothing beats a diesel when plowing.
Also gets better mileage than a gas truck of the same size. When I do landscaping, and have to haul a trailer + bed full of stone, No sweat. or go rent a stump grinder, small back hoe, ect. No sweat. It ain't no duramax,, but then again, it didn't cost $40,000 either.

bobcat_ron
04-11-2011, 12:41 PM
All of you might want to look into getting your engines chipped from Bullydog or Superchips.
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DoetschOutdoor
04-11-2011, 02:30 PM
to be honest i never understood why people use big diesel trucks and so forth to haul lawnmowers. it makes sense for heavier loads but lawnmowers don't weigh that much. my 4cyl toyota is rated to haul 6500lbs and i think the v6 version is too. what are people hauling that weighs more than this? that would be 4 or 5 ztr mowers and a huge trailer to weigh that much. i imagine the most anyone would need would be 2 mowers at one time. trimmers, blowers, pushmowers, etc. don't weigh hardly anything. i dunno it's just something that i've never understood really. it's like overkill. i can understand if you pull things like bulldozers or really heavy stuff but to just pull mowers it doesn't make sense. i think at the most i'm pulling 1500-2000lbs with my trailer and mowers.


Not all of us are hauling only 2000lbs...I was pulling that much with my ranger back when I started about 6 years ago but alot of people need a bigger truck as business gets bigger. Also need the capability to be able to put more than 1 other guy in a small cramped truck when its 100 degrees out. Even if your truck is rated to 6500lbs, go ahead and pull a 6500lb trailer around on a good sized route every single week and let me know how it holds up and your mileage. Also, should check your numbers because 4 or 5 big zero turns are going to be over 6000lbs by themselves not even counting the huge trailer that would be required to haul 5 zero turns and all the other equipment that goes with it.

cgaengineer
04-15-2011, 11:52 PM
do you drive hard?

No...
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360ci
04-17-2011, 09:59 AM
Guys, as you all don't live in the same area don't compare mileage to someone who has a similar spec'd truck....

Now. For me, my '00 Durango R/T is overkill for what I currently use it for. I no longer tow my 6K camper. Only my lighter utility trailer and it's enough to grab 2cu yards of mulch, carry my equipment and it's heavy enough to hit the trails so I can fill it with firewood for the winter.

If I were to get a lighter truck, say trailer weight under 3500lb range (thus you shouldn't require brakes in most geographical areas), I'd get a new 2011 F150 with the 3.7L V6. $20K for base 2wd, can't go wrong with that for a bare bones work truck. Best of all, if you need 4wd, it's the only full size you can get with 4wd and a 300hp 3.7L V6 for around $25K. Now, you can get the 3.73 LSD axle, and along with the 6 speed trans you should have a winning combination. It's rated 23mpg highway when empty. For me, I only pull the trailer 2-3 days a week and with the wife gone, I don't need the extra shopping bag space in the cab. Reg cab long box Work Truck baby.

If Dodge comes out with their 300hp 3.6L in the base Ram, well then I might go for that instead...bring it on.

Now, if you compare 4cyl trucks, the tacoma offers the largest engine going. To get the most out of it you HAVE to get the 5 speed manual transmission. If you plan to run closer to the trailer weight rating limit then get the automatic and save yourself a clutch every couple years, unless you live in one of the flat states.

Lastly, my Durango R/T gets 14mpg, but it also gets 18mpg. 70 vs 58mph. So if you're going to state your mileage with your vehicle at least post the speeds you travel at. City mileage is a mixed bag as no similar area is alike in terms of stop and go traffic. In town when towing 2K, I'm lucky to maintain 12mpg at speeds under 40mph with a few hills.

A base 2500 diesel pickup here in Ontario is well over $65000 with 13% sales tax now. It's rightfully disgusting, especially when these new diesels require urea fluid for emissions. 87 octane is currently $1.338/L, or $5.22 CAD for a US gallon. Diesel is on par so there is no benefit for diesel unless you drive the truck 100K a year and buy it for engine longevity, which today you can get the same if not more miles out of a gas engine for that extra 1-2mpg that it costs you up front versus the $12K you'll save in clicking the diesel engine option box. Nuts.

DoetschOutdoor
04-19-2011, 09:09 AM
What about buying a USED truck 360ci? I have no problem buying a couple year old truck and letting the original sucka take the big hit when he sellls his truck 3 or 4 years later. All these people on here that pay $20k+ for a brand new half ton or better yet, a tacoma, and then come on here and blast people for having big trucks. If it comes down to spending $20k on a new base model truck new, why not spend 20-25k and get a 3/4 ton or something that I really enjoy?

360ci
04-19-2011, 04:46 PM
Personally, I don't 'enjoy' a 3/4 ton. If I did, I'd need a proper psych evaluation over spending $20K on a used Porsche or similar vehicle that I can enjoy.

Going used for a heavier truck can pose a lot of problems. You might luck out and get one that doesn't cost you a dime for a few years. Or, you'll buy it, and within 6 months have to replace the front suspension components, get a few alignments done so your used tires don't wear out prematurely due to uneven wear. Getting used is an open market and you can save, but you might not get the piece of mind and blame the vehicle, or the manufacturer for the problems versus previous owner abuse that is often overlooked.