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View Full Version : New esto/work/daily F350, diesel vs gas


andersman02
05-05-2012, 04:44 PM
This may be in the wrong area but seeing as I will likely be using this truck for everything including hardscaping.....


I got the go ahead to look for a new truck this fall
currently I drive my fathers 01 F150 and he drives a 350. Heres the situation.....

I am graduating from college this spring and starting to really get into the hardscape/landscape scene (went to school for horticulture-landscape design). We started plowing 3 years ago and have had very good success, now having to turn down customers. I got the go ahead to look at new trucks for this fall. It will be MY truck but our family company will be paying for it so price is something to think about. We will be going with a ford F250/350 extended cab either new or a couple years used, most likely a f350 as we will be using it for landscaping. This truck will be used for EVERYTHING
-plowing
-landscaping
-Most likely Esto's
-daily driving
-ect.....

My question is what are your guys thoughts on the powerstroke 6.7 diesel or 6.2 gas V8....

Currently we have 8 gas 1990/2001 250/350s that have worked good. We also have 2 Izuzu tankers w/ diesel that have worked equally good.

Another thing is we keep our trucks for their lifetime meaning theres a good chance this truck will be around untill it dies.

So what are your thoughts between the these two engines? Pros/cons?

My father is mainly worried about the winter months, we've never had a diesel that was used in the winter but have heard you need to let it warm up more along with the noise of them, we are not sure.

DVS Hardscaper
05-05-2012, 07:20 PM
Welp, first off Pick up trucks are not engineered/made for plowing. I cringe at the thought of someone plowing with a $40k(+) pick up.

And as far as warming in the winter - all combustion engines bust warm up before full operation as well as idle down after use. Just as you would a race horse. Gas or diesel.

And last but not least - Ford sucks!

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andersman02
05-05-2012, 08:14 PM
Welp, first off Pick up trucks are not engineered/made for plowing. I cringe at the thought of someone plowing with a $40k(+) pick up.

And as far as warming in the winter - all combustion engines bust warm up before full operation as well as idle down after use. Just as you would a race horse. Gas or diesel.

And last but not least - Ford sucks!

.
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FORD all the way!
Yeah i have no hate against any other company but we have always ran FORD and never had any problems. My dad is also a die hard for guy so it kinda rubs off on me :)

As far as warming up I more or less meant cold winter starting, Ive heard Diesels are much harder to start in winter, Maybe this was for the older diesels.... Don't they make engine block heaters now to help with this?

And yeah after looking at prices i think we will be looking at a 2006-2009 f350 as like you said, its hard to justify plowing with a 50k truck. I think were looking around the 20-25k price range

SVA_Concrete
05-05-2012, 08:26 PM
What are esto's

The cummins motor heats the air going in the motor, ford uses glo plugs. I am partial to cummins.

The diesel motor is for fleet type use and high torque. Do you pull heavy loads 3 days per week?
Do you avg 30k miles per year.
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andersman02
05-05-2012, 11:25 PM
What are esto's

The cummins motor heats the air going in the motor, ford uses glo plugs. I am partial to cummins.

The diesel motor is for fleet type use and high torque. Do you pull heavy loads 3 days per week?
Do you avg 30k miles per year.
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Estos are just estimate calls
It will be used for
- plowing all winter
- towing a skidsteer (winter and summer) probly 1-2 days a week on average
- possibly towing a landscape/mowing trailer
- hauling mulch/rock/soil
- daily driving
- towing anything else I need it too

Also i gotta say we will still have this F150 on hand to use but i seriously doubt the gas mileage will be any better (terrible atm)

again well need a truck that will last.....we keep our vehicles very well maintained and don't trade them in (our trucks atleast) So in the long run this truck will probly turn into a full time landscape/mow/utility truck

Red Shed Landscaping
05-06-2012, 04:54 PM
I would say if you are going to use it for any type of pulling you need to have a diesel. I have a 96 f350 diesel, a 04 and 95 ram, and a F800 all three with cummins. I would have to say the cummins is way better than the powerstroke. Our for will not strart if it is 35 degrees or less if it is not plugged in but the cummins will start in -20 degrees just fine. We use the diesels to plow and we haven't had any complaints that we are too loud and we only plow residential and sometimes are out at 3 in the morning.

FLCthes4:11-12
05-06-2012, 09:14 PM
I would look into a medium-heavy dump truck. Mack, International, Ford, Chevy and maybe in that order. And use the 150 when ever you can. No sense in spending 60K for a pick up that wont last 5 years with all that you plan to do with it. I do like my 93 f600 with a cummins 5.9 only 115k miles and paid 3500 for it 3 years ago.

greatinmulchbeds
05-06-2012, 09:14 PM
Welp, first off Pick up trucks are not engineered/made for plowing. I cringe at the thought of someone plowing with a $40k(+) pick up.

And as far as warming in the winter - all combustion engines bust warm up before full operation as well as idle down after use. Just as you would a race horse. Gas or diesel.

And last but not least - Ford sucks!

.
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wait what is wrong with plowing with a pick up? 1,000s of people plow with a pick up, who wants to plow a small curvy lot with a dump truck? plowing is only hard on a pick up if you drive like an idiot, speeding/smashing into curbs/throwing it in drive to reverse to quick/ etc

Dirt Boy
05-06-2012, 11:41 PM
I'll chime in with my .002 worth.
I don't know a thing about those engines, so I can't help you out there. But I bought an '03 F350 6.0 for basically the same things you are doing except plowing.
#1: A diesel IMO pulls a load much better, I've heard others with the V10 that don't complain either, but having had both gas & diesel, no question in my mind what I'd rather have.
#2: what kind of fuel mileage can you expect? The way I looked at it, yeah diesel is more expensive, but then I get better mileage to offset that.
#3: Life on a diesel is kinda legendary. Obviously if you take care of anything, it's going to last, but I don't think, on average, a gas is going to outlast a diesel.
#4: If your worried about it starting, just plug it in, any diesel is going to be harder to start in cold weather, but I haven't had any trouble if I plug it in, and if I forget, I let the glow plugs warm it up a time or three before trying to start.
Did I mention that this sucker pulls!

DVS Hardscaper
05-07-2012, 06:53 AM
Yeah that's why they have block heaters! What? Do you think all these people with diesels sit at home in the winter??

As far as pulling - it's all in the gearing. The lower the gearing - the better a truck will pull. Gas or diesel. I had a Chevy truck with a 350 engine that pulled better than my Dodge with a Cummins. The Chevy was geared lower.

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DVS Hardscaper
05-07-2012, 06:59 AM
wait what is wrong with plowing with a pick up? 1,000s of people plow with a pick up, who wants to plow a small curvy lot with a dump truck? plowing is only hard on a pick up if you drive like an idiot, speeding/smashing into curbs/throwing it in drive to reverse to quick/ etc

You don't plow small lots with a dump truck, that's silly.

Fact of the matter is - there isn't a single pick up out there where the manufacturer set out and engineered it to plow snow. There have been thousands of truck commercials. Showing trucks doing everything imagionable...........except plow snow! Never noticed that have ya? :)

Loaders and tractors are made for plowing. They don't have aluminum transmissions. They don't have aluminum transfer cases. Their frames are sturdy.
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DVS Hardscaper
05-07-2012, 07:02 AM
Also - drive by a transmission shop after a deep snowfall. Take notice to the pickups in the lot. You'll notice the bulk of the trucks in the lot will be of one particular brand :)
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AztlanLC
05-07-2012, 09:08 AM
I own a sterling truck, 2 ford diesel, 1 f250 and 1 toyota tundra I have being plowing for 17 years 12 being my own company.
Ford trucks diesel are nice to plow feels powerful, but ford tranny problems are a huge thing no matter if it's diesel or gas, also the very known oil pan leak that ford claims is not common, where you have to take the engine out and pay $2,300 to replace a $100 part.
Chevys trucks are very dependable ride is much bettern than fords and they plow nicely as well some overhesting issues tough.
The sterling is a monster plowing but you need a big commercial area and besides is a pain plowing with a stick shift.
I have no experience at all with dodge, but my favorite truck to plow is my tundra love that little sucker, the ride is so smooth and it has plenty of power for what we do, most of the places we plow are residential and it works the best in those situations, not a single issue so far after plowing 4 years with it, well maybe 3 last season it wasn't much snow to plow, 80000 miles on it and not a single issue.

andersman02
05-07-2012, 11:45 AM
i like this discussion guys!

Personally like i said early, we have a total of 9 ford 250/350s ranging from 1990 to 2010, most of which have 150-200k+ miles. These trucks are ran with spray tanks on them doing stop and go fertilizer/weed control. So far we have only had to rebuild 1 of the transmissions. Now i will say we keep our equipment in prestine (sp?) condition and staying on top of servicing them (more often then recommended) so that could be one of the reasons they've lasted so long. Its not the same as plowing i understand but this is our experiance so far.

This truck will also only be used for RESIDENTIAL plowing. My father will be taking care of the commercial stuff with his truck as he doesnt want to get out and shoveling all the time (we clean of walkways also for residential). I may be helping him here and there on the commercial lots along with out loader.

I also gotta say we are looking into a larger truck 450/550 size with a salter for our larger commercial lots.

greatinmulchbeds
05-07-2012, 12:39 PM
You don't plow small lots with a dump truck, that's silly.

Fact of the matter is - there isn't a single pick up out there where the manufacturer set out and engineered it to plow snow. There have been thousands of truck commercials. Showing trucks doing everything imagionable...........except plow snow! Never noticed that have ya? :)

Loaders and tractors are made for plowing. They don't have aluminum transmissions. They don't have aluminum transfer cases. Their frames are sturdy.
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well first matter of business, who wants to pull a skid loader around at 3 am (not to mention unloading/loading at each site) with snow coming down side ways on a slick road that has not been touched by the county yet? because that is the situation your in when your plowing. I do realize tractors and skids are built for the kind of work involved with plowing and truck manufactures insist you do not hang a plow off the front but trucks are far more easier and practical to use during a storm. clean up after the storm with a skid but during a storm sit in a comfy truck and scrape around.

and for the transmission shop comment, those are the trucks whose owners are morons and slam into snow banks, plow 40 mph, and throw the truck from drive to reverse while still moving

mxridernorth
05-07-2012, 04:05 PM
I would say if you are going to use it for any type of pulling you need to have a diesel. I have a 96 f350 diesel, a 04 and 95 ram, and a F800 all three with cummins. I would have to say the cummins is way better than the powerstroke. Our for will not strart if it is 35 degrees or less if it is not plugged in but the cummins will start in -20 degrees just fine. We use the diesels to plow and we haven't had any complaints that we are too loud and we only plow residential and sometimes are out at 3 in the morning.

If your powerstroke won't start below 35, then you most likely have a glow plug issue. The first thing (and easiest to fix) to test is the glow plug relay. They commonly fail and if you aren't getting any firing then I'd suspect that is your problem.
After that you need to check each glow plug and whether it is getting power on cold starts. The wiring harnesses on the powerstroke are part of the valve cover gasket and it's another common point of failure. You can get a replacement set for cheap from your local International dealer.
If your plugs are getting power and it's cycling normally, then it's the pugs themselves.
Also, powerstrokes have an exhaust back pressure valve to help warm the engine.

DVS Hardscaper
05-08-2012, 10:27 AM
well first matter of business, who wants to pull a skid loader around at 3 am (not to mention unloading/loading at each site) with snow coming down side ways on a slick road that has not been touched by the county yet? because that is the situation your in when your plowing. I do realize tractors and skids are built for the kind of work involved with plowing and truck manufactures insist you do not hang a plow off the front but trucks are far more easier and practical to use during a storm. clean up after the storm with a skid but during a storm sit in a comfy truck and scrape around.

and for the transmission shop comment, those are the trucks whose owners are morons and slam into snow banks, plow 40 mph, and throw the truck from drive to reverse while still moving

No no. You don't move the machines around via truck. You
Line up accounts all side by side or within a mile of each other.

And if you have employees you can expect damages to the trucks. It's easy for an owner to baby the truck, they hold the payment book. Employees either don't have the experience,
or don't care. They get the truck stuck in a pile of snow, and will put it in reverse and give 'er hell till it backs out 13 minutes later, and my then they've trashed the torque converter and burnt the transmission.
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zedosix
05-08-2012, 12:52 PM
As for the original post, ford makes a great truck and so does dodge and chevy, go diesel no matter what, todays diesel especially the fords 6.7 are so quiet you hardly know they are running. I have had decent luck with mine but mostly cause I get rid of them after the warranty runs out, if you plan to keep for 10 yrs, I say buy new, and buy with extended warranty. Can't go wrong. Buying used especially the fords you will be paying more for fuel cost then ownership payments.

andersman02
05-08-2012, 01:36 PM
To DVS... I understand where your coming from with the employee driving the truck situation... If we decided to go for a newish truck, it will be my daily driver and it will be babied. Also the skid steer situation is a good point..... Any of the lots we will be doing with the skiddy will most likely be within skid steer driving distance from the shop, if not we MAY have to load it but that would most likely not happen.

Zedo- I like the idea of buying a newer truck. They one problem I have that DVS pointed out earlier is i would have to buy a 2011 because i havent heard good things about the older 6.0 and 6.4 diesels ford used. This means the truck may cost near 40k (maybe less if we can wait till the end of summer) and it may be hard to take that new 40k truck out plowing because in all honesty, no matter how good of a plower you are, theres going to be a time when a manhole cover or curb randomly appears and your truck takes a beating.

All in all i think we basically have 2 options, get a 2011 or get an older truck (2003 ish) and wait a few years.

Keep the good replies coming guys!

GreenI.A.
05-09-2012, 09:05 AM
I would definitively go up to the 450 or 550 you your planning to use it mostly for hardscaping. With hardscaping you will quickly hit weight limits. You can usually find 550's for similar pricing as the 450. At least around my area 550's are in abundance, 450's are a little more rear. One benefit of the 450 is that you can usually find them with a pickup bed.

DVS Hardscaper
05-10-2012, 09:07 AM
Basically the f450 and 550 are nothing other than pick up
Trucks with big boxes on them.

Payload is important.

If you want a truck that has payload. And is not a dinosaur. Then you need to go Mitsubushi or Isuzu. You'll be able to carry 5 tons legally with Mits or Isuzu. 2-3 tons with a 550.

Get an old Meyers plow. Buy some old beat up pallet forks. Use the back of the forks for your mounting plate. And have it all fabricated to go on your skid steer. You will then have the perfect plowing machine with less than $700.00. Line up contracts in one area.

Also, I'm a believer in buying old and fixing up and putting to work. I would never plow with a new truck. But I would buy a 15 yr old truck for plowing.
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zedosix
05-10-2012, 01:31 PM
Its a good thing we don't all think the same!

mxridernorth
05-10-2012, 02:29 PM
If it's in-town work, I would have to agree with DVS (and it hurts :cry:). Go cabover: Ford, Hino, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, or Nissan. Far better payload capacity, fuel mileage, and maneuverability.

clydebusa
05-10-2012, 02:45 PM
This may be in the wrong area but seeing as I will likely be using this truck for everything including hardscaping.....


I got the go ahead to look for a new truck this fall
currently I drive my fathers 01 F150 and he drives a 350. Heres the situation.....

I am graduating from college this spring and starting to really get into the hardscape/landscape scene (went to school for horticulture-landscape design). We started plowing 3 years ago and have had very good success, now having to turn down customers. I got the go ahead to look at new trucks for this fall. It will be MY truck but our family company will be paying for it so price is something to think about. We will be going with a ford F250/350 extended cab either new or a couple years used, most likely a f350 as we will be using it for landscaping. This truck will be used for EVERYTHING
-plowing
-landscaping
-Most likely Esto's
-daily driving
-ect.....

My question is what are your guys thoughts on the powerstroke 6.7 diesel or 6.2 gas V8....

Currently we have 8 gas 1990/2001 250/350s that have worked good. We also have 2 Izuzu tankers w/ diesel that have worked equally good.

Another thing is we keep our trucks for their lifetime meaning theres a good chance this truck will be around untill it dies.

So what are your thoughts between the these two engines? Pros/cons?

My father is mainly worried about the winter months, we've never had a diesel that was used in the winter but have heard you need to let it warm up more along with the noise of them, we are not sure.

Read through all the BS and you have already made your mind up. So buy it and leave everybody alone. :hammerhead:

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
05-10-2012, 05:08 PM
Basically the f450 and 550 are nothing other than pick up
Trucks with big boxes on them.

Payload is important.

If you want a truck that has payload. And is not a dinosaur. Then you need to go Mitsubushi or Isuzu. You'll be able to carry 5 tons legally with Mits or Isuzu. 2-3 tons with a 550.


The best thing I ever did was move away from GM 3500's and Ford F350's and get into Isuzu W-Series cab-overs for our maintenance and production vehicles. We buy them with the GM 6.0L gas drivetrain and we have had zero problems with them. They are designed and built to work. A pickup, I don't care what the GVWR is, is not designed to do what we do day in and day out. We're not eating brakes or transmissions like we once did or experiencing any of the other 10 or so stupid issues that we use to have with pickups. There is no substitute for a well made medium duty truck!! Just my $.02

zedosix
05-10-2012, 05:41 PM
How did the question about pros and cons of gas vs diesel in a pickup truck, end up with frame strength regarding 550's and cab overs. Come on Andrew, don't you know better than to stick to the "op". Thought I would throw that "op" in there just for you. lol

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
05-10-2012, 06:22 PM
How did the question about pros and cons of gas vs diesel in a pickup truck, end up with frame strength regarding 550's and cab overs. Come on Andrew, don't you know better than to stick to the "op". Thought I would throw that "op" in there just for you. lol

Because when you look at the questions that the OP asked along with all of the other information that he supplied in his post it then it becomes obvious that there is a lot more to consider than just engine size or gas vs diesel. He's got a pretty diverese set of expectations for this truck which IMO means that he should consider several options!

DVS Hardscaper
05-10-2012, 08:18 PM
Diverse is right, Dan!

He want to haul material with a dump
Bed.

Plow snow.

And use it for estimates!

LOL

My fix:
Skid steer with snow plow
Cab over with dump body
And a Prius for estimating!

And oh! A cool smelling Power Stroke for riding around town on Friday nights!

With beer cans in the bed


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