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View Full Version : Truck fuel preference? (Gas v Diesel)


rosolar
11-29-2004, 11:27 AM
I'm looking into getting a new truck. With the current gas prices as high as they are do people suggest gas or diesel? At what point does the extra price of a diesel engine become a financial benefit? For general landscaping and plowing, do people suggest diesel or gas fuel? (I've never owned a diesel truck before).

thanks

Gatewayuser
11-29-2004, 07:16 PM
The Chevy dealer told me that a gas engine would be better because
they start easier in the cold for plowing, they cost less to maintain but they need maintaining more often. The fuel prices lower higher right now, but they get worse fuel mileage. Diesels can be slower than gas trucks, but they can tow more easier. If you are going to be towing a skid loader or something else heavy than I would get a diesel, but if not I would get a gas engine.

Gatewayuser
11-29-2004, 07:19 PM
They said also the only way a diesel would be worth the extra money is if you keep the truck for more than 5 years min

Gravel Rat
11-29-2004, 09:28 PM
Myself I don't know if its worth having a diesel P/U anymore the price of diesel keeps climbing and the newer diesels have so much electronic bull **** on them now a person can't repair them. The newer diesel trucks are not getting the MPG like the older diesels with lower power.

I currently own a 89 F-450 with a 7.3 IDI its slower than you wouldn't beleive it does get slightly better fuel mileage over my previous F-450 with 460 power. When the old IDI dies the truck will be junked to replace the IDI costs 6000 grand minimum.

In this area a diesel truck or any truck with more than 300,000kms (186,400mi) its on its last legs be prepared to do repairs on a regular basis to keep it running.

Lets face it 5 years is the max you would want to keep a new truck after 5 years its going to cost you money. Many of the contractors I know lease or own their diesel trucks for 4-5 years and buy a new one.

I need a newer F-450 and I'am wondering about going back to gas I would save about 2 grand in the purchase price. I also will find a lower kilometerage truck with gas power.

People say the diesel will last longer when towing but there is no difference in truck wear pulling with a gas pot. Who cares if the diesel will go 300,000 miles if you keep dumping money into the driveline because its worn out and tired.

Too sum it up its your choice to spend the extra 5 grand for the diesel when you buy a new truck or if you buy a used truck you take the chance that the diesel won't blow up and cost you a fortune to repair. If the price of diesel fuel drops back down below gas again it maybe worth owning a diesel P/U again.

dcondon
11-29-2004, 09:53 PM
Go with the diesel!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You don't have to worry about the new ones starting in the winter. Well I know FORD you don't. Pulling a trailer or doing some heavy work you will save a lot of money. :)

Eric 1
11-29-2004, 10:15 PM
Go with the diesel!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You don't have to worry about the new ones starting in the winter. Well I know FORD you don't. . :)

If you plug them in, thus driving you electric bill up.

I am more of a gas burner man.

Tulsa Lawn Guy
11-29-2004, 11:05 PM
I have an 03 Dodge (Cummins).

No problem starting the new diesel trucks in cold weather...

I also can get 24 mpg (empty) on the highway. Can't beat that.

UNISCAPER
11-29-2004, 11:07 PM
We don't own any more gassers. After converting the whole fleet over, we litterally cut our fuel consumption in half. And, there is virtually no maintenance. The Fords start alot harder than the Duramax engines but consider it never gets below 40° here. In the situation of a one truck operation, you may never be able to pencil out the added cost of a diesel vs the fuel consumption ratios. If you are looking for brute power, ability to pull loads over grades, it would take alot more engine than is available in most trucks than is available in a gas rig to out work a diesel. When we ran gassers, the same trailers pulling the 6.5° grades would bog down to 40MP and be dying by the time we hit the summit. With diesel, no matter weather it is a powerstroke or a duramax, half way up running 55 mph we can floor the trucks and hit 75-80 by the time we clear the summit.

Now, in terms of repair time...Where a gasser will nickel and dime you, a diesel will $500 and $1,000.00 you. But that is after a few hundred thousand miles.

Hope this helps!

Grassmechanic
11-30-2004, 09:13 AM
10 degrees below zero. The mighty Cummins fires right up without being plugged in. 22-24MPG. 130,000 miles. Zero maint. issues. I'll never go back to a gasser.

Tulsa Lawn Guy
11-30-2004, 08:51 PM
10 degrees below zero. The mighty Cummins fires right up without being plugged in. 22-24MPG. 130,000 miles. Zero maint. issues. I'll never go back to a gasser.

Mike,

I'm getting ready to take my truck to Colorado this weekend and where I'm staying the temp drops to a few degrees below zero. I won't have any way to plug the truck in, so is there anything else I need to do? Like fuel additive?

Grassmechanic
12-01-2004, 08:45 AM
Mike,

I'm getting ready to take my truck to Colorado this weekend and where I'm staying the temp drops to a few degrees below zero. I won't have any way to plug the truck in, so is there anything else I need to do? Like fuel additive?

I don't use fuel additives, but you may have to cycle the preheat system more than once. Make sure you have good batteries (I use Optima's)

ThePawnbroker
12-06-2004, 04:40 AM
Diesel all the way!! I have a Cummins and a 6.0L Powerstroke. Both are fantastic. I love driving anything with tons of low end torque. Much easier pulling and especially low speed maneuvering trailers. All the new diesels start fine in really cold weather. I don't think Ford even recommends plugging in until something like 20 below. We could all argue for days about how long it takes to "pay" for the diesel with regards to fuel mileage and maintenance. The greatest economic benefit comes when it is time to trade or sell. The difference between gas and diesel resale value is nearly enough of a difference to pay for the diesel to begin with. Just check Kelly Blue Book (http://kbb.com) or Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/). Price the exact same 2000 model truck with and without diesel and see what the resale price is. In other words; more power, better fuel mileage, less maintenance, fewer repairs and better resale value by far. Just try to sell a gas truck with 150K miles on it and see what it is worth. Sell the same truck with a diesel and it is just getting broken in.

Dave

Metro Lawn
12-06-2004, 09:23 AM
Myself I don't know if its worth having a diesel P/U anymore the price of diesel keeps climbing and the newer diesels have so much electronic bull **** on them now a person can't repair them. The newer diesel trucks are not getting the MPG like the older diesels with lower power.

I currently own a 89 F-450 with a 7.3 IDI its slower than you wouldn't beleive it does get slightly better fuel mileage over my previous F-450 with 460 power. When the old IDI dies the truck will be junked to replace the IDI costs 6000 grand minimum.

In this area a diesel truck or any truck with more than 300,000kms (186,400mi) its on its last legs be prepared to do repairs on a regular basis to keep it running.

Lets face it 5 years is the max you would want to keep a new truck after 5 years its going to cost you money. Many of the contractors I know lease or own their diesel trucks for 4-5 years and buy a new one.

I need a newer F-450 and I'am wondering about going back to gas I would save about 2 grand in the purchase price. I also will find a lower kilometerage truck with gas power.

People say the diesel will last longer when towing but there is no difference in truck wear pulling with a gas pot. Who cares if the diesel will go 300,000 miles if you keep dumping money into the driveline because its worn out and tired.

Too sum it up its your choice to spend the extra 5 grand for the diesel when you buy a new truck or if you buy a used truck you take the chance that the diesel won't blow up and cost you a fortune to repair. If the price of diesel fuel drops back down below gas again it maybe worth owning a diesel P/U again.

I am guessing this is all opinion and not based on any factual information. It may apply to the diesels used by Ford and GM. Our Dodge trucks with the Cummins diesel engine have been awesome. We have several that are in the 1989 - 2001 range. One unit has over 500,000 miles on it and the engine has never been apart. The 89 that I drive has had no driveline issues whatsoever. In the past year and a half, it has only required back brakes and PM service. It gets 18mpg as well. I have talked to the owners of the Ford and GM diesels and they are not getting this kind of mileage. I guess it is all in the manf. Cummins is one of the oldest engine builders in the market. They have gotten it right, where the other brand x are still trying to work on it.

UNISCAPER
12-06-2004, 11:29 AM
The new generation GM nd Ford diesels are much better on fuel than the old naturally aspirated ones. I average 15 with the Duramax, one time on a road trip pulled 18. The last remaining soon to be sold Powerstroke (444 cubic inch) is averaging 11, and that is in an F-450. In comparision, our Duramax 4500 is pulling 13-16, depending on load, and terain where it works.

Bayrat
12-08-2004, 09:46 AM
I have decided to trade my 2002, 2500 for a diesel. It has only 5000 miles on it as I have a company vehicle I run the road with. Initially the plan was to buy a condo for the winter months and rent it the rest of the year. Now my wife wants to drag a camper around when we retire rather than buy a place in a warmer climate. My initial plan was to use the Dodge as little as possible until that time and have a fairly new truck when retired. Since then, there is the possibility I may need to use the vehicle to commute to work (40 miles each way), pull a large camper in a few years as well as my minimal towing that I currently do. I dragged a 7k pound trailer last week and the 360 V-8 was to the boards trying to maintain 55 on the hills, not very impressive.

Here is my question:

The dealer will trade me for not much more than the difference in the cost of the vehicles if both were new. This is due to the new condition of my truck, big rebates, as well as the new plow I installed last year. I have two choices, a Dodge Cummings and a Ford Diesel V-8 for about the same price. I have heard some bad things about Ford Super Duty trucks. What would you folks recommend? The new diesel (which one?) or keep the gasser?

Thanks in advance!

Grassmechanic
12-08-2004, 11:50 AM
Well, since I've had both the Powerstroke and the Cummins, I'd personally take the Cummins. It takes the Powerstroke 8 cylinders to do what the Cummins does with 6.

UNISCAPER
12-08-2004, 11:55 AM
Of the two, Ford is far better than Dodge. The only transmission worse than the Ford, is Dodge. Dodge has so much torque that frames crack on the drivers side, just under the door, and, to my knowledge, they have not corrected that problem. And, unless Dodge brakes have been updated, they used the same fronts as pre'99 GM trucks, which, ate brakes every 15,000 miles.

Personally, I'm sticking with my GM product. Duramax engine, much more power than my buddies 366 cubic inch powerstroke, brakes with a 100,000 mile warrantee, and, the best transmission in the league, and that came from the service manager at North County Ford when I picked up our 02 F-450 super duty from getting it's transmission fixed for the second time in 30,000 miles.

The new Ford tranny is to me, just too new. Others will argue differently, but, that is what I do.

Bayrat
12-08-2004, 02:32 PM
Thanks to you both, no word from salesman yet that is doing search. Stopped at another dealer and found two 3500 quad cab Dodges, nice trucks. The Ford seemed to drive and handle very similar to my current vehicle, that may be why I liked that better. The interior was not as well appointed as the Dodge and it lacked a number of features being "comparable models". The Ford was noisier and started harder, in fact I thought it was not going to start, had to do attempt twice. The Dodge fired right up after a couple of revolutions but really screeches to a halt when shut down. I have heard the Ford is being replaced late next year with a new design but I quite often don't like new designs. The current model is functional and I like the lack of flaring rear wheel wells and rounded front fenders that one can not see. I need to drive them both again.

Thanks

Lawrence Lawns
12-12-2004, 02:00 AM
I have decided to trade my 2002, 2500 for a diesel. It has only 5000 miles on it as I have a company vehicle I run the road with. Initially the plan was to buy a condo for the winter months and rent it the rest of the year. Now my wife wants to drag a camper around when we retire rather than buy a place in a warmer climate. My initial plan was to use the Dodge as little as possible until that time and have a fairly new truck when retired. Since then, there is the possibility I may need to use the vehicle to commute to work (40 miles each way), pull a large camper in a few years as well as my minimal towing that I currently do. I dragged a 7k pound trailer last week and the 360 V-8 was to the boards trying to maintain 55 on the hills, not very impressive.

Here is my question:

The dealer will trade me for not much more than the difference in the cost of the vehicles if both were new. This is due to the new condition of my truck, big rebates, as well as the new plow I installed last year. I have two choices, a Dodge Cummings and a Ford Diesel V-8 for about the same price. I have heard some bad things about Ford Super Duty trucks. What would you folks recommend? The new diesel (which one?) or keep the gasser?

Thanks in advance! Go with the Cummins. I've got a '00 Ram 2500 360 gas and I hate it. Pulling is not in a 360's job description. Even my '96 Ram 318 has more torque (well not sure about that but it seems like it). As known as the Dodge's are for tranny problems, it's a wonder that the continuous shifting up hills and what not hasn't taken it's toll yet. I will never buy another Ram with a 360. Test drove 2 diesels so far. All I can say is see for yourself! You get into a Cummins and I guarantee you you won't want to drive that 360 home. The first one I find with the year, color and options I want is CUMMINS home with me! :D

Bayrat
12-12-2004, 09:24 AM
Thanks, keep it coming!

blafleur
12-12-2004, 10:50 AM
A lot depends on your application. If I was mowing only, making short drives between stops, and not doing many long distances with a trailer, I would get a gas. I make many long drives with a trailer (80+) and haul heavy weights, so I have a diesel. The only problem now was even if I quit landscaping, I dont know if I could ever go back to the gas, I just love these diesels.

The mpg issue is really apparent if pulling any size trailer over a decent distance. Weight behind a diesel just doesnt drag down the mpg like it does with a gas. But if the trips were all short (mowing in a neighborhood), this may not be the case.

As far as brands of diesels, I truly believe you can find a problem with any brand, any year. You want to avoid the major problems, if you do a little research you can find these.

I keep seeing generic references here to problems. The dodge had problems with auto trannies on the pre03 models, but have never had problems with the manual, and the new auto is supposed to be good. The Ford 6.0 was initially a disaster, but have heard they are supposed to have it cleared up on the 05's, time will tell. Duramax has its share too, but cant remember, injectors I think. There is no way they are worth the price to me, when I can get a cummins at much less price, with a proven engine, but thats just my preference.

I have not heard of the frame problems on the dodge. I wonder about some of these types of complaints, some people add massive amounts of horse power to these engines (very easy to do on a diesel), far more than the rest of the truck and drivetrain can handle. And some people use 1 ton pickups to hotshot 30,000+ pound loads. If frames are cracking from rated weights and sensible hp, it seems we would have heard more on this. I frequent a couple of dodge diesel forums and have never heard of this. Uniscaper, got any elaboration on this?

I highly recommend anyone interested in a diesel to visit these diesel forums, you can find out more there on diesel engines and the trucks they are in than you can find out about this business on this forum, and thats quite a bit.

Whew, my fingers are tired.

Bryan

Gravel Rat
12-12-2004, 06:20 PM
Dodge chassis were known not to be that strong the older trucks used to bend behind the cab. The new hydroformed frame is way to new to tell what its going todo I think it will rust out faster than wear out. You can not make a boxed frame and its not going to rust from the inside out.

Ford does make a tougher truck in general one of the reasons why they are used for vocational purposes and work trucks. Personally I would buy a gas pot Ford if I couldn't buy a diesel. The proven truck itself is why I stick with Ford I don't buy a truck because the engine. I also don't buy trucks with automatic transmissions it doesn't matter what brand all light truck automatic transmissions are crap. Nothing is more reliable than a manual transmission and its cheap to repair or replace.

My second truck choice would be Chev I wouldn't ever buy a Dodge product they are not tough enough if they were they would be used as work trucks.

The biodiesel will be the future fuel this planet can't take anymore pollution from gasoline powered vehicals. The big thing is to get the price of a diesel powered trucks down to a reasonable level.

The newer diesel trucks with the electronic controls are more user friendly they are not as affected with the short trip syndrome like the older mechanical diesels are with carbon build up and fuel slobbering. The only problem with the electronic controlled engines is when it comes to repairs which can be expensive.

I don't think I would buy another used 7.3 IDI because there is too much risk with cavitation. A engine that dies from cavitation turns into a very very expensive repair bill. I'am looking for better fuel mileage than I'am getting now which is around 11mpg with a empty truck. With a load it drops down around 9-10mpg but then again grossing 14,000lbs it doesn't go any faster than 65-70km/h (40-43mph).

Gilla Gorilla
12-12-2004, 08:20 PM
I got my first diesel a 7.3 PSD in a 2002 F350 CC Dually back in July. I have wanted one for a couple years and now that I started the business I can justify it finally. It does not get the fuel mileage that I was expecting but when you have four wheels out back and 4:10's in the rear with a 4 speed auto I guess you cant expect a great mpg truck. When I am towing a good load around 7k to 10k that is where this truck shines, no lack of torque like my 03 F150 with a 5.4L
had trying to tow 7k pounds and with the two extra wheels out back it is very stable at highway speeds and turns when towing. I added a power programmer to it in August and man did that wake this truck up. I also put on a cold air intake and a 4" exhaust from magnaflow and boy does it sound great now.
I had 30 weekly and biweekly mowing accounts by mid summer that kept me busy on Wed, Thurs and Friday some would take 30 to 35 minutes to get to. The rest of the time I was doing small installs a couple small patio jobs and mulching and some other landscaping. All in all if I were to have to get out of this business and get a desk job again I would more than likely keep this truck just because it is so comfortable to drive ie; nice and smooth and also pretty damn fast with the tuner when you stick it in the 85 horse power mode. Oh yeah it is great when a kid pulls up beside me on the right side with a loud azz jap. car and tries to pull me off the line and he gets stuck eatin a bunch of black diesel exhaust. LOL

Like someone here already said, if you plan on getting into the landscaping side more then you will love the diesel and watch out with the modifications to the truck. Once you do the first thing to make it a little faster then you are hooked and have the diesel bug which is hard to get rid of once you have it. Trust me I found this out the hard way so far.

Good luck and just research the 3 big 3 trucks and figure out which one will work best for you. In my opinion the cummins is a great engine but I used to work for a Ford dealer for over 10 years and my father still works there so I get charged $43.00 per labor hour instead of $89.00 so I think that I will stick with the Fords like I have since I was 16.

Good luck on you choice and let us know what and which kind of engine you decide to go with.

SHARP CUT LAWN SERVICE
12-17-2004, 08:29 PM
When I First Got Started I Had A 2000 F 250 Triton {5.4} Now I Am Goin To A 2005 F250 Diesel 6 Speed I Am Always Pullin Sod And When I Am Mowin I Am Pullin A 36 Inch Walk Behind And 2 Grasshoppers So I Need The Pullin Power