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Old 04-11-2013, 01:36 PM
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GreenUtah GreenUtah is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: SLC, UT
Posts: 866
Originally Posted by minilawn View Post
Thanks for the replies. I just wanted to see if the tone has changed with some folks.

Here's to anyone thinking about going with the smaller set-up:

$3500 purchase price w 63k miles.

This is getting 19mpg with the trailer every week. High twenties empty on highway. Great for running errands.

Wearing out really fast??

Brake pads were replaced as soon as I bought, new shocks, new alternator, fuel filter, clutch, and timing chain. In the last 40k miles. At 100k I did the timing chain ($75) and throwout bearing (decided to just to the whole clutch kit while I was in there) What I found when I took the old clutch off was about 50%. It was wearing normally for a 12 year old, 100k mile vehicle. Timing chain was purely preventative maintenance, I just know that's a weak point on this engine, (2.2 vortech).

So in 3 years, and 40k miles.
Shocks - $90
Rotors & Pads - $150
Alternator - $120
Clutch kit - $500
Fuel Filter - $50
Timing Chain -$75

Total $985

And it runs like new!

I would love to see and hear more about your guy's rigs that work for your business and why!
If you had a mechanic do that, the price would have doubled (at least), so you didn't account for your labor in that equation. Once you do, you're finding that you're putting about half or more of what you bought the truck for into maintenance. That's expensive to own as a percentage.

I ran under a Ford fleet account, so ended up with a lot of Fords. F250-F-350, most 4wd that did snow duty during the winter, so they are not comparable to your setup.

However, I did have trucks that were 2wd half ton setups meant for pulling tandem axle 16 foot trailers with a pair of riders. A standard cab, small block v-8 (the smallest, whatever that is/was is how I would buy all my 2wds, regardless of brand), automatic with vinyl floors and AC, newer generation silverados (I bought a few of these..they actually were much better performers for this duty than the Fords) would pull that load like nothing was there. Fuel mileage, 20-22, depending on the driver and the amount of hills in their particular route. Maintenance on a new truck, oil change, air filter, tires and maybe brake pads, once again, depending on the driver. Would run trucks to 150k, then swap them out.

Shop a block from the freeway, so many miles into routes were freeway miles. In this particular market, elevation changes can be 3000 feet during a route. Being pushed by a trailer is a definite reality.

I like small trucks for the other reasons I stated and still own my original Toy, which sits in my home garage, driven a few times per year.

Account not only for your current duties when you select a vehicle, but also what you plan to do with it as you grow. I'd hate to think that someone would turn down opportunities because they couldn't pull out a bigger trailer.
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