350,450,550 - really what are the differences

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by meets1, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,756

    Looking for another truck in this range. I am not a ford fan but looks like most out there arw used Fords. But some have mason dumps, other just a dump box of some sort. Some have the shoot in the back, others dont. Thing is exactly how much weight can you hold per truck? Some say 9 ft dump, others sport a 10,11,12 ft dump. To many options. Looked all over and I really see no uniform code on trucks, wheel base, etc. I guess weight is my real question....legally and other wise what can I load into these 3 classes of trucks. Primary dirt, rock, sand,gravel, and maybe a leaf truck in the fall.
     
  2. Vecchio Lawn Care

    Vecchio Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 905

    Don't hold me to it but I believe the suspension is stronger on the 450-550. Like leaf springs etc.
     
  3. GQLL

    GQLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 844

    The 350 have 17 wheels and smaller breaks vs 450/550 they have 19.5 wheels different springs rear ends . We been looking into them as well most 350 have a 9 ft dump and the 450 have 12. our current 450 is legal for 3 tons and u can get 5 legally in a 550
     
  4. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,756

    I will need 4x4. I could get by with a gas engine.....seems less headaches but maybe less torque. How does the dodge compare to ford in the 450-550 range. Or the big 3 compare in the 350 range.
     
  5. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,261

    350-3500 are typically 11,000-13,000 gvw
    450-4500 are typically 14,000-16,500 gvw
    and the 550-5500s can be up 19,500 gvw

    If you want a gas motor you will be writing off dodge I know for a fact its not available on the 4500-5500s and I do not recall in available on the 3500s either. At-least not on new models.

    Comparing my 4500s to our older 3500s is eye opening the frames are so much heavier. The springs are huge and the drive shafts are massive they even have teeth as if large bolts were not enough.

    If your buying new then you can have what ever you want installed for the bed so don't get hung up on what you may see on the car lot. If I was to go with a 3500 today then I would get an aluminum bed no questions asked that size truck has such a small load capability any weight savings you can get would be smart.
     
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,328

    If you want to haul any amount of dirt, rock, gravel, sand legally, you need to go with a 450.

    And at that point, you might just as well go with a 550. The 450 is sort of stupid idea. I have one, because it was a great deal and truck, but in reality, it's pretty stupid.

    As for size of the dump box, it all depends on wheelbase and more so, cab-to-axle length.
     
  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,261

    I don't disagree with ya on this but I can't say I agree with it either. Now if you do planting and hardscaping then you want as big a truck as you can get and in that case a 550/5500 makes complete sense.

    But the 450/4500 has it place even if you didn't see it at first. We wanted trucks we could mow with 3-4 days a week yet still have the ability to mount a leaf box and be legal and the guys that do this with 350/3500s are here are not. The 450/4500 fits that bill it can carry 3 tons of leaves yet be small enough to run a mowing crew. I can do a seeding job and pick up my own dirt once in a while but not be tied to a heavier truck. The DOT requirements in my state are 18001 and above so a 450/4500 is exempt where as a 550/5500 is not.
     
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,328

    The problem is, as soon as you hook a trailer to any of these vehicles they are over 18,001 GCVWR and you come under the same requirements, so you might just as well go as heavy as you can.
     
  9. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,715

    I know every state is different, the next new truck we will go with will be a 450 for the reasons listed about DOT laws. A 450 towing a 9k pound trailer in Maine is legal and requires no DOT # if we leave the state we fall under FMCSA rules and need a number. That same trailer with a 550 requires, Fuel decals, DOT #'s, and if you leave the state you fall under IFTA/FMCSA rules and the whole apportioned plate, driver log, HOS........ etc. Though correct me if I'm wrong, that's just my interpretation of the law.

    If all you plan on doing is hauling with just the truck I agree with Mark, go right to 26k, they are more durable for heavy hauling and have higher payloads.
     
  10. Southern Heritage

    Southern Heritage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    You will not be happy with a 350 for a Hardscape truck. I've owned 450's and used 550's and currently still have a 350. The 450 is great and holds about 3 yds of top soil. 2 yds of gravel or sand. 550 will hold 5 yds of top soil and 3-4 yds of gravel or sand. My 350 is a great truck for tools and Mortar. Also when you run short for the one pallet of stone or pavers etc you can throw in the bed. The problem I've found with all of these trucks is room and capacity. Like others stated when you hook a trailer behind the 550 or 450 there is a chance you will be over DOT. It only will take 1 ticket to make you stop. The next problem you have is even with a 12' bed your bulk material is limited because the truck can only hold 16k.
    The answer is Isuzu, Hino, International, top kick, Ford 600-700etc. You can find Internationals cheap and there hard to kill. Buy one with. 16' dump and rated at 25,950 lbs. Here is the best truck I've ever purchased. I purchased it as a chassis truck and had the lock box and dump put on it.
    Here is what I had made for our Hardscape truck. This is soon as I got it. It's decaled now with aluminum signs that bolt to the side. Also my side come.off so I can put 4 yds of gravel in the back. Pull the first 2 panels and load stone in for the sides. I've even strapped the the pallets down and dumped the gravel while the pallets of stoned stayed on the truck. The metal box is water proof so we keep all of our hand tools, demo saw sand motor. Sometimes we put our tamp in there. It's heavy though.
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    (If my spelling is bad or if it doesn't make sence. I had lower back surgery today and I'm laid up in bed but still woosy)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013

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