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Too much strain on my F-350?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by allstar, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    Last year I became a SOFTRAK putting green installer.In order to stay busy I have to be willing to go anywhere in the state to build these greens.When we travel to do a job I usually take my JD 43/10 with loader and tiller attached,a couple of tons of top dressing(it's like sand) and lots and lots of other equipment and tools to do the putting green and any necessary landscaping associated with it.I have an '03 Ford F-350 dump.
    Some of these job sites are a couple of hours away.Since it's difficult to tell exactly how much all of this stuff weighs can I go by the RPM's(when accellerating and traveling at constant speeds)to tell whether or not I'm "stressing" the engine and transmission too much?Thanks.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    Just don't back up while you have a load on or up a hill with a load on and you should be OK, but to be safe I would go into a class 6 truck. We got rid of our F-450's because they were not doing the job. Part was Ford not knowing how to build a transmission, the other part was us pushing to the limit more often than we would like to see. Now we have 976 cubic inches of engine liters of engine rather than 444, and 10 gears rather than 4. the cool thing is with the variable boost on the turbo, when we are not under load, these trucks get the same milage that the F-450's did and we don't have to worry about being able to finish the day.
  3. greywynd

    greywynd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    Do some research, maybe you can get the top dreessing at locations closer to the job?At least then you could cut the load down...I know I keep a list of gravel pits, landscape supply places, etc. and their phone numbers in my truck....If I need something when I'm a distance away from home, I can make a couple phone calls and track down what I need locally, and make sure that they are open for me to get it if it's near the end of the day, or early in the morning.

  4. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,223

    Which engine and transmission do you have?

    If you have a PSD, then your engine won't have a problem with it. The PSD is a very capable engine.

    If you have an automatic, I'd suggest adding a deeper tranny pan to it to have more available cool fluid for it. The main reason trannies blow is from excessive heat. Mag-Hytec has a deeper tranny pan with cooling fins on it to aid in cooling the fluid. Well worth the investment for the additional protection. In most cases however your transmission will be ok without it, but with the kind of load you're moving I'd do it just out of good practice, just don't get out there and try to race the ricer next to you and you'll be fine.

    If you have the 6 spd. I'd get rid of the dual mass flywheel and get a LUK clutch and a single mass flywheel.
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Most of the time F-350s are overloaded just with the dump body let alone adding tools and sand or gravel in the box. A F-450 is only one step above yes it has a 15,000lb gvw and has a rough payload of 6000lbs with a 10-11' dump body.

    If you are in the need to haul a decent load and pull a trailer then you will need a medium duty. A 5 ton truck with a 33,000lb gvw will do then run a 10 or 12' contractor style box something with the fold down sides so you can load stuff like pallets etc.

    The F-450 sized trucks are good for short hauls where your traveling around a small comunity or working in a city. Its not a truck that you would want to do repetive hauls long distances the truck just won't last.

    The longest haul I will make with my F-Superduty is max 1 hr away from the pit. If I'am hauling for a customer and they want more than 3 yards of one type of product then I usually try convince the people to hire a bigger truck yes I loose some work but the customer likes the honesty that I say its going to cost them 40 dollars per hour for me to haul 2 yards at a time when a tandem can haul up to 12 yards at 65. It also depends on the job too sometimes a bigger truck just can't fit down where the customer wants the material. I have had those jobs where a 1-1.5 ton truck is needed and the customer has to pay the 40 dollars per hour.

    Anyhow enough rambling the only way to know if your over taxing your truck is make a trip to a scale and see how much your over your gvw or GCWR.
  6. dzd9fy

    dzd9fy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    I would agree that a 350/450 is really being asked to do more than what it was designed to do as an overall package. Some will say what they want on brand loyalty and such but the PSD is a decent engine and is not the shortcoming of what you want to do. Trans, brakes and frames are where you are undersized.

    Moving up to a med duty is preferred; though 33000 GVW is overkill unless you are going to use it as a full dump with fully loaded and pulling. Plus some states require commercial driver lisc over 26000 GVW so that becomes an issue. Might want to take a look at the Chevy C4500 4x4 or even the C5500 if you do not need 4x4 and want to go all the way up to 26000 GVW. You can stay with hydraulic brakes and a Duramax 6.6l V8 or 8.1l Gas.

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