1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Which Gas or Diesel Engine??

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by FearThisDeere, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. FearThisDeere

    FearThisDeere LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,168

    It is time to upgrade trucks. The Dakota pulling the loaded 8,500lb dump trailer 30 miles a week just is not cutting it anymore. I am torn between diesel and gas. I know the benefits to both. The way I figure it, diesel would be best, but gas will be fine. I would need to drive 70k miles to break even with the added cost of a diesel. So, what I am looking for it a truck to pull the dump trailer (8,500-12,000lbs), a car trailer with my race car on it on the weekends (2,500lbs.), and maybe a bumper tow horse trailer here and there. I am looking to spend around or under $17,000. If I found a diesel, great, but I am sure I will end up with a 3/4 or one ton gasser. Brand does not make a difference, but here is what I have thought for gas engines:

    GM: 5.7 would be a good all around engine, but not sure if it will be enough power for what I need. The 7.4 might be a little overkill and the gas is not too great, but it is a good strong engine. I would lean more toward the 7.4. It gets about 11-13 on the highway and my Chevy 1500 only does a little better than that, so I am used to it.

    Ford: Not too much to choose from here. The 6.0 diesel is out of the lineup for sure. So that leaves just the 5.4 and 6.8 gassers. I am concerned with the 5.4 not having enough power. This would be the engine that I am really concerened about.

    Dodge: The 5.7 or 5.9. Dodge transmissions worry me no matter what they are in. I have 3 Dodges right now and I love them, but towing is not always their strong point.

    So, what would be the best situation for me? Keep in mind that this truck will be towing a moderate amount, but not driven around town too much, so gas mileage isn't a huge problem, but something to consider as it is so expensive. A crew cab or extended cab would be the best option as I am going to need to tote a few people around often. I have found a 1999 Chevy 3500 one ton dually with the 7.4 in it for the right price and in great shape that I am really leaning towards. It has 121k all highway miles, tow package, loaded, new tires, and in great shape for about $11,000 asking price at a local dealer that has done good work for me. Pros or cons for this truck?
  2. kipper

    kipper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    I drive an 06 ram srw 3500 6 speed and would not trade it for the world !!! If all you are going to be doing is towing and loading hard, I would strongly recommend a diesel only. For simplicity of maintenance and logevity I would only go with a diesel.

    Oh yeah did i mention it has a Cummins in it !!!! One of the best Engines ever produced.

    If you want to wind up the rubber band of a gas engine every time you put a load on it then be my guest. But my fuel price wil never fluxuate as frequent as yours.

    Just some food for thought, not trying to ump on you about it but the application you are speaking of SCREAMS DIESEL ONLY !!!!
  3. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,405

    Go Cummins!!!!
  4. markam70

    markam70 LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Posts: 223

    I would look into a Dodge with the 8.0 V-10. Most people are reluctant to buy one thinking the fuel mileage is horrible but its not bad. You can expect 15-17 mpg in a 2wd 2500 series while towing. Our V-10's are both 4wd, one 2500 and one 3500 dually. When pulling heavy, the mpg's are 13.5 and 12 respectively.

    Dodge tranny's aren't known to be the best. Find a manual if you can but you can have the automatics rebuilt for about $1700.00 and thats building it to handle the output of a chipped V-10 (500hp, 650 ft lbs of torque).
  5. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

  6. Signature Landscaping1

    Signature Landscaping1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,497

    Down the street from me there is a 1997 F350, 92k Miles, Black, No rust, Never towed anything, Plowed Once( Has minute mount brackets and wiring) I drove it the other day. I think hes asking 7/8K. If your intrested i can give you his phone#.
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Newer diesel trucks are not worth it anymore if your wanted better fuel mileage forget it. The new low sulphur diesel is going to be horrible it gets even less mpg the truck has less power. The Cummins option for CNDs is 6000 dollars the 6.0 Ford is the same the Duramax/Ali combination is a extra 10,000 dollars.

    I like diesels and I own one but I won't be buying a new one for 6000 dollars that would by alot of gas.

    Talked to a guy the other day just bought a 06 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually P/U cost him 55,000 dollars :dizzy:
  8. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    For $17K I would look at 2000-2004 Chevy 2500HD/3500 6.0L Gas. You can get some pretty good deals on ebay if you look...
  9. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    A dealer around here has an 01 dodge ram 2500 5.9 cummins, auto, 4x4 88k miles for $16895.

    It is a bit far away though.
  10. notoriousDUG

    notoriousDUG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    Don't discount the 6.0, it has turned inot a pretty trouble free motor. I would run one over a Duramax at this point.

    I firmly belive that you CAN NOT beat the Cummins as far as being the best motor out there but they are sadly in a truck that simply does not cut it for comercial use IMO. If they put the 6BT in a Ford I would be first in line to buy one.

    Low sulfur fuel is notr goign to have as big an impact as I think is feared, but it is somethign to be aware off.

    Doing a lot of towing I woudl 100% go for the diesel, you may not make back every cent but I think they are worth it for the headache free life they usually provide compared to a heavily worked gasser.

Share This Page