2500HD vs 3500HD SRW

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by burnthefurniture, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. burnthefurniture

    burnthefurniture LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I've got a bit of a delimma. I've exhausted myself trying to think over the possibilities, and would like to get some external input. This is not a chevy vs dodge vs ford thread.

    My situtation:

    We own a landscape architecture and landscape contracting business. We have always run chevy trucks, our newest current fleet purchase was a 2011 2500hd 6.0 gasser. We have several different kubota excavators, bobcats, kubota tractors, etc. Currently, our heaviest equipment weighs about 6,500 lbs and is pulled on a 10,000 GVWR bumper pull trailer.

    Recently, we have been getting into pulling heavier loads much more frequently with the 14,000 GVWR dump trailer. For simplicity of maintenance, we have always run gas trucks but getting into the heavier loads, the benefits of a diesel for daily towing are starting to look better.

    Here is my delimma. We are intrastate only and correctly licensed to haul any truck and trailer combination up to 26,000#. However, we would like to stay under CDL which means the heaviest duty truck I can get with the trailers we already have is a 3500HD SRW Duramax at 11,400#. This truck will also be needing to tow a single wheel tandem gooseneck to haul a larger kubota excavator which weighs in around 10,200 lbs.

    I don't want to get a truck that handcuffs my ability to haul the equipment I need, but I want to draw on the expertise of some who have towed goosenecks.

    Between the 2500HD and 3500HD similarly equipped, towing is identical. With the 2500HD, my trailer GVWR can be 16,000# to stay under CDL, with the 3500 HD it would have to be 14,000#. Both trailers can support the weight, but the 14,000# is closer to the max load without a higher pin weight. The 16,000# trailer can more easily bear the load but with a 2500, the pin weight would have to be lower.

    Basically the question is this: Higher GVWR truck with lower GVWR trailer (3500HD SRW and 14,000# trailer) allows more weight on pin , or Lower GVWR truck (2500HD and 16,000# trailer) requires more load weight on trailer itself. What would be my better option?

    I see plenty of hot shot drivers with 20-24k# GVWR dual tandem goosenecks behind 2500s but is that ideal and can the truck handle it?
  2. dieselss

    dieselss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,044

    Ck your laws. Anything for profit or company over 10000 (trailer) is cdl
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  3. burnthefurniture

    burnthefurniture LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Louisiana has five classes of licenses. Classes A,B, and C are commercial CDL as defined by the FMCSA. Class E is your regular drivers license for common folks, under 10,000# GVWR and for personal use.

    Class D is what we operate under. As I mentioned, we do not cross state lines.

    R.S. 32:408 B. (2)(d) and 405.1:
    Class "D" Chauffeurs Driver's License
    Age Requirements: 17 years or above.
    Permits the operation of all vehicles included in Class E plus any single motor vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds but less than 26,001 pounds, or any combination of vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the vehicle has a combined vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds but less than 26,001 pounds (inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds); or any vehicle designed or utilized for the transportation of passengers for hire or fee; and not utilized in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous under the provisions of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act which requires the vehicle to bear a placard under the provision of Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Part 172, Subpart F).

    NOTE: As long as the combined gross vehicle weight rating (truck and trailer) is less than 26,001 pounds you can operate with Class D.
  4. dieselss

    dieselss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,044

    Ok my mistake.
    A 2500 with helper springs, and a higher gvwr trailer. That would be the direction I would be looking into.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. burnthefurniture

    burnthefurniture LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I appreciate the opinion, and the preliminary concern. Honestly, I feel like it would be much easier if states had unified licensing laws, because sometimes it gets sticky for intrastate only operations (particularly for the sake of conversation on forums such as this). It is the same way with USDOT numbers. Some states require them for intrastate operations - apart from the federal regulations, and some don't.

    Anyway, thanks for the opinion.
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    I will keep any truck I buy, gear under 10001 lbs. Reason is I cross state lines so if I go without a trailer I won't have any bs. Laws are always changing and getting closer to the feds limits if they are not already.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. burnthefurniture

    burnthefurniture LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Thats a good point too. We do have several 2500HD's currently that are under 10,000 without a trailer. Of course anything I hitch up to pushes it over the limit. I imagine it would be different if we were right on the border of our state but we are an hour and a half from anywhere, and rarely leave the city with our business.
  8. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    Here are my thoughts......... Will a 2500 handle the weight? Sure. Question is how will it hold up over time. I would also question the Chevy option unless they have made ifs a lot better for towing. With ifs your toe angle changes with load and creates uneven tire wear costing you more. Also if you go 2500 you won't have duals. A dually will be more stable, also will help keep the rear end in place with a bumper pull. Also I'd say if you arnt hauling your equipment far then don't get diesel. If you are putting miles on the truck then go diesel.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,614

    Considering there is no difference between the chevy trucks and you are trying to keep under cdl I would definitely go with the 2500. Dodge are the only ones doing anything different between the 2500'and 3500 with the 2500 having IRS now.
  10. burnthefurniture

    burnthefurniture LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I know the chevy IFS for 2011+ trucks was about twice as beefy as previous years. I have not considered a difference in toe angle with a load, and while that is a possibility, I have never seen uneven wear in my experience out of the 15+ chevy trucks we have had and currently have. However, doesn't mean thats not a good point. We are low mileage but even then, the loads we are currently having to pull with a gas truck really would better lend themselves to the extra power of a diesel. I know with that said the "payoff" for longevity and long range towing vs the added expense of a diesel may not be there when low mileage, but do you think there is a time when weight of load alone would necessitate it? I'm just asking your opinion. I find that I am towing 12-13k loads several times a week, and anticipate larger loads and trailers in the future.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014

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