Any real differene in mpg 1/2 to 3/4? 2 or 4wd?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by cochino12, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. cochino12

    cochino12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    I am adding another truck this spring and am kind of stuck as to what I am going to look for. This will mainly be a mowing truck doing residential with a 6x12 trailer and a couple walk behinds.

    My dilemna is having a 2wd 1/2 ton that I wont be able to use as a back up plow truck in the winter but I would like to get the best mpg I can during the summer. I assume the 1/2 ton 2wd would be a little more fuel efficient just because of the weight factor but can it make that much difference?

    This will not be a new truck but something GM mid to late 90's with an automatic and 350. So does anyone have any REAL experience to share? I'm not talking ford vs chevy but a like for like truck with 2 or 4wd or 1/2 3/4 ton being the only difference. Did I explain that correct?

    Edit: I already have a 1 ton 4wd, 2 3/4 ton 4wd ... , so I'm not really concerned with ever using the new purchase to haul anything heavier than the 6x12
  2. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    I don't understand your question.

    Is it a 2x4 1/2 ton vs a 3/4 ton 4x4? Thats comparing apples to oranges. If both are 4x4 your going to see just about the same mpg from them because they use the same size engines most of the time and the weight difference is minimal.
  3. cochino12

    cochino12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    Havent bought the truck yet, what I'm asking is how much better will mpg be with a 2wd 1/2 compared to a 1/2 4wd or even a 3/4 4wd? Is it enough to justify having a truck sits most of the winter?
  4. Lawn Man Dave

    Lawn Man Dave LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    From what I have seen you get a little better.... like 2mpg....... going to 2wd would only be worth it to me if you have a pretty big operation... as in big enough that you are getting gas every day or two per truck.

    Id figure the amount of miles it goes per summer and figure the cost of fuel, then deduct the cost with like a 1-2mpg savings or so and see if that is worth it to you with it sitting... if it was me I would get 4WD and try and expand the plow buisness and use it in the winter.....

    At best you might save a gallon a tank or so depending on the size of the tank (I was figuring a 15 gallon tank just as an example). If you rack up a lot of miles it would add up but then hurt you in the winter...

    3000 miles a summer you may save a tank of gas... all depends on a few factors though..... 6000 miles maybe 2 tanks.....
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  5. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    You have to figure a lot more into the equation then just simple MPG. If you plan on using it in the winter then you now have two sets of tires fluids and etc. I don't think a 4wd 1/2 or independent suspension front end is going to be good for plowing, but I don't have first hand experience with it I live in Florida and my parents only had a small driveway up north that I used a w/b blower on. I can tell you this I have owned 2wd 1 ton Ford's and 4wd 1 ton Ford's and I never seen a difference in MPG.
  6. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    I have a 99 Silverado 4x4 short bed with the 4.8L engine. I believe they only made about 15% with this smallest V-8. I get 17 mpg regular driving....11mpg when pulling the trailer...and about 25 hours plowing.....plowing in hours because even if I'm out of the truck snow blowing a sidewalk or small city drive I always leave the truck running. Now when the trailer is on you won't win any races to the top of the hill, but isn't too bad on power. Plowing is great with the short bed. My next truck will be at least 3/4 ton, but plan on leaving the Silverado on the road for a long time and will be my first choice to plow with.
  7. Lawn Man Dave

    Lawn Man Dave LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    That also, like I said, multiple factor's.

    From what I have read as a general rule a plow and anything less then a 1/3 ton and 4WD is pushing it and really hard on the front end...... not that plowing is not hard on a truch haha.

    Id never plow with 2WD let alone in CO.
  8. Lawn Man Dave

    Lawn Man Dave LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Sorry for being off topic but have you ever pulled the same load with the 5.3 to compare the two engines?
  9. DeereMan85

    DeereMan85 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 457

    Most 90's Chevys (prior to '99), be they 1/2 or 3/4, have the same 350 engine. The weight difference between any of the configurations is going to be pretty much negligible. The only noticeable difference will depend on whether the truck has a 3.73 or 4.10 axle ratio. Between growing up on a farm and working in construction and landscaping I've driven all the configurations at some point. Your mileage will fall somewhere between 10-16 most of the time. I never noticed much of a difference between the 1/2 and 3/4 in mpg. I would look for something like this (looks like a good deal, by the way):
  10. 4 seasons lawn&land

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

    1/2 tons get better mileage... not so much towing because they are working harder but otherwise significant.

    2wd get better mileage also. Less significant than the difference between 1/2 ton 3/4 ton.

    Seems worth 1-5 mpg loss to be able to do everything you might want to do with it vs. having a very limited vehicle.

    PS if you go with 3/4 ton get a 1 ton. Same thing with higher legal limits.

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