Chevy W-4500 - Prices & Opinions

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Ursushorribilus, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Ursushorribilus

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    I've decided that my 94 F-150 just isn't gutsy enough to pull the load I need to pull, so I've decided the first thing I'm going to need is a good strong truck. So I fired up the search feature on Lawnsite, and have read threads about trucks for several days now. I like what I read about the Isuzu NPR, and having looked around my area I've found a Chevy dealership that stocks W series trucks, which I've learned through my "Lawnsite studies" is the exact same thing as the Isuzu. So I went over and checked out what they have, what they can get, and the corresponding prices. They gave me a finance price and a cash-out price, and I will definitely pay cash. Here they are:

    * 01 W-4500 with 45,000 miles, a 14' box and 175 hp diesel: $21,900

    * 05 W-4500 with 16' box and 190 hp diesel: finance price - $43,759, cash-out price - $35,879

    * 05 W-4500 Crew Cab with 16' box and 190 hp diesel: finance price - $49,367, cash-out price - $40,198

    My gut reaction is to buy brand new, and I like the Crew Cab. The 01, however, is in mint condition and I understand 45,000 miles is just about breaking in these diesels, and I've read the 175 hp engine has plenty of power. The salesman, of course, tells me the extra 15 hp on the 190 makes an incredible difference. I'm going to test drive them tomorrow.

    What do you think? What would you do? Does anyone know if these prices sound reasonable?
  2. selnoil

    selnoil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    How did the test drives go? What will the warrenty be on the 2001?
  3. Ursushorribilus

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Well, I did some test driving yesterday, and yes, these trucks are indeed very nice. The 2001 turned out to be a W-3500, with the 175 hp diesel and 45,000 miles. It is in immaculate condition and is very comfortable to drive. It doesn't have a great deal of acceleration, but the sales manager who was riding with me said that more torque is applied if a load is in the truck. He told me the truck would actually go faster if loaded! Interesting... Is this true? I didn't ask about a warranty with the 01, but it doesn't matter because the next truck I test drove made me forget about the 01 anyways.

    The 05 W-4500 with the 190 hp diesel was a tad more responsive than the 175 hp, but it still isn't going to slam anyone back in the seat by any means. It pulls nicely if the accelerator is floored, and though it won't win any races it will keep up with most traffic flows I think. It had an "exhaust brake" as I think I recall the sales manager calling it, where you pull a switch and the truck is slowed down without using the brakes, thereby extending brake life. The GWV? was 14,500 lbs., which the sales manager told me will allow about 8000 lbs. to be loaded in the back of the truck. That would be less if I got the Crew Cab, but he didn't know how much less off the top of his head.

    Anyways, these are very nice trucks, and if I can just get the courage up to roll the dice and try applying everything I have learned on Lawnsite, I may start trying to do what you guys do everyday.
  4. pottstim

    pottstim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    I drive a 2004 NPR 175hp diesel automatic with a 14' Supreme box at the publishing company I work for. This is a very impressive truck. Back when we started looking at trucks at the end of last year, I told my boss that we needed to give the NPR trucks a look because of their manuverability and reliability. There are a ton of them on the road here in East Tennessee. The sales manager brought the truck up to work for us to look at. We all drove it and liked it. The boss was especially impressed. He said this thing drives like a car! The sales manager even let us put a 1,500 lb load on it to see how it did. I really have to question some of the things your sales manager has told you. I don't see how putting a load in it is going to make it go faster. I can tell you this. Putting a good load in these trucks barely affects the power and acceleration. We've had as much as 3,500 lbs in ours and it handles it with ease. The low end torque of the diesel and low rear end gear (5.30 ratio) really help out. I feel that the suspension is a bit more stable with a load in it. The springs are so stiff that a load takes the tension off them. We paid a little over $31,000 for ours. It has a/c, auto trans, cruise control, cassette stereo, and the 6" spot mirrors. We currently have 10,000 miles and get anywhere from 11-12 mpg doing a lot of stop and go driving. A load barely affects the mileage just like the power and acceleration. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them to the best of my ability. BTW, our reg cab truck weighs in at 8,300 lbs according to the spec sheet the dealer provided to us. GVWR is 12,000 lbs, so that leaves us with 3,700 lbs of payload. Is the truck you drove a crew cab, or a reg cab? If so, there is no way possible that truck can have an 8,000 lb payload. I would watch what this salesman tells you. Do you have an Isuzu dealer near you? If so, I would check with them for comparison on price. Best of luck
  5. Ursushorribilus

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Thanks Pottstim, I agree on how easy they are to drive, like your boss said, they do drive as easy as a car. Great visibility to the front and sides and effortless steering. Do you think the 04 NPR you drive is comparable to the W-3500 or W-4500? I do have an Isuzu dealership about an hour away, which is why I looked at the Chevy dealership because it's only 5 minutes away.

    The sales manager, being essentially a car salesman, is, I'm sure, totally capable of telling me whatever he thinks I'd like to hear. He seemed to be pretty knowledgable, and said he'd been in the freight business for 10 years before taking the job at Chevy, and that the medium-duty cabover diesel was the truck he'd always used, and loved it. He seemed sincere, but who knows. I will say that the research I've read supports his claims, as pretty much everyone says they love these trucks.

    Do you think an Isuzu dealer would give a cheaper price on a rig? They are exactly the same, from what I'm told, Isuzu, Chevy, and GMC. That being the case I don't care what the badge name is, the best price is the thing. There is something to be said, though, for having a dealer 5 minutes away.

    Oh, here's something. The sales manager did have one great idea for filling in the winter months. He said alot of freight companies and courier companys look for independent contractors with trucks to haul packages and various types of loads. Not a bad way to spend the winter. Actually, not a bad way to make a living in general, if the money was right, a thought which begs an answer to the following question: If a person owned one of these rigs, what are all the possibilities with it - how many ways are there to make money with an NPR/W-Series truck?

    Oh, and lastly, Pottstim, the sales manager said I would have to get a medical card from the doctor to drive the truck, because it was rated for over 10,000 lbs. Did you have to get a medical card? Thanks...Tony
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    A friend of mine used to have a 5500 with a 16' box on it the truck was always grossing past the 20,000lb mark he has put 14,000lbs in the van. The old truck was slow it kept going thou the body finally rotted off of it. The exhaust brake holds fairly well he rarely did the rear brakes I think he did them twice in the 10 years he owned the truck.

    The trucks are no good for doing anything off road the back end spins out too easy. If you get into dirt driveways the back wheels just spin.

    The other truck to look at is Hino they make a 1.5-2 ton coe truck I know a person that has one says it hauls a good load and its good on fuel.
  7. pottstim

    pottstim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    My Isuzu NPR at work is the same thing as the W3500. They are both 12,000 GVW. The W4500 is called the NPR HD in the Isuzu line. They have the 14,500 GVW rating. As I understand it, the only difference between the 2 are heavier duty brakes in the Isuzu lineup anyway. The spring rates, axle ratings, etc are all the same. An hour is a bit of a long way to drive, especially for service, but it may be worth checking into. Our Isuzu dealer is nearly an hour away from us. We did price a Mitsubishi Fuso FE, but they were about a grand higher. This was on an '03 demo with 2,000 miles. Our Isuzu was an '04 and was brand new. The Mitsus are nice trucks, but I didn't feel they had quite as much power or cab space as the Isuzu. In order to drive this truck here in Tennessee, I had to get a class D with an F endorsement license. This essentially means "for hire". We have to carry a fire extinguisher and reflective triangles inside the truck. As far as the medical card, I don't have one. Some people say you have to have them, some say you don't. We probably need to check into that before we get stopped and fined by the highway patrol. I guess I need to ask an officer if I see one out sometime. Hope this helps.

  8. wriken

    wriken LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    I believe when you are required to have a CDL, (commercial drivers license), that may be what he is talking about, When I had mine, you had to get a DOT physical etc.
  9. Ursushorribilus

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Pursuing the question of using the truck in the off-season to haul freight, what, if any, complications are there at a loading dock with a ramp installed on a cabover. I like the looks of the hydraulic ramps I've seen on this site, but would that pose a problem. Could a hydraulic ramp be lowered to the edge of a loading dock and freight loaded using the ramp? (I guess the ramp would be angled up towards the loading dock). Perhaps some type of removable ramp would be the answer, something heavy-duty enough for ZTR's but light enough to be connected/disconnected easily. I guess one problem, ramp or not, is that the NPR/ W-Series back ends wouldn't be tall enough for a loading dock. Any thoughts?
  10. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Is this truck your looking at buying a van or flat if its a flatdeck don't worry about dock height if your looking at a van look into getting a rail gate or power tailgate.

    With a van 90% of you loads will be carried in by hand or a forklift puts the skid on the back and you move it around with a pallet jack.

    When you spec you van box make sure it has some rows of E track or hooks on the wall.

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