F350, 450, 550, or GMC 3500, 4500?! Yikes!

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Ecoscapes, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Ecoscapes

    Ecoscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    OK finally ready for a dump truck, been doing dump trailers for years but its time to consolidate no more multiple trips, equipment, materials etc.. Tried a GMC 5500, it was big, good turning radius but its a tank, if I had a little truck to drive around it'd be alright but... Leaning towards a 07, 08, GMC 3500 diesel dump but also looking at Ford 350 and 450, any one have experience with any of these trucks? Reviews? Big difference between 350/450? Haul stone quite a bit, I have a Dodge 3/4 ton and feel like I'm on the edge with the weight all the time, plus just did ball bearings @ 50000 miles and don't trust Dodge anymore! Like cummins but the rest of the truck... F450 little more tow and payload more reassuring, but worse mpg worth a little more heavy duty?
    Thanks for any reviews or info!
  2. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 911

    What will the avg combined weight of your trailer and payload be? If you are towing a skid and hauling heavy material at the same time, an f450 or f550 would be ideal. There probably wouldn't be much of a fuel economy difference between a loaded f350 and a f450.
  3. Ecoscapes

    Ecoscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    Well I'm looking into a mini excavator, (Kubota kx121 about 5 ton) So I'd be hauling that around quite a bit, hilly, dirt roads, the truck wouldn't have to be loaded with material while towing, maybe once and a while. Mostly would tow the equipment to job site, then go get materials, 3-5 yrds from drainage rock to topsoil. Big payload difference between F350/450?
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    There is a big difference between a F-350 and F-450/550. I don't know what year range your looking at brandnew or used ?

    A F-450/550 is usually maxed out with 7000lbs payload with a dump body a F-550 with a 19,000lb gvw has the exact same brakes as a F-450 with the F550.

    Drain rock is heavy you are looking at 2900lbs per yard a F-450/550 will carry 2.5 yards and you will be maxed out. Regular gravel you are looking at 2400lbs per yard so 3 yards will be max.

    A F-350 or 1 ton dump 2 yards is max payload and your over loaded most 1 ton dumps are maxed out at 4000lbs I think legal payload is 3500-4000lbs so two yards of gravel your 1000lbs over weight.
  5. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    from OH
    Messages: 2,331

    gravel rat speaks legally, if you take a closer look at the contractors who run those trucks and see whats in the bed, your more likely to see them running with 10-12K in the beds. not saying its right or wrong, just what happens.
  6. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Messages: 1,022

    i would say you are getting into a world where you won't find the perfect truck. there will be sacrifices which ever way you go. that being said i wouldn't waste time even considering a 1 ton. the payload simply isn't there. yes, you would be able to tow the excavator with it but after unhooking from the trailer you won't be able to carry much gravel. i would only consider a 1 ton if you are hauling mulch primarily. with a 45-5500 or 450-550 you will have much more truck. better safer towing, better capacity wrse milage. the milage and drivability is a pill you have to swallow. it has been well worth it for me. i would suggest considering a 6500 sized truck as well. with this you can do much more and there are bargains to be had for them now. perhaps keep the dodge for when you don't need the big truck. when you do need it it's costs will be paid for by the job it is doing. i have a F350, 4500, and an old C65 chevy gasser. don't use the C65 much but when i need it it's there and worth it's weight in gold. i was able to get it cheap and maintenance has been minimal for it. all it costs when i don't use it is tags. this has been a small price for the conveniance. there are better trucks than the old C65 but none have a better monthly payment.
    good luck,
  7. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Messages: 1,022

    just to add i am always towing or hauling with the 4500. towing either 7 or 9 tons depending on which machine is going.
    good luck,
  8. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,245

    I'd say 450/550 or 4500/5500 sizes. The 350 can not haul anything legally and I thought the braking of the 350 wasn't as good as the 450/550.
  9. AtoZ

    AtoZ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    My one ton hauled a 6 ton load as good as my F-550. The tires on the 3500 would rub whereas the tires on the F-550 would not. When in a pinch I would haul as much as 7 ton on the F-550, but I don't do that everyday. I found that I was using the 550 too much for heavy hauling so I bought a International 4300 with a 33,000 lb gvw for the heavy boulders and stuff...

    A one ton will work for towing and medium weight hauling. For towing and heavy hauling get a 450/4500 or bigger. You'll like the added hauling capacity, ie better tires and brakes... With as many mistakes over the years as I've made with vehicles - it's better to over-spec than under-spec...

    A 450/4500 and up chassis does not cost that much more than a one ton. I like one tons but for heavy hauling that is asking too much...
  10. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I don't operate overloaded trucks the max I will overload a truck by is 1000lbs. My current 06 F-450 will handle 7000lbs and that is the heaviest load I will put on the truck. With the truck grossing 17,000lbs the braking power is maxed out.

    Maybe you guys with the no hills can get away with more weight I value my life if I put anymore than 7000lbs on my F-450 it is too heavy.

    All the loads I haul out of the gravel pit are scaled and if you get caught overloaded by the DOT the pit you got the gravel from can get in sh*t for letting a overloaded truck leave the property.

    Get in a accident the investigation reveals you were overloaded you have a good chance you will see jail time. Need more material make two trips myself I'am paid by the hour.

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