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Help choosing right truck?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by lasher66, May 18, 2002.

  1. lasher66

    lasher66 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    I am wondering if anyone knows of a good truck to use for lawn business and personal use. I currently work by myself mowing about 45 accounts a week and I normally dont bag grass. Currently I have a 1988 Ford F-150 and a 1999 Dodge Ram 5.7L 4X4. I was using the Ford for work but it needs some money dumped into it. I had many people tell me that the Dodge I have is not good for using as a work truck. They said they know many people that had transmission probs and many others with the Dodge Ram. Besides it is only a short bed, so I would like something with more room. Is their any truth to this Dodge talk? Anyways I was thinking about selling the Dodge and buying the right truck that aint going to fall apart on me. I am looking to spend around $20k or so. So my question is What is a good truck to use as a work truck/ personal use truck? Thanks

  2. wxmn6

    wxmn6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    That's going to be tough to find a new work truck that is suitable for you that costs around $20K. Usually a good work truck would go for around $30K-$40K new. So I assume that you are looking for a good used work truck?
  3. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    A new "work truck" can be had for less then 30,000! You can buy a brand new f-250 superty regular cab xl (nothing facy) for 23-25,000 dollars.
  4. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,117

    I've used my 98 Ram 1500 to haul a 16ft trailer with a 60" Chopper, 48" WB , 36" WB and a 21" for over 4 years now. Guess it's not a work truck since it only cost $18,000. Also heard an ad on Radio for a new F150 for $14,800 that had AC, and AT. If you could substitute a V8 for the AT that is a great deal for a new truck.
  5. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    I think he was referring to one ton trucks in terms of being a work truck. You may be able to apply "heavy" 3/4 ton trucks here as well. Towing may be fine with a 1/2 ton but after a while you will destroy it. A heavy one ton with a diesel in either a pickup or C & C does approach the 30k range.
  6. lasher66

    lasher66 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    I was referring to a newer used truck. I just dont think my 1/2 ton Dodge Laramie 1500 will cut it with the smaller 318 engine. Do you guys think it will last ? I have a 16' trailer holding a 52" bunton rider and a 36" walk behind and push blowers,etc. It seems to struggle when I am pulling the trailer. Anyone else have this prob?

  7. scagman

    scagman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I bought a 2000 Ford F-250 Super Duty single cab (white) XL model with the Triton V8. I paid $16,500 came with 29,000 mi, but thats just braking it in. In my opinion this is the absolute perfect Lawn service truck. Ive heard people say that the 5.4 V8 is weak, last weak I rented a backhoe and put it on the back of my tandem axle, went to a ladys house made some new beds and leveled out her yard. I filled the truck up with dirt and carried that backhoe with no proplems. Ford makes a hell of work truck!
  8. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    I love my F 250 PS. After having a Ranger, then a F 150 there is no comparison. And YES YOU WILL destroy a half ton if pulling with it regular. I know because I did. I get better milage in town with the PS than the half ton did on a trip.
    And the power is way cool too. I have a blast draging with other guys, old geezers and chicks going thru town. I almost always beat too. Even pulling a trailer. The half ton almost never won even without a trailer.
  9. marley

    marley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    don't get a half ton
  10. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    I have a '97 GMC with a 4.3 V-6 and a 5 spd manual, and have used it since I got it new. I've pulled vehicles, 8 yards of mulch at a time, and have had the bed so full of sand that the tailpipe scraped on my driveway. If I get a new truck, this will be my personal "car." I gave my old POS Aspire to my daughter and my bookkeeper/wife/money keeper says I need a tax write off, so today went truck shopping. Go ahead, honey, twist my arm!!

    I looked at a Ford F250 and the sticker was $24,035 with AT, AC, and the standard 5.4L(?) V-8 gas engine. There was a new 2001 F450 Power Stroke with a Johnnie Gregory dump body for around $30k. The comparable Chevy 2500HD I looked at a month ago was around $24,600. Both dealers offered both trucks for under $21k. I like the Chevy better than the Ford, and it has a bit more HP, but either seem adequate for what you want to do.

    BTW, my dad has a 1/2 ton Dodge 318 4WD and pulls his 20ft Ranger boat all over the country with it. He also has a 26 ft offshore boat he pulls. His truck has over 80k on the meter and no tranny problems yet. There are aftermarket transmission coolers and helper springs for vehicles that tow heavy loads. It would be a lot cheaper than a new truck.

    Also, there is another cutter here in town who uses a Nissan pickup to pull a trailer like you describe. He's been in business since '97 and has had the same rig. He doesn't seem to have any problems.

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