Maintenance Costs

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by LB1234, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Within the next year or so we plan on purchasing either an isuzu or mits cabover. I was 100% set on a diesel engine. However, with the price of diesel $0.60 more per gallon I'm not sure the ROI is going to be as high as I thought.

    I'm curious what everyone is paying in maintance costs for there isuzu or mits cabcovers both gas and/or diesel. I would also like some feedback on your fuel consumption (MPG).

    FYI, for our purpose we are going to be pulling a 20' enclosed trailer weighing in around 6,000# for about three days a week and the other 2-3 will be doing landscape work (install/maintenance) doing a bunch of runs without a trailer picking up bulk materials from thye supply yards. We plan on having an aluminum dump body...both to cut down the weight and increase the payload as well as help with maintenance issues associated with rust.

    Thanks In Advance:waving:
  2. AceFinish

    AceFinish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    I don't have really that good of an idea on maintence costs yet. I would say though that you will get better gas mileage and pulling power with a diesel. The down fall is that a diesel no matter what kind of vehicle it is more expensive to work on.
  3. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    I realize the maintenance costs will be higher. I've done some searching and it seems everyone states it is MUCH higher...but much doesn't come with a number attached to it. I'm trying to get an idea of what the "MUCH" higher number is. I've never owned a diesel so I'm not sure what that extra costs are and I'm trying to budget for it now so it doesn't bite me in the arse later.

    I've searched on some posts and I've seen everywhere from 10 to 16 MPG for the diesel cabovers but I'm not sure with what configurations and whether or not that includes towing AND what/how much they are towing. Is it mostly highway or city stop and go? We will be traveling mostly highway and back country roads with not that much stop and go. I figure to place anywhere from 20 to 30k miles per year on the vehicle.
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    My math so far...

    with the assumption I will receive 12MPG with the diesel and 8 MPG with gas and 20k miles per year...

    I come up with 2500 gallons of fuel with gas and ~1667 gallons of fuel with diesel. Assuming 2.90 per gallon of gas and 3.50 per gallon of diesel...thats a total fuel cost of $7250 and ~$5835, respectively. So I'd save ~$1,400 of fuel a year. Same truck/different engines, I'm going to pay an additional 6k for the diesel. With the above assumptions it would take ~4yrs for me to 'break-even'. Not to mention all the new laws and regs on diesel emissions that I'm hearing about.

    Now I know there are many more factors when dealing diesel versus gas. Diesel has higher resale value and diesel has longer life (say 200k miles diesel vs 100k miles for gas). I'm assuming I can get an engine rebuild for around 5-6k and then another 100k miles out of the truck. I'm figuring for a two to one on useful life without major repairs. Another thing to factor in it is much easier to find a mechanic for gas than it is for diesel.

    sorry for the length of post:)
  5. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    It sounds like your thinking is on the right track. I've got a few numbers from the Isuzu website that might help you in your decision. You are correct about engine life. According to the website, the 90% engine life (90% of properly maintained engines) for the diesel is 320,000miles and the gas is 200,000 miles. So, the diesel will last roughly 1/3 longer. Your estimate of $5-6K for a diesel rebuild is probably pretty accurate, although I don't know for sure. The 6.0 gas is just a small-block Chevy, so I'm sure it can be rebuilt for much less. This kind of makes the engine longevity a wash. As far as pulling power, Isuzu rates the two engines to tow the same load. The diesel has more low end torque, but the gas has much more horsepower (325 vs. 205) and aggressive rear axle gearing to keep the rpms up and use the power. Yet another issue is that of weight. The gas engine weighs 700 pounds less than the diesel, and nearly all of that weight is on the front axle. Cabovers have a tendency to overload the front axle, so the gas in an NPR or NPR HD will have more payload. However, the NQR and NRR series trucks have much higher payload ratings than the NPR, and they are only available with diesels.

    Hope this info was helpful, it's a tough call. If I were buying one of these trucks, I honestly can't say which one I would get. I would drive both, loaded if possible, and talk to as many guys as you can who have owned either one.
  6. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Actually I was thinking a rebuild was 5-6k for the gas...what the hell do I know.

    You brought up a good point about the NQR...its weight rating is MUCH better than the NPR. According to some doc's I picked up at MAHTS this past week the Payload allowance is 8105 NPR-HD crew cab diesel, 9390 NPR-HD gas, and 11131 NQR Crew Cab diesel.

    Its yet another thing to throw out there. I mean by the time we throw a dump body on there with a side door and barn doors in the rear I'll be lucky to place a few yards of wet mulch in there before I'm running illegal.
  7. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    Just skimming through this thread, I've not seen anything mentioning warranties. If someone did, I apologize.

    I was looking into the cabovers last season and just added another truck and trailer instead. This year, a cabover is extremely likely before season's end. I can't recall the Isuzu warranty but I do recall the Mitsubishi had something like a 5 year / 175,000 mile warranty. You sure ain't gonna' find a warranty like that with gas.
  8. Marek

    Marek LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,388

    Isuzu has a 36 month unlimited mile warranty. Atleast thats what it was a few months ago and that is on the 5.2 engine. These trucks are very nice. In the near future they are going to be putting front air bags on them , in case of a crash.
  9. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Isuzu for diesel:
    0-36, unlimited mileage
    Emissions is 0-60 months, 100,000 miles

    Isuzu for gas:
    0-36, 36k miles
    0-60, 75k miles
    Emissions is 0-60, 0-50k miles
  10. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    5 to 6K will get you a brand new crate motor HO 350 CI built.

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