New Truck: Cummins/Duramax/6.0 Vortec

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by BckYrdLmbrJk, Jan 10, 2014.


Which truck?

  1. 6.7 Cummins Diesel

    11 vote(s)
  2. 6.6 Duramax Diesel

    6 vote(s)
  3. 6.0 Vortec Gas

    10 vote(s)
  4. None of the above. I don't know why I put a fourth option..

    1 vote(s)
  1. BckYrdLmbrJk

    BckYrdLmbrJk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    I know, another "which truck" forum. It's just because I highly value the input I get here on lawnsite. And who doesn't like to talk about trucks?

    My 2001 2500 6.0 vortec 4:10 has had better days. I've been pulling my 7x12 12,000lb gvw suretrac dump trailer with it filled with green logs, and it don't like that too much. Neither does the gas guage. The truck is almost 14 years old and pulled a 5th wheel camper before sitting and rotting out for a little while, but now she's starting to act up on me, and the underside of the truck is pretty rotten. I'm getting sick of working on this truck and now that I'm noticing the early stages of a weak/ failing tranny I've decided to buy new, or as close to it as I can to hopefully avoid future problems for a few years.

    My truck now is an extended cab which I like very much, but I'm thinking for the sake of cost I could sacrifice a bit and get a regular cab and throw all my junk in a toolbox (or 3) in the bed. My main concerns are comfort, reliability and long term cost/maintenance, and fuel economy.

    The trucks I'm considering are another 6.0 vortec with the 4:10 rearend, a 6.6 Duramax, or a 6.7 Cummins. I would be buying new, or if possible getting a leftover '13 but the pickings for those are pretty slim now. My concerns with which diesel is mainly with gas mileage and the reliability of the front end and transmission. I'm sure either will have enough power for me, more so than the 6.0. Most of the 6.0's I've looked at had the 3:73s but I'm sure I could find one with the 4:10 rearend. The Dodge looks a little more expensive from the sticker price but the dealer said he'd give me a Boss 7.5 foot plow with it. Currently I have a Fisher MM2 8footer and wouldn't want to go shorter than 8 foot, so if I went with the Dodge I'd have to do some negotiating, but I hear the cummins is a great engine, just a little worried about the tranny and front end.

    This truck would be my daily driver, as well as the truck I drive around and give estimates in. During the summer I pull my ztr on my landscape trailer (I've been thinking of adding a second ztr and another guy although right now I'm solo). I would also be pulling my above mentioned dump trailer filled with dirt, stone, mulch, debris, and green logs, as well as full loads of seasoned firewood (thinking I could fit two cords easily in the 7x12 dump trailer). In the winter this would be my snow plowing truck. I currently do all residential so the straight cab will be a plus for maneuverability. I hear plowing is rough on diesels because of the combined weight of the engine and plow, and snow causes excessive front end wear. Also I'm concerned with the starting and stopping that goes on with summer mowing. I know diesels prefer long trips. This would also be my weekend truck, I do a lot of hiking and hanging out in the mountains when I can find the time. I hear cold starting really isn't much of an issue though unless its like -40 and below. I'm in upstate NY so I think I should be fine for the most part. I do occasionally go out in the winter in the ADKS with no cell phone service or a place to plug the truck in. What do you guys think? Is their any pros and cons I haven't thought of yet?

    If you asked me what I thought I wanted it would be a Chevy Duramax as I feel like chevys are more comfortable trucks than dodges, and the trannys are more bulletproof. I'm also not sure about Dodges front ends, or which truck will give me the best fuel economy. Thanks!
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    The new trucks now have a 6 spd auto. 1st gear is a lot lower then the 1st gear on the 4 spd auto.

    So the new 2500 will pull better then the old ones. Also the mpg has improved some as well.

    Thing is you have to take the price difference between a gas or diesel. Example $5,000.

    Then take the mileage you plan on driving. Then you figure the number of gallons of gas to drive and the diesel. Then multiply the gallons by the price of gas and diesel to get your fuel costs.

    Example diesel would save you $500 a year on fuel. It would take you 10 years to break even with fuel savings to pay for the diesel engine.

    If you were to save $300 on fuel you would take 16.6 years to break even.

    Now you will have to get the real numbers but this is the only way for you to know if you can recoup the added costs of a diesel engine.

    Then maintenance and repair costs for diesels are a lot more then gas. Many people can do a lot of their own work on gas. Many that buy a diesel and can not fix them themselves are in for a shock.
  3. Chris_NC06

    Chris_NC06 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Sanford, NC
    Messages: 6,825

    How long are you planning to keep the truck?
  4. G. Ramey

    G. Ramey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    Like you I have a 6.0 vortec that is 14 years old. My truck is still going strong with 176000 miles on it. I live in Georgia so I don't have rust issues. I have also driven a 6.6 duramax since 2008 at my other job. It has 156000, which I put about one third of those miles on it. I prefer the 6.0 vortec, as it has plenty of power for a pickup and is more economical to operate. I say it is more economical based on the initial cost of both trucks and the fact that diesel is about 60cents more per gallon around here. If you were just driving the two trucks around the duramax would get about 5-6 mpg better, but put a trailer behind the trucks and the difference is not that great. You also have to consider the higher cost of maintenance with the duramax. I hear that the newer 6.0 vortec gets better fuel mileage than my old truck. You could also consider a 3.73 rear end that would help mileage some. I cant tell you anything about a Cummins, except I have a friend with one. It is a 2012 and has been in the shop several times. I don't think the visits to the shop have been engine related though.
  5. BckYrdLmbrJk

    BckYrdLmbrJk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    As long as it runs good. Hard to predict the future but I'd like to think atleast 10 years. I'll be 33 :D I don't know if I could work a gasser 10 years and still have any residual truck left over lol. I've worked my current truck for two and had to put a lottt of money into it and it keeps nickel and diming me. I'm also trying to get more into the tree and firewood business which I enjoy doing. Between personal and business use I do over 25k -30k miles per year.
  6. TML

    TML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    How many miles on your current truck and what signs is your tranny giving you indicating it is on the down hill? I'm just curious as my truck is very similar if not identical to yours. If you are fix it yourself guy for down the road after warranty you may want to stick with the GM since you would be familiar with it. If not location and service quality of dealer may make the difference.
  7. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    I've put 165000 on my Hemi that gets around 18mpg that's still going strong without any problems. While pulling my camper on the weekends and a 18' during the week. If I could build a truck it'd be a 12v Cummins with an Allision in 90-97 F250 or a 90 and up 250 or 2500 Dodge. I even drop down to 4bt for about 35-38 mpg.
  8. precision8m

    precision8m LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    Can't believe the vortec gas has more votes. But it's going to come down to another "which is better, gas or diesel" thread and that argument is endless. It's obvious for me. Diesel was designed for towing and hard work while getting better mileage and lasting longer. I had no problems with my hemi, it was not underpowered for light towing (3000-5000 lbs), but my diesels will pull anything (3000-12000) without hesitation.
  9. beano

    beano LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    Im in the same exact boat as you as my 6.0 has 197,000 miles and still going strong but starting to show its age. Ive been doing a lot of comparing and dont know how much you tow on a regular basis, but unless you were towing 12,000lbs of green logs everyday, gas motor would be the way I'd go. Cheaper inital cost, cheaper parts, cheaper services, cheaper fuel even though you get less mpg, and even though people will debate it, gennerally less problems. Diesel is awesome and the though of getting 500k out of an engine is nice but in all reality how many trucks with 500k do you see. The rest of the truck will wear out before the engine. I know I keep my trucks for 150k to 250k miles and the 6.0 is bullet proof motor that will last that long. As much as I want a Diesel, the practial anwser for me is the 6.0.
  10. Diesel Dude

    Diesel Dude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    6.7 cummins are strong and 6.6 duramax are strong as well. The cummins will be easier to work on than the duramax. I don't really see pm being more on a diesel, but I do all my own work. Diesels tend to hold up better than gassers but when the do break down then it will cost more. Remember the higher initial cost will be made when you sell it or trade it in. No one wants a 6.0 vortec with 190,000 on it but people will want a diesel with 190,000. The only thing you have working against you is the emissions junk they put on the lml dmax and the 6.7 cummins now. I've had better luck with diesel than gas but I also have owned more diesels than gas.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014

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