New truck needed for towing 3500 lbs

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by jkilov, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1,415

    OK my F-250 is getting a tad old and I'm looking for some new wheels.

    What I need:
    - regular cab: solo or max. 2 people
    - 8' bed: needed for cleanups
    - RWD is sufficient
    - economical engine (max 6-cyl., inline is preferred), no diesels
    - conventional mechanics, no technological mastrubation
    - manual tranny, but will settle for automatic if no choice is given
    - tall gearing (3.6 or bellow diff ratio is preferred)
    - 5000 lbs towing capacity
    - 8000 lbs GVWR
    - durability, reliability, easy maintenance
    - base trim, no toys are needed
    - a real truck, no "truck imitating cars" allowed

    Looking at:
    - Ford F-150 3.7 V6
    - Chevy Colorado 3.7 I5
    - Chevy Siverado 4.3 V6
    - Toyota Tundra 4.0 V6

    I have been a Ford man all my life and the F-150 looks great and like a real truck, but I'm also used to the fact that something always keeps breaking down, usually small stuff but getting the truck to last and look mint in the process takes a lot of dedication. I know Fords tend to be durable if you take good care of them. That said I got an informative quote at the dealer the other day and it seems they have become quite steep even if base eqipped. I don't recall spending that much on the 250 ...

    So I'm giving chevy a look, love the fact they offer an inline-5, should be simple to service and run smooth and better on fuel (the 250 is a real gas hog and I need more economy), problem is the Colorado is a tad short on bed space. Not sure about the frame/chassis if it's up to Ford level, never owned a chevy before.

    Finnally the Tundra, it ain't cheap and it's not my favorite but I'm giving it some consideration non the less. Power is more than I need and looks aren't exactly to my taste. From experience on my wife's corolla I know when toyota's break down repair bills run high, but if the build quality is up to scratch I'll give them a look. My greatest complaint would be that the Tundra looks and feels like a car and it won't handle commercial work as well as the US competition.

    Have read several reviews and used the search function but still I would like to hear some opinions: what MPG peaople are getting and how many miles each lasts before things start to go bad.

    Thank you
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,505

    The Ford 3.7 is too new yet. The Chevys are tried and proven. Toyotas are rapidly gaining favor. The fit and finish is a little better than the others.
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  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    April 2011 my brother bought a new 2011 Chevy 1500, 4wd, 3.42 rear, 4.8/295cu in small block v8. Chrome wheels and grille, AC, am fm radio cd, reg cab, 8' bed, $26,000.

    My opinion is that the inline 5 will not be well suited to everyday
    loads and trailer towing. And the 5 I think only comes with the mid size chevy's not the full sized.

    The 4.6 v6 will be a tad under powered thus you will get better mileage with the 4.8 v8.
  4. JDGlandscape

    JDGlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 514

    I do not have first hand experience with these, but I am friends with a ford technician, he gives me very unbiased opinions on all the vehicles that ford produces, and he really likes the new eco-boost. Says it has great power and great fuel mileage. He said he has had a few come in for some warranty work, but nothing significant. It is definately the strongest built out of the ones that you listed. I like the toyotas also, but they feel way too carlike for me, I love driving my uncles but it just doesnt seem heavy duty.

    For me the ones you listed I would go with the ford and then the chevy as number two.
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,505

    That's what worries me with the Ecoboost. Not enough units with any miles on them to establish a pattern or lack of major issues.
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  6. ecurbthims

    ecurbthims LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    currently I own three silverado's with the 4.3 auto ,long box reg cab 2wd ,just like your interested in .My trucks get awesome fuel mileage but I am finding them down on power and I dont think they would make great daily tow rigs .I also have a 2012 f150 6 cylinder auto but its extra cab with the short useless box .Anyway ,it also gets great fuel mileage , but I am certain it would handle a trailer better than my gm's .I got it for a specific job the Ford dealer wanted me to buy fords so they gave me a great deal on it ,and I will be getting rid of it in September when that job is finished.I have also owned a few 5 cylinder gm's ,and they were just as thirsty as my vortec 350's ,and were in the end a huge dissapointment as they were a little truck with the same operating costs as a real truck .These trucks **** the bed quickly and were happily replaced with full size trucks .I should also mention that I have owned a few late 90's vortec 4.3 chevy trucks ,and they would pull a heavy trailer with no issues at least as well as an old throttle body 305,would not exactly sure where all the power went with the new 4.3's ,I just know that its missing .I dont bother checking my fuel mileage ,it doesnt matter to me as every mile is a charged out working mile with these trucks ,but I will say that working the same exact routes,same exact equipment ,every one of these new 4.3's are using about $50.00 less in fuel per week over our former 350 vortecs that were concidered very good on gas .
  7. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    The Colorado is out- no 8' bed. It's a compact, not a full size.
    There are no inline 6 gas engines available in any pickup that I know of-all V6.
    Not sure what you mean by "no technological mastrubation"- All are fully computerized with EFI, etc. Trucks have been for nearly 20 years now.
    8000 lb GVWR- None of these trucks will be close to that, unless you go with an F150 HD, which IIRC is not available with the base 3.7 V6

    To me it sounds like you may be leaning "penny-wise, pound foolish". Asking a light duty pickup with a small engine to tow 3500 pounds and haul around an 8' bed full of debris will max it out, and mileage and durability will suffer as a result. The fact that you want an 8K GVWR suggests that a 1500 series truck will be too light for your needs.

    I bought a new 2005 Chevy 2500HD, regular cab, no frills and installed a dump insert. Yes, it sucks the gas but will pull that 3500 lb trailer with a ton of debris in the bed without breaking a sweat or affecting the durability of the truck. If I occasionally need to tow very heavy- say up to 10K, it will handle that too.
  8. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    The Ecoboost has been out for years and is slowly entering into the entire Ford line up. I know about 3 guys right now that have one in a F150 and love it. I just got back from the dealer and was looking at the new escape, it has a small ecoboost in it. (Not to buy, just looked at it) I am actually buying a 2013 5.0 Mustang.

    For starters, I don't think you can get a manual in any F150 anymore. For what your saying The F150 V6 is what your asking for.
  9. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,505

    How is a production start date of 1/7/2011 equal to several years of production?
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  10. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    You think they just built the Ecoboost in 2011 and hoped for the best?

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