pre 87 chevy dump- contemplating

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by tcls83, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. tcls83

    tcls83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    Hi-1st post

    This spring I am thinking about starting off with an older than chevy dump like a K30 with a 350, Ive owned older chevy pickups before, and found they were decently reliable, and relatively easy to repair. Plus parts and insurance are cheap. Even if the body looks rough, I'd eventually fix it to make it look presentable. There are a few landscaping/construction operations in my area running these trucks that seem to be in mint shape pulling much heavier trailers than I'd pull. I am looking to plow and sand with this truck also. Ive always liked the way these trucks looked. I don't want to buy a newer truck yet, as I don't want to have too much overhead. Anyone have experience with these trucks or still run them? -Thanks.
  2. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    My first truck I bought for my business was an '86 GMC C3500 (C-30). Truck was an ex-NYC Housing Authority truck and had a hard life. I did have to put some money into it, but it was a great truck that started every morning. I sold it in '99, and the guy who bought it still has it on the road. I think those trucks are great, if I was more mechanical, I would definitely consider buying another one.

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    i've got a 74 chevy 1ton dump cab is a little ruff but it starts every time i need it to even in very cold weather pulls great and will dump anything i put in it had almost 4 ton and dumped it just fine
  4. LawnscapeMN

    LawnscapeMN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I think they are great vehicles. Very strong trucks built without all of the electrical mumbo jumbo. Also, if you want the truck to look even better the parts for them are so cheap nowdays. Checkout LMC Trucks. They sell every nut and bolt for these trucks. Good luck
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The one thing about the old Chevys is rust I think you will be hard pressed to find a truck that old with a case of orange cancer. Doing body work isn't cheap especially if you have to re-do it every 3 years.

    If your looking at a truck with a carburated engine it will be a little heavy on the fuel look at getting 6 mpg.

    You also have to factor in the older Chevy 2wd 1 tons need front end work so plan on replacing ball joints, A arm bushings,tie rod ends and idler arms.

    The guys that I know that had the older Chevys had problems with broken springs so look at replacing rear leaf packs.

    If you spend a little more money now it will save you alot of headaches down the road.
  6. tcls83

    tcls83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    Thank You.

    Yeah they chug gas, but so doesn't any truck pulling a load. Newer trucks dont seem significantly better. A horse and carriage seems to be the only vehicle good for saving fuel. Whenever the equipment or truck needs refueling, I don't even want to think about the money going into the tanks even when it was $3.35. Fuel is a necessity, so it doesnt get to me.

    4WD's are what I am intrested in for plowing and such. The K in K30 stands for 4x4.

    I've heard of some people Rhino Lining their frames and inner wheelwells. It must be bucks, but has anyone here ever tried it? How about Rhino Lining the outer part of a dump body? Not the inside because it probably seems too grippy to allow your load to dump . It just a possibility of what could be done, dont know if I would do it.

    If even enough money was invested in it to make it into brand new condition and be anal with maintenance possibly it can last another 20 years, judging by the amount 20+ year old chevys driving around. Again, another possibility of the potential it could have.
  7. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    They are the best work trucks out ther in my opinion, I've owned 5 of them in almost every configuration. as you'll see in my signature I run three of them currently. If properly maintained (which isn't much$$$) they won't leave you anywhere. I ran my 86' c-30 5-6 days a week last year pulling an 18' trailer full of mowers, it never gave me a problem. The older ones 73-81 were really bad as far as rust but they were still great trucks. The really good thing about these trucks is they are completley rebuildable for little $$$, and don't look old fashoned when done right. My plow truck is an 85' k2500 srw, and also never fails. IMO you can't go wrong with these trucks, no matter what engine or transmission, be it a TH-350, 400 or "Rock Crusher".

    Just take notice how many old chevys do you see working every, they far out number the other 2 from Detroit. If you get a good soild one it's gonna cost you next to nothing to maintain, and even if you blow a tranny or motor, you can get a BRAND NEW long block for $1300 and a tranny rebuilt for $600-$700. Not to mention all the used motors you could get for $300-$400 running.

    If you have ANY questions about these trucks I will be glad to help you. Heres my e-mail:
  8. tcls83

    tcls83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239


    Nice Fleet! You obviously like these trucks as much as I do. I'll email you sometime soon, maybe when I start looking at trucks. Judging by the people who work with them they don't seem like that much of a pain in the butt. I'd like another project truck anyways. I'll keep you posted.

    This a pretty good forum. I didn't think I'd be into internet forums but this one seems to be up my alley. I also didnt have a computer for a while as my last one crapped the bed a while ago. Gives me something to do in this warm winter anyways.
  9. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    ANYTIME. If you have fleet of them you could buy a couple 500-$600 trucks and park them in you yard as parts trucks, I need a fender, I need a door, I need a tranny, I need a motor, Broke an axle, no biggie. The possibilites are limitless with a 73-87 Chevy, the parts from Blazers and Suburbans will fit them also. They are almost DISPOSABLE or RECYCLEABLE if you will. The funny thing is I have alot of spare parts and nothing hardly ever breaks, I do baby my trucks though. Not to say they won't take a beating cuz they will
  10. cochino12

    cochino12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    I agree, I love those trucks! My personal truck is an '85 and the best thing I've owned. Parts for these trucks are damn near free, and available everywhere. tcls83 good luck if you buy one.

    Jpocket, post some pics of yours if you get time

    Here are a few of the trucks that I have 73-87

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