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what about a dodge dakota

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by sailinstud420, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. sailinstud420

    sailinstud420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Alright, heres the deal, all my lawns are within 1.5 miles of my house, (really tight route) I have a 6 x12 dual axle trailer that is real heavy duty, not your typical angle iron trailer, ill post pics when its done. I am guessing the trailer wieghts about 800-1000 lbs. plus a 52 wb mower. I need a truck/daily driver that does decent on gas and can still pull a trailer. Do you think it is feasible to tow a trailer, mower, etc with a v6 manual dakota? Will this tear up the clutch or not really? What about an auto tranny? Any advantages or disadvantages to either one? I realize they are not heavy duty trucks, but I wonder if it will get the job done, they are about the right size and it will still be affordable to drive. THe only concern I have is slowing down, I guess I just drive slow or actually hook up the trailer brakes.

    I would like to hear some insight on this topic, a ranger or s-10 would apply to this situation to. Who uses light duty trucks to get the job done? Does anyone know anything about the dakotas specifically? are they good or do they fall apart like the families '90 dodge minivan? Whatever you can contribute would be a help. thanks.
  2. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    my dads new one lasted almost 3years and 30,000 miles before i heard a ticking and dealer had to put in a new engine. warranty paid for engine. mechanic mess up couple things and dad had to pay to fix them. :realmad:

    he hardly ever pulled a trailer.

    tires for them i guess are odd size and cost $150 each. ive used my 2.3l 5 speed ranger a lot over the years. 120000 miles and 50k of last 60k pulling trailer your size with 2 walkers. have pulled up to 3400 lbs with it before. its rated at 2k lbs towing. good on gas. never left me stranded. o2, ac, alternator, and tires is all i ever had to replace. bad azz lil truck makes my 2 big chevys look bad.

    cant wait till my new monster comes in in a week. 30k towing on custom 06 f550. :cool2:

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    i had an '88 Dodge dakota with the 3.9 (318CID with two jugs cut off) At 881,000, 3 transmissions and numerous brakes, I gave the truck away when I moved to Socal. It still starts and runs daily, well, atlesst it did a couple months ago when I was back home. The upside to a Dakota....Solid truck, will pull pretty well, and in my case extremely dependable.

    Down side, it is a bit small, and, unless you have a trailer with brakes and a good stabilizer, the trailer will push the truck.

    I am not at all a proponent of mini micro trucks and or midisize trucks, or even half ton (1500, 150 series) in the landscape business. You don't have enough frame, brakes, and in many cases engine to pull or stop. If you are serious about what you do, look at the weight you pull and upsize your truck at least one weight notch.

    A Dakota will make you a good chase truck, for appointments, for light delivery, for anything than pulling a 12' dual axle trailer every day.

    Look at a 3/4 ton or higher.
  4. beaver

    beaver LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    I use a 1999 4x4 ranger 4.0 liter. I tow an 800 lbs trailer with two scag hydro walkbehind ( about 1400 lbs) . I belive my ranger is rated at 5800 lbs towing capacity. It works great for me but the gas milage is 13 mpg :realmad:
  5. sailinstud420

    sailinstud420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Thanks for the input. I am not worried too much about tearing the truck up, I have no intention of going very far with a trailer in tow. Like I said earlier, I have a really tight route and I also need a daily driver that gets some gas mileage. The one thing is, even these mini trucks aren't great on gas... What if I get a full size v6???
  6. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    I use to have a 95 Dodge Ram V6 with 5 speed. I had no problem pulling a 6x12 trailer with a ZTR and Walkbehind on it. That truck had almost 400,000 miles before I wrecked it. I did have to put a used rear end on it after 300,000 miles.

    So I think you are fine with a V6, but I can't comment on the smaller truck. The Ram had a heavy duty clutch, not sure what clutch a Dakota uses.

    Look around to see if you can find a decent full size truck with a diesel. I picked up a nice 92 Chevy 2500 extended cab with 6.2 Diesel for $3500.
  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I have a Explorer with the same 4.0...It gets incredibly lousy milage. You could get a 3/4 ton that gets better milage towing.
  8. GrassInPA

    GrassInPA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    I have a '95 S-10 that I use for cutting grass and it has enough power for what I need. Gas milage is around 15-16 if I remember right. It has the 4.3 Vortec in it. The only problem is that I only use the bed of the truck. I definitely wouldn't have any problems hooking a trailer up to it and towing it. Finally, since there are so many of the S-10s and Rangers, just about any type of part for them are easily found.

  9. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    Dont worry about the clutch on that thing they are easy as heck to replace. Well maybe to me they are easy lol, a stick dakota should do real well on a tight route, cheaper than a 1/2 ton fullsize.
  10. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    A bunch of guys down here using Ranger reg cab pulling 5x8 o5x10 trailer with a Z and a 21er running around town doing lawns, great gas, and easy to park to repair, parts galore. I don't know about 6x12 cause that is not for dakota or ranger.
    What is up with Diesel price? $3.29, $ 3.25 like 20 cents above premium unleaded! in my area.

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