What is better for towing?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by nherweck, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. nherweck

    nherweck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    I'm hoping that I can either purchase another truck this summer...and I'm looking for one that'll tow larger loads and have a low cost. Would an old diesel (sp?) or gas sucker be better for me? I'm deffinitely looking for an older truck so I can get a lower price. I'm hoping to spend a max of 6,000 this summer on it. But I'd also like to tow 6-10,000 lbs with it. And when it comes to the truck...what should I get? Thanks everyone!
  2. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    IF looking for an older "still late model" truck I'd be looking at a 95'-97' Ford Power Stroke Diesel, or a 94'-98' 2500 or 3500 Chevy Gas or Diesel.
  3. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I would be looking for a Ford F-Superduty (F-450) its what I have you can find them around anywhere they have the suspensions and brakes to haul anything you need. You can find them from 88-97 either with 460 gas or 7.3 IDI or Powerstroke. If you are a Chevy man you can find a 3500HD same as a F-450 a 1.5 ton truck easily will handle any size trailers and easy to find.
  4. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,445

    Definitely diesel if you can find one in your price range.

    If you go older than '94 stick with dodge. The reason for that is '89 and up dodge diesels have the cummins turbodiesel engine. They cost more than a comparable ford or chevy (but that should tell you something). Those cummins engines were used in medium duty tricks rated at upwards of 30,000 lbs GVW and are capable of tremendous amounts of torque and hp without alteration to the intake systems (the turbo is already there)

    The fords with 7.3 idi's are reliable(except for coolant issues--cavitation) but don't come with the turbo until '94. You can tow without the turbo but 10,000 lbs is not going anywhere fast. 94's with the 5 speed manual trans were turbocharged non powerstroke 7.3's that make great power at low rpm's and would tow awesome (compression is 22.5-1 as opposed to 17.5-1 in most direct injection diesels) 95's and up were powerstroke and would tow 10,000 lbs easily. 95's and up also have a built in butterfly in the exhaust that you can turn into an exhaust brake for under $100---this is a $700-$1100 upgrade for any other diesel truck and is a great reason to look for one of these.

    I would steer clear of the 6.2 chevy diesel(pre '94 I think) as it is underpowered for towing 10,000 lbs. The 6.5 turbo is okay. I don't know much about it other than it had injector issues that were recurring

    Any 3/4 ton or better truck with a diesel should have a dana 60 or comparable rear axle so you're fine there.

    If you get an auto trans be prepared to fix or replace it eventually.

    Also get a brake controller or exhaust brake to slow down all that weight.
  5. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Messages: 1,022

    i have a '94 ford F-350 dually with the 7.3 idi diesel engine. it has 243,000 miles on it and drives great. gets 16 mpg. i am a GM guy but really have been impressed by this truck. it doesn't have the most power but towing under 10,000 lbs isn't a problem. i was able to stay in 5th towing a s160 skid steer with a few attachments no problem. it isn't exactly flat where i live either. for the price you are looking in i would recommend the idi ford diesels.
  6. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    you can nab a pre'94 dodge 4x4 with cummins for around $5k

    of course everyone has their opinions, but these are pretty bullet proof, stout, and good economical tow rigs (~12mpg towing 10k) 18-20 empty I frequently tow 20k + truck with mine in mountains, and it is bone stock (but not too fast...)

    you can get free/cheap power mods by tweeking injection pump, and changing turbo housing

    the most preferred cumins is 97 and early 98 (pre 24 valve) They make the most power for price / dependability.

    These engines are good for well over 500k if maintained, and my past Dodges have held up pretty well, (except for $70 drag links every 100k)

Share This Page