what should i buy

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by swing blade, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. swing blade

    swing blade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123


    I am 18 years old and am going to be attending college in January in Oklahoma for a degree in horticulture and Landscape Archietecture. i am doing some landscape work now and am in need of a good sized truck. My problem is that i am not sure what to get, and I am really getting frusterated. Whatever I do purchase will be on a loan for 48 to 60 months. I can handle fianancing about $10,000.00 at most. The uses for the truck will be for towing a trailer with mowing equipment on it. The trailer will be around 16 Feet, tandem axle. It will also be used to transport new plants, and lawn and garden waste from the jobsite. I will also be hauling mulch, Topsoil,Gravel ( on the trailer), and a mini excavator like a dingo or a very small bobcat, or tractor with a bushog. I have been looking at a dodge, and I like the looks of them, but they are expensive so I am now looking at Ford. I used to work for a nursery that had Chevys, but they never seemed to good enough for the job. I will be getting a manual, probably with an extended cab, and a long bed. With that Info, What would you recommend to buy???

    Thanks ahead of time
  2. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    Hey Milo,

    Sounds to me like you want a diesel, with the way you plan on working it. And as a bonus, you'll get better reliability and better fuel mileage with a diesel.
    Although everyone has their preferences, for the money you're wanting to spend, I'd definately recommend a Dodge. Around $10,000, in a diesel, it's going to have a lot of miles on it. And although they're all fine engines, the Cummins in Dodge will most likely last longer (on average) than the Powerstroke, or old GM 6.5 turbo diesel, as it's heavier built. I would not be afraid of a Dodge diesel with 200,000+ miles on it. You'll be able to find a first generation Dodge/Cummins for under $10,000, especially a 2 wheel drive. Try Dodge Diesel Website , and look under the classifieds. In the 1st gens, I would recommend a '92 or '93 as they are intercooled and have more power than the '89 - '91. The 2nd gens (current body style in the heavy duty trucks) have more power, although they have things to be concerned with. There was a '94 regular cab, 4X4, 1 ton (dullay) for sale for right around $10,500. It had about 200,000 miles on it. To give you a little perspective, I'm going to sell mine - it's a 98, quad cab (4 door), 4X4, 3/4 ton, fully loaded, with 125,000 miles. Mine has been perfectly maintained, and I have a log book with everything that's been done to it. But I need about $18250 out of mine.
    I really think a '92 or '93 would be less maintenance than later models, as they are simpler. Although the later models certainly have more power.
    If you go with a Ford or GM, try to keep mileage down around 125,000 or so. More than that, and you'll be running a risk of substantial upkeep. I would recommend thinking hard about an auto in any truck you use for heavy frequent pulling (mine is an auto), unless you want to throw some more money at it. They can be made to hold up to just about anything, but will cost around $2000 to do so.
    Good luck with your future plans.

  3. swing blade

    swing blade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123


    Thanls for the advice. I am looking at a deisel truck as i know it will outlast the durability of a gasoline engine. I am almost set in my decision on purchasing a dodge truck, unless someone else can convince me otherwise, and am just simply getting frusturated in trying to find one with the right options, the fewer the better, and decent milage. As for what i said that i will be doing with the truck, only about 10% of the time will I be pulling anything other than mowers, but I want a truck that will do whatever I need it to do.

    thanks again
  4. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    Keep a good eye open for the Dodges. I have seen 91 to 93s going for $6K and $7K. Still in good shape.

    Personally I don't have a problem with the engine but care very little for the truck. If I could get a Cummins in the F250 I almost think that I would.
  5. cat320

    cat320 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    well i have seen a cummings in a ford 250 and it looked good you'd have to get a retro kit for it.I agree with you love the engine hate the truck .I have seen a dodge pickup an older model and it has an alluminum slide in dump bodie by truck craft soon as i saw the dodge i keep driving.maybe i should truy to get the truck cheap keep the bodie and resell the truck? go chevy or ford .
  6. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    Although I'm a Ford guy, I'm also a Cummins fan. If towing is what you plan to do, the Dodge should be able to handle it. When it comes to carrying big loads on the truck, the Dodge has some shortcomings. I'd go with the stick, a landscape contractor I know is on his 5th auto in his Dodge dump truck.

    Availability on a Ford might be better, they've built more of them, which might make the price better too. You'd want a '95 or newer to get the PowerStroke, pre '95s were without the turbo.

    I'd stay away from GM's offerings, their diesel is gutless. The new Duramax is a good engine, but out of your price range.
  7. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 949

    I have a 92 F250 diesel. The engine is still running good but the maintainence is painful. It has around 250k mi on it and I have averaged about $2500/year on repairs and I have done 90% of those myself. Still cheaper than buying new and I swear that there is nothing original left on the truck until it breaks down again. Plenty of power without the turbo. Love the later series cab. I can fit four adults easily across the bench seet and still have room with the extended cab.
  8. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Personally I would never buy a Dodge truck they are so poorly built it would snap in half with the loads I carry no trailer pulling for me the truck has to carry the load on the deck. I live in a rural area and you can't get a truck and trailer into driveways some a mile long and real steep and some with switch backs.

    I have and my family have been using Ford trucks for 30 years for work trucks and never have let us down they full fill our needs fully. Most of the contractors here use Ford or Chev trucks Dodge is out of the question especially with the forestry guys they would laugh at ya if you took a Dodge into the bush.

    You will have to decide what you want but from the work load your gonna do you will want atleast a 1 ton dually.
  9. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    Check the highways. Dodge is by far the most used "hotshot" truck in business. I won't argue interior quality, but Dodge is a very tough truck and will carry about any load you can throw at it. As a matter of fact, it is the only truck that still has a solid front axle in a 3/4 ton 4X4. I've owned a Ford, my Dad has always been a GM fan, we both now own Dodge/Cummins and won't go back.

  10. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249


    You had better go check the Ford 3/4 tons again! My 2000 has a solid front axle.

    As for Dodge hotshots, I have talked to several, and the only reason they were running them was because of fuel mileage. Which is kinda a mute point now with the 24 valve engine. Their mileage is much like the PS. Now the 12 valve, that was an engine.

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