Wondering if I can get away with a 1 ton

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Gravel Rat, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The 95 F-450 I bought is developing problems I think I bought a good looking lemon :cry:

    The truck is a XLT fully loaded its got everything but the leather seat. It has low kilometers 205,000kms 127,387 miles when I bought I have put 2000kms 1242 miles. The truck is in good shape cosmetically the body is still supporting the factory paint there is no dents no scratches or rust.

    I have now developed a problem with the steering I don't know if its the steering box is going and the transmission is clunking now :confused:

    Before I spend the money on building a dump body for the truck I might consider trading the truck for a F-350 4x4 and I can put a 11' dump on it. I haven't found a F-350 4x4 yet I may have to go to Alberta to get one (expensive) but F-350 4x4s are plentiful there here they are rare.

    My original plan when I bought the 95 was going to do small load soil delivery again along with doing my junk removal and construction site clean up work which is my main work for the truck.

    A F-450 is pretty much a must for hauling the topsoil etc because the payload capacity a 450 is a workhorse no denying it. The F-350s real world payload with a dump body on it is max 5000lbs so your looking at no more than 2 yards of material. A F-450s real world payload is 7000lbs so 2.5-3 yards I have had close to 9000lbs but thats pushing my luck.

    For hauling junk a 1 ton can do that with no problems you can't really get more than 2 ton on the truck unless its old asphalt shingles. I only run 2' sides on my trucks for hauling debris so I can only get so much on the truck. In the 12 years of hauling junk have I ever maxed the F-350s gvw with a load of residential or construction debris

    I bought a 88 F-450 dump because I got tired of the never ending problem of no braking power with the F-350s plus I wanted a dump truck. I sold the 88 after 2 years I owned it the 460 was a little too piggy. I bought 89 F-450 diesel for fuel mileage and kept hauled junk I was dump less again so back to (labour intensive) I used it for 3 years or so then I bought the 95 this year.

    The F-350s I had and the F-450s I had and have now had all the same common problem which is 2wd (Times of No Traction). The F-450s have one benefit they actually stop with a load the F-350s can barely stop with no load.

    Anybody that has a 2wd dually knows they can let you down when you need extra traction. In the earlier years of hauling the construction sites were easy access so the 2wd was okay. The construction sites are getting in tougher building plots the access roads are getting steeper and more challenging.

    You know its getting tougher when the lumber trucks have to put extra wood on the truck that doesn't belong to the customer. Its left on the truck after the customers wood is unloaded to provide weight to give extra traction to get out of the site. If there is a machine on the site to pull with usually the truck needs to be put a line on to it and pulled out of the site.

    Now I'am back in the business again I know the junk removal business is a sure hit for me because I'am really the only one in the area that does junk removal. The small load soil hauling is still uncharted territory no one really does it here there is only one landscaper I work with hauls material to his own jobs. Dirt is hauled in large volumes ie tandem axle dump trucks carrying 12 yards most 5 ton single axle trucks sit parked 90% of the time there is no work for them.

    The local residents have 2 choices if they need topsoil or sand etc either they pick it up in their P/U trucks or utility trailer or a tandem axle dump truck that will deliver you 12 yards.

    The option of buying a 99 or newer F-450 4x4 is out of the picture I priced out a 2000 F-450 4x4 diesel 6spd cab and chassis I found for 21,000 its the cheapest I have found. So if I bought that truck then add another 5 grand for a dumping flat deck I'am up to 26,000 dollars then add taxes I'am up to 30 grand :(

    A F-450 4x4 would be my answer but when your putting out a large investment which may or may not even pay for itself I'am not going to chance it.

    To sum up the rambling is it worth while for you guys to offer soil delivery ?

    If I go back to a F-350 the soil delivery really isn't something I can promote as a service I can provide the truck can't haul much more than a 3/4 ton P/U. When you charge the customer 100 dollars for a delivery and your not giving them that much of a benefit hiring me to-do the job.

    When it comes to removing junk people are surprised how much I can cart away in one trip because I have the deck space. If I had 4 wheel drive the worry about getting stuck down these goat trails people call driveways would be nil.

    If I stay with my current truck which would be okay its nice to have a XLT equipped truck. Its my first truck with A/C,PW,PL and a seat thats not all baffed out with things poking me in the azz :laugh:

    So what I'am trying to figure out is should I stick with my gut instinct and not downsize in trucks just to have 4wheel drive.

    The F-350 has 4 wheel drive but has not as much payload capacity and no brakes. The F-450 has payload capacity tons of braking power but 2wd the 2nd drawback is I have to repair my current truck and the 3rd the PSD is sure piggy on fuel yet to break the 12mpg mark my IDI would get 13.5 .

    I'am a little frustrated that the truck I thought was good needs repairs already :rolleyes:
  2. BZB_Helpers

    BZB_Helpers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    the steering sloppiness is a combo of things:kingpins/balljoints, tie rod ends, drag link bar, steering box, rag joint/ujoint on the intermediate shaft.
    the clunking is almost always from worn u joints.
    why dont you get a locker for the rear axle and have a true two wheel drive truck, not just a one wheel wonder. then get some aggressive tires.
  3. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Just don't do the top soil delivery. You will make more money doing construction site cleanups anyhow.

  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I know where the steering problem is coming from its the steering box is a little sluggish. Greasing the h*ll out of the king pins helped too it drives me nuts that people don't grease a truck on a regular basis. I grease my trucks every month I know king pins are a SOB if the grease goes hard or not enough grease and the bushing wear.

    I did use a turkey baster to suck out the steering pump reservoir and replace the ATF with some new stuff. The fluid that came out was pretty dark and burn't so semi freshening up the fluid with new stuff will probably help.

    As for the transmission I will have to leave it be the truck does have a new Luk single mass flywheel and clutch that makes me happy. Supposedly the engine was rebuilt I really don't know how true that is.

    Like I said I'am a little frustrated the first thing is trying to find a dumping flat deck is nearly impossible a new dump deck and hoist is very expensive. If I even built one myself in our shop the price of steel alone is couple grand a new hoist another 2 grand. The second thing is my truck needs some repairs that I wasn't expecting they are not urgent repairs but will prolly need done.

    What has stopped and made me rushing out to buy a F-350 4x4 is the contractors I know that had 1 ton 4x4s with traded them for new or used F-450s. There must be a reason which is a regular 1 ton just doesn't have the payload capacity they are so heavy there isn't much left. The days of seeing 1 ton trucks with dump bodies etc are few far and between.

    The one building contractor that lives in my neighbourhood said his 1 ton dump truck wasn't heavy enough so he sold it and bought a 450 4x4. Its a nice truck used mind you but it still cost him over 25,000 dollars. All he carries is the odd load of sand and gravel to his job sites and hauls the debris away. I thought using a F-450 as a daily driver is over kill I guess not.

    So what I'am trying to avoid is doing something stupid like buying a 1 ton again and finding oops its too small. I haven't had a 1 ton truck in 6 years ever since I bought my first 450 which was the 88 hauling the loads I do is a little easier.

    We used to run 1 tons overloaded all the time it was the norm because F-Superduties (F-450s) were new to the market and expensive just like the new F-450s are now. Running a 5 ton truck wasn't economical unless you were hauling more than 3 ton. You could put 6000lbs on a 1 ton truck its really heavy I known guys that used to put 8000lbs on 1 ton flatdecks.

    Like I mentioned many times 1 tons lacked braking power you had to use the gears allot. If your back brakes were a inkling out of adjustment and were not adjusted right up tight so they worked it would take a longer distance to stop the truck. Adjusting the rear brakes manually on my 1 tons was a ritual every 2 weeks I had eliminator kits for the automatic adjusters as they never worked.

    Trucks with automatics transmissions were deadly pulling them down into low didn't hold you back on our hills I refused to own a 1 ton with a auto I had one it got converted to a 4spd manual.

    Many hills I went down were in first gear (4spd) because the brakes would over heat so quick there wouldn't be anything there. You pretty much drive a loaded 1 ton like piloting a freighter you start to slow down at least a block before you have to stop. Trying to do a panic stop is non existent I never got too close to anybody or I would end up in their backseat.

    I really don't know if 1 ton trucks in the 92-97 range are the same for bad brakes like the 80s trucks I used to run. I really don't want to be dealing with the inability to stop a loaded truck again. We did everything with 1 ton trucks to make them stop better nothing really worked.

    I would gladly suffer with 2wd F-450 if you have to worry about trying to stop with a 1 ton packing a measly 4000lbs. I don't think my butt crack can take the pucker factor again on a daily basis :laugh:

    Currently my truck has a open diff so what it says on the door post and its shod with M-55 Toyos the next step would be mud tires. I have thought about a limited slip (Detroit True trac) also running a winch on the front will probably help.

    If I refused the jobs where I may have trouble with I wouldn't be working.
  5. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    127,000 is NOT low mileage by any means. I would consider it high mileage.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Anything in around 200,000kms is pretty good you will be hard pressed to find a truck in that year with anything less. My 89 had 330,000kms on it the only low kilometer trucks you find are the ones with 460 gas pots. My 88 only had 180,000kms (111,185 miles) which is pretty good for a old truck. The trucks with 460s don't get driven on a regular basis because they do drink the fuel.

    It kind of hurts when your only getting 6 mpg you definatly don't go for a Sunday drive :laugh:

    Oh update on my steering problem the greasing and changing of the fluid helped its back to what it was like when I bought the truck. With the king pins there was so much dirt between the spindle and axle end there must have been abit of drag. My turning radius probably decrease now that the wheels turn all the way :D

    I also pumped all the old grease out of the king pins untill I seen the new stuff which is Red Ram is only sold in Canada its really good stuff designed for he oil fields. The stuff that come out was brownish green it must have been Esso its green in color.

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