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decisions, decisions, decisions

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by sharky, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. sharky

    sharky Junior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 7

    First of all, this site has been very informative in helping me make my decisions, thanks all.

    This whole venture began when I started looking at new trucks, more so when I realized how much a new truck would cost me. After doing some research and talking to a few people I decided plowing would be a great way to pay this truck off, in the summer I have another job. After giving a friends plow a try I have realized that Id like to do this for more than just paying off the truck, it was actually fun, so dont think Im in this for all the wrong reasons.

    Im pretty set on the dodge ram 2500 with plow prep etc... but there are a few options Im unsure of. First of all the rear differential, do I go with the anti spin? Also what axle ratio is best, 3.55 or 4.10. I will still be using this truck as a daily driver in the summer time and possibly for a small lawn care business. As for the engine Im going with 5.9L V8 magnum gas engine. I can't seem to justify the extra engine cost for residential and light commercial plowing. Diseal prices are only about 8 cents a litre cheaper around here and the thirsty V10 probably will even out the gas cost anyways. Am I making a mistake on the engine here? Does anyone have any reasons to buy another brand other then because its what the drive, does this truck have problems.

    As for the plow I plan on going with the western MVPS. It seems to be the most readily available brand. I am going with the Vee plow so I have room to expand at a later date. Does anyone suggest a different brand plow available in the Toronto area? Finaly, how much ground clearence do I sacrifice in the summer months with plow removed?

    I have to make my decion on the truck in the next few weeks because it will have to be ordered factory direct and they close soon for retooling. I personaly dont like the look of the new full four doors so I would like to buy soon. Sorry about the length, and thanks in advance for any help provided, happy plowing everyone, if it ever decides to snow again.
  2. landman

    landman Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 185

  3. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    Sounds like you have it figured out! I plow with the exact thing you are speaking of. I have the 4.10 gears because I planned to lift the truck and put bigger tires on later which will require the higher gearing. The 4.10 gears are better for towing as well (but they also lower your mileage a bit) Anti spin is a gotta have! If not you are only pulling with 3 wheels in 4 wheel drive. The gas motor is a good choice, the V10 has terrible resale value. The deisel has plenty of power and the best resale/ trade-in value.

    In just a few months the 2003 ram will be coming out. It is supposed to offer the 4 full doors. A quieter and cleaner deisel, or a hemi V8 with 100HP more than current with 10MPG better. the one ton is supposed to be offered with a single rear wheel option as well. So you may dicide you want to wait for the new truck.
  4. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    You have made good choices,the MVP is a good V-plow,the Ram 2500 is a great plow truck,and you should get the anti spin,and 4.10's IMO.The 5.9 gas motor is a good engine,but its dated,and very thirsty.Dont expect more than10-12 mpg,it wont matter much if you have 3.55 or 4.10 gears,thats about all they get,and power is adequete,but it isnt enough engine for pulling heavy loads often time.It sounds like it wil be fine for what you do.While you cant justify the 4800 for the Cummin turbo diesel,if you plan on driving a lot of miles,heavy towing,or plowing,or reselling the truck at all,it may be a bargain.If the noise isnt to much for you.The Cummins trucks are worth a lot more money used,a lot more,and expect almost double the mpg (16-21) empty with a Cummins truck,over the 360 gas.As far as power,there is no comparison.I get 13-14 mpg plowing with my 2000 Ram,Cummins,with 9 ft plow blade,my GMC 350 gets 6-7 mpg,with a 7.5 ft blade.Towing mpg is more than double with the diesel over either the 360,or the V10.If you can afford the Cummins,id buy it,I feel it is a bargain at 4800.If you think it will be slow,test drive one,you may be surprised at how quick they are,even stock.It is loud,heavy ,and expensive,but its also powerful,economical,and dependable.I hope i helped you some,good luck.
  6. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    With a Dodge gas engine the 4.10 is a must if you ecxpect the transdmission to last.
  7. sharky

    sharky Junior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 7

    thanks for the quick replys. I dont think I will wait for the new 2003s because of two reasons. 1) the local dealer told me to expect a price jack for the new trucks 2) quite frankly I dont like the looks of the new design, the full four doors on the quad cab don't catch my eye. Does anyone happen to know how much ground clearance I lose with the western MVP?

    thnx for the help so far

    WHITE=GREEN Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    if you want to replace the tranny every year go with a dodge. after hearing the horror stories from my local fisher dealer about dodge trannys blowing up from plowing, i wouldnt touch a dodge with a ten foot pole. landman said it right, FORD-FORD-FORD. ive been plowing with fords for 7-8 years now and never had a problem yet. they all have to be maintained on a regular basis to stay healthy and im not saying ones better than the other this is just my first hand experience. also you may want to look at the fisher v-plows also if you have a local dealer to get parts when you need them. i think fisher is a heavier built, sturdier plow.
  9. bubble boy

    bubble boy Member
    Messages: 44

    with our newest western you can remove the bracket in the offseason for clearance-look into that. dodge does have decent clearance anyway.

    dodges have squirrilly steering, and have the "rep"for having weak trannys(if you have a tranny cooler you might be alright)

    remember the fords and chevys are more recent designs, thus will have many newer advances.

    that engine is fine,
  10. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    You probably don't want to hear this but I love my new Chevy 2500HD I'm getting 11.5-13.5 mpg in everyday driving and the 6.0 has plenty of power. No matter which truck you end up with I'd get the locking diff and 4.10 ratio. I have a Fisher v-plow but I think all the v-plows are pretty good. I would look for the dealer with the best support.
  11. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I'm not going to get into a brand war here, I prefer another, but I do have some general comments. Ditto what's been said on the anti spin, it's a must have for plowing. I'd go with the 4.10 gears too, it will lighten the load on your tranny as has been mentioned and if John says it won't hurt your milage, why not? It will definately help you if you do any towing.

    There has been mention of the 4 door cab, I don't know if this is what you have in mind, but I think everyone will agree the shorter your wheelbase is, the better your truck is for plowing. If you do plan on the 4 door, or even the extended cab, you should consider the short box to go with it. Unless you're doing parking lots only, you'll need the shorter turning radius.
  12. Highpoint

    Highpoint Senior Member
    Messages: 241


    Sharkey. Honestly, If there is any way you can swing the diesel. Go with it. Your'e gonna hate pulling loads with the gas engine. We've got a 99 1/2 ton quad with the same engine in front of a automatic. We also have 3 2001s with the diesel. Both auto and stick. We're trading off the stick this summer. It's ok but we don't want to have to worry about the clutch. If it goes out, YOU have to pay for it to be repaired. If the auto goes out, Warrenty will cover it! You gotta gotta have a good warrenty! All our trucks have the 4:10. Our buddy has the new western Vee on his truck like ours and loves it. (we're jelous;) As far as ground clearence. Just take to mounting bracket off if you like. It mounts up easyly. Good luck. PS. All our truck have quadcabs, anti-slips, tow packages and campers packages. NONE of our truck have ever had plow prep packages and we have never had any trouble. We've owned new Dodge trucks since 95 and trade about every 3 years.
  13. sharky

    sharky Junior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for all the replys and all so quickly.

    I really like the dodge from what I see, atleast up until 2002, I still dont like the looks for the full 4 doors. I want the quad cab because I often need to carry computer equipment which I would rather not have out in the cold for very long. I also feel safer in the quad cabs, wether or not this is true, I dunno. I have not gave up on other brands though, I can bring myself to buy a ford. I realize many of you have loved it for plowing, but a friend of mine has an "Exploder" and it always seems to have small problems. (the whole thing creaks when we went to do some light off roading) It could just be his car, I will plan on test driving a ford before I commit.

    What is to be said about the Silverado 2500 HDs? Im also considering it since I might be able to get a deal on one. Again I would be looking at the extended cab (not crew) short bed. Only thing I didn't see while building it online was the plow prep option, is this a given on the HD models? Any input on this truck would be greatful, if not thanks for all you have done.
  14. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Sharky,Ive heard horro storys about Dodge auto's,im not saying they are lies,you should kow that there are alot of hard working rams out there with good auto's that hold up,mine is one of them,.Ive had 2 they were both excellent for me.Another thing,right now Dodge has the 7/100 powertrain warranty on the trucks, at no charge,how can you go wrong? 2500 Cummins/auto/plow prep/4.10 LSD= strong plow truck.
  15. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    you shouldn't have any trouble getting the plow prep on an extended cab with the 6.0 engine but not with the diesel and I don't think at all on a crewcab. some will tell you that the chevy has a weak IFS but I have plowed with one sind 1989 and had no trouble at all. If you are happy with the dodge then by all means go for it but shouldn't rule out anything until you've tried them.
  16. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I won't claim to know a darn thing about trucks, but if you've read much at all on this site, and about *this* winter in particular, you might want to revisit your thinking about how plowing's going to "pay it off". (Maybe all the good advice you're getting is from guys who'll be looking for a bargain on a "barely used", but really well spec'd-out plow truck come next springtime.) ;)
  17. sharky

    sharky Junior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 7

    I realize that winter has been tuff for some, but living near the snow belt has its benefits. One weekend I ended up dragging out the blower 3 times. I would not have made a killing this year, but could have easily paid for the truck. Im not trying to make a living doing this yet, and if worse comes to worse I can go back to my other job to pay for it, this way just justifys buying a nice big truck :) Also, 3 bad winters in a row? Thats definately not gonna happen here in Canada, no way, no how! If it gets that bad I load the truck in the sled and move to the north pole, im sure there is no shortage of snow there :) Negative thinking never got any business of the ground.
  18. skyphoto

    skyphoto Member
    Messages: 32


    If you can find a way to afford the cummins....DO IT!.....Had a 96 Dakota w/mag 318 and it got 13 mpg Traded it for a 1998 3500 Dodge quad cab w/cummins It is a 4x4 with 3.55 gears and an Automatic tranny I now get 17 mpg.......with about a 6000lb truck!

    Plow.....I have a 9'2" Snoway Lobo-V And love it......Reason for this was I liked the downpressure it had.....You will love the V no matter what plow...

    I lose several inches of clearance (maybe 2 or 3?) But as I said I have the Snoway setup so yours will prob. be different.

    The anti-slip would be nice but not a must.....Since you have the option (new) by all means get it.

    I have put a Banks tranny gauge on to keep an eye on temps while plowing and the only time it really begins to rise is when you do a bunch of itty bitty back and forth motions but the tranny light has never come on.

    Not sure about the 2500 but my 3500 came with a seperate heavy duty tranny cooler that bypasses the tranny cooler lines running into the radiator alltogather......This feature may be included in the plow package....Not sure! If not......By a aux. cooler and get em outta that radiator cause my cummins runs 190 degrees and that would only heat up the tranny in most cases which is why 90% of auto trannies fail (OVERHEATING)

    Anyway I have babbled to long and not sure I have helped ya at all...........but best wishes with all your plans!

  19. landman

    landman Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 185

    100% true story my friend just purchased a 2002 Ram 2500, he got it friday he said on the way home there was a squealing noise from the brakes, he called the dealer and said that this was normal and the squeal should go away in a few days. Second it was bitter cold here yesterday about 20 degrees with windchill making it feel 5 degrees. He started the truck and it didn't move he had to warm the truck up for about an hour before it would move and even then he said the truck was sluggish going, he once again called the dealer and they said it wasn't a problem. Now I don't know why he hasn't rerturned the truck and got his money back, $35,000 and 2 days and 2 problems the dealer said don't worry about? what happens when the truck is 3 years old and in the middle of an emergency?
  20. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I have no fears about trannys, brakes or other problems. All vehicles have there problems, be it transmissions, turning radius, or the ugly squeaky blue oval on the front. I love my Dodge and chrysler vehicles. My PT cruiser was great, the truck is awesome, my wife loves her neon (but wants a durango), and the new truck will be just as great. I wont argue if you dont like the new body.... Just hurry up and buy now.

    My boss mount has never caught on anything. Ground clearance is as tall as the axle was previously and my approach angle is nothing I cant overcome by hitting the steep hill at an angle.

    Good luck..... Drive them all check out all of your choices. I drove 10 trucks before I figured out what options worked the best for me.