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Looking for some advise on purchasing a used truck.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Larrysplow, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Larrysplow

    Larrysplow Junior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 10

    I'm looking for some advise on purchasing a used truck.

    How many miles can you get out of a typical 3/4 ton truck without expensive repair costs?

    I've been looking at 7-10 year old Ford F250's, Chevy Silverado 2500's, Dodge Ram 2500's, and GMC Sierra C/K2500's. Most of them have over 100,000 miles.
    I've been exclusively looking for trucks that hadn't been used for plowing.

    This will be my first year of plowing. I'm planning on primarily plowing 50' long paved residential drives (hopefully at least 60 accounts) and eventually trying to get small commercial lots.

    My area has a 50" average annual snow fall. The last couple of years have been real light at about 20". I was thinking of matching the local competition with a 2" trigger.

    Am I asking for trouble purchasing a truck with this many miles?

    Should I look at 1500's with less miles? Please confirm that a 1500 is a 1/2 ton truck?
    Do a lot of you use a 1/2 ton truck for residential drives?

    Is a 3/4 ton longer than a 1/2 ton and will it be more difficult to plow some residential drives because of this?

    I also saw some F350's within my price range? Please confirm that this is a 1 ton truck?
    Should I jump on these over 3/4 ton trucks?

    Is there an easy way to tell for sure if a truck has been used for plowing?

    I appreciate the help.
  2. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    1/2,3/4 and 1 ton trucks are all the same length if the cab and box are the same. One would not be harder to plow with then the other. If you look under the front of the truck there are usually some tell tale signs of a plow. Maybe extra holes drilled in the frame or a rust outline from the plow mount.
    A 1500 or 150 is a 1/2 ton, a 2500 or 250 is a 3/4 ton and a 3500 or 350 is a 1 ton. If you were to buy a new truck and look after it there is no telling how many miles you can get out of it. I have a broker plowing for me that bought a new 1996 3500 SRW(single rear wheel) and now has 170,000 miles and it is MINT. I saw it last week after he detailed it and it is spotless.
    A 1500 should be fine for doing driveways but if you are thinking about doing commercial in the future you might want to consider a 3/4 ton minimum.
    If you are looking at trucks with over 100,000 miles you might want to think about a back up plan in case you brake down during the storm.
  3. Larrysplow

    Larrysplow Junior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 10

    Thanks for the great information CET.

    Is it easier to plow with an automatic vs. manual?

    Is there any advantage or disadvantage to a diesel vs. gas truck besides the noise?

    If I'm planning on initially plowing drives and considering my budget am I better off buying a 1/2 ton with lower miles than a 3/4 ton with higher miles if I'm not going to have two trucks? The only initial backup plan might be to team up with another plower to back each other up in case of break down.
  4. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    i like automatics myself,but it all comes down to personal preferance same with gas vs. diesel.
  5. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    I would not consider a standard unless I was plowing large commercial even then I would want an auto. Just starting out and thinking you are going to get 95% residential I would most likely buy the newest 1/2 ton(I would buy a Z71 Chev or GMC) you can afford. Look after it, regular maintenance and lots of grease in the front end and you should be fine for years. IF you are thinking of financing the used truck don't rule out a new one a 0% and 60 months financing. You might be surprised at how low the payment might be.