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Need advice on purchasing a plow truck

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by msmit62, May 6, 2009.

  1. msmit62

    msmit62 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Hello,

    My brother in law is looking to purchase a truck to use for plowing in the winter and pulling a lawn equipment trailer in the summer. He has asked me, a "car guy", to help him pick out a suitable vehicle. I've never plowed before, but I know that it's extremely hard on a vehicle. If anyone can offer advice on what to look for, or maybe better yet what NOT to buy, that would be great. Advice on transmission selection, manual versus automatic, trans coolers, possible factory option packages, 3/4 ton versus 1 ton, etc would be great. Neither of us is very "brand specific", so whether it's Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc doesn't matter. What matters is that the vehicle is dependable. We live in SW Michigan near Lake Michigan, so we get a fair amount of lake effect snow. Most likely, I think he'll end up buying a low-mileage used truck, but a new truck isn't out of the question.

    Thanks in advance,
    Matt
     
  2. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    plow truck

    i would say 3/4 97 on up ,short bed ext cab .it will give you the room and still let you maneuver .or std cab long bed if maneuvering or room inside is not a issue .then you have more room in the back for tools and gear for summer work .ussmileyflag
     
  3. msmit62

    msmit62 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Why 97 on up? Was there something different about 97 models versus 96 that makes the 97's more suited for plowing? If so, was this across the board in terms of manufacturers?

    Thanks!
    Matt
     
  4. miltonplower

    miltonplower Senior Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 160

    i would say 94 up if year isn't a issue for you because dodge came out with the newer dodges then but i would look for a ford/gm not a 6.0 diesel tho because i've herd they have lot's of prolbem's but you would be good with a 7.3 (1999-2003)newer body style but ya i've used all of them dodge's sometimes have tranny problem's gm's frames tend to crack but ya i'd probally go with a 1999-2005 gm 2500/3500(duramax) or a ford 250/350 1999-2003(7.3 engine)
     
  5. miltonplower

    miltonplower Senior Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 160

    o and what kind of plowing are you gonne be doing because it may also depent on the size of the blade
     
  6. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    truck

    i went 97 and up because of the availability of Mount's and they amount of work that may have to be done to resurrect it because of mile's ,unless you want to do work on it .the older pristine trucks are weeded out pretty good by now they are few and far between .unless you take your time and really look around .although you my find one already set up,check on lawn site,maybe some one has one he is letting go .tymusic
     
  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Definitely want an automatic. Any low mileage used 3/4 ton should be fine ussmileyflag. Reg cab long bed has shortest wheelbase which is nice for manuvering, and the front ends on reg cabs have less weight on them, which means you can carry more plow. I'm a GM guy, the 6.0 gassers have a good rep, the 4L80e auto trans is very very good. Just remember to come to a full stop before putting in reverse LOL.
    http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=74317
    Power heated mirrors are really handy for plowing too.
     
  8. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,594

    How much are you looking to invest?
     
  9. msmit62

    msmit62 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Regarding how much he is looking to spend, I'm not sure if he has a set amount in mind. Just off the top of my head, I think he'd rather spend $15k-$20k on a used truck, than $30+ on a new one, but I don't think he'd say "...I can't spend more than $15k" or something like that. The main thing is that he knows new vehicles depreciate like crazy, and it's a much wiser use of funds to buy a vehicle 1-2 years old if you are looking for a really new vehicle, or even trying to shop around for a good deal on a well-maintained unit 4-5 years old. On a side note, I wonder if one could score a real bargain now with the economy the way it is. We live in Michigan, and lately cars don't move very quickly off of lots.

    Matt
     
  10. miltonplower

    miltonplower Senior Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 160

    if 15-20k then get a newer gm/dodge with boss/western plow's thought your budget might be a little lower but you should look for what's avalible in your are plow dealers/mechanic's/ dealership's open till 12am for when your truck break's down.
     
  11. msmit62

    msmit62 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Maybe I estimated a bit high...how about $10k-$15k rather than $15k-$20k?

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
  12. miltonplower

    miltonplower Senior Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 160

    ya still i would stay the same maybe a lesser expensive plow maybe a used one
     
  13. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Get a 3/4 ton of whatever brand you like. Use an 8 1/2' plow and go plow.
    I prefer Ford.
    Dealer support is more important the brand IMO