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New to plowing, buying a dodge

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by dsnowdude, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. dsnowdude

    dsnowdude Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Hey Gentlemen,
    I am new to the forum. I am getting ready to start my fifth year in the lawn care industry. This year I have decided to offer snow plowing as a service. I have about 5 commercial account committments which total to over $2000 per pop. I guess that is not bad for a few hours of work, but I am still learning the ropes on bidding.

    Anyway, The real question I have is that it is time for a new truck.
    I test drove an 05 3500 Ram dually, manual, cummins 6 speed. I was really impressed with the acceleration that thing had in 6th gear, let alone the power in the low gears. Honestly the thing I like best is the 7 year 70k warranty that Dodge offers. Could you guys give me some advice here? Are duallys (this has limited slip) ok for plowing, or should I stick with a SRW. Are one tons necessary or will the Dodge cummins 2500 do the trick? Should I buy an auto or manual trans? Will the 3500 or 2500 need any beefing up for a plow? I am planning on using a year old Western 8' plow. Sorry to ramble here. My other posts won't be so long. I would appreciate any advice.
    Mike
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2004
  2. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    first thing is....chevy offers a 100k warrant on the duramax. second you might like an auto for plowing. it just makes things more comfortable for you. as for 2500/3500. its really up to you. depends how much you are going to be putting in the bed, and your needs for your landscape gigs i have a 3/4 ton, but if i could have found a 1 ton with the options i have not i would have gotton it.just my 2 cents
     
  3. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Dodge offers the 100K mile warranty on the Cummins also.
     
  4. dsnowdude

    dsnowdude Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks for the replies. The Ford diesels also have the 100k warranty. From what I hear Dodge autos have tranny problems. Would the manual last longer? Any modifications required for the 2500 or 3500?
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  5. dsnowdude

    dsnowdude Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Also, any advantage to plowing with a dually or a SRW?
     
  6. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    You cannot go wrong with the Cummins. Dodge could offer a 200,000 mile warranty for this thing and have no problem with this engine. Remember Cummins is an industrial made power plant for severe duty use. Cummins engines are used in heavy equipment. Go automatic for plowing. An 8' blade will not cover your tracks for a dually. Go for at least 8'6". The dually will have wider turning radius, tighter the radius the easier it is for the opperator.
    Todd
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2004
  7. BreyerConstruct

    BreyerConstruct Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    The shorter the wheel base, the better- tighter turning radius, not so scarry watching ofr people & cars behind ya, etc.

    I like the 3500 SRW reg cab for plowing & landscape, only bummer is I don't thing I could go w/o my extended cab. I store too much in it!

    So there's my thoughts... Oh, I like the manual, but I'd love an auto for plowing. Both of our plow trucks last year were 5 speeds. it's do-able, just takes some work.

    ~Matt
     
  8. dsnowdude

    dsnowdude Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks alot guys for the imput. That was a big help. I think I will look for a 3500 automatic SRW that has an extended cab (I pack it full too) in lieu of the crew cab/ four door. That might be a good all around vehicle for me.
    Thanks again,
    Mike
     
  9. dsnowdude

    dsnowdude Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Well, I just learned that Dodge doesn't make an extended cab. Darn the luck. I guess I'll tell my wife I HAVE to get the crew cab.
     
  10. BreyerConstruct

    BreyerConstruct Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    I think you'll warm up to the crew pretty quick. BTW, w/ the full doors, it'll be easier to get stuff (& kids) in and out of the back seat! :p
     
  11. jkitterman

    jkitterman Senior Member
    Messages: 140

    Check out the plow you want and compare them to the truck. The diesel trucks will limit you to only certain plow. Western only recommends a standard 7.5 for my 2500 4door longbed with the diesel. If you want a biggest plow you can fit, you are limited to a standard cab.
     
  12. dsnowdude

    dsnowdude Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Jkitterman,
    Did you have to beef up your front end on your 2500? I assume that the recommended front axle weight is 5200lbs?
     
  13. jkitterman

    jkitterman Senior Member
    Messages: 140

    From the complaints on ball joints on turbodieselregister.com. I would just play it save when it come to what you put on a diesel dodge. I have kept everything stock.
     
  14. njxc500

    njxc500 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Ball joints are cheap, The cummins is a beast and therefore you need a BIG plow.....I would like to know for myself how big a plow that truck would push. I have a CTD, thinking of plowing with it this year. Im thinking ten foot....
     
  15. Stark_Enterprises

    Stark_Enterprises Senior Member
    Messages: 318

    Ball Joints Aren't to Cheap , Ive got 1st hand Expirence
     
  16. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Guys my Dodge "CREW CAB" is there extended cab, its called the "quad cab" on my sticker. The truck is an 03 and it is not a crew cab. Dodge just got it right with the extended cab doors is all. Give the other 2 in detroit time and they will offer it too. Oh and your kids will love them too.
    Todd
     
  17. dodgerocks

    dodgerocks Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    My last truck was a 2001 3/4 ton with the cummins. I had a 71/2 ft poly pro unimount on it. I never had a problem and that thing could move some snow. I now have a 3500 quad cab with a 71/2 ft. pro plow ultramount. Used it a once last season before the snow stopped falling and loved it better than my 01. My only suggestion is put a 8 or 81/2 ft plow on it if you have the tow mirrors. I forgot a few times as I was plowing and the mirrors hit some dumpsters. Just have to be carefull. You are going to be extremely happy with the Dodge, it is the best truck out there with the best motor and the tranny thing was in 1997 I've owned three Dodges and never had a tranny problem
     
  18. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    I will second the tranny issue as being a thing of the past. This is my third truck since 1997 and no tranny problems as of yet. I do follow the severe duty maintenence schedule for plowing season though. This means tranny filter and fluid and bands adjusted before each plowing season. :)
    Dodge makes a tough truck and I run about 28,000 a year and these trucks do hold up. Did you guys realize the crew cab thing yet? Just look at the Ford and Chevy crews, the doors are full size. The Dodge Quads back door is not as big as the front door.
    Todd
     
  19. Mr.Foongatz

    Mr.Foongatz Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    We have 2 Ram's with the cummins and 6 speed tranny plowing for our city. One short bed & one dually. They've been abused pretty good over the years and are holding up, just did ball joints on the 2000 though.
    The dually is great, and the cummins can just idle around pushing the snow.

    Can't go wrong with the dodge..
     
  20. Cooters Dodge

    Cooters Dodge Member
    Messages: 70

    I agree that the tranny problem is a thing of the past! Mainly 94 through 96 half-ton trucks. I've got an 03 Ram one ton with auto. Put 40k on it in first 11 months and runs great. Wished I would have got 6 speed because I do alot of hauling. 6 speed would help on low end but does great after I get in passing gear. I would think manual would be more difficult for plowing snow. But once automatic gets in passing gear it will accelerate uphill with 10K pounds on trailer Changed all fluids in truck at 30K, and was advised by expert dodge mechanic to swith to synthetic except for engine oil. He said he doesn't see much of advantage to change engine oil to synthetics, but tranny and others would benefit. I would of thought he would of said engine oil also but I'm not arguing with 20+ years of experience.