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Ready to buy 2003 2500 HD - Need advise

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by GesnerLawn, Dec 13, 2002.

  1. GesnerLawn

    GesnerLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    I'm new on this site but have been hanging out on the sister site, lawnsite.com, for a while now. I do lawncare, landscaping and plowing.

    This is my 4th year plowing with an 85 K20 with the 350 4 barrel. The 85 is getting a little rough looking to be parked in front of some of my account, if you know what I mean, and not 100% dependable, so I've decided to buy a new truck. I'll use the 85 as a back-up for the lawncare/landscaping part of the biz and the 2003 for the plowing back-up.

    The deals on the Silverados are really good right now. $2,000 cash back and they just added another $1,000 bonus cash. I was quoted $22,800 for the truck after the incentives and am sure I can get them down a few more hundred

    Originally I was going to go with a 3500 chasis cab Duramax/Allison combo and a dump bed, but I do 100% residential plowing and have trouble as it is maneuvering some of my accounts. I'm sure it would be a nightmare trying to plow some of them with the 3500 dually. So instead I've decided to go with a pick-up and get a dump trailer.

    I test drove a 2003 Silverado with the 6.0 auto today and the ride is real nice and lots of power, but I'm a concerned about what I've read here regarding how these trucks hang with a plow and having to add Timbrens and crank up the torsion bars. My local truck body and plow shop recommended the Fisher 7.5 footer for this truck and says I need 350 lbs ballast in the rear. They said I can put an 8 ft. on it with 450 lbs ballast but don't recommend anything heaver than that. They say that the Ford 250 SDs handle plows better.

    Is the front end on these trucks really that soft? I run a 7.5 Fisher on my 85 with no ballast and the front only drops 1 inch when I pick up the plow.

    One thing the dealer couldn't answer is why if it's rated for over 10,000 lbs towing do they put a 7,500 lb hitch on it. I'm looking at buying a 5 ton dump trailer. Although I probably won't haul it that heavy often, I want to be able to. Do I need to get a heavier hitch, or am I asking too much of this truck?

    Here's a pic of my 85 without the plow on.

    85 chevy truck reduced.jpg
  2. Winterworks

    Winterworks PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 97

    We have three 2500HD's and have absolutely no problem with front end sag. Thats with a Boss 8' straight blade and 8'2" V blades. There is a few hundred lbs. of ballast in them (feed bags filled with sand) however they have all slid forward and are useless right now until we add some braces across the bed to hold it behind the rear wheels. They still don't sag.
  3. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    01 2500HD Western MVP. Has no problem holding the plow, altho I crank the torsion bars a few turns to help prevent scraping the blade going into some lots. Plus it helps greatly with bounce.

    2x8's work great in the bed pockets for keeping a row of sandbags in place.

    The 2500HD is pretty much the same as the 3500 but w/o dullies.

    I made it through 7ft of snow w/ this setup, so I'm sure it will handle anything mother nature dumps on you.
  4. GesnerLawn

    GesnerLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    Thanks for the input guys. Glad to hear I don't have to buy a ford!:D Now I just need to decide on red, blue, white or grey.

    On a side note, the center seat back on the base model doesn't fold down for an arm rest like they do in most trucks, and I'm not about to spend the extra $3,000 to step up in trim lines to get one that does. Does anyone know if I can retrofit it to fold down? Not a big deal, but would be nice.
  5. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Well to narrow down the color choices you have listed, decide for sure which plow you are going with and decide on truck color from that. If your getting a Western plow, which is red, any color truck would look good with it, especially red, black, or white. I know you didnt mention black, but it looks good with a plow. :D If your getting a Fisher plow, which is yellow, i think the same 3 colors look the best, red, white or black. Of course these are just my thoughts, but i like everything to look like it matches. ;) Mike
  6. jpl

    jpl Member
    from ct.
    Messages: 39


    Go with a blizzard plow, model 810 if you want the best
    Local Wallingford Dealer has 9 power plows left

    Larese Enterprises llc

    if you have any qustions about the plow email me
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2002
  7. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Well Gesner Lawn, I would opt for the new truck although I am not fond of the 2003 style. Wish I could buy a new truck, but not in the cards right now.

    I am not fond of red trucks, ( Ive owned two) and would never buy another in that color. I have heard that there is a study around that says white is hard to see especially in a snow storm.

    My choice would be Black or Dark green, but depending on the blue or gray you have to choose from they could be viable choices.

    I would strive to get it a color you can paint the 85 later ( if you so choose) to make everything look uniform.

    By the way, if you want to sell the 85, call me or email me. It doesnt look that bad, maybe I can use it.
  8. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    i'd say that 85 is in real nice shape. i like it
  9. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    Hey Gesnerlawn where abouts are you im in Meriden. I like the looks of that old Chevy. If you ever wanna sell it i got a buddy looking for a cheap second plow truck maybe you could make a deal with him. Hes a mechanic and would fix er up if the need be.

  10. a palustris

    a palustris Member
    Messages: 74

    I would not pass up on the dump truck just yet if I was you. I know many people who plow residential driveways, roads, and small lots with F350's (8' dump body / dual tires) They put 8.5' or 9' plows on them, sander in the back and they do JUST fine on any residential driveway. I would think that would be a lot more economical than spending the money on a pick-up truck, and then have to buy a dump trailer, along with insure both, tags on both, etc. Yeah, if you are looking to get the longer bed on the dump truck, then that creates a problem... but 8 or 9 foot for a dump bed is no big deal.
  11. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I plow residentials with a 3500 LWB with cross over box and dump. I do fine.
    Don Mallon Chevy is Norwich has a few dumps in stock some with diesel. 860-889-3333
    Hartford Equip also has Blizzard 810's in stock for 4400.00 installed.
  12. GesnerLawn

    GesnerLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    I haven't really decided on the plow yet, but I like my old Fisher Speedcast. Just a bit slow when the truck is idling. I'll definitedly consider the Boss like JPL suggested.

    As far a color, the red one is actually a 2003 GMC and the dealer has a 7.5 Fisher on it. Red would match most of my lawn care equipment. I hadn't thought about white being hard to see in a snow storm...I'm sure it would be. White is nice because it's easy to match and lettering stands out well. I was leaning toward the white or blue.

    As far a the 85 goes, it is in pretty good shape, but the photo shows the good side. The passenger door is dented from when the front end slid on me while plowing a couple winters ago and met a guard rail post. Rocker pannels and cab corners need to be replaced, and the tailgate has a couple of good dents. Mechanically it's pretty good and it's only got 80,000 miles on it. It's been mostly rebuilt. Heads are new (actually remanufactured), all new brakes except the front rotors, rear brakes lines, new master cylinder (gave up on rebuilts), grease seals, battery, starter, starter solenoid, front shocks, rear tires, exhaust from manifold back, and the rear was replaced by the previous owner. It's a keeper for sure, but as I say not 100% reliable and I can't afford to be without a truck. Working on it is a PITA as everything is rusted and would rather shear off than come off. Those 1/2 hour jobs turn into 1/2 day jobs. I just changed the hydraullic lines on the plow after the main HP line sprung a leak on me during the last storm, and that took the better part of a day.

    It's interesting what A Palustris and Plowking 35 had to say about plowing residentials with a 3500. I have one account that I'd either have to drop or do with the 85, because it's really tight, but hey, it's only a $30 job. I can't let $30 jobs make my decisions for me. I good probably do all my other ones with no problem, and it would be nice if I get into commercial accounts.

    So I went to look at the red GMC with the Fisher on it today and the dealer had a 2002 GMC 3500 Duramax/Allison with a 9 ft dumping flatbed/stakeside w/ wood floor sitting next to it and also a 2003 with a mason dump body. I spent most of my time there looking at and pricing the 2002 flatbed. I can get it for under $35,000. That's $12,000 more than the P/U, but a lot more truck. Their bed prices seemed high to me. $5,995 for the flatbed and $6,995 for the Rugby masons dump. Are they really this expensive, or did they jack them up?

    So, to make a long story short, all I really did was confuse myself more. Maybe I'll just buy one of each and see which one gets the most use and then sell the others!:D But the 85 isn't for sale!

    Jay, almost forgot, I'm down by Old Saybrook, Westbrook to be exact.
  13. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Those prices are about 2500.00 over what they should be. I payed 4200.00 with install for my dump body with hoist. Prices should be in the same ball park.
    I also plow some pretty tight area with my truck, the only thing that I really have to watch is the west coast mirrors. Other than that, I never had a problem. Takes a few Forward to Reverses in thight area to get it done, but I get it done.
    I would see if you can get that 02 down near 30,000 or at least have the plow installed for that 35K price. As for a plow, look into the blizzard, alot more productive than a straight plow.
  14. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    OK so the 85 ISNT for Sale :(

    But if you change your mind let me know:waving: :cool:
  15. ddm

    ddm Member
    Messages: 57

    GesnerLawn, welcome to plowsite, as you can see it sure is a great place to research any purchases!!

    Kind of back to your original questions, I have an 01 2500HD with the 6.0 gas now with around 40K on it. Not one problem whatsoever as of yet. I have a Boss 9-2 poly V on the front. We did crank up the torsion bars quite a bit to handle it and re-aligned the tires, but no problems in handling the weight or size.
    My thoughts when I did purchase it was the gas engine weighs so much less than the diesel to start with on the same front end that the weight factor shouldn't be that bad. Balast in the back is almost a must though just for traction reasons mostly when backing up from a pile.

    I'm more into construction work, but I do have a dump trailer and couple of equipment trailers that this truck hauls routinely and I don't think twice about putting 5 ton or more right on the factory mounted hitch. Pulls it fine for me and the hauling I do, mostly short trips 25 miles or less.

    PS: the Boss plow looks great on the red truck:D
  16. GesnerLawn

    GesnerLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    ddm - thanks for the towing info. Funny, but I'm back to the original 2500 HD too.

    I checked out my gross revenue numbers from when I started my biz in Feb of this year through November. Lawncare/maintenance work is 82%, plant sales 6%, landscaping 5%, mulch sales 5% and hauling/delivery 2%. Plowing #s are included in the lawncare/maintenance #s.

    Granted, I'd like to be doing more landscaping and a 3500 dumper would be great for that, but for my current biz needs, I think the 2500 HD and the dump trailer is the way to go. I'll get a low profile dump/equipment one so I can haul the landscape tractor too. I'm tired of renting a trailer to haul it (my lawn service one is too light), which is why I don't push tractor service yet.

    Thanks for the help guys. I'll post some pics when I take delivery of my new baby.
  17. jpl

    jpl Member
    from ct.
    Messages: 39

    good luck with the truck when you get it . if you're going to put a plow on this year give Larese Enterprises in wallingford a call for a blizzard 810
  18. GesnerLawn

    GesnerLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    Done Deal

    I should have my new truck Christmas Eve day. I got a blue 2500 HD pickup. Standard cab, 8 ft bed, base model with the work truck package, plow prep, on/off road tires, towing equipment, locking rear and the cab lights. I got it for invoice minus $3,000 in incentives. The manufacturers and dealers are hungry this time of year!

    I'll post some pictures when I take delivery. I'll wait until after the holidays to pick out a plow. The bed liner and tool box come first. Thinking about side tool boxes instead of the front one this time.
  19. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Congrats on your purchase. Hope that you will enjoy your new 2500HD. Have a Rhino Linings dealer spray your truck bed. It should looks great. I have mine sprayed and it looks great and strong. I have the same thought as you do, I am thinking about getting a couple of Weatherguard side toolboxes instead of crossover box. It would be alot easier to reach stuff instead of climbing over the box to get the stuff in the middle of crossover toolbox.
  20. Firesource

    Firesource Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    '03 Silverado Purchase

    FYI, purchased my '03 2500HD (4WD, Ext Cab, S/B, 6.0L, Plow Prep Pkg, etc., etc., etc.) on 11/12. I have 2200 miles on it so far - and I'm using the Boss 8'2"
    V-Plow. My plow dealer has a policy of turning up the tortion bars 5 turns to aid w/handling front end weight. I also added 350 lbs of ballast to the rear of the bed for extra traction.

    Have plowed 2x so far this year, and I must say I notice no problems w/how the truck handles this 860lb plow. Only thing I do notice is that I need to push out the v-wings slightly to avoid them bottoming out on steep drives / large road dips.

    So far I am VERY pleased with this truck. Can't say enought about the ride, and it handles like a dream.

    That's my 2cents.

    Good luck :nono: