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Truck Questions

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by crashz, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. crashz

    crashz Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    For next season I would like to pick up some driveways and maybe a a lot or two. I also have the opportunity to sub for some guys around here. So I've been looking at some used, late model trucks in the 3/4 ton range with the plow. One in particular has caught my eye:

    A 2002 Dodge SLT, extended cab, short bed, 2500 with auto and (I assume 360cu.in) gas V8. 7K miles on the truck. Loaded. Bed liner, steps, fisher 8' plow with fish stick, and wired for trailer brakes. Its at a Ford dealer and I think I could get into it for just a little more than what I pay monthly on my F150. But obviously for the next 5 yrs.

    My question for anyone out there is, should I be concerned that such a nice truck was traded at such low miles? Since I commute to work daily, what will my damage be on gas? I'm used to poor mileage now as my F150 only gets 10 mpg around town. Any major problems with the Dodges? I'm not too familiar with the Dodge trucks, but have heard of their tranny problems. Did they have problems in 02?
  2. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    I'm not a fan of buying used trucks with plows already on. however, find a mechanic to check it out. also check carfax.
    You should be able to get at least 10-12mpg around town. We get over 12mpg on the 86 with a 5.7 towing approx. 2500lb lawn trailer around town in the summer...Chuck
  3. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I have a 2000 Ram 2500 Sport Quad Cab and I love it, but since I just got it I can't talk about problems. But, I also had a 99 Ram 1500 for a year with the same engine, 5.9L (360), during which I had no problems at all.
    I'd agree with "lawnmedic" when he says that usually it's a good idea to stay away from trucks with plows already attached.....but if it only has 7K on it, then it's probably not an issue, plus it's still under warranty. I would ask the dealer why it was traded so soon and ask them to provide you with a free "carfax" printout. You should also give it a thorough test drive.

    In terms of gas mileage, the Dodge is a pig. Don't assume it has the 360, make sure, it may have a V-10 which is REALLY a pig. Mine has the 360 with 4:10 gears and gets 11 mpg on her best day. When you lift the hood, you should see a sticker underneath, up front near the latch. This will tell you the gear ratio of the truck.

    Don't worry about the tranny.......the problems were with the first few years of the re-design in the mid 90's. The 02 I believe is the last year of that design, and so it should be as good as they get. If it's a 2500 like mine, it should have an auxiliary transmission cooler, which is KEY if you are going to plow with it. Also, if the truck has had the snowplow prep package, when you turn the key on, one of the idiot lights on the dash should say "trans temp", which is also nice to have if plowing. It will alert you that you are overheating your tranny fluid. In the Dodge, you must shift into NEUTRAL and idle to allow your tranny fluid to circulate and cool.......in PARK it will just sit there and bake.

    The most important thing to remember is that no matter what make of truck you own, how you drive it and maintain it has alot more to do with any problems you may have then most of us will admit to. If you're going to plow, install timbrens up front, put at least 500 lbs of ballast AT THE VERY REAR of your bed, secured so it won't kill you in an accident, and use the other great tips provided on this site. That Dodge should be just fine, she's a tough truck and the 360 is a great motor.

    Good luck.
  4. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    2000 dodge ram sport.jpg
  5. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I would be willing to bet a plow truck with 7,000 miles on it did not plow much. The guy probably bought it thought he would make a fortune and soon found it's not that easy. If the cutting edge on the plow is not worn much that's another clue. If there's not much wear on anything the truck never worked much. If you buy it just keep up the severe duty filter and fluid change schedule. If it's a plow prep truck it should be ready to plow the white stuff.
  6. crashz

    crashz Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    Thanks guys!

    The dealer wouldn't budge on the low ball trade-in that they would give me for my truck and I found out I owed more than I thought. This meant I was rolling over about 3K onto the truck which put the selling price up to 30K for me. Even with some money down, the payments were really high. Decided against it. But that for the advise!