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need opinions on gmc 5500

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by jsheedy75, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. jsheedy75

    jsheedy75 Member
    from CT
    Messages: 98

    I am looking to expand my buisness and was looking into one of these. To all you guys that own one, how do you enjoy it? any downfalls? I am a ford man, but these seem to be setup better than a f-550. I like the factory 4x4. So what do you guys think?
  2. Watch out yelow

    Watch out yelow Member
    Messages: 35

    We looked into that truck a few years back.. I think more expensive than other options you have. What will the truck be used for other than plowing/salting?
  3. Craaaig

    Craaaig Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    My old company had one, tons of power with the duramax, definetly built like a truck but still a comfy ride. The only downfall was it was 2x4 so it got stuck really easy because it had such low ground clearance so I would go for the 4x4.
  4. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    I ran one for a year

    I am not brand loyal but the one that I ran for a year had 9,000 miles on it ,was a 4x4 with the plow gear and flo 'n 'dump it weighed in at 17,780lbs empty ,with a 19,500 gvw wasn't a real practical truck.
    In the three winters the truck had plowed it had been threw 3 factory rear ends,the switch/distribution box under the pass foot step,two door handles and other misc warr issues.
    We where not impressed with the visibility as the windshield pillar blocks about 1/3 of the mirrors, the defroster doesn't hit the bottom 4-5" of the windshield so icing is a big issue on the wipers,we averaged 3-5mpg plowing and the Duramax was using 4-5quarts of rotella between changes(3,000 miles or 200 hours).....That's after we changed from the Napa house/bulk brand as the generic oil was a bit worse.
    Just some first hand observations after spending a season plowing with it...We talked about trading it or selling it but the Town would have had to take a huge loss,maybe next year.
    Another thing to consider is that GM has been actively trying to sell off the medium duty line,first to International and then Isuzu but the fact is how long will parts be easily assessable? If International had followed threw with the sale the Duramax would have been shelved.Who knows what the future holds for the 4500/5500.

    Stuff 005.jpg
  5. Craaaig

    Craaaig Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    actually now that Oshkosh is mentioning those problems i do recall the same problem regarding the burning of oil between changes and the only other problems i can remember with ours was some electrical issues
  6. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    dont want to stir anything up, but i was looking between a c4500 4x4 and either f450 or 550, the 550 actually has a higher payload than a 5500.

    my rationale is that you get really similar capacities (gvwr's, close payloads, etc...) but get a smaller truck which is easier to drive, better fuel mileage. and just remember that the med. duties have the wide track axle which has a really good turning radius, b/c ive heard alot of compliments on the 45/5500's turning radius.
  7. TurfKing360

    TurfKing360 Member
    Messages: 67

    We looked at one for a while. the local dealer gave us a demo truck for 30 days. It was to big/bulky and over weight for the capacity. We looked at a Ford F650 also which we liked more than the GM 5500 before buying a Ford F550. For the money and the truck we are more than happy with the F550 and were waiting for the delivery of our second.
  8. jsheedy75

    jsheedy75 Member
    from CT
    Messages: 98

    my biggest thought was that the gmc was built around a medium duty platform, while the f550 is built around a pickup truck platform. I have an f250 now with the 7.3liter powerstroke. I have heard alot of nightmares about the new ford diesel. I have a friend of mine with a durama and he has around 70,000 thousand hard plowing and towing miles on it with no oil usage.
  9. 02DURAMAX

    02DURAMAX PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,229

    I love mine Not one problem since owning it and has great power!

    Its a 2x4 and I plow docks. Best truck I have bought!
  10. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    those nightmare engines have been mostly the job 1 & 2 trucks, job 3's have had pretty much solved everything that had gone wrong.

    you have an awesome truck! ive seen a couple c4500 4x4's around here and they look beastly!
  11. OhioPlower

    OhioPlower Senior Member
    Messages: 440

    You might know the answer to this question protouchgrounds since you own a 09 F350. Are all 09's Job 3 trucks? I know the 08s had job 1-3.
  12. icebreaker

    icebreaker Member
    Messages: 83

    I have a 05 topkick 4500 4x4 with 25000 miles on it bought it new in 2006 run 300-350 ton of salt thru it a year no problems at all , just keep the tires rotated every 6k miles.
  13. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    yes they are. i havent had any problems with ours, though its only got 5K miles. I havent heard anything else on dieselstop.com either. Seems like all the majority of problems have died down.
  14. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    The GM 4x4 has a straight truck frame, great for durabuility but makes it sit very tall compared to a Ford or Dodge. If you are getting in and out of the cab alot like I do when doing lawn care.the GMC is a real pain.
  15. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    Docks?:confused: Loading docks or like docks on water?
  16. Wesley's Lawn

    Wesley's Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I drive an 06 chevy 5500 rollback 4x2 with the duramax 5 days a week, with 113k. There are things I like about it and things I hate. put 50k on it so far, granted I don't know how it was driven before me but at about 97k they ended up having to put all new injectors, fuel rails, lift pump, and a few other things. Thing was out for a month, and all of the parts were on back order. Then a few 100 miles later a new over flow tank. The marker/turn signals on the fenders have issues where the wiring shorts out in the plug, some trucks have started on fire because of this. I just replaced the passenger side and now the drivers side went out. Like Oshkosh said, there's visibility issues with the pillars and the mirrors will hide a semi at the right angle. ice always builds up on the windshield. The interior seems like its just put together cheaply. Some more storage space inside the cab would be nice. The battery box is a pain because you have to take two bolts out to get to them instead of other that use a rubber strap. Wish they would put the fuel tanks up and underneath the doors like other trucks instead of in the back. The fuse panel in the cab is a pain to get to because you have to take two bolts out to get to it. The allison is a good tranny but like you can only do 12mph in reverse.

    As to things I like about it, the turning radius is great, the AC will freeze you out. The duramax is a good motor. The air ride seat is ok. They use a smaller steering wheel then other med/heavy trucks. The engine brake is a great feature. The thing I do like about the mirrors is that you can still use them with the door open.

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  17. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    he means loading docks, he said that if he has no pallets of salt in the back its a lil tricky b/c its only a 4x2, but if hes loaded then he has no issues being in 4x2. He brought this up b/c the docks are pitched down to match trailer load height. its in his thread when he bought the truck.
  18. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    How are they a beter set up? Those trucks are very bulky & rocky! lol I'd prefer the F-550 myself in general. If ur gonna use a truck like that for plowing purposes, the 550 would fit under height restriction access points in paking lots!
  19. GMC Driver

    GMC Driver Senior Member
    Messages: 740

    We had our 5500 4x4 for 3 years. It's got 60K miles on it. We've had the rear diff replaced under warranty when it was virtually new, and it has been pretty good, until recently. This past winter we had to rebuild the front axle, wheel bearings, etc... It's got the 8K axle in it. And the battery isolator on the frame rail behind the right front tire is a pain - the cables and terminal posts are short lived, even with regular PM. Part$ are not as economical as the p/ups.

    Other than that, it has performed well.

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  20. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    that truck/plow combo looks very very nice