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Need some advice - diesel or not???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by davink, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. davink

    davink Member
    Messages: 50

    Hi all,

    I need some truck advice, and I though all of you would probably have the best info I can find.

    I am looking to get another truck, maybe used, most likely a Ford F250 or 350 supercab, my quesiton is ahould I get a diesel? I have never had one, and do not know if it is worth the extra cash.

    Do ay of you have them? How do they do in the really cold weather (negative temps) is the fuel economy any better, and what do you think the average life (years or miles) of a Powerstroke is?

    If I do go used, anything I should be wary of?

    Otherwise any info / experiences you can offer would be appriciated.

  2. cumminswithplow

    cumminswithplow Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I have a dodge cummins. The truck is a monster. It does get a little better mileage than my older chevy with a gas. And it has more power for sure. Just be aware that if you get a diesel you may encounter problems when purchasing a plow. Most manufacturers don't suggest a plow on a diesel. They say it is too much extra weight. The diesel is a lot heavier then a gas. If I were going to buy a ford I would go with the 6.8 v10. I have had those before and never had a problem. Other then they rarely pass a gas station without begging you to stop.
  3. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I have to walk on eggshells here because I don't want to pi$$ off my buddies here who run diesels.

    I had one myself but it was in a Suburban and I never plowed with it. I can say it would've pulled a house down, but it was a dog uphill on the highway. If I had of kept it, modifications would definitely have been done to beef up the acceleration.

    As far as plowing goes, diesel is more a matter of want than need . A gas engine is fine for a plow truck. A diesel does get better mileage, but that has it's trade offs too. For one thing, you better plan on keeping it for a long time, because you'll need to in order for your gas savings to catch up with your higher initial cost to buy the truck. Also, diesel fuel prices are all over the place. One month it's 20 cents less than gas, another it's 30 cents more.

    The cold is another thing. When it gets really cold, you'll have to plug her in. Not really a big deal, but some consider it a pain in the a$$. Then there's the noise. Some like it. Some just get used to it. Some downright hate it. The newer ones tend to be a bit quieter, but a 2000 Cummins will rattle your eyeballs for you. My buddy has one, I don't know how he can stand it, says it doesn't bother him. Go figure. We are all different.

    Another thing is what else are you going to use the truck for off-season? If you're going to tow a camper in the summer, I'd definitely say the diesel's the way to go. If not, well, that's up to your situation. Some also tout the hundreds of thousands of miles you can put on a diesel. True......but, just remember the rest of the truck is the same as any other truck and while that diesel keeps on truckin', the rest of the truck may start running you up some big maintenance and repair bills.

    So, think it over. I am in favor of both, as long as it's practical for what you're going to use it for and what you're willing to spend. :nod:
  4. prizeprop

    prizeprop Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    That was my thought also.My gas engine on my 2000 Dodge 2500 is running great at 117,000 miles, however I am concerned about the truck itself.Suspension is getting a little sloppy and general repairs have increased as the truck gets older. Can't see this truck being my primary vehicle for more than another year or two tops.It still will get the job done but comfort is a consideration and dependability at 2 am in sub freezing weather is also. I guess I'm getting soft --- days of driving the 78 bronco with no heat.
  5. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    i will never own another gas truck again.

    johntwist i can guarantee you this truck is no dog going up hill, or anywhere for that matter. :nono:
  6. cumminswithplow

    cumminswithplow Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    My cummins is no dog up hill down hill or anywhere else. Todays diesels rock. But not everyone needs one. I bought mine for trailer capability. Its a monster plain and simple!
  7. PSC inc.

    PSC inc. Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    If you can afford the diesel, get it. I have all three of the "big" motors in my fords. The 04 f-250 has a 5.4 gas burner and it works fine but the everday milage is 9-10 mpg. The 02 excusion with the v-10 has much more power and gets 10mpg all the time. But my 04 f-350 with the 6.0 diesel feels like it has twice the power of the v-10 and gets 15+mpg around town and will get 18+ on the hwy. All trucks have the same 8.5' western v-blades. The diesel pushes better (more power and more weight up front). The draw back to the diesel is the extra up front cost (about $5000 new). Don't forget the oil changes and maintance cost are also more on the diesel. Hope this helps.

  8. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    I have 2 diesel and 2 gas. My main truck is a 2000 Dodge, Cummins. John is right, somedays my neighbours might buy me a new truck just so I don't wake them up every morning. 3/4 or one ton gas trucks are hard on fuel. I would say if you drive 10,000 miles or more per year then I would buy diesel. You don't have to have them a long time to get your money back because the resale is a lot more on diesels then gas. Having said that if you are going to buy used you are going to pay a premium for the diesel. GM's are the best for fuel mileage in gas trucks and Dodge is the worst, I feel all the diesels are about the same. The new diesels are all quite and if you drive a lot then the extra dollars your payment will be will be off set by the fuel savings.

    John did you have a 6.2 in your Suburban? Not a true diesel and a piece of junk.
  9. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I had a 99, the last year a diesel was offered in a Suburban, and yes it was the dreaded Detroit diesel. A welder from Texas I once worked with who had a Powerstroke told me, "A Dee-troit motor ain't worth sh!t." It was too bad too, I really loved that truck otherwise, it was black and pewter two-tone, a 2500 series LT with every option. Most comfortable leather seat I've ever sat in in any truck. But that motor, sounded good, ran good, went through snow in 4wd great, but it just had no "get up and go". I realized I'd made a mistake and just got rid of it instead of trying to mess with mods on a motor nobody had anything good to say about.
    Plus, I really like a pickup, I just can't get used to the SUV thing. I need the bed for working out of, not a "cargo area". I love my Dodge but you're right, it does love gas. 10 on a good day. I just couldn't afford the diesel and even if I could, like I said, mine's a 2000 and the Cummins for that year is just too LOUD. Someday, when I have the money I'll get the diesel, and hopefully a 5th wheel to pull with it.
  10. dmjr77

    dmjr77 Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    I would like to have a Duramax to plow with, but with the weight of the enigne and the Allison transmission, GM does not offer a plow prep package for the Duramax. Last week I took a 05 GMC Sierra 2500 HD out for a test drive and it had a 6.0L gas in it, I was impressed with the way it went. I have heard good about those 6.0's when it comes to plowing.
  11. ProSeasons

    ProSeasons Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    I get 21 mpg with my diesel. I change the oil every 15,000 miles BUT it does not need it, oil does not wear out, it just gets dirty. If you keep your oil clean, you can go significantly farther than that gross 3000 mile lie the auto industry lays on people every day.

    I happen to know of a filter that can take the SOOT out of diesel oil! That's something like 1/50th of a micron. The oil stays clean, the engine does not wear out as fast. There are people with over a million miles on a single Cummins engine, they have a club.

    What maintainance? The Cummins hardly has any moving parts. A fuel filter every, what, 15,000 miles? A lift pump is all I had to buy.

    I get 14 mpg TOWING a trailer. Today's diesels are amazing, I had to WORK to make mine louder. It still aint loud as I'd like.

    Mine starts right up when cold, plugged in or not. Plugged in, they just warm up quicker. The day of the GM 6.2 are over.
  12. Ian

    Ian Member
    Messages: 96

    I have a 97 dodge cummins. Love it!

    If you go Ford, I would stay away from the first year that the 6.0 powerstroke was available. Not sure what that year was. I heard to many stories of problems.

    I run a 7.5 western with pro wings (9ft total). I went that way in order to save a little weight. I don't use the shoes and I removed one of the trip springs. The other two are set firm. The blade only trips if I hit something solid. It is probably still a little over weight for the front axle but I drive with extra care and remove the plow as soon as I am done plowing. If I am driving with the plow on, I am going to a plow location or returning home. Front of the truck dips 1/2 inch with the plow raised.

    The temp gage never gets above the half way mark. As a matter of fact, I us a winter front grill cover when the plow is off to keep the engine warm.
  13. PLM-1

    PLM-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    You can get the Snow Plow Prep in a Duramax. Just can't get an ext. cab long bed or crew cab long bed. Or automatic climate control (no idea why on that one) I talked to GM.
  14. trying to make

    trying to make Member
    Messages: 41

    your looking for a used truck.well the warranty does not sound like a problem then.I will murder anyone you want me too,for a powerstroke diesel any year.and I would find a plow dealer that would mount a 9 foot plow on it.if you go with a small plow and plan on plowing deep snow,stay away from chevy dualies with the whole back that is plastic.a plastic bed on a truck is no truck.I cant wait to here the replies from the people who love chevy emblems.Even when put on a bad product.
  15. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    My chev dually has a Blizzard 810 on it. It's great. Only plow wide enough for a dually. See, right plow and dually is not a problem.
  16. DSLL

    DSLL Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    I will never own a gas truck again. Diesels are awesome. My 96' Powerstroke has 186k on her and the engine hasnt missed a beat. The engine isnt the only thing that you need to worry about, because soon enough, it will start nickle and diming you to death..be careful and remember, your going to pay for it one way or another so buy a good used truck instead of getting a good deal on one and then paying out the rear for repairs..but disregard this if you are getting a new one..Good Luck
  17. Bayrat

    Bayrat Junior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 26

    I agree with most here. I regret not purchasing the Cummins in 2002 and find that the resale difference if you trade every few years almost pays for the diesel. The fuel savings is a bonus.
  18. Birneyj

    Birneyj Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I own a 01 Dodge 2500 Diesel and will never go back to a gas motor. Diesels are lubricated through Oil as well as the fuel that they burn, so very little wear to contaminate the oil. I change my oil every 30,000 miles with a new filter every 10,000. Fuel filter is changed every 25000 and air filter every 10,000.

    I have only plugged mine in once and that was when in canada for week and it was -15.

    Mileage 20 empty highway - 16 towing 15,000
    City 15

    Slow...... :dizzy:

    Takin vettes off the line...

    I have almost 200,000 miles on the truck and have done the following...

    120,000 - Replaced Turbo (Wanted bigger one - Nothin wrong with the old)
    140,000 - Replaced injectors (Wanted Bigger - Nothin wrong with the old)
    140,000 - Added Pro Comp box (Wanted more tourqe)
    160,000 Replaced Tranny with DTT (Needed to replace - Due to other Mods)

    I toe heavy daily, I push snow every chance I get, I F**** with ricers all the time.

    This has been and will continue to be a strong truck for years to come. I am looking to drive daily for at least another 500,000 miles.

  19. davink

    davink Member
    Messages: 50

    Thanks For The Input!!

    Thanks to all that have responded. Alot of info hear, and it is a great help.

    Now the loaded question. Which diesel engine is prefered? Duramax, Powerstroke, or Cummins? I am not talking the diferences in the trucks that they are in, only in how the engine preforms. Is there really much difference?

    Again, thanks, I think I have decided to go diesel, unfortunatly, the 02 Ford F350 supercab with 50000 miles I was looking at, offered for $25,900 sold. They were signing the papers when I went in to check it out more closely. So now I will be looking new, Most likely.

    I look forward to more responces, and hope you all made it through the snow out hear on the east coast!
  20. PLM-1

    PLM-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    IMO they are all about the same. It's the tranny and the rest of the truck that I would worry about. Why have an engine that goes for 1,000,000 miles if the truck will only go 100,000? i.e. late 90s Dodges.