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Truck Choice

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by jeffgrig, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. jeffgrig

    jeffgrig Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    New guy just starting out. Will be doing mostly driveways and some sub work in small lots.

    I will be looking for a new or slightly used 2500HD or F250. I know to look for the snow-prep package on the Chevy - does Ford have an equivalent rating for their F250's?

    Which one offers more long-term cost savings in maintenance, etc. I am not loyal to any brand, just want best value long term.

    Also, I am hesitant to buy a used one. I am concerned that the unit may have been used to death in a commercial setting and is on its last legs. Any signs to look for? If I were to go the route, I would look for the 'snow prep' package, but one that never had a plow - it that animal ever is even out there.

    Thanks.....great site.
  2. superdog1

    superdog1 Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    Wow, you are setting yourself up for the great "Ford vs Chevy" argument. You are a braver man than me, Lol

    With that out of the way, over the years, I have had Dodges, Chevys, GMC's and even a Ford in there. They all had their little issues. I prefer GMC and Chevy stuff, but that doesn't mean that if you buy one, it won't be in the shop every day. I have plowed in the past too, just not for profit. I like GM stuff because the parts are more interchangeable. A V8 350 motor from a 1979 GMC pickup will bolt right into a 1988 Chevy pickup. Lots of other parts will do the same. It has been my experience that Ford and Dodge isn't quite as good in that area.

    Putting that aside, maybe you will want to do your own repair work? If so, which one are you more familiar with? If you have worked on Ford's all your life, you will be better off with one, as you may already know where everything is and all of their little "quirks" so to speak.

    I don't think anyone can really give you an honest, unbiased answer, as you will almost never know what they did with the truck before you bought it. Lets face it, every used car salesman/woman in the world ALWAYS tells you that the car/truck you are looking at was only driven on Sundays by some little old lady, when in fact it pulled a 20 ton horse trailer every day or it was used in a demo derby, Lol:redbounce
  3. jk4718

    jk4718 Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    The 2500's were always great until 60,000 miles hit and then things start falling apart. We used to throw two pallets of rock in the back,which wasn't the smartest of ideas, but it worked. The ones we had didn't have dual batteries, so the power drain was pretty noticeable.

    I am in the middle of the same search and I'm leaning towards the Fords. They seem to have front suspension issues, but the towing capacity is higher (which helps me in the warm months). I am a little jaded by the Chevy transmission, esp. the 4L80E. Those have been nothing but money pits for me. There also seems to be issues with the diesel ford engines. Check truck forums for a wider perspective.

    One thing I will never do again is buying a truck with a plow already on it. You have no idea how hard it has been run. I saw a 2000 F250 with a blade and only 35,000 miles for ten grand. Looked like a good deal at face value, but it had more frame rust than the Titanic. The most important thing I ask myself is "why are they selling". If they are unloading a lemon then that could sink you quick. Perfect example: Before my last tranny rebuild it shifted just fine, but overheated after half an hour of plowing. Nobody ever would have found that if I tried to sell it, and would have been screwed, but there are a lot of people who aren't as considerate.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  4. superdog1

    superdog1 Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    In all honesty, almost any truck will have issues in the front end when attaching a plow. Most pickups were designed to have the weight carried in the rear, not the front. With that in mind, it is hard on it when you throw around 800pds on it and then drive it all over the place. It kills bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends etc. I will say that the guys who attach plows that make the weight exceed more than the manufacturers front GAWR have many more problems than someone who follows the rules.

    I just broke that Cardinal rule, Lol. In mid October, I bought a 94 GMC 3500 series dually dump truck. I knew for a fact that it was a 1 owner truck that was used by a municipality in southern PA. I also had a stack of maintenance records to show me exactly what was done to it in the last 17 years. With this truck, I already know that having a split axle vs a solid one is not a good thing but I needed this truck for more than plowing snow and the price was so good, there is no way I could pass it up.

    I must agree with jk4718 though when it comes to buying trucks with plows in them, in most cases, unless you know the prior owner, you could really get screwed! If you knew everything there was to know about plow trucks, you may be better off, BUT, even doing a visual inspection, you can't see into the tranny, motor and other vital components.:rolleyes:
  5. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    Ah yes, the great which truck is better thread. :popcorn:

    I'll take an F350 with a 5.9 Cummins backed up with an Allison auto.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Ford with a Boss v plow.
  7. superdog1

    superdog1 Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    Subaru Brat with a 10" Western Pro plow is better, LolThumbs Up
  8. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    A Brat could handle a plow bigger than 10 inches. Thumbs Up

    A Brat with a Snow Bear would be a blast to beat on.
  9. BlackKnight07

    BlackKnight07 Member
    Messages: 56

    "I'll take an F350 with a 5.9 Cummins backed up with an Allison auto."

    This would be a badass setup, to bad it would never happen, how else would Dodge,Ford,Chevy get you back in the Shop and then the Show room.
  10. 80brat

    80brat Junior Member
    from 03431
    Messages: 2

    Planning on putting a Plow on my Brat this week! Can't find anyone else still running one?

  11. 80brat

    80brat Junior Member
    from 03431
    Messages: 2

    My Brat does a lot of work!

  12. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,272

    actually that brat is pretty cool. last i seen one was maybe 10 years ago and it was rusted to nothing. can't imagine there are many left.
  13. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    Im going to go against convention
    If you are going to plow driveways, gas stations, small banks... you cant beet a Jeep. I started with a FS pickup after 2 years of plowing I had a full work sheet doing driveways and desided I needed a backup plow. I got a new jeep at the junk yard (7 miles on it) fixed it. used it 1 time to plow and sold the truck. I could plow 2X driveways with the jeep as with the truck. so I made 2X $$ That was in in 1988 Ive used jeeps since then. Dont plow walyworld with a jeep, but driveways... YES

    OK all the testosterone guys that have never used a jeep for driveways can jump on me now.
  14. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    I actually agree with you about the Jeep. I wish I had my Jeep CJ back. I come on this forum about once a week crying for that Jeep to come back!!!!
  15. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,072

    A mid to late 80's K5 Blazer is a great rig for smaller lots and resi's, big enough to handle a plow but small enough to whip around in tight places.
    Jeeps are good too, I had a '81 CJ5 but it was to lite IMO.

  16. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,057

    I am assuming this is in regards to a newer truck as stated. Although an older truck would be better for getting started for overall cost and repair.

    I'll start by admitting by bias for Ford, but with good reason. This isn't intended to rub the GM guys wrong, but this is all based on first hand experiences. I grew up GM but switched to Ford about 12 years ago...I'm getting old.

    Super Duty's tend to be the most used in more harsh conditions. I do some contract work in the oil field and the companies I deal with mainly run 6.0, 6.4, and 6.7 Super Duty's. Reason being they have a lower failure rate, and don't have the IFS suspension like the GM's do which were prone to destroying themselves. Mind you these trucks see all weather conditions, crap dirt roads, will idle for 12+ hours daily, and pull overloaded trailers.

    My 7.3 F350 has pulled overloaded trailers up and down dirt roads through mountains, idled it for 6 days straight on a job (it was cold out, had to keep the heat on,lol), and with 207k miles it doesn't rattle/squeak at all. Used a 2012 Ram for a couple weeks on a job and would have thought it had 170k miles not 7500 miles with the way it rattled.

    Knew a company man who bought a brand new 2011 3500HD and while towing an empty enclosed trailer (24'-28' length) the trans blew. Had it towed to the dealer and GM (not the dealer) decided it wasn't a warranty repair since it was being used beyond capacity. Seriously?

    I've driven both new offerings and I still think the Ford has continued being the higher quality choice. I place a lot of value on interior given the lengths of time I spend in the cab. Any Super Duty from 05 up will have heated seats as an option which I suggest getting. Worth their weight in gold. They also have upfitter switches which is convenient for wiring extra stuff like lights. GM seems to agree after ripping off the front end design as well as the gauge layout on the 2013. The Ford's seem to be built with a...heavier level of abuse in mind.

    Will add I also wont give my money to a company that owes taxpayers billions that will never be recouped, but that is a whole nother' rant.
  17. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,057

    I was looking at Broncos and CJ5/CJ7 for the same reason.

    Brother passed on a monster K5 Blazer many years ago. Had a couple 78-84 Sierras and they both never gave him an issue I can recall. Buried both in mud on more than one occasion.
  18. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,072

    I'm a Ford guy and have a '78 Bronco that my boy wants to build.
    I've got a '86 K-5 Blazer with a 7.5 Meyer running Pro-Wings, older Chevy's are cheap and easy to rebuild; GM (Goodwrench)5.7l crate w/3yr-36K warranty deliveried $1500.00, rebuilt 700r trans w/upates for plowing $1400.00 installed with same warranty. I got a K-20 from my grandpa and going to swap axles.
    For a back up/clean up rig or for starting out it's hard to beat them.
  19. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,057

    I agree. Up to about early 90's GM and Ford were pretty equal in trucks. Those years GM trucks were basically legos. You could take a bigger axle from this one, better trans from this one, etc and they all bolt in.

    Since OP stated he was thinking newer (and my prefacing my reply) I went that route on opinion. The older GM trucks seem to carry a bigger premium for some reason. Maybe because they are cheap to maintain and a larger list of available years to raid parts.

    OP look into something older, so you aren't trying to justify a $20k truck for $5K worth of plowing. Seems every big company has fleets of 80s/90's Sierras/Silverado and F150/F250's. Which is smart, easy to swap things around and they tale plenty of abuse.