used truck shopping


Junior Member
First year plowing, I love it. I drive for a guy now but want my own truck to increase income. I cant afford new. I woul appreciate any advice on used trucks. I plan on having a 20-30 driveway route. I would like to spend under 12k for the truck and plow. I have no brand prefrence foreign or domestic. Low maintenance, reliability and fuel economy are my concerns.

John DiMartino Veteran
Look for a used Chevy/GMC 2500/3500 4x4,12K should buy you a nice 95-97 reg cab cheyenne with an auto.Id buy a Ram 96-98 2500 with 360 auto,they are a good plow truck.Stay away from F250 with TTB front end,the F350 Single wheel 94-97 is a HD truck,good for plowing,but not many around.

SlimJim Z71 Addict
Cary, IL
I think if I were looking at a used plow truck, the first thing I would check would be the transmission fluid. If you pull the dipstick out and it's burnt, that's a tell-tale sign of trans problems to come. Also, look the front section of the frame over REALLY well. Look for irregular bends and cracks. If you can, also check the fluids in the transfer case, and front & rear differentials. If the fluids aren't up to par, you should probably move on. I bought my truck without a plow, and had it put on later. I've changed my trans fluid about 6-times in the last 13K miles. Overkill... probably. But if it does fail, at least I know it wasn't because of lack of maintenance.

I would take the truck to a dealership that performs inspections. Just by them putting it up in the air, they can tell alot about how well the truck has been maintained, and give you a better idea of how long it will last. If it costs you a few bucks, so be it. You'll be better off in the long run.



Senior Member
Southern NJ
Personally I like Chevy/GMC I bought 2 in the past years and have had good luck with them. They are very easy to work on and there is still alot of parts around for them. If you notice there are alot of old Chevys on the road compared to Ford or Dodge. I would buy a truck without a plow and put one on it new. I would spend the money on a used truck and buy a new plow. I bought a 79 Chevy used with a plow it the fall of 96 and it kicked a-- through the whole winter( including the blizzard of 96 we got 33in.) while other new trucks were going through trannies and everything else my old Chevy jammed right through it. I made 5 times what I paid for it in one storm......

75 Addict
I hadn't thought of the used truck/new plow idea, I imagine depending on what prices are like (I'm in Canada - they're ridiculous here! I was working on a customer's Arctic 7'6" this week, basic straight blade with power angle. Same unit new is around $7,000 here!) it could work out to around the 12K figure you mentioned.

However, if you do go with a used plow/truck combo, I would like to add to Tim's (good) advice and say do the same thing for your plow too. Have the powerpack checked out, make sure it's putting out the proper hydraulic pressure. Check to see if the cylinders are pitted/leaking. Look for cracks in the plow & A-frame, bent components and any previous repair work. Hydraulic hose condition, condition of cutting edge, and basic overall care/lack of that the plow seems to have had. After all, if either the truck or the plow breaks down, you're not plowing = you're not earning!

Winterworks Veteran
75 not to contradict you and no disrespect intended. We bought a brand spankin new 8 foot Arctic Poly plow from Brycam in Barrie for $4400.00 plus taxes, Our V plows cost around 7000.00 taxes inc. With the leasing and financing deals available now you can't lose buying a new plow. You also get better and quicker hookups etc. and bugs worked out from earlier models.

75 Addict
HC - no offense taken! I was passing along what our customer told me, glad to hear the prices aren't quite as ridiculous. Not sure if I'm in the new plow market just yet, but I'll keep it in mind. And being able to take advantage of lease/financing offers may be a big help to someone just starting out. Thanks for pointing that out.

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