Village near me selling plow truck


Senior Member
I was thinking of bidding on this truck but i'm not sure how much it's worth.
The village has replaced it with a new one. They only keep them for so long and then they buy new.

Heres's some info on it.

1988 Ford F 350 4x4
Auto Tranny
7.3L Diesel
2-3 yard dump body
9' Fisher plow and 1 1/2 yard sander that sits in the dump body
Has 78,000 miles on it

Over all it looks Ok but they're selling it as-is.
Which has me worried that they might also have had some serious problems with it in the past.
Thanks for any info.



Western CT
I would be worried about the auto tranny. Probably used as a truck to do small roads or town parking lots, schools, etc. That would be my only real concern as mileage is low for a diesel.


2000 Club Member
That engine/transmission combination is prone to problems. I lost a tranny on a similar truck 3 days out of warranty. I know of a number of people who have had to do major overhauls on that engine due to poor maintainance. Ask for a coolant and oil sample and have them tested, that will give you your answer. Also keep in mind that engine is pre- Powerstroke and doesn't have a lot of power.

GeoffD Veteran
If it is a sealed bid sale, put in a low bid. If you get it, great. However that engine and trans combo will equal problems, unless the tranny has been really well maintained. Most people have trans problems at 100K with that truck, however I am sure 78K is 78K of hard miles.

I wouldn't buy the truck, because of where i sit cash wise. However if you bid low get it, and understand it may need work. You might be better off than where you are now.



Senior Member
I figured it was all hard miles and they are all work related.

The village is only about 6 square miles and they used it for plowing some of the roads and other stuff during the summer.

They have a bigger truck and 2 years ago they got another smaller truck like this one to replace a different one.( they went with new dodges)

My brother in law has the same motor in his super duty and he had all kinds of trouble with it.( injector pump, injectors, and crank and bearings)that makes me kinda leary of it.

They are doing sealed bids and I thought of giving a dirt cheap one and seeing what happened.

If it only needs small stuff I could deal with that I was just worried about what kind of major problems I might be in for if i bought it.



Senior Member
S. Maine
We run Ford diesels and we do have a older one like this! Its a 1990 F350 4WD 7.3 Intenation diesel, auto with dump. The tranny just blew after 3000 miles on a rebuild from prior owner! Reason was the TPS or Thipple switch was bad and lunched it. Rebuild from Ford $2195 plus instalation we were lucky to be very good friends with a transmission shop and had it done at $1650 from torque converter to rear seal EVERY THING NEW!!! Some say the motors are leakers we laugh! This is our 3rd older one over the years and we dont leak any more then our Chevy 454's and our Dodges. I would expect a problem to arise so leave extra cash for these items. Up here in Maine a 1ton diesel dump Ford or Chevy will run you over $10,000.00 this time of year and around $9k in summer. We even see them running over 12k at times and being sold! Our present oldy has 118000miles which is just broke in. Our old Cummings had 298000miles and still running for present owner its all on the maintenance!!!!!!!!!!! Diesels are good for 300k we ran up close to that but we beat our trucks with over weight pulling, hauling and plowing! Plowing is (ISISISISISISIS) the hardest thing a truck can do!


Senior Member
Albany NY

I don't know what you're looking to spend but there are a couple dumps in the wantad with a plow and salter on them. There are quite a few plow trucks in there at decent prices, from 2-10K. Pick it up and take a look or go to and search the ads.

Got Grass?

Senior Member
Western New York
Dont know much about the actual truck, other allready answerd about that. As for buying at auction from a town. Some things you need to think about are:
1, Does the town have many other trucks that are older then this one? If thay dont thay may just want to upgrade it. If thay do this truck may be a burden for them and just want to get rid of it becasue it may allready have problems or thay know something major may break in the near future.

2, Towns in general sell & auction things off "as is", becasue if something does break or something is broke and not listed thay dont want you coming back to them to have it fixed. When its sold its sold, thay dont have a budget for someone coming back with a broken light or something larger, or modifications thay may have made that will not let the truck pass inspetion. expecting you to make them to cough up the bill.

3, Plan on making repairs or modifiations, for your needs.

4, A company I worked for bought 3 1970's state/county plows at diffrent times, for plowing large commercial parking lots and a couple condo complexes w/ long roads. Where you cant or it would be to costly to store a loader on site thay drive these arround from site to site where a pusher couldnt legaly go.
Thay required some welding and fixing up but thay ran! Not where thay could drive it constantly at high speeds plowing and salting the roads, Thay would have never lasted that. but thay worked great for what thay needed them for and were only used for that.


Junior Member

I have bought several plow trucks from municipalities and it has worked very well for me. Try to find someone you know who is employed by the public works department of that city and see if they can pass along any information about that truck. The great thing about county government is that usually they do a very good job of maintaining their equipment. If they have a mechanic on staff stop by and ask him if it's been a maintenance nightmare.

If that vehicle has an overdrive transmission it is probably an AOD and MIGHT be a problem. If it isn't an overdrive transmission it is probably a C6 which is a pretty tough dependable transmission. The miles on the engine are minimal and that 7.3 should have all the power you might need.

Pricing is anybodies guess as to what it might sell for, I have seen pricing run from $350.00 to 10,750.00 for the same piece of equipment. You just have to figure out what that piece of equipment is worth to you and be sure you know what it is really worth on the open market. You might stop by a local Ford dealer and ask a sales person what trade in and retail are on that truck. If they are taking sealed bids (as was the case in the above example) I think you are better off, if it is an auction atmosphere I think people get very competitive and drive prices up to high. Good luck with your decision whatever you do.

Top Forums

Similar threads

Similar threads