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Which late model truck is best?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by joleger, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. joleger

    joleger Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hey Everyone,

    I am a capable DIYer and I plan on doing some renovations to my townhouse over the next few years. My car is getting old and I am sick of borrowing my in-law's truck....so I am planning on buying my own. My townhouse is one of five and we have a 10 car parking lot that we clear ourselves with a community snowblower. It gets the job done but can take up to 2-3 hours to finish.

    When I buy my truck, I would like to (most likely next year) put a plow on it so that clearing our parking lot will go a lot quicker. I know we could get a service but some of the other owners are happy spending the time snow blowing. I also want to get a plow so that if/when I move from my current place to another I don't have to rely on someone else to clear my drive way.

    I know that a plow is not the most economical solution but the money is not the issue...plus I just really want one.

    So my question is what late model truck is best suited for non-commercial snow plowing?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.


  2. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    I prefer the chevy 81-87 they are very easy to work on, no computers, parts are a dime a dozen. We have been using them since we started, u can tear the top half of the engine down with 2-3 tools, in about 2 hours, for someone with a intermediate experience.. And buying a rebuilt engine and tranny are super affordable. I would look for a chevy, they are everywhere, u can find a 3/4 ton for under 2 grand if you look hard . maybe even find one after the season with a plow on it. If your brave find one wihth plow that needs some engine work. Buy the manual at autozone and go for it.
  3. MeeksCo

    MeeksCo Senior Member
    Messages: 214

    I would definitely recommend a Chevy, as well.
    But, I wouldnt go as far as '81-'87....I would go from the 1988-1998 range.
    They are all about the same body style/engine/tranny styles through those years.
    The updated interior look and a few different mods are different from the 1996 year and up.

    Definitely get a truck that has a manual shifting transfer case and not push button. Less things to go wrong and much easier all the way around.

    You do not need a 3/4 ton for what you're going to be using it for. All you need is a 1/2 ton 4x4.
    They will hold the plow just fine. But make sure you stay under 8' and not a commercial size plow.

    You can find used plows that will fit most early to late 90's trucks all over on Craigslist and in the paper.
    Sometimes it's easier to match the truck to the plow. If you find a used meyers or western that is already setup to fit a ...let's say...mid 90's ford...then start looking for the truck. You know? That way you don't have to do too much fabricating when putting the plow on .

    Good luck. Don't get ahead of yourself as you obviously arent trying to start a plowing business. Keep it simple.
  4. starc

    starc Senior Member
    Messages: 229

    You will not get an honest answer to your question because most people start out with a certain brand of truck and swear by that afterwords. I would say a Ford, only reason being...that's all I have ever had. I tried my buddy's Chevy 3500 and for the most part the only reason I wouldn't want one is it is so different sitting behind the wheel. It did a great job but to me just not the same thing I'm used to looking at out the windshield.
  5. starc

    starc Senior Member
    Messages: 229

    Sorry, I forgot to add...I also agree...stay away from automatic transmissions as far as I'm concerned, manual is the strongest in my experience over my years of some fairly heavy duty plowing. I have replaced clutch dicks but the don't just **** up on you in the middle of the night, you will have fair warning that the time is coming near...
  6. joleger

    joleger Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for replies,

    However, I am more in the market for a 2006-2009 truck. From the searches I have done the most common trucks I have found are the f-150 and the 1500. I have read that some models are more suited for a plow than others.

    I am hoping you guys have some insight. Again, the plowing I will be doing will be very casual/personal in nature.

    I like the idea of buying a plow then buying a truck that would fit, but I will be buying the truck this year and waiting until next season to get the plow.

    Thanks again for all your help


    PS - If you feel recommending options I should be looking for in a truck is better that recommending a specific truck then that is OK. The more knowledge I have the better.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  7. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    I would say any brand 3/4 ton truck would be ok. Plow prep package is a good option. Hopefully it hasn't been plowed with yet. Gas engine with auto trans. 4x4.

    Some on here have very nice 1/2 ton trucks as well, I just think they were not intended for plowing.
  8. 91AK250

    91AK250 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,657

    i would say any of the big names, ford chevy dodge, 1/2 ton, auto tranny, 4x4 would do exactly what you want to do. ofcourse myself would say get a ford..but thats me. find what you like the best. anymore they are all about the same just different flavors.
  9. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Same here .
    Also all my brother in law does is rebuild chevy trucks, kinda makes me appreciate my Ford heritage...:laughing:
  10. SuperdutyShane

    SuperdutyShane PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,517


    May I push my opinion on you some more? :)
  11. Matt400

    Matt400 Senior Member
    Messages: 164

    If I was looking at those years in a 1/2 ton it would be the Tundra for me.
  12. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    f-250 with a v plow would be great for you, wait how many parking lots do y have? if only 1 get a 150 and put a sportvduty or std duty on it,
  13. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    For a personal truck this is what I'd recomend being non biased- (I drive most all of these trucks daily at my job)

    2006-2008 F150 Get the 5.4, Ride is SOLID, can haul a lot, the front ends can handle any 7'6" plow you put on. Great resale and they hold up very well. Downside- Gas mileage isn't great, underpowered compared to the competition but still very competent. Gas mileage is inline with the competition but I consider it bad because of the lower power output.

    2009 F150- One of my favorites- much nicer ride, nice interior, QUIET, the 3 Valve 4.6 and New 6 Speed Auto make it a much quicker truck- the 5.4 is much quicker as well. I think the 3V 4.6 with the auto is a perfect combo for a daily driver weekend warrior because it gets good mileage (I got 19mpg's out of a 4x4 crew cab) and has good power.

    2006-2007 Chevy 1500- Ride nice, interior is decent but kinda cheap, very nice soft seats, torsion bars up front so you can adjust the ride height or ability to hold a plow. Can handle any 7'6" plow you put on it. 5.3 is a great motor that gets good gas mileage. Downside- front ends take a nose dive even with torsion bars cranked when you add a plow, timbrens help a lot. Usually have Drum rear brakes.

    2008-2009 Chevy 1500- Ride Nicer, coil spring front suspension, stiffer frame, more solid ride, nicer interior. With a plow you will need spacers or timbrens or both. The 2009's gave you the option of a 6 speed auto with the 5.3 which is a great combo.

    2006-2008 Ram 1500- HEMI has plenty of power, 5 speed auto is reliable, can handle any 7'6" plow with some spacers or timbrens, 4 forward hinged doors rather than "suicide" doors. Downside- Interior plastic is hard and cheap looking, seats are hard and stain easily, stiff ride.

    2009 Ram 1500- One of my favorites- Best ride of all half tons, coil rear suspension (can be good or bad depending on what you think), interior is very nice, very QUIET, HEMI has 390HP 4.7 Has 310HP so either way you get some decent power, still has 4 forward hinged doors. Downside- Coil spring rear suspension, still has a 5 speed auto rather than 6 speed like the rest, needs spacers or timbrens to hold a plow well.

    2006 Tundra- Don't bother

    2007-2009 Tundra - Lots of power, great 6 speed tranny, great differentials, great breaks, 4 forward hinged doors, can also handle any 7'6" plow, timbrens or spacers help (coil spring front susp). Downside- Stiff ride, interior is cheap, frame is still open C channel in the rear- lots of bed vibration over any rough surface (not a huge downside), no locking diff or LSD- its all electronic and uses anti slip to make both rear tires turn.

    My personal Choice with be - 1-Tundra, 2 - Ram HEMI, 3 - Ford 5.4
  14. Pushin 2 Please

    Pushin 2 Please PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,582

    GM, Ford, Dodge.
  15. Boss23

    Boss23 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I would go with GM
  16. heavyiron

    heavyiron Member
    Messages: 96

    A half ton truck will work fine for what you've described. Just be careful when you choose a plow so you don't overwhelm the truck.
  17. SuperdutyShane

    SuperdutyShane PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,517

    Good idea, look into the Toyota Tundra. Theres a few guys on here running 7'6'' plows on them and they are good from what Ive heard.
  18. akblacklab

    akblacklab Junior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 11

    Depends on the electrics and weight ratings of the pickup. the Big 3 (Ford,Chevy and Dodge) have been making pickups available with plow prep packages for many years..beefed up suspension,higher output alternators..
    whereas the Asian import pickups are fairly new to the plowing scene.

    http://bit.ly/ciH2jh Link to Ford's page.

    http://bit.ly/aBlExS link to chevy's page.

    Couldn't find the exact page on Dodge's website,but it's there..

    Personally I would go with either Ford or Chevy.
  19. blk90s13

    blk90s13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,157

  20. harleyfxdl

    harleyfxdl Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    If you don't need the extra cab space, go with a 1/2 ton std cab shortbed. Easy to manuver and the reg cab offers you the ability to get the snow plow pkg on the 1/2 ton. As far as I know you cannot get a snow plow pkg with the ext cab or crew cab on 1/2 ton.