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which would you recommend?

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by treeguy, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. treeguy

    treeguy Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I have been debating with myself on what truck would be better suited for me.

    I have a small business doing tree work (no chipper) cutting grass and would like to get into plowing a little next year. I pull a small trailer and frequently load the truck and trailer up with brush and wood.

    I am thinkig of a early to mid 90's cummins diesel or a 1/2 ton mid to late 90's. I have a couple of problems with both. The cost of gas especially when towing and the more limited ability of a 1/2 ton. The diesel trucks are older a have more kilometers on them. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Firebrands

    Firebrands Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    First off you will probably run into hauling capacity problems with a 1/2 ton, especially if you use it for a business. With a 3/4 ton those issues will be less likely. I would go for the heavier duty rig, especially when you look at adding plowing.

    With regard to diesel or gas, I think each have their pro's and cons. In my experience gas engines are easier and less expensive to repair and maintain, but don't last as long and cost a more to put fuel in. A diesel motor will last longer and is usually more durable and able to stand up to heavy use, plus you are able to get better mpg. I have a V10 so I know how little fun it is to put fuel in. But I have been able to diagnose and perform all of the motor repairs (most have been minor), so far. Good luck.
  3. green leaf

    green leaf Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    I'm in the same business of tree work and grass cutting. I went with a 2001 dodge 2500 ext cab long box. With tree work you should really look at a long box, We have a 1 ton chipper truck as well so I am not blowing chips into my 2500. It is a monster for plowing sometimes but I have some small driveways and commercial lots too, and I have no problem with the size of the truck. I also went with the diesel and I'm VERY happy with it. It had a lot of KM on it compared to what you would find on a gas but is was the only way I could afford a diesel. With the 8 ft box I can put a electric Dell dump into it, my father in law and brother in law both have one in there trucks and they sure work great for tree work. Hope this helps :)

    STRONGARM Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    I 've had both of those options, if it is avalible I would go with the cummins. It will push any amount of snow you want, your blade options are better and your towing options are limitless.

    2002 Dodge 2500 cummins-8 ft ult mnt western-1075 snowex salter
    2002 Dodge 360-8ft ult mnt western
    2001 Chev 2500HD -8ft western
  5. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I agree with everything above.

    A 3/4 ton is the way to go for towing and plowing. I'm not saying you can't do it with a 1/2 ton, I'm just saying that a 3/4 ton is better for more frequent towing and plowing, especially if it's business use. The diesel is just like they say above, it has it's trade offs. My 5.9 gas engine is great, but thirsty. Owned over a year now and zero repairs to it. Results not typical. :)
  6. Nuttymopar

    Nuttymopar Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 60

    If you would like to check out some problems with dodge diesels. Check out these sites.


    I don't think you will find many problems that most people can not work on. I myself have a 1st gen dodge diesel (1992) and with 241,000 miles on it, it is still going super strong. But then again, I have a bombed (modified) motor and it is pushing a lot more power then stock. Still, I plow daily with it without a problem and put about 30,000 miles a year on it. Still getting 16 - 20 mpg with it.
  7. snowinjoe

    snowinjoe Senior Member
    Messages: 180

    Treeguy I see your from Paris Ontario. There is a nice looking 91-93 Dodge 3/4 ton diesel with a plow for sale about 2 hours from you maybe less. Im pretty sure the sign said $7900. I can get the phone number for you when I drive by it on Fri.
  8. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    There is a major improvement in engine power and milage with the 94+ Rams (they are intercooled, pre 94 is not). Go 3/4 ton (2500) Diesel. 1500 is too light for any real towing and the diesel will give you the power you need to haul. Blade weight becomes an issue with Diesel's of 94-01 (search for info on that there are several threads in this and snowplowing forums).

    Any Diesel repairs can be done at home by a compitant DIY mechanic without, I say again, without computer diagnostic tools for 94-98 trucks- gasolene engines are all computer controlled in those years (diesel is not) so it can (not necessarily will but can) get more complicated.

    Prices of the mid to late 90's diesels are down- my 96 is worth around 12K. Don't worry about the high milage- people buy diesels to drive them, usually long distances or lots and for hauling. Highway miles are nothing for a diesel and the Cummins is a 300K mile engine where a gas engine normally needs a rebuild between 150K and 200K. If you want better milage get the open rear diff- the limited slip in 94-97 (?) was only available with 4.10 gears giving about 14-17 MPG but the opens give (3.56?) about 22-26MPG.
  9. Nuttymopar

    Nuttymopar Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 60

    It was prior to mid - 1991 that they went to Intercooled Turbo Diesel for the Dodge trucks. I think some late 1991 did come with the intercoolers but not really sure on that. I know that as of 1992, Dodge has produced only intercooled diesel motors. They have changed some things as it has evolved into the 2nd gen, 3rd gen Dodge Trucks. As noted before with the increase to power ratings along the way.
  10. Dig-it Landscap

    Dig-it Landscap Member
    Messages: 66

    The change over to the intercooled engie i believe was in 91. the engine change from 93 to 94-98.5 was they switched from a rotary pump to the bosch inline. get the diesel and 3/4ton i love mine no problems at 138xxx pulling 12,500lbs atleast 3-4 times a week.
  11. Ggg6

    Ggg6 Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 521

    Go with the diesel, you will never go back to gas after owning a diesel. 91.5 was the first intercooled Dodges. My early 91 does not have a intercooler. I would not worry about mileage as long as it is under 500,000 mi. Maintenance is the key not mileage. 91.5 + had a overdrive trans, kinda weak. 91 and earlier had the good ol 727. If you are just wanting a good reliable truck and do not plan on modifying it for power then any Dodge diesel will do just great. The shorter the wheelbase the more maneuverable it will be for plowing.