truck shopping time!

Discussion in '4x4's, SUV's and P/U Trucks' started by npauli, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. npauli

    npauli Well-Known Member

    Dad told me this week that his work truck was totaled by one of his employees.
    Anyways, it's time to go truck shopping. He's a contractor for residential & small commercial, and this truck is the only pickup in a fleet of vans. He uses it mostly for hauling trash & building materials, and towing a dump trailer to, well, the dump. The old truck was a mid 90's 3/4 ton ex cab longbed 2wd chevy w/ gas & auto. It got about 10mpg doing what he does with it. Trailer weight varies, but I wouldn't be at all suprised if it breaks 10,000 lbs on a regular basis.

    Min requirements are:
    1) 3/4 ton
    2) long bed
    3) Beyond that, whatever will be good on gas and cause the fewest headaches.

    He say's he'd be ok with diesel, but he probably doesn't drive enough to recoup the premium of buying a diesel -say 5k miles a year. Well, that, and there's always the extra risk of putting your diesel in the hands of people that don't normally drive diesels (wrong fuel in the tank, not knowing about glow plugs and block heaters, etc.).

    I'm thinking:
    -3/4 ton reg cab long bed 2wd
    -auto w/ as many gears as possible
    -tallest axle ratio possible
    -small V8

    I'm guessing his budget would put him into late 90's up to maybe 2004 or so. Anybody know any winning combinations from any of the late great big 3?
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  2. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    This one might hold up :D

  3. Gordon

    Gordon Highland Hypermiler

    Haha yeah I would say a Hilux aswell. They're good trucks, especially the newer ones, very yummy!
  4. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    You really can't beat a diesel for towing if that's important to him. The 2004 F350 turbodiesel is a favorite of mine at work. For the kind of work he's talking about with other people driving he'd probably be looking at mid/upper teens for mpg. Towing our ~20,000 lb construction trailer it gets low teens to ten. By contast, our 2008 Chevy 3500 with the gas V8 gets about 7 mpg pulling the same trailer.
  5. melinuxfool

    melinuxfool Well-Known Member

    Don't neglect some of the 6 speed manual transmissions. I think Dodge might have it when paired with a Diesel engine.

    A little OT, but anyone remember when trucks had 3 primary speeds, but a granny low gear for extra torque when hauling. Don't see that too often anymore, if at all.
  6. npauli

    npauli Well-Known Member

    Agreed. There's a reason they don't make class 8 trucks (or earthmoving equipment, or locomotives, or ...) with gas engines.

    Now it sounds like he's wanting something to last a decade or more, so a diesel may be worth looking into after all. Between fuel savings and resale value, it would probably be worth the extra $ and hassles (as long as this one isn't totaled in a wreck).

    He could do a stick, but many of his employees couldn't. Found a nice local 2007 (pre-emissions) Duramax with a 6 speed Allison that I'm going to try to get him to look at. I don't think he could do much better than that for FE (and resale, and ...).

    In case he does want gas, anybody know which engines, brands & years had cylinder deactivation? I know GM's had it for a while on at least their 6.0, but I don't know what else has it. How bout transmissions? I think GM's 6 speed Alison started around 2006 MY. Anybody know about Ford & Dodge?
  7. melinuxfool

    melinuxfool Well-Known Member

    I remember a friend of mine going to work, and his boss sent him on an errand with his truck. He came back in with the keys and told his boss "I can't drive a standard." His boss simply told him "guess you're going to learn today"
  8. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    great answer. my daughter never learned, though i suggested many times that it would be a good idea.
  9. npauli

    npauli Well-Known Member

    Well, he bought the Duramax.

    I'm headed over tomorrow night (SG2 in hand) to go check it out. I'm drooling already.
    Long bed, reg cab, 2wd.
    360 hp (mine's got 300)
    650 ft lbs at only 1600 rpm (mine's got 520 at 1800)
    6 speed allison auto with double overdrive, tow-haul & manual modes
    Should be capable of 20 mpg empty without HM techniques, at least before the ladder racks and tool boxes go on.

    I'm real curious whether his will get better or worse FE than mine.
    his is probably much lighter (pre boxes and racks)
    2wd helps
    His 6 speed gear ratios are taller
    My engine is a shade more efficient (an older model with less strict emissions and no EGR)
    I've got the stick.

    Regardless, it should beat the snot out of his old 10mpg gasser. Maybe whoever totaled it did him a favor.
  10. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    I like the way those run, but find a good mechanic and if it has the dual fuel tank option be aware that those sometimes have fuel gauge trouble when they switch tanks.
  11. npauli

    npauli Well-Known Member


    Tried out Dad's new truck today. Just unplugged the SG2 from my truck and plugged it in his w/o changing settings. I took it for a spin around town, not really trying to HM, but trying everything out: What do I get cruising at this speed? How much power can I make on this hill before hitting warp speed? How does the manual mode work?

    It left me thinking: If diesels like this and mine are out there and can be had for < $20k, why would anybody spend a similar amount on a half ton? Or 2x that for a hybrid?
  12. npauli

    npauli Well-Known Member

    Dad just finished his first tank, with ladder rack, tool boxes, and using it for work like he normally would.

    He got something like 16.X mpg. That's far worse than the 24mpg we got with an empty truck, but far better than the 10mpg he got from his old gasser. He's really happy with it.

    Yeah diesel!

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