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Just starting to seriously look for a pickup

Post in 'The Gear' started by Danno77, Sep 28, 2009.

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  1. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Looking at two vehicles down the street from me; wondered if there were opinions on either.

    For those trying to avoid work--> read the whole thing; for those with short-attention spans / limited time --> read only this bold part if you want:

    1.) 1995 Ford F350, Extended cab, cloth interior, Black, Long Bed, Duallies, 2WD only, body looks pretty danged good for a '95. Didn't check for ac, power windows/locks, or radio. AC would be a deal breaker. The rest wouldn't on a two-door truck. Don't know what they are asking, but KBB suggests it's probably in the 6,000 dollar range.

    2.) 2003 Ford F250, 4x4, Looks like a small lift, Body pristine, black paint, heavy rear-window tint, good tread bigger AT tires, V-10 Triton, Lariat Package, Heated (tan) leather, (super)Crew Cab, Moon-roof, backup sensors, power everything, short bed with spray liner. Didn't check stereo, don't care. I forget the exact asking price, but I think it was just under $15K. It has just over 90K miles.


    I often haul wood from the timber through 1/4 mile of field that has a tendency to get pretty muddy in some spots. Generally I can miss the mud, but it's happened before that I got semi-stuck (I've always been able to get out).

    Most recently (last spring) I was hauling wood on my VERY small trailer ( loaded to max with prob 1,000lbs+ of wood) behind the Jeep. The Jeep made it through without hesitation, but the wood's weight sunk the trailer down past the axles all the way to the platform. I had to unload all that wood drive out and then reload it. NOT FUN in the mud. It was a procedure that made me question why I burn wood, if you know what I mean.

    I have very little experience with RWD vehicles, except for a 4x4 truck before locking it into 4wd. My experience is that they suck royally on snow/ice and can't back up a grassy hill very easily. Grandpa's worktruck on the farm for years (the one delegated to running through the waterways, or for down fence lines, etc was a RWD 1972 Ford F-100 with what apparently is a very rare package (Explorer). It was orange. It died sometime in the late 1990s. I've looked forever for one to restore as it was the truck in which I learned to drive. We somehow managed to keep it from getting stuck, so I guess I shouldn't rag on rwd vehicles too much. My other RWD experience is from my Fiat Spider, but it doesn't see a lot of ice and snow, so it doesn't count. It's the only vehicle that it's fun to lose rear traction on. Amazing how quick <100hp can hurl a car when it only weighs the same as a Radio Flyer.

    Do the duallies make it better or worse? I don't want to be loaded fully (and I would load it as full as I could) and then get stuck out in the field. (best I can find online is that its payload is around 4500lbs)

    The other option at that same dealership is the fully loaded 2003 Ford F250 Lariat Crew Cab. It is very cool looking, but seems like it might be hard to throw firewood up into the bed, lol. Almost seems a little too redneck for me, even though it's done very nicely. (this f250 shows max payload of 2360lbs; I guess having that crew cab takes up quite a bit of the gvwr!)

    I'm less worried about the winter driving, because our other vehicle will be AWD. Currently have a '99 Jeep Grand Cherokee and an '03 Suzuki Aerio, both are AWD; Will be replacing one vehicle with a 2005 Honda CRV, and eventually trading the other vehicle for a truck of some sort.

    I live about 1 mile from one office and 7 miles from my other office, so I don't do major driving for work. My wife will drive the CRV. We drive to Colorado for skiing up to 3 times a year, To her parents 5hrs, to my parents 1.5hrs, she works 45 miles away, our family timber is about 37 miles away (I get a lot of wood here, trying to keep the timber in good shape). The CRV will probably be our primary vehicle on long trips because it gets 27+mpg even with all the family and gear. I'd like to be able to drive the new truck if I had to pick up something from my parent's farm, or if I find something like a woodstove up near her parents on craigslist.

    I'd like to be able to haul gravel, bags of cement, mortar, sand, etc. Being able to throw a 4x8 sheet of drywall (or 20) in the bed, would be nice too. I'm not 100% convinced i NEED a 3/4 or 1 ton vehicle, but I'm sure that I'd use that extra payload more enough to make it worthwhile.

    I own my vehicles, I wasn't really looking forward to getting back into a lot of debt we carried 700 in auto payments for years. I'm trying to simplify these days and put the money into something that has a better return, like my house. I don't have much besides the trade (prob better to sell outright) and about another $1,000 - $2000 to put down. I don't mind making payments 100-150 per month, but that's about my limit.

    any advice?

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  2. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    BTW, Let's not get into a brand debate here, though, if you don't mind. I've heard everything there is to hear. Maternal Family is die hard Ford, Wife's family is die hard Chevy (my paternal grandpa is too, and dad used to be) and for the last few (um 10?) years, my Dad has been a Cummins and Dodge fan. Right now Both my Dad and FIL own Chevy's. Dad's is a 2007 2500 with the Duramax, FIL's is a 2009 3500 with the Duramax. Neither one of them has even come close to breaking in those Diesel engines. Dad's service truck is a (96?) Dodge with a Cummins. He has around 270,000 miles on it, so he claims it's just about broken in. Paternal Grandpa has a 2005 4x4 quad-cab 1500 Silverado with (no-joke) around 15,000 miles on it. Maternal grandpa passed, but grandma still drives his 2003 F-150.


    Also, as a side note, has anybody noticed that smaller trucks don't have those holes on the sides of the bed? (you know, the ones that you can put a 2x4 in and build up the sides. Has it always been this way? do all small trucks do that? I think I noticed it first on my Brother-in-law's Ranger, and I think Colorados/Canyons are like that too.
  3. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    I would pass on truck #1, a non 4WD dually will be a joke in the mud. Unless it had some sort of big floater type tires. Truck #2 sounds nicer and newer, as long as it's still within your budget that would be my starting point.
  4. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    You are doing proper diligence on this.

    Keep the monthly payments down and the lost interest dollars. Find an older one in good shape. Fuel will go to $4.00 someday again, unfortunately.

    AWD or 4X4 is a must. But, don't buy an overly large truck for occasional use, unless you really need and use it. Choose the brand you feel best about.

    Good shopping.
  5. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    That's what I thought about the DRWs, but I don't have any firsthand experience with them. Truck #2 is at about the Upper end of what i'd spend, and very likely above what my wife would let me spend, lol.

    Thanks for your input.

    anybody have any suggestions about better to spend the money on something newer? or spend the money on something bigger? or try to find a 90's deisel of some sort? I mean, am I better off buying a 2005 1/2 ton gas engined truck, or buying a 1998 deisel 3/4 ton? Really think I have to get something with room for kids, as I need to have the option to drive whole family around town if needed.
  6. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    A 4X4 crew cab seems to be your needs.

    I love diesel, but you need to travel some miles for payback, unless you find a real deal on one.
  7. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    Stay away from the chevy 6.5 diesel, my buddy a mech. for the chev dealer and refers to the 6.5's as time bombs! Sooner or later they all blow up, he has made a very nice business for himself replacing them at his shop at home.

    If you have the mechanical ability I would not be afraid of some the previous owned vehicles. Many of the 10 - 15 year old vehicles are very well built and allot of resources these days on the webernet to help diagnose problems and help you along with repairs.

    If you are not a mechanical type person look for something newer that will be less likely to require repairs. But with that comes the fact that IF there is a problem you may need to take it to the dealership to have it repaired, which can be expensive.

    Buying a vehicle is always a tough nut.
  8. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    1) I would absolutely not buy anything with 6.0 Ford diesel (03-06 I think). They are garbage. The 7.3 diesels (03 and before - they switched to the 6.0 mid 03) are very good engines.

    2) Do get at least a 3/4 ton.

    3) If it's a firewood truck leave the lifts and big tires off unless you enjoy the extra work of lifting all your firewood an extra couple inches.
  9. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

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    +1 on all 3 of BigRedd's points.

    DRWs and mud - I have always been impressed by the way my old '77 F350 2WD DRW did in mud. Just last week, it pulled itself out of a muddy, wet field that I had to put an old Ramcharger in 4WD in order for it to extricate itself. Of course, 4WD makes much more difference. My '99 F350 4WD DRW will go places that I wouldn't even want to put the older dually without a 4WD tractor and chain nearby. If mud might be an issue, 4WD would be mandatory for me, especially if the truck in question has a diesel engine.
  10. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    Suggest you look at a basinc model 3/4 ton Chevy, Dodge, or Ford with the biggest motor they had. Reasoning is this: You won't put many miles on it, a couple miles a week and a few trips a year maybe? You could find the same trucks with a smaller motor, but the difference in mileage cost to you is negligible, but the difference in how hard they are to sell (and how much cheaper you can get them) might be significant; far more that you'd ever spend in the 1-4 mpg difference in fuel economy. Most people don't want the gas guzzler, so you can probably get one cheap. Best bets are prob. a Chevy with a 454 (post '96 they had a lot more power) or a Ford with a 460, either one easily under 3-5K for 4X4 in really good shape, the Dodge V10 might be OK too. If you look for a utility version - manual windows, etc that is an ex-fleet service truck you could do well too. I saw some excellent trucks go dirt cheap at an equipment auction a couple weeks back, like a nice 3/4 ton 1996 Ford 4X4 for $1250 because no one wanted the big motor. There was a 1999 F250 4X4 for $4k on CL recently too, if you're not picky on comforts and want a truck that will work, the deals are out there- Good luck!
  11. i3bpvh

    i3bpvh Member

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    I'd back away from both. No 4WD on the 95, and the 03 a short bed? means more trips.
  12. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    The second truck sounds like it would be perfect for hauling a trailer, in fact you may want to see if that is exactly what it did for the last 6 years (can be hard on a truck).

    Hook a nice 14' dump trailer behind that truck and you are all set. ;-)

    Of course this may ruin the budget thingy - same reason I don't have one (yet)!
  13. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Forget the "haul the whole family around" idea. You've already got a CRV and a Cherokee.
  14. NHFarmer

    NHFarmer Feeling the Heat

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    Go with the V-10 Ford, It will pull a trailer like you read about and it is fun to drive. Add the four wheel drive and you will be all set. perfect for hauling wood.
  15. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

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    Well, maybe not forget "haul the whole family around idea" entirely. If I want to go out on the mountain to the furniture store, it's better that my family come along with me. My newer F350 is the super cab. It's not really what I wanted but I found it at a good price. I can put the whole family in there but just not as comfy as it would be in a SUV or crew cab. There are times that you might want to take the wife and kids and be able to haul something too, especially with grandparents some distance away. You'll just need to take a long hard look at your budget, what's available in the market and your priorities on what you want the vehicle to do and how well you want it to do it. Don't get in a hurry either. You can save a little more while you are looking. I think I browsed Craiglist and a couple of other sites almost daily for two months before finding the truck I have now.
  16. smabon

    smabon New Member

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    If you have to pick from the two I would go with the 03. I have an 99 f250sd and I love it. If you have time to look around I would look for one with a diesel. You would get better gas mileage with a diesel then the v-10. I would stay far away from the 2wd with duallies. You might as well ride a fat sow through the mud that you have to go through. Short beds are fine. Mines a short bed with a bed box and I can get a 1/2 cord loaded in it and thats not loaded high either. A friend of mine is a diesel mech. and he says that the fords powerstroke 7.3 is the best diesel out there. I have never had any problems with mine and it has 200,000+ on it and I'm not easy on it. I would also suggest getting a crew cab if you have kids. My truck has an extended cab. I was good when I didn't have kids, now that I have one with another on its way I wish I had the crew cab. Also wish I had the crew cab because they are a lot easier to get out of. With the extended cab, when you are in a parking spot with cars on both sides of you it is kind of a pain to get the people out of the back of the truck because of how the extended cab doors open. I am kind of looking around for a newer truck. Looking for 03 to 05 Ford F250 with diesel, short bed, crew cab, 4x4, and towing mirror. You can see everything behind you with the towing mirrors, no blind spots.
  17. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    My dad's '96 Ranger has them, but it occurs to me that recent ones I've seen don't. Unfortunate.
  18. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    The new trucks may have the "stake pockets" but at least on mine they are covered by a little plastic cap that you remove if you want to put something in the pocket.
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    My 2000 F350 diesel truck has stake pockets but they came with those little caps to hide them. Those caps were pitched into the woods the first time I needed to put my hand into the stake pocket to help me climb into the bed.

    A truck that lacks stake pockets is a truck that you don't want to use for hauling firewood. It is a sign from the engineers that this truck is not suitable for loading above the bed rails.
  20. deck2

    deck2 Burning Hunk

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    I bought a 05 GMC 3/4ton 6.0 4x4 Crew-short box in Feb. to replace a 97 Ranger ext cab and I have never looked back! I can fill the truck and still tow the dump trailer and easily move a cord of wood at a time! Moved 3 cords last weekend and only took 3 trips instead of 9!! But I may put on 6K a year so the low MPG dosent really concern me to much and I don't have to look at the springs every 2 additional splits to check if I am overloaded and I feel a lot safer going down the road too.
  21. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    Our firewood/family car/work truck is a 3/4 ton, and I expect every truck we buy from now on will be at least 3/4 ton - the difference from 1/2 to 3/4T in MPG is negligible, but for us the difference in payload and capability (brakes, engine, trans, suspension, etc.) is essential. However ,since not every trip to the hardware store needs 15 MPG and buckets of torque, I drive a 1981 Toyota 4WD for most of the little trips and to work. Paid for itself in reduced gas and wear and tear, it gets over 20 MPG and will go anywhere. Just requires thinking "do I really need to bring the big truck?" But for safety hauling and towing, nothing beats a heavy truck. No fun running white-knuckled the whole way home from the woods!
  22. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    No offense to all you short-bed lovers/owners, but the only excuse for a short bed firewood truck is that it was free or you already own it.

    A standard bed with 1' side racks easily hauls a cord. Leave the trailer at home.
  23. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    A standard 8 foot bed is fine if you only need to carry 2-3 folks in the cab....seems like most folks need the crew cab with shorter bed as they have family members to include on the equation.
  24. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I see long bed crew cabs every day.
  25. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Understood, just try to get my wife to drive it with the kids.....ain't happening :)
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