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Show me your Woods Truck: Inspiration Sought

Post in 'The Gear' started by TNCave, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. TNCave

    TNCave Member

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    TN
    OK, I've been hauling wood in trailers, company trucks, and borrowed equipment long enough. The time has come for me to get a pickup. I mainly source wood from large tracts of land that my employer owns and I'm able to cut anything that's already down. It's TN mountain land so my wood getting truck will need to be a capable 4x4 and maneuverable off-road and in tight(ish) quarters. Balance that with a desire to haul copious amounts of wood, and I'll have my perfect truck.

    Long ago and far away I had a 1978 Ford F-150 4x4, 300-6 (4.9L), Granny low 4-speed, 33" tires. That is one direction I'm currently leaning, however, it's pretty wide for some of the places I'll hope to access.

    Alternatively, I'm considering a Jeep Comanche pickup with the 4.0L, 4x4, and 5-speed.

    Please send your thoughts, and photos of whatever you haul wood in to inspire my decision making and show off your wood haulin' beauties.

    Thanks,

    Cory

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  2. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    My 18 year old K2500 4x4 Silverado also with 33" tires and a 3" lift kit holds about a ton + in the back and pulls a dump trailer that holds another 5 ton. 6 ton per trip should get you started. Dont buy a tacoma to haul wood,mine bottomed out with a few cement blocks in the box. ( Ill get some pics together)
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
    Joful likes this.
  3. MDFisherman

    MDFisherman Member

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    I had a ram 1500 reg cab short bed with 16" tall wood sides on it. 33s and a small lift. It was amazing in the woods with good turning radius. I used it to haul the trees to a clearing g with it and then cut them up. Sadly i got tboned in it a few weeks ago and it was totaled. I'm now looking for a 2500
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  4. TNCave

    TNCave Member

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    I never thought about the benefit of extra weight/power to pull the tree to you. +1 for the full-size.

    I'm with you on the Tacoma. My field truck for work is a 1999 Toyota Tacoma TRD and it does not handle a full load very well, and a load isn't that big.
  5. MDFisherman

    MDFisherman Member

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    I had 3 jeep Comanche pickups. Boy they were fun little trucks!!!! But they were small and once u put bigger tires on them they can barely get up to highway speed. They would eat gas about the same as a v8. They're not made to do work, just drive in the woods while u drink beer :)
    D8Chumley and fossil like this.
  6. Cedrusdeodara

    Cedrusdeodara Member

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    Get the F150, new or used. Or, an F250. They are tanks and last forever. We have a 1988 and a 1993 f150 on our nursery that will not die. Our mechanic can't believe he still works on them... And they get Very tough miles. Drive 200 yards, stop, leave idling for 15 minutes,, drive a quarter mile through mud, stop to work on a pump, etc, etc. we've started the 1988 on cold mornings, then forgot and never used it and it sat and ran itself out of gas. I drive a 2012 f-250 now after owning a GMC 2500 for 4 yearrs prior. I wasn't happy with the GM truck. It was great for road use, but didn't seem to hold up for off-road abuse. Little things seemed to fail on it and it nickled and dimed us. My brother drove a GM 1500 for three years and it had so many transmission issues, we almost got a lemon law suit over it. He now drives a 2010 F150 with no issues. Just my 2cents....
  7. burnt03

    burnt03 Burning Hunk

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    Peachland, BC, Canada
    Here's mine, a '95 Nissan pickup with a homebuilt trailer. 325,000km, still running strong. [​IMG]

    It's pretty gutless but I live pretty close to the bush so it isn't really an issue. Been driving with half a load of wood in the bed for the past week or so, feels a little squirelly on the highway... where it'd be nice to have a heavier duty rig.

    As for skidding trees out a little closer to the road, in 4x4 it works fine.

    If this one ever dies, I'd probably look at getting a full size diesel....
  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I drive a Dodge 1500 4x4, and before that had a Chevy 1500 4x4. Trouble with either is... you can't put much wood in the bed before you're way over weight. Either work well enough for pulling a tandem-axle trailer load of wood, but that won't satisfy your requirement to get back into the woods, and maneuvering in tight quarters.

    I see two options for your situation:

    1. A real truck. No 1/2 ton will due for hauling firewood on the highway. Go 3/4 ton or 1 ton.
    2. A 1/2 ton plus trailer. This might mean leaving the trailer parked out by the road, and shuttling wood out to it in your pickup bed, before making the trip home with the wood on the trailer.
  9. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Member

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    I use an '81 GMC, 4X4, one ton dump with 22" side boards. 350cid and A/T If it's stacked as opposed to just thrown on, I can get 2 cord on it. I prefer the older trucks for the simplicity of maintenance. I'm a DIY kinda guy and I hate looking under the hood of the new vehicles. I lift the hood on that '81 and all I see is engine.
  10. TNCave

    TNCave Member

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    I'm with you on the simplicity of the older trucks. For what I need this for, simple is good. I'm a DIY'er myself, especially with autos.

    I think I'm going to stick with a 1/2 ton as I need a short bed wheelbase for maneuverability. I'm looking now at mostly Ford, Dodge, and Jeep trucks (J10).

    I'd love to see some pics of short-beds full of wood.

    For a 1/2 ton truck it sounds like extra spring might be required.
  11. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I'd say get a 3/4 ton 4x4 regular cab that is as old as you can find still in one piece. Stuff rusts like crazy up here in NY, but maybe not so much in TN. I am partial to Ford, but I'm sure either of the three domestic 3/4 tons are pretty good. Older trucks will be less complex machines and easier to maintain yourself.
  12. salecker

    salecker Feeling the Heat

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    I'm with you on that,my main truck is a 90 GMC diesel,cheap parts 17 MPG pulling a loaded tandem trailer.
  13. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Kidding... right? Those godforsaken 80's vehicles are the biggest cluster-f*ck of vacuum hose-rigged poorly configured and implemented emissions systems ever created. I think you make a good argument, if applied to a '49 Willies... but not anything from the 1980's.

    By comparison to 1980's engine / trans diagnostics and repair, modern cars are far easier to work on. Plug in, read error code, replace defective part. DIY couldn't be easier.
    Bigg_Redd, Insomnivore and ErikR like this.
  14. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Im with Joful on this one.First of all most 80s trucks were rust buckets. Mid to Late 90s would be much better.
    late 80 and early 90 Diesels were even worse. Most of the big 3 didnt get their diesel act together until late 90s to early 2000s. YOU can pick up a mid 90s truck pretty cheap ,no need to go older.
    Joful likes this.
  15. salecker

    salecker Feeling the Heat

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    But you don't have to leave all the vacuum hose stuff in there.All that stuff could be replaced with older or aftermarket leaving you with just the basics you need.
    Thomas
    muncybob and UncleJoe like this.
  16. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    95 GMC 2500 4x4
  17. vwmike

    vwmike New Member

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    Loc:
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    If you can stretch the budget get an older 1 ton. Mine is a 97 F350 4x4 diesel, hauls just under a full cord with the stake sides and as you cans eye hardly squats at all. Simple enough that you can fix it your self and most diagnostic with a hand held scanner and a multimeter.

    Attached Files:

  18. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If I remember correctly, when I replaced the vac hoses on my 87 Chrysler Conquest (same as a Mitsubishi Starion) with silicone ones it took 33 feet of one size to do what was under the hood,,,, that wasn't everything on the vehicle.

    That said, a good vehicle is a good vehicle. From time to time I've seen specimen of most every make pop up in good condition so I don't know what the original poster is looking at in terms of condition of either.

    That said, from my experience, to find parts and work on an older truck, I think if it is only between the 2 mentioned (a 78 chevy and an ? Jeep Truck) I'd have to bank on the Chevy as being easier to get any replacement parts for.

    pen
    Joful likes this.
  19. IPLUMB

    IPLUMB Member

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    I just picked up a 2001 Toyota Tundra 4x4 V8 today 145,000 miles. Body pretty beat up but the truck has been shop maintained with all service records. This is my new woods / Winter beater so my 2012 Sierra can stay inside. Oh and I payed $500! For the Tundra. Great deal we'll see if it hauls wood without breaking the frame!
  20. CheaperthanYou

    CheaperthanYou New Member

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    Levittown
    No truck, 2004 vw passat wagon. With seats folded down I can fit 1/3 cord cut and spit. image.jpg
    Turbo, D8Chumley and Sons924 like this.
  21. TNCave

    TNCave Member

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    That's Awesome!
  22. southbound

    southbound Minister of Fire

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    90 K2500 and 14 foot trailer.. IMAG0020.jpg
    Sons924 and Joful like this.
  23. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I drive the same truck,but with the silverado label. Its a solid performer. Have it about 10 Yrs. 175000 miles, use it every day, mostly short trips, stop and start, i cant believe i dont need a new starter by now. Hauls an pulls just about anything.
  24. TNCave

    TNCave Member

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    Southbound, that is a great looking machine.
  25. southbound

    southbound Minister of Fire

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    Thanks! I built it out of 2 junkers... I paid more for the tires on it now then it cost to get the thing running :)
    IMAG0023.jpg DSC03775.JPG

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