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Wood Hauling Truck

Post in 'The Gear' started by Vic99, Dec 30, 2009.

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  1. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    In the market for a used truck to haul wood. Never owned a truck before but have been test driving at dealers over the last week. Truck will be a 1) backup vehicle (wife and I commute together 3/4 of the time), 2) wood hauling vehicle, and 3) for bad weather in New England. Probably put 5-7 k miles on it a year. Being able to tow a small trailer would be a nice bonus, but not a deal breaker/maker.

    I expect to transport 3-5 cords per year from scrounging and felling. Carrying 1/2 cord of green red oak or lighter at a time is desirable. More is a bonus, but not needed and my budget probably won't let me get a huge vehicle. Definitely getting 4WD for woods excursions. Extra cab is great, but not needed.

    So far my thinking is to try for 1 owner, no previous plowing, under 80k miles.

    Obviously some people have their favorites, but rather than get into the Ford-Chevy type stuff . . . I've been using Consumer Reports as a starting point. From that I'm considering Toyota Tacoma for there reliability. Do you think the I4 engine (or other 4 cylinder) on a decent 4WD for what I want above is suitable? Don't want overkill. Also looking at F-150s and Nissan Frontier. Rest of trucks seem a mixed bag.

    Thanks.

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  2. chelmbold

    chelmbold New Member

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    I have a 97 Nissan king cab pickup bought new end of 97. Never gave me any problems and I can fit and haul at least a 1/2 cord no problems. Never had any issues and now I have 110,00 miles racked up. King cab comes in handy for extra space that stays dry.
  3. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    Mountain Man, how many cylinders? 4WD?
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    1/2 cord of green oak weighs what? 1500-2000 lbs from what I hear. You can't legally put that much weight in an import and I'll bet you didn't get that volume in there either. You can't even really put that in a half ton full sized truck. You can't even put it in a 3/4 ton full sized truck. My F350 has an actual legal payload capacity of 2400#. My 98 half ton chevy had a legal payload of 400#s largely due to being a "loaded" half ton and was heavy while empty.

    If you are interested in fuel mileage you will find that a full sized truck gets nearly the same mpg as a little compact if both are 4x4. Again, you need to actually measure these things to find out. I have owned a Toyota 4x4 eith 4cyl and really really liked it for commuting and small loads but it is not a wood hauler.

    Your budget won't dictate full sized or compact. The market prices them at nearly the same place. I moved to a full sized chevy truck 10 years ago and have never regretted it. The bigger gas trucks are quite cheap because people have realized that long commutes and family vehicles don't need to be one ton gas trucks. Folks that use trucks still understand that high legal and safe payload is worth the exepnse of fuel.

    For reference, I bought my 2000 F350 crew cab 4x4 last summer for less than 11000$ with 127000 miles and a diesel engine. It has been GREAT, the gas engine would have been much cheaper. I can actually haul more than a ton of payload and tow another few cords on the trailer.
  5. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I'd go fullsized too. A midsize like a Dakota isn't bad either. Do yourself a favor and get a larger engine. If you are only driving 7K miles on it a year you won't notice a difference from a smaller engine. When you are hauling wood the bed is never large enough.


    Matt
  6. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    I agree. Gas mileage does not matter when it's a second vehicle.

    I just don't want to drop 10k and have moderate to major engine repairs in a year or too. I guess since I don't have experience with trucks, I'm starting out cautious. Don't want to get something that looks nice and has decent miles, but the previous owner beat the heck out it. Thinking that some younger drives will push the thing further and not have problems when it is new, but I might inherit that.
  7. griff8907

    griff8907 Member

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    Ive got an 04 f150 thats my daily driver and my wood hauler. it does great cant overload her to much. but im putting overload springs on it this week and i do recomend it or one ton springs if you can find them. the motor has the power for them wood adventures. plus they look good
  8. SWI Don

    SWI Don New Member

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    Reg cab longbox 3/4 ton pickup. The fun part might be finding a nice one. A lot of the reg cab pickups are sold as fleet vehicles and are not hugely optioned. They will be rough as they would have been driven by employees instead of owners. 1 tons are good too but duallies take someone that wants / or needs one. Unless you have plans for a 40' fifth wheel camper or similar, it may not be you cup of tea. Diesels are cool but expensive. Big blocks are cheap used, pull like no other but cost gas money. The small blocks actually have pretty good snap unless you are going to pull the tar out of it.

    With a 3/4 ton you get bigger brakes, heavier rear axle, higher towing etc. When you pack it full of wood the truck will be leveled out instead of dragging tail. You will give up ride, even the Chevy's with their IFS still are a little rough.

    Are you primarily buying it to haul loads or to haul your rear? 1/2 tons are going to ride more like a car, be mostly short box, extended / crew cabs, and more optioned as a whole as a lot of people drove them as cars. There were a couple of dealers here in my neck of the woods that wouldn't sell you a reg cab longbox half ton, but they had 100 new extended cab pickups to choose from. The 6' bed will keep you from overloading it so much.

    I drive my truck about 5-6K a year (3/4 ton long box) but I also have a small car to make my 90mi commute to work. I bought to haul stuff, ride was not important. You may need a different balance.

    Good luck on your search.

    Don
  9. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    I bought my first pickup this year. A Frontier crew cab with short bed. I find that it rides nice and the extra cab room is great, but I always overload the heck out of it when I'm scrounging Oak or Hickory. I needed the crew cab for the passenger space, but a longer bed would sure be nice when hauling wood. For reliability you might consider a "certified pre-owned" from a dealer. It will cost you more than buying from a private party, but the vehicles do come with some warantee.
  10. chelmbold

    chelmbold New Member

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    It's 4 cyl (wish I went for the V6 that was optional at that time) and is 4WD I've had over 1000 lb of block in the back and still hauled no problem. The axles on the nissans are very robust. I nearly chit when I saw the size of the drums on the back. They nearly fill the 16" rims. When I bought it the dealer told me the axles would hold any weight and if I wanted to go to 3/4 ton to just up the springs.
  11. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    Springs dont add to your breaking power,axles,differential, U-joints, transmission, your frame strength etc.... Your rating/payload stickers still dictate what you can carry. A F150 is what it is. 1 Ton springs hmmmm is that all Ford had to do. Id hate to ride in that truck unloaded.
    Anyways...SAFTEY 1st. If not you, then at least for the public. :coolhmm: My 2 cents.
  12. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    My 1987 Toyota 4 cylinder with over a cord of Fir in it

    [​IMG]

    I also have a 2002 Frontier Crew Cab long Bed (6ft) 4x4 V6 that I used to haul wood with, it did pretty good for the most part, but one time I had it squatted down pretty good and it tripped the ABS light and could never get it to go off, ran the OBDII code and said it was bad "anti G" sensor, sensor has something to do when you are off roading and disables the ABS in certain conditions, long story short some A-hole hit me a few months later and had the sensor replaced, dealer said they have never seen 1 go bad
  13. andyrlee

    andyrlee New Member

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    Like others have indicated, you will be limited in how much weight you can put in a bed in a small pickup and full size pick up for that matter.
    I would definately make sure it's set up for towing so you can trailer wood and use the bed at the same time.

    The Tacoma is a very solid pick up truck. I would recommend a V6 over a 4cyl with some of the weight you would use it for. Also, if you do choose a Tacoma just make sure it's newer than 1994. (Rust Issues)

    The Tundra is great as well. There might be some decent deals on the Tundras that are older than the 2007 since that's when the redesign occured.

    Good Luck.

    Andy
  14. chad3

    chad3 Feeling the Heat

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    Running a 2500 Dodge. Haven't gotten enough wood in it to tax the springs. Didn't want a 1/2 ton as I figure it would be too much pretty quick.
  15. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Unless you find an outrageous-screaming-can't-pass-up-deal on a smaller (1/2 ton) truck I think they are a waste of time. If you want to haul wood, occasionally tow, and not driving it a ton there's no advantage to a 1/2 ton.

    EDIT: Ignore the small truck guys. It's one thing if you already have a 1/2 ton and then start hauling wood with it. Of course you can haul wood with a 1/2 ton, but if you don't have to why would you?
  16. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I vote for a trailer over a p/u. Trailer holds much more and is much more versatile/less expensive. If you buy it used it will probably retain most of its value.
  17. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    What kinda brakes you got on that bike for pulling that trailer. :p
    Sorry gzecc, just had to. But yes I agree, you can get away with more by pulling atrailer with a smaller truck. It will be easier on the suspension. Electric brakes are the key and stay within the ratings.

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  18. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I'd agree with this if the wood you're loading is curb side. If it's anywhere that a little tougher to get at. . . not so handy or versatile IMO.
  19. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    No of 60, What am I missing about a bike?
  20. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    You said you were voting a trailer over a P/U. What ya pullin the trailer with? They are still kinda relative. :)
  21. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    I like trailer idea, but right now I have to travel along forest roads and hiking trails to get at about 1/2 my wood. Other 1/2 is essentially curbside though. Cutting is part of the fun for me, so not ready to give that up. You guys are steering me toward bigger. Not opposed, just wondering about price. Certified preowned may be the way to go. Still looking.
  22. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    If you're buying used then price is not a huge factor. In fact, I noticed that used dualies are generally a couple thousand less than similarly equipped 3/4 tons here in western WA.
  23. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    I'm new to trucks, what's a dualie? Larger engine?
  24. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    No of 60. Do live far enough north, that its dark most of the day?
  25. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Dualie/dooly/dualy = Dual rear axle (4 wheels on the rear axle instead of two). I'm not suggesting you get one (though I got mine exactly because it was a few thou cheaper than the same truck in 3/4 ton) it's just that the lesser demand makes them more affordable on the used market.
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