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Diesel Truck Recommendation

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  • Diesel Truck Recommendation

    Hey fellows. I am considering purchasing a proper service truck. I currently drive an extended cab Dodge Dakota with a hard tonneau cover. I do machinery repair and carry a selection of tools and parts with me. I am considering buying a used diesel truck with either a contractors cap on it or preferably a full service box on it. I am looking for your thoughts on Dodge, Chev, or Ford trucks for reliability and fuel economy. I drive around 60,000 KMs per year. Whats everyone thoughts and experiences.


  • #2
    My Opinion

    I have a diesel powered 2005 Ford F-250 Super Duty crew cab pickup truck and I have been totally pleased with it. It has done everything I have asked of it and have no regrets for buying it. I'm getting about 16 miles/gallon with city driving and 19 mpg for higway driving. I enjoy the roomyness and I have driven 14 hours and have not been tired as it is a very smooth riding and comfortable truck. Just my $0.02.

    Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

    Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.


    • #3
      I have a 2006 Ram 2500, 6speed, Cummins and couldn't be happier with it. Very reliable, pulls very well and the mileage is about 16-18 in the city, towing my boat (about 5,000 pounds at 70 mph) 12-14 mpg.

      The best I have ever done is 22 mpg, unloaded, at 60 mph, which doesn't happen very often.

      Just remember, diesel is higher than gas now for whatever reason.
      \"I see\" said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw.


      • #4
        If you plan on carrying any weight, you can't go wrong with a older Ford F250/350 with International Harvestor 7.3 litre Turbo charged Power Stroke Diesel. They are no longer offered and must be purchased used. Bear in mind, the International Harvestor 7.3 litre Turbo charged Power Stroke Diesel is the same engine in virtually every school bus in America. Pulls my 7500 lb travel trailer like theres nothing there ONCE YOU GET THE R's UP !!! Hell, I even like the name of the International Harvestor 7.3 litre Turbo charged Power Stroke Diesel !!! Run with the Big Dogs, go with a International Harvestor 7.3 litre Turbo charged Power Stroke Diesel
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

        It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


        • #5
          My brothers company has a GMC duramax diesel. What got me thinking about these trucks is we used it to tow a office trailer with it I was really impressed with the power and fuel economy while towing. Seemed fairly quiet too.


          • #6
            Me,I wouldn't buy any of the one-tons from the big three,they are all building overpriced junk now.Cheap plastic everywhere,paper thin frames and crummy electricals.

            Duramax,lot of those around here,mostly good,injector and pump problems start at 90,000 on some of them,not cheap after the warranty runs out.Isuzu built engine.If a guy works out of it the dash,door handles and seats start to fall apart quick.Cheap plastic and Mexican electricals everywhere.Other than that they do pull good.

            Dodge,they ain't what they used to be,but screwing up a good product is what Chrysler is famous for.

            Ford,best bodys in the biz,last engine choice sucked,dunno about the new one.

            If I wanted a work/ride around I would go with a 3/4-1 ton.If it were gonna be a work only pack a load with no complaints the Isuzu N-series would be it-


            Lot more truck for the same money as a 1Ton diesel.Most of the field mechanics here are going to them now that the big three 1 tons have priced themselves out of the market.

            That and once you get a tool body,welder,compressor and tools on a 1Ton the fuel economy sucks.A friend bought one to replace his Duramax.He ended up with a bigger tool body,added a bigger welder and compressor,plus he added a crane to one corner.At 11mpg the N-series does 1-1/2mpg better than his Duramax did and the sticker price was the same.
            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              FYI the Duramax diesel is designed and built by Isuzu for GM. Therefore any problems with the GM Duramax are also in the Isuzu engines for they are the same.

              That said, any of the Ford, Dodge, or GM diesel powered PU's are well built vehicles. Find one that suits your needs and go with it. Just remember a diesel requires more diligence in its "care & feeding" than a gasoline powered engine.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Your Old Dog
                If you plan on carrying any weight, you can't go wrong with a older Ford F250/350 with International Harvestor 7.3 litre Turbo charged Power Stroke Diesel. They are no longer offered and must be purchased used. Bear in mind, the International Harvestor 7.3 litre Turbo charged Power Stroke Diesel is the same engine in virtually every school bus in America. Pulls my 7500 lb travel trailer like theres nothing there ONCE YOU GET THE R's UP !!! Hell, I even like the name of the International Harvestor 7.3 litre Turbo charged Power Stroke Diesel !!! Run with the Big Dogs, go with a International Harvestor 7.3 litre Turbo charged Power Stroke Diesel

                They are better known as navistar when they switched over to turbos.



                • #9
                  I have a Ford F250 I bought new in June 2002. I put 102,000 miles on it in the first 3 years, now it has over 220,000 and still runs like a brand new truck. I got 82,000 miles on the factory tires, and about 110,000 on the factory brakes. At 70 MPH, I get 22 MPG, but above 70 it falls off pretty rapidly (80 MPH=16 MPG) I did have to put in a transmission at about 190,000. That's the only problem I have had with it.

                  The truck has the Lariat interior, so it's more like a luxury car in a truck body.

                  For my money, there are no trucks made other than FORD.


                  • #10
                    Lot of oil field companies choose Ford for their chassis's, seem higher and the lines are tucked up better, go 7.3 but it's gonna be an older unit, the 6.0L had numerous issues and you have to pull the cab for an engine swap....

                    Dodge, go with 5.9, great engine, some 98.5-2002~ had some core thickness problems in the blocks but they should have surfaced by now.......lighter front ends, wear out quicker

                    GM good power and economy, lots love the Allison, stay with 04-06 for the updated accessible injectors, 06 tranny was a 6spd and they got rid of those crappy accordian mirrors, 07 the mileage went down w emissions crap......lines leak where they crimp
                    Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....


                    • #11
                      I am a fleet mechanic and look after several diesel service trucks and pickups. My current service truck is a 99 Chev cube van with a 6.5 diesel it weighs 9600 Lbs
                      and gets about 14 miles per gallon it has lots of power.
                      It developed an occasional missfire so the injection pump sent out for repair. Last march the pump driver module failed which I understand is a common problem.
                      My truck is the only GM in the fleet that I look after.

                      The 7.3 diesel in the older Fords has been a good trouble free engine I maintain one that has over 200,000 miles on it and I have replaced the cam sensor and a glow plug solenoid.
                      Ford's 6 litre engine has had problems with the EGR cooler when it fails it can cause the engine to over heat damaging the head gaskets. Fords flat rate on a head gasket replacement
                      is 23 hours as they claim the cab has to be removed.

                      I look after four Dodge diesel pickups and they have been the least trouble. One some how got water in the fuel and the driver did nor realize what the Water In Fuel light meant and drove
                      it until it would barely run. Cummins electronic injectors are expensive.
                      Dodge has fairly light frame cross members and the linkages that hold the front axle in place are easily bent if you go off road.
                      A company I used to work for had two Dodge service trucks with aluminium service bodys and AutoCranes always overloaded with tools and parts. We tortured those trucks chasing logging
                      machinery on rough mountain roads and skid trails. I was amazed how well they stood up. The brakes were marginal and wore out often gave more than one of us a good scare.
                      They replaced the Dodges in the late 90s with Ford F450 4x4s with 7.3 Powerstroke Diesels bigger service bodies and larger Autocranes.
                      The Fords had good brakes and lots of power and stood up very well they were noticably quiter to ride in as well.

                      A friend of mine has a 550 GM 4x4 with service body and crane it has a Duramax diesel and has worked well for him. The head gaskets failed and both heads had to be replaced.
                      The repair was done under warranty but the truck was down for almost two weeks. A major inconvenience.
                      I understand that Duramax head gaskets can be a problem.

                      If I was looking for a service truck a ford F450 with a 7.3 would be first on my list followed by a Dodge with a 5.9 cummins.

                      Most one ton dually trucks once the service body has been installed and a lifting device and tools and equipment loaded are usually pretty close to their max GVW limiting what you can haul and making the brakes work harder.

                      If you get a truck with a service body and the fuel filler goes through the body behind the rear tire like most do. Pay close attention to it as any leakage can put water it the fuel tank. I have seen this happen several times.
                      Expensive with a diesel engine.

                      Hope this helps
                      Last edited by terry_g; 05-07-2010, 11:28 AM.


                      • #12
                        The egr system on the 6.0 can be deleted and I believe there are kits even on ebay to do this. However I have heard all kinds of stories about the head studs being to small or to few which also causes the head gaskets to fail.

                        Our 7.3 turbo got a new injector pump at 250K miles and new lifters at 350K miles. Besides that the only work I have had to do was rust repair on the truck. Gas tanks (front one twice) fuel lines, brake lines, oil pan, oil cooler twice, pass. side exhaust manifold, etc.

                        Our 86 6.9 ford was the best by far! Replaced the injector pump at 300K miles and the oil cooler around the same time. The only other thing was the normal glow plug maintenance and that has been it for that truck which now has 450K miles on it. That truck has been retired from the fleet and now is used as a yard truck and for riding around.

                        We do need 2 new trucks in the fleet but have been scared to get any new fords because of so many problem they have been having with the new diesels.

                        The 6.0s blow head gaskets

                        The 6.4's are a nightmare to work on and I have heard stories of those motors having weird troubles with electronics.

                        The newest ford built diesel in the 2011 trucks has yet to be real life tested. We hope it is a good one or we may have to get a dodge.


                        • #13
                          When I worked in the County fleet shop, our supervisor (stupidvisor) decided we needed to go with one brand of trucks. Since the finance office refused to pay the price for Dodges, we got Fords. One by one, the old Chevy crew cabs with 6.5 diesels were surveyed out, replaced with Ford crew cabs sporting 6.0 Powerstroke (or is it powerjoke) diesels. About a week after the first Fords went into service, they started showing up in the shop with problems. We started taking them to the dealer...some had to be towed.
                          Fortunately, we still had a few of the old Chevys sitting in the storage yard, and put a couple of them to work as "loaners" until the assigned trucks came back from Ford. Once we had the whole road department driving Fords, we had a steady stream of them going to the dealer. We never had to have two guys to go get a Ford, because there was always two or three there that needed to be picked up. The old Chevys continued to soldier on, way past their survey mileage. I retired in 2006, and as far as I know, those old Chevy trucks are probably still hauling road crews around, to this day.

                          On a strange note; The boss bought one Chevy 1 ton, 4X4, diesel, with a utility body, in 2003. This truck has never been to the dealer, and has never been down for anything but scheduled 250,000 miles. It was still in use after I retired.

                          The supervisor, who happened to be a "dyed-in-the-wool" Dodge fanatic, finally got a few Dodge diesels in the fleet. He also talked the Sheriff into a bunch of Dodge Charger police cars. The trucks have been back to the dealer numerous times with seemingly unsolvable probems, they get stuck almost as soon as they get dirt on the tires, and ride worse than an empty dump truck.
                          The Chargers soon found work protecting the local Dodge dealer's service department from criminals. They too share the cement truck ride quality of the trucks. Fortunately, they get great gas mileage (sitting in the servce department waiting for repairs uses no fuel)

                          Seeing how well his favorite vehicles held up in fleet service, the supervisor promptly retired, and headed for parts his Dodge truck.

                          BTW, Terry G. Your friend's Duramax most probably didn't blow it's head gaskets. GM engineers discovered some of the cylinder heads had been leaking coolant past their stainless steel injector sleeves. These leaks were mis-diagnosed as head gasket leaks. The redesigned heads have improved sealing....
                          Last edited by saltmine; 05-07-2010, 12:05 PM.
                          No good deed goes unpunished.


                          • #14
                            Adding to what has been said in this post I would get a 94-03 ford f350 with a 7.3 powerstroke. The 03-06 6.0 uhoh's are junk period. The 7.3 from a 94-97 truck has a service life from international of 400,000 miles. The 99-03 "superduty" trucks have a service life of 450,000 miles. The 03-06 has a service life of 250-300,000 miles. The 6.0 was a stop gap motor its replacement was already in development before it was even released. You can work on a 7.3 with very basic tools. The never 6.0 and 6.4 powerstrokes are so cramped its just a pain in the ass.


                            • #15
                              What Terry G said X 2 X 2 X ------

                              New Bosch injectors for Cummins 5.9 are quoted 500 bucks/per each per Cummins/Dodge. One dose of water and you'll need all six. Be certain to filter fuel to 3 micron or better.

                              Diesel powered machines are built to last and last and last, PROVIDED they are properly maintained.