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Author Topic: Work Truck  (Read 882 times)

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Offline mitchstockdale

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Work Truck
« on: March 08, 2019, 08:37:30 AM »
Looking for recommendations on a work truck, budget will allow for early 2000's 3/4 or 1 ton.  I have been looking at some F-250's with the 5.4L V8 or a RAM2500 with the 5.7L.  Would like to keep it gasoline just for ease of maintenance (more familiar with gas engines).

Things I will be hauling would be:

- 50HP tractor c/w an implement (roughly 7500lbs)
- 2 to 4 ton mini excavator (roughly 7500 to 10000lbs)
- logs
- bandmill
- dump trailer
- other general worky stuff.. ie: compactor, stump grinder etc...

Will likely try to find a truck with a flat deck and if the stars align just right maybe a dump box.
Would be adding some tool boxes and a mini crane to the flat deck.

Would like to hear your opinions on choosing a work truck and see some pictures of your set up.

Thanks





Do today what others wont, so you can do tomorrow what others cant.

Kubota MX5200 / Woodland Mills HM126 / Stihl MS361

Offline Southside

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2019, 09:52:20 AM »
Don't forget the weight of the trailer that will hold that mini-ex, probably will add 4,500 - 5,500 lbs is my guess, so you are looking to tow 15,000.  Might be a stretch for a 2000's gas 3/4 ton. 
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Offline redbeard

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2019, 10:23:43 AM »
Logs, equipment and towing everything GO " Diesel" 
Some trucks with big block gas engines go forever and can tow the world.
Whidbey Woodworks and Custom Milling  2019 Cooks AC 3662T High production band mill and a Hud-son 60 Diesel wide cut bandmill  JD 2240 50hp Tractor with 145 loader IR 1044 all terrain fork lift  Cooks sharp

Offline alan gage

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 10:41:21 AM »
I wonder how a 5.4 Ford would handle that much weight (depends on gearing, hills, and distance pulled). But mostly I'd be concerned about the engine itself being in good shape. If you buy one that's old enough to not have variable cam timing you should be in good shape but the ones with variable cam timing (can't remember what year it started) have lots of problems with low oil pressure. Some of them are higher mileage (200k) but we've also seen them fail at 100k.

The problem is that the variable cam timing actuators run off oil pressure and they need at least 26psi to operate. As the engines wear they'll start to drop below 26psi at hot idle and then the timing chains start to rattle and the engine runs rough. As soon as you come off idle the oil pressure goes up and the problem goes away. This is often diagnosed as bad timing chains (because that's where the noise comes from) but the root problem is low oil pressure. We've never had a 5.4 with this complaint be anything other than low oil pressure. We had one come in just last week that was diagnosed as chains from another shop but turned out to be oil pressure. We had another one come in that just had timing chains replaced (not cheap) at another shop and still had the same problem. Of course it was low oil pressure.

You can not tell if the oil pressure is low by watching the gauge on the dash. That's not really a gauge. It's run by an on/off a switch so if the oil pressure is over the switch setting (let's say 5 psi) the gauge will read something like half way. If the oil pressure drops below the switch setting the gauge will drop to zero. There is no in between. The only way to confirm is to connect a manual oil pressure gauge.

25-26psi is the magic number and often you have to drive the vehicle hard for 20 miles (or pull a load) to get it hot enough to act up. If the gauge reads 26psi everything works good. If it drops to 24psi the variable cam timing quits working and the chains start to rattle and the engine runs poorly.

Overall the 5.4 has been a solid engine but I'd never buy a used one if it had variable cam timing. I want to say 2004 was when they started using it but I'm not sure. I'm sure you can find out plenty with a google search.

The fix is to replace the engine to the tune of $7k+

Alan
Timberking B-16, a few chainsaws from small to large, and a Bobcat 873 Skidloader.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 11:01:02 AM »
Logs, equipment and towing everything GO " Diesel"
Some trucks with big block gas engines go forever and can tow the world.
I had an old 3/4 ton Chevy with a 5.7L. Always thought it was a pretty good puller until I got a 14k goose neck trailer and started towing a tractor and logs. Even with that trailer empty (4000 lbs) it was pretty doggy but put the tractor or load of logs on it and 45-50 mph was about as hard as I wanted to push it on the road. I found an old '95 ram 2500 with V10 and it's a whole nother world. Even fully loaded I can run it at 60mph in 5th gear on the flats.
Alan
Timberking B-16, a few chainsaws from small to large, and a Bobcat 873 Skidloader.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2019, 11:07:46 AM »
With gas engine, gears are more important.  You'll want low gears if you have hills.

Ditto hitting equipment limits.  A 3/4 will do it, but will it be legal?  Mine are here for similar loads, but that is due to farm exemption. 
In the long run, you make your own luck good, bad, or indifferent. Loretta Lynn

Offline AZ_builder

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2019, 11:19:12 AM »
Id prefer a 6.0 gm myself.

Offline barbender

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 11:32:58 AM »
I've never heard of anyone towing with a 5.4 that was happy about the experience.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 11:34:41 AM »
Don't forget the weight of the trailer that will hold that mini-ex, probably will add 4,500 - 5,500 lbs is my guess, so you are looking to tow 15,000.  Might be a stretch for a 2000's gas 3/4 ton.
Yeah 15000lb is about right i would say....I think a F-250 with the V10 would likely be a minimum? 

A friend of mine runs an F-250 with a V10 and has hauled a 5 ton mini and a larger skid steer (separately of course) no problem.

I have always used other peoples trucks (companies i have worked for) to haul things never had to consider sizing the truck for myself.  :)

But all that said maybe i should be solely looking at 1 ton trucks
Do today what others wont, so you can do tomorrow what others cant.

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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 11:38:21 AM »
You are going to kill an underpowered  2500/F-250 with the loads you are proposing. I pulled a 14,000 lb shop trailer with a Chev 3500 srw with the infamous 6.5 diesel, it was not a pleasant experience. You really need a 1 ton dually with big block gas or modern diesel power to be safe and legal.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2019, 11:39:15 AM »
I've never heard of anyone towing with a 5.4 that was happy about the experience.
:D :D good to know!!
Do today what others wont, so you can do tomorrow what others cant.

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Online Dave Shepard

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2019, 11:45:01 AM »
I was in a jam for a vehicle and was able to buy a 2002 F350/5,4 on terms from a friend. I was going to tow my tractor with it. That was until I'd driven it about 50 feet. Terrible engine. And that was with all the spark plugs still in the head.  :D
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Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2019, 12:05:54 PM »
I notice some comments about legality...its probably a better idea to get a 1 ton for that extra payload capacity?  

One truck I have some experience with was an 08' Dodge 3500 with the cummins (6.7L i think??) really good hauler.  Moved a 5 ton min around daily and hauled a dump trailer with gravel and garbage quite often.  Truck never struggled for power...I would love to get one of these but they are still around 10-12k (being conservative)...about double my budget :'(
Do today what others wont, so you can do tomorrow what others cant.

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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2019, 12:10:50 PM »
I would sure look at a 2000s era F350 7.3L PSD if one came up for sale. 

I see one almost every day for the last 18 years (in my driveway), not for sale yet.  :D
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2019, 12:26:15 PM »
I think the Ford 5.4 blows spark plugs out ?
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2019, 12:43:48 PM »
I think the Ford 5.4 blows spark plugs out ?
Yes, they had a tendency to blow them out until 2004-2008 when they refused to let them come out. They went to a two piece plug and the tip gets stuck in place with carbon. The plugs twist apart upon removal. 
I wouldn't be too worried about the older ones blowing out plugs. It happens but is easily repairable with a kit and heli-coil inserts.
Alan
Timberking B-16, a few chainsaws from small to large, and a Bobcat 873 Skidloader.

Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2019, 01:30:55 PM »
so the 5.4 sounds like a resounding NOOOO!! haha
Do today what others wont, so you can do tomorrow what others cant.

Kubota MX5200 / Woodland Mills HM126 / Stihl MS361

Offline alan gage

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2019, 02:39:03 PM »
I notice some comments about legality...its probably a better idea to get a 1 ton for that extra payload capacity?  

I don't know all the rules and regulations but pay attention to total GVW rating of the truck and trailer. I think if it's 26k or over it puts you in a whole nother league with the DOT. I know of a guy locally that traded in his 1 ton Ford diesel for a 3/4 ton Dodge diesel for that reason.
With those loads I assume you've got a gooseneck trailer but if not I'd recommend going that route. Pulls better than a bumper hitch and the truck should be rated to pull more with a gooseneck as opposed to bumper hitch.
Alan
Timberking B-16, a few chainsaws from small to large, and a Bobcat 873 Skidloader.

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2019, 05:31:23 PM »
a drw f350 7.3 will do the job. a 450 or 550 would be better still

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Work Truck
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2019, 09:25:02 PM »
My advice is go with a 1 ton diesel DRW.  I've owned Ford and Chevy gas engine trucks.  Now I own a Ram 3500 Cummins diesel.  I won't go back to gas for a towing vehicle.  All the big manufacturers make good trucks with strong points and problems.

Best educate yourself on your state DOT requirements for operating a 20,000 pound plus combination and the difference between intrastate and interstate operation.  You can get burnt for noncompliance.
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