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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2006
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    lawrence, ks
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    153

    Default Farm trucks?

    We are in the preliminary, feeling-around stage of thinking about maybe moving out to the country, and eventually (a couple years down the road) bringing horses home. When that happens, I imagine we'll need a truck - to haul horse supplies, plow the driveway, etc. I'd also like something that can pull a small trailer.

    There happen to be a zillion trucks on craigslist for pretty cheap these days and I thought I may as well get one now. Any recommendations? Makes or models to look for, or to stay away from? Would like something reliable, as I don't know anything about car/truck repair; however would also like to go with something older (and thus less expensive).

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2006
    Location
    Grand Junction, CO
    Posts
    1,776

    Default

    Mayhew's husband here.

    We moved to the country two years ago. We have horses, chickens, the usual run of rural stuff, and we live in an area of heavy snow. We don't have a truck. We'd like to have a truck but it's not going to get to the top of the list of things to buy anytime soon. The primary value of a truck to us would be to pull a trailer so we could trail ride in more locations but, realistically, we don't ride everywhere that we can reach without a truck and, anyway, we've no money for a trailer.

    We buy hay once a year, it's either delivered by trailer pulled by a tractor or we fetch it in the hay farmer's truck. We buy feed in 100lb bags, several of them fit in the Honda Element we had before deciding to move. Ten bags of shavings will also fit, as many as we need to fetch at one time. Using a closed car is better than a truck as, if when we get home with the shavings, it's raining or snowing, they can stay in the car until it isn't. That won't work with a truck as shavings are packed in paper bags, they can't stay outside.

    Moving from a city to the country entails much expenditure, suddenly you need something to move snow, a chainsaw, a generator, feeding appliances, watering appliances, a harrow, a shit spreader, a tractor to power the snow and shit thingies, all manner of stuff. Every penny counts and buying something not absolutely needed, especially something expensive to run, doesn't make sense.

    That said, at the feed mill last week there was an old man who'd just bought a loaded, mildly dented, 2006 F150 for $15,000. I thought that looked a sharp bargain.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    8,401

    Default

    The price of trucks right now is really "in the tank." In November paid $31,500 for a creampuff 2008 Chevy 3500HD Crew Cab, Duramax, 4WD, Long Bed with 7500 miles on it. The "sticker" was $48,500. The "book" price on the truck was $38,500. I think I paid real market, or maybe even a small premium. It was justified, if paid, by the outstanding condition of the vehicle.

    The price noted for the damaged F150 seems very high.

    Ford has not yet scheduled the beginning of production for its '09 SuperDuty. I'm not sure what Chysler is doing (besides getting the "going out of business" signs ordered). A few places have '09 3500HDs.

    Most of the on-line pricing sights also seem REALLY high. It's taking a long time for the reality of the depressed used truck market to make it into the data bases. I'd discount any "book" price by at least 15% (and more likely 25%).

    If you've got some cash or real good credit now's a great time to shop.

    G.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2006
    Location
    Grand Junction, CO
    Posts
    1,776

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    The price noted for the damaged F150 seems very high.
    I dunno. I look at those trucks all the time. The dent was minor, usually 2006 F150s around here are about twenty grand, I think the buyer did well. Still, as I say, unless you tow regularly or need to move round bales over long distances every week, a truck is more of a want thing than a need.



  5. #5
    threemares Guest

    Default

    I did the same thing, I got the truck about a year prior to getting the barn. Mayhew is right, it is more of a want than a need. I like having the truck to be able to pick things up myself without relying on anyone else. I got a Dodge 2500 and I love it! I do recommend getting a heavy duty one just because they are built better(in my opinion) and I think they will last longer. Again, this is just my opinion and my personal experience.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
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    8,401

    Default

    Last week in the Sunday paper new 2008 F-150s were going for under $15,000. Whether or not anybody sees a truck as a "necessity" is certainly a personal opinion. But $15,000 for damaged '06? Unless it were "loaded to the nines" it's not much of a bargain.

    G.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2005
    Location
    Tundra
    Posts
    808

    Default

    Well.. I have an '05 F 150 that IS "loaded to the nines" and while I bought it in 2005 when the market wasn't so tough, I paid a LOT more than 20,000. I would hope that someone could get 15,000 for an 06 in decent condition..

    Also it has been a WONDERFUL truck. It pulls my trailer as well as doubles as my everyday vehicle... It has driven from SC to IL countless times, I have put some serious wear and tear on it and NEVER had a problem... an occasional oil change, new tires/brakes and thats it... never once had an issue of any type... I LOVE LOVE LOVE MY F150!!!
    www.millcreekfarm.net
    **RIP Kickstart aka Char 12/2/2009**



  8. #8

    Default

    I have 328 that I farm and keep 50 to 70 head of cattle and horses, have about 140 acres of crops and wouldn't be without a truck. But spend a large sum of money on one? No thanks they just don't pay for themselves and I only haul horses from here in Mn. to Tx or Ok a few times a year. Theres nothing I can't do or no where I can't go with a $8K or $10K truck that a $30K one can. If I used them alot more I might spend more but mostly I just haul feed, hay, seed, fertilizer and livestock with one. And I'd never get one thats a 1/2 ton or two wheel drive here in Mn. the 4 wheel drive comes in handy.
    Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2006
    Location
    lawrence, ks
    Posts
    153

    Default

    Thanks all for the responses. Interesting to think of the truck as a "want" rather than a "need" - I always thought of it as necessary. I don't think I'd be comfortable having horses at home without a hauling vehicle though: I have an accident prone mare and a baby on the way and want to be able to get to the vet hospital in short notice if need be. The truck and trailer is next on my list of purchases whether or not the moving-to-the-country idea materializes.

    Glad to hear the F150 makes a good farm truck as well as trailering vehicle. I was hoping that a half-ton would do the trick, but willing to go bigger if necessary.

    There are a bunch of trucks and SUVs available - this is just from perusing craigslist - that are under $10,000, mostly older and higher mileage. Do these things age well? I know I'd have no problem buying a 15yo, 100K Honda because I trust them to run forever, but is that a safe bet with trucks?

    What about 4WD? Necessary?
    V6? V8?
    Long bed? Short bed?

    What do you love about your truck that you would advise me to look out for?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
    Posts
    6,190

    Default

    I'm a true fan of the GM trucks. My first was an '86 Chevy Silverado one-ton that I bought in '92, paid 6,900 for it (it had 60k miles on it). I drove it for 10 years, with very minor repairs, maybe 2k total in repairs over the 10 years. In '92 I sold it to the owner of my boarding barn for 5k (with 120K miles on it) and they are still using it as a farm truck, mostly plowing and hauling hay and other farm chores. It is a great long-lived truck. We still joke about the fact that a 22-year old truck is still going strong.

    I replaced it with a 2002 GMC 2500HD that I still drive and I love it. I will be driving it for a long, long time.

    It has a crew-cab, short bed, 4WD (up north for snow, down here, for sand and wet grass).

    I would recommend a bed liner or mat and a cover for hauling hay or grain in case of rain.

    I prefer to have plenty of truck for towing, my older tailer (that I just traded in for a new all aluminum) was a heavy steel thing, but both trucks hauled it with no problem.

    Definitely go with a V8 if you will be towing a trailer.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,827

    Default

    I'm laughing outloud at this statement by Mayhews Husband : (Quote) Moving from a city to the country entails much expenditure, suddenly you need something to move snow, a chainsaw, a generator, feeding appliances, watering appliances, a harrow, a shit spreader, a tractor to power the snow and shit thingies, all manner of stuff. Every penny counts and buying something not absolutely needed, especially something expensive to run, doesn't make sense. (UnQuote)\

    sounds like a man who has realized that anything beyond 'Gentleman Farming' is a lot more than anticipated. I'm not making fun of you MH, just appreciating where you are at.

    I too am a fan of GM trucks. I've had my Chevy diesel since '95, when we purchased it new. Has over 120,000 miles on it (not a lot for its age, but we have other trucks too) and going strong, not unusual for a diesel. We have also had several other gas GMs over the last thirty years, keeping them on average 5-6 years till they hit 100,000 or so. We will be keeping our last GM truck, a 2006 for more then that. Gets good gas mileage for a truck, is a dream to drive, and takes a licking and keeps on ticking as they used to say in the Timex ads. We go off road a lot for work, and I'm amazed at the stuff these trucks go thru, then pop back into being a commuter vehicle.

    A good truck might be more of a want, then a need, but its a darn useful one. A 1500, or 150 can handle a small 2h trailer with no DR, but I'd bump that up if you want a bigger trailer, or will be hauling heavy loads in the bed. There are great deals out there right now, mostly in private sales, it seems like the car dealers are still hoping us consumers won't shop around.
    OLD FRIENDS FARM-Equine Retirement-We LOVE Seniors!! Spoiling Retirees since 1998
    http://www.angelfire.com/oldfriendsfarm/home.html
    Charter Member of UYA!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2006
    Location
    lawrence, ks
    Posts
    153

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lawndart View Post
    Has over 120,000 miles on it (not a lot for its age, but we have other trucks too) and going strong, not unusual for a diesel. We have also had several other gas GMs over the last thirty years, keeping them on average 5-6 years till they hit 100,000 or so.
    Does that mean diesels last longer than gas trucks, on average? What are other advantages/disadvantages of diesel vs gas?

    How long do your trucks tend to last before needing major repairs - ie would I be safe buying a truck with 80k on it? 100k? 150k? There are lots of high mileage trucks out there for *cheap* but I don't want something that's going to break down while I've got a trailer behind it. Not planning on doing long distance hauling or even very frequent, but I want to be able to trust that we'll get where we're going.

    Thanks all for your input... I have always had small cars myself so I am way out of my league here!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by seramisu View Post
    Thanks all for the responses. Interesting to think of the truck as a "want" rather than a "need" - I always thought of it as necessary. I don't think I'd be comfortable having horses at home without a hauling vehicle though: I have an accident prone mare and a baby on the way and want to be able to get to the vet hospital in short notice if need be. The truck and trailer is next on my list of purchases whether or not the moving-to-the-country idea materializes.

    Glad to hear the F150 makes a good farm truck as well as trailering vehicle. I was hoping that a half-ton would do the trick, but willing to go bigger if necessary.

    There are a bunch of trucks and SUVs available - this is just from perusing craigslist - that are under $10,000, mostly older and higher mileage. Do these things age well? I know I'd have no problem buying a 15yo, 100K Honda because I trust them to run forever, but is that a safe bet with trucks?

    What about 4WD? Necessary?
    V6? V8?
    Long bed? Short bed?

    What do you love about your truck that you would advise me to look out for?
    Around here, the joke is that ranchers drive mostly white Fords and all others the rest.
    Not true, but most here do have Fords because the Ford dealerships were very aggressive for farm and ranch vehicles long before the others caught on.
    Around here, you can find Ford parts in most every place, unlike for other brands, so that was one more consideration.

    I have a 1990 farm F150 4x4 regular cab, 8' bed, bigger engine, that finally was losing compression.
    I still use it, but to haul a load of heavy cattle in our 16' gooseneck I got a 2007 150F 4x4, crew cab 6 1/2' bed and it is fancy as a car inside and outhauls most anyone else with the same rating around here without trouble.

    For really serious hauling, the few here that do that kind of hauling prefer the, well, whatever is not made by the same as Chevy, GMC or Dodge, in a diesel 250 crew cab flat bed.
    Most everyone here doesn't go much anywhere for fun, so pickups are the vehicle of choice for work and the few trips to town.

    I am getting 19 to 21 mpg empty and 13 to 16 with a full trailer, on rather flat country, but half on rougher dirt country roads.
    If all you are going to haul is two horses, a half ton pickup will work fine.

    I think that all brands are ok, very little difference between them.
    I would find what your local mechanics like and get that kind.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    8,401

    Default

    IMO there's little advantage to the average driver in diesel over gas. I'm satisfied that it is a penny or two per mile more expensive over average use to drive diesel over gas. "Dieselheads" get rather irate at the thought, but there it is.

    Diesel engines have a "failure factor." Big diesels, like in Freightliners, have "B-number." This number is the point where there is a 50% chance of a major engine component failure. They are published for the big engines; they are not for the "consumer" engines like Powerstroke or Duramax or Cummins.

    Further, the health of diesels requires more management by humans. This means regular oil changes and other service at the recommended intervals.

    Diesels also are working engines. The more they work the better they will work. This is why a working truck will go about forever but a "Walmart Cowboy Truck" that is used for commuting in heavy traffic will have more problems.

    If you want a truck for work then get a diesel; if you want a "communter" truck that will occationally pull a trailer, then buy a gas engine.

    To give yourself some protection take any truck you find to a reliable mechanic and let them go over it. PAY them for their time (figure on about $50/hr., more or less). You may not get a "guarantee" but at least you'll eliminate the really obvious problems.

    Right now there are some really good deals on low milage trucks. Like I say the "book values" available seem to be hideously inflated. If you find one you like then look up the "book value" and offer 15-25% less.

    G.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,827

    Default

    200,000 miles are nothing for a Diesel However, as Guilherme notes, they do have other drawbacks. For an occasional use truck, I'd go with a gas. My diesel works for a living, it is not a 'daily driver'. Plus, since about 1998 or so, the price of Diesel fuel has been higher than gasoline.

    Regular maintenance is key on any vehicle. We tend to buy them new or almost new, and take care of them. Regular oil changes (using synthetic oils) checking hoses, tires, general wear and tear maintenance. Washing the undercarriage after nasty winter days is important, around here you can tell you does that chore, and who does not. As Guilherme noted, a good mechanic is very important. Mine thoroughly checks over my truck, and trailer every year when up for inspection. He knows I'd rather replace something 1/2 worn, then have it fail at a crucial moment.

    What size engine, and what tonnage (1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, 1 ton) you need to haul depends on the weight of your trailer while loaded, and your terrain. Here in PA we have lots and lots of hills, curves, and dirt roads. I've hauled my stock trailer with two small horses w/ my DHs 1500 (1/2 ton) and its do-able, but not something I'd want to take long distance, or at any speed. I prefer the brawn of my 3/4 ton when some twit in a mini cooper swoops in front of me, then steps on the brakes

    While I agree that brand is not as important as reliability, I'd suggest driving a ford, chevy and dodge to see what make has the best feel to you. Some like the way a dodge handles, I prefer the Chevy. Some prefer the 'workhorse' look of the Ford, some don't.

    Personally, I think a tractor is more important then a truck if you have acreage. You can move a lot of dirt (poop, sand, sawdust, whatever) with a small tractor with a loader if you have the time.

    When I say acreage, I mean 5-10 acres or more. Smaller you could probably get away with a large lawn tractor or ATV doing the grunt work.
    OLD FRIENDS FARM-Equine Retirement-We LOVE Seniors!! Spoiling Retirees since 1998
    http://www.angelfire.com/oldfriendsfarm/home.html
    Charter Member of UYA!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
    Location
    it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
    Posts
    12,079

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    my brother's '98 'working' F250 cummins diesel had 450k on it when he got rid of it in '06. Replaced the tranny 1x. The guy who bought it shows antique cars, and has hauled cars crosscountry (literally, MA to CA) SEVERAL times since buying it. When I bought my F150 gas, with the big 6 (they don't make any more) that was what I clung to... the engine has been fabulous... other things... well... Let's just say i have to figure out how to drop it at the shop 37 rural miles away, leave it, and get home again to my miraculous 2nd vehicle which i never had before this fall. Unitl then I also would have been getting an ulcer about what I was going to drive during the time the Ford was being fixed.

    I absolutely can't live without a truck. I tried, my first year up here, had an Izusu trooper which *could* haul the trailer, but not well. It was great for getting grain, not so much for hay.

    I get hay in round bales, which saves me 30% or so over squares. 850lbs each, must have truck for that. It came with a cap-great for grain, not so much for hay. Cap has sat in an awkward place now for 2 winters, screwing up snow removeal. <sigh>

    I think you're super smart to be shopping for bargains right now. When you don't *need* it and can really shop is when you're going to do best.

    If you find one you like, google and ask here. There are certain Ford Diesel engines that will go in the first year or two, or be fine. Certain Dodge years that the tranny sucked completely. Etc.

    I would never, ever again get new. The first time I drive into a pasture to drop off hay I'm going to scratch it. The first time I go down the gravel road, I'm going to ding it with gravel. The first time I put hay in the back and it bends the front of the bed, I'm going to cry.

    As it is, I'm very, very hesitant to get hay in my 'new-to-me' GMC. It's PRETTY. Got some dings & scrapes in the paint, needs a new bumper and headlight frame... but damn she's pretty. And I just don't want to bend the frigging bed.

    Anyway. Just my ramblings on the subject. I *had* planned to pull the bed off my '96 Ford this year and put a flatbed on it. She's only got $120k on her, and a new tranny and new HD clutch. Since the (also new) oil pan decided to STB, and you have to PULL the tranny AND THE FREAKING ENGINE to get to it... I'm thinking maybe it's time to retire the Ford to someone else and get a car... use the purdy GMC for farm stuff. But most of the Ford's issues are due to having been 10 yrs old with only 62k on her when I got her. They're from NON-use vs. use. <shrugs>
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2008
    Posts
    2,887

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    Our first truck was a 1986 Chevy. She still lives in my yard and used now and again for moving things here and there. She is affectionaty known as Rusty and it looks like she has real live bullet holes all over her. We retired her with something like 250K on her when we noticed that the bumper had fallen off in the driveway...oooops!

    Truck 2...a 1996 Dodge Magnum 5.8. Is now sitting in my field with hay in the back awaiting the $$$ to be saved to put in yet another rebuilt transmission. This year was NOTORIOUS for transmission issues. The sad part is that I LOVE THIS TRUCK. It drives like a car, just sweet.

    Towing? The Chevy - it rocked
    Durability? the Chevy - it rocked and still is rocking (although chunks fall off when it does)
    Comfort? The Dodge, hands down. A VERY comfortable ride
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2002
    Location
    Cow County, MD
    Posts
    6,929

    Default

    We bought a 2007 Toyota Tundra used (it was the test-drive truck) 18 months ago. It is a long bed and an extended (not crew) cab.

    I LOVE this truck. It drives nicely, it hauls my 16-foot GN stock trailer like a dream, and it is comfortable to drive, even for long distances.

    Previous truck was a 1992 Chevy 2500 Silverado, which did the job quite capably, just wasn't as super nice to drive and had more of a "truck" ride.
    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by equineartworks View Post
    Our first truck was a 1986 Chevy. She still lives in my yard and used now and again for moving things here and there. She is affectionaty known as Rusty and it looks like she has real live bullet holes all over her. We retired her with something like 250K on her when we noticed that the bumper had fallen off in the driveway...oooops!

    Truck 2...a 1996 Dodge Magnum 5.8. Is now sitting in my field with hay in the back awaiting the $$$ to be saved to put in yet another rebuilt transmission. This year was NOTORIOUS for transmission issues. The sad part is that I LOVE THIS TRUCK. It drives like a car, just sweet.

    Towing? The Chevy - it rocked
    Durability? the Chevy - it rocked and still is rocking (although chunks fall off when it does)
    Comfort? The Dodge, hands down. A VERY comfortable ride
    Equine Artworks, I think you will find a big, big difference between the 1986 Chevy and the 2008 Chevy in comfort and handling. My In-laws are Dodge all the way, and I hate driving their vehicles. We owned a Dodge Durango for several years, I was thrilled when it left as it was the most uncomfortable vehicle to drive I have ever owned. It also killed my back on long distances, the seats were rock like. We replaced it with a Jeep Wrangler which is more comfortable, believe it or not!! But the wrangler is not a long distance vehicle either, its for serious off roading.

    The brand you buy has more to do with personal preference. I'll drive anything that is comfortable, reliable, and gets the job done with power to spare. I don't care the age either, or if the paint is pristine. I just want to get there, and back, safely. When hauling horses its more important then ever that it be dependable. Sitting along a highway with horses in tow is not any fun I'm sure.
    OLD FRIENDS FARM-Equine Retirement-We LOVE Seniors!! Spoiling Retirees since 1998
    http://www.angelfire.com/oldfriendsfarm/home.html
    Charter Member of UYA!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2008
    Posts
    2,887

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    The next one WILL be a Chevy, no doubt there! After the next repair, I'm finished with putting transmission after transmission into the Dodge, no matter HOW comfortable it is!
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.



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