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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2000
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    Way down south in the land of Sugar Cane
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    956

    Default Ford Ranger as extra farm truck

    We are discussing getting a small truck as an extra farm truck so the big gas guzzler can stay home more. It would be for getting smaller items like feed, shavings, etc. - NOT pulling trailers. We have seen a few used Rangers but apparently they are not manufacturing new ones any more.

    Has anyone had experience with these little trucks? It needs to go a long time to justify the purchase - maybe 8-10 years and be able to function well over 100,000 miles preferably without having to rebuild it.

    Since they are not manufacturing them any more will we have problems getting parts?

    Thanks for any comments.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,126

    Default

    The problem with any vehicle they are not making any more is, well, as you say, no part for it around if something breaks or wears out.

    We had a Ford Ranger for 14 years, absolutely wonderful to run around and haul so much, other than pulling heavier trailers.

    When we didn't need it any more, already with many miles on it, we sold it to a neighbor, that is still using it today, now I would say a good 20+ years old.

    I didn't know they quit making them.
    Maybe there is other out there similar to them?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2006
    Location
    the land of sky-blue waters
    Posts
    622

    Default

    I had a '94 Ranger (manual transmission) from 2003 until 2010, when a gust of wind sent me spinning out on an icy road, straight into a guardrail. It was a REALLY reliable vehicle-- I can only think of two fairly major repairs that it needed while I had it (fuel line/pump and radiator). It was just over 200,000 miles when I totaled it and still ran like a top. I averaged around 28mpg (mostly highway driving, rarely driving faster than 60mph).

    It was, however, a very BAD vehicle for winter weather. I had the 2wd version, and rear wheel drive + light pickup = NO traction. That thing would get stuck in 6" snowdrifts with 300lbs of sand in the bed. It was a great vehicle for me for the most part, but I never felt safe driving it in the winter.

    Since it looks like you don't have to deal with winter weather, I'd say go for it if you can find a good price on a used one.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    40,126

    Default

    Ours was 4wd and we used it in the mud and winter and snow and ice, but we always had aggressive tires on it and kept enough stuff on the back to give it some heft.
    Never felt like it was not enough vehicle to be safe, at all.
    Think of all those little cars on the road.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2006
    Location
    the land of sky-blue waters
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    622

    Default

    Bluey, the problem I had was not with size, but the light weight combined with rear wheel drive. My boyfriend's Geo Prizm was safer than that truck in the winter. It just didn't have enough weight over the rear axle to get any traction on slick roads, and I was cautioned against leaving too much weight in the bed over the winter for fear of destroying the suspension. In hindsight, I would've put more than 300lbs in the bed of that truck for safety's sake.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    4,931

    Default

    Love a small pick-up-we have had a Nissan, a Dodge, and a few years ago a Ranger, we wore them all out after many many many miles.

    Too handy not to have.

    I want a ute, personally.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ute_%28vehicle%29



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Plainview, MN
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    3,528

    Default

    I have a 2002 Ranger I bought from my brother, neither of us have had a major problem with it. It is 4WD, and has larger rims and the off road package. It can be driven anywhere you can drive a vehicle (on road, off road, my brother has done it!). Mine has the 5 speed manual transmission and the 4.0L V6, which is the largest engine you can get in a Ranger and can be harder to find. Mine has the extended cab with the "suicide doors" which make using the back seat for hauling stuff handy.

    My mom a little Nissan truck and a friend had a Dodge Dakota that were only 2WD and you had to load the bed up with sand bags in order to drive in the winter. Any of these compact trucks are too light in the rear end for being rear wheel drive to get any traction in the winter.

    Ford Rangers were very popular vehicles when they were being produced (best selling compact truck 1987-2004). There are plenty of parts around.

    A Mazda B-Series compact truck is virtually the same vehicle with a Mazda badge instead of a Ford one (made at the same plants). Ford discontinued the Ranger in North America (it is available on other continents) bascially to force us all to buy F150s!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Plainview, MN
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    I didn't know they quit making them.
    Maybe there is other out there similar to them?
    No manufacturer makes a true compact truck for the U.S. market anymore! The Toyota Tacoma is too large to be a true compact truck, the Nissan Frontier is built on the same platform as the Nissan Titan so again not a true compact truck, and the Dodge Dakota and Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon are in the same boat, only slightly smaller than a 1/2 ton. Isuzu once sold a compact truck in the U.S. (Isuzu vehicles are not longer sold in the U.S.), no more Ford Rangers, and Mitsubishi has not made a compact truck for the U.S. since 2009.

    The global market is getting a new Ranger with a 4 cyl diesel engine that gets 30 mpg, but not us
    Last edited by Renae; Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2009
    Location
    nw ct
    Posts
    670

    Default thumbs down

    Maybe we just use ours too hard, but based on this one, I would never get another. Lots of nickle-dime repairs, blown transmission around 45k, and just overall weak. I would take our old Mazda(or most anything else) over and over again!!



  10. #10
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    Apr. 6, 2006
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    Plainview, MN
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tucktaway View Post
    Maybe we just use ours too hard, but based on this one, I would never get another. Lots of nickle-dime repairs, blown transmission around 45k, and just overall weak. I would take our old Mazda(or most anything else) over and over again!!
    As I said the Mazda and Ford compact trucks are virtually the same thing, built at the same plants from the same parts, just different body styles and badging.

    FYI you can interchange parts betwen a lot of Mazda, Ford and Mercury vehicles. I had a '89 Mercury Tracer, could use parts from a Mazda 323.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
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    Default

    Ours never spent a day at the shop but for oil and filter changes and new tires.
    It still has not, according to our neighbor, that is very happy with it and now with over 200,000 miles.
    We call it the energizer bunny pickup.

    As with all pickups, there are some better or luckier than others, some outright lemons.

    The trouble with today's pickups, they are not really work vehicles any more, too fancy for that and that doesn't leave much else for real, knock around farm trucks any more.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,161

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bopper View Post
    We are discussing getting a small truck as an extra farm truck so the big gas guzzler can stay home more. It would be for getting smaller items like feed, shavings, etc. - NOT pulling trailers. We have seen a few used Rangers but apparently they are not manufacturing new ones any more.

    Has anyone had experience with these little trucks? It needs to go a long time to justify the purchase - maybe 8-10 years and be able to function well over 100,000 miles preferably without having to rebuild it.

    Since they are not manufacturing them any more will we have problems getting parts?

    Thanks for any comments.
    Why would you not just buy a used one for $2k off craigslist? Or an older Tacoma/other mini truck. If it's just a beater vehicle for doing chores, I see no reason to buy new/newer. Just pick up a cheap one and then if it only lasts 5 years, it's no biggie, send it for scrap and pick up a new one.

    Parts are NOT an issue for any American vehicle, still made or not, trust me.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    9,588

    Default

    I was at a farm that had one, don't remember the miles on it but it was so old that the driver's seat was all sunken down from whomever had owned it before (obviously a larger person). No problems with it, everyone frickin' drove it.

    I owned one myself for about a while, it was an '07 I think, or maybe '04? Agree about 2wd being negative fun in the winter, but otherwise it was a going little truck. So easy to just toss stuff in the bed and go...
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2003
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    4,340

    Default

    I have a 2000 Ranger XLT with the 6 cyl engine. I love my truck. I have 218,000 miles on it, have replaced the radiator, rack and pinion and that is about it.

    My back springs are pretty shot, that will be the next thing to fix....not a big issue considering I treat it like a half ton and regulary will haul around 20 bags of grain or 12 bales of heavy hay in it.
    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
    Bernard M. Baruch



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2008
    Posts
    1,646

    Default

    I have a 2001 Ranger, the off-road v6 model, and it's been used for farm work since my grandfather bought it brand new. I "bought" it off him about 4 years ago (he sold it to me for $1, but didn't actually take the bill.....that now resides in my driver's side visor as a good luck charm!). I regularly use it to put round bales out in the fields--current ones are 800-900 lbs apiece. My boss has used it to get feed, about 1200 lbs worth. It's a great little truck. Mine has just under 95,000 miles on it and besides regular maintenance I've never had a single problem with it. It's my everyday vehicle as well. It's not too bad on gas and I love driving it. Even rainbows love Betty the truck.

    Having driven it around in the winter, I would definitely get one with 4wd. It slides pretty easily but the 4wd can get you through virtually everything. I can get through stuff that my boss's v10 F250 can't.

    My grandfather still misses "his" truck and asks about it whenever I talk to him .



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2000
    Location
    Way down south in the land of Sugar Cane
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    956

    Default

    Winter weather issues are rarely an issue this far south (maybe a couple of inches of snow 2-3 times every 10 years or so). We are looking for used but I just don't want a beater because I will use it to get to work about twice a week and it is a medium commute.

    Thanks for all of the comments. Any other comments especially about getting parts would be great.

    Bopper



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
    Location
    hamburg, pa USA
    Posts
    469

    Default

    We have a 95 4 cylinder with a manual transmission and can second all the great things said. Can also agree with the 2WD in the snow. A few years we ran studded tires on it in the winter and it made the biggest difference. Owned it since new and have made few major repairs on it. Most parts are carried in your local parts store. Ebay is your friend, for the parts that are not.

    Have hauled hay, grain, a half scoop of stone and even an empty 2 horse trailer (for a short distance) with it. Plus my son learned to drive and used it as his transportation as a teen.

    Most of them I know of have had 200,000 to 300,000 on them. Our only has 150,000 on it so I am looking forward to many more years of use.
    Last edited by appdream; Oct. 26, 2012 at 08:39 AM. Reason: too add



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2006
    Location
    SE Coastal NC
    Posts
    1,699

    Default

    I had a 2004 Ranger extended cab 2-wheel drive for about 4-5 years. I put 120,000 miles on it and never did anything to it except change the oil! I loved that little truck so much. It was so comfortable to drive and I could do just about anything I wanted to do with it.

    I only sold it because we needed a full size truck to pull the horse trailer with. I towed utility trailers and jet skis with it using a Reese hitch though and had no issues.

    I still miss that truck a lot!!

    Parts shouldn't be an issue because that model of truck was so common and was produced for so many years. I think it would only start to be an issue if your truck got a lot of age on it and there weren't many Rangers out there anymore.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2012
    Location
    Scone
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Renae View Post
    The global market is getting a new Ranger with a 4 cyl diesel engine that gets 30 mpg, but not us
    Actually its a 5 Cyl turbo diesel
    here's mine
    http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p...ack/ranger.jpg



  20. #20
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    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Plainview, MN
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GLX265 View Post
    Actually its a 5 Cyl turbo diesel
    here's mine
    http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p...ack/ranger.jpg
    I would love that truck!



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