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WWYD: What year/brand of 3/4-ton truck?

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  • WWYD: What year/brand of 3/4-ton truck?

    I've been idly looking for a truck for some months now and have a pretty good idea of the local market, but am struggling to decide on the best age vs. cost tradeoff. Fortunate to be in the position where I can buy either new or used, and looking for the best value.

    Planning to (eventually) haul a 2H gooseneck with dressing room, among other non-horse-related things. Most will be short trips, no more than 3-4 hours in the mid-Atlantic area (so no particularly awful mountains and fairly close to civilization.) I'm looking for at least 10K tow and 2.5K payload, which puts me in 3/4 ton territory. Prefer diesel, but am open to convincing about gas. Also open to any manufacturer and, honestly, any age; one big point in favor of used is that I have the possibility of getting a stick, which I would much prefer but is no longer available new.

    Notes/thoughts so far:
    • Chevy Duramax: Supposedly this engine is really nice, but very little used availability of Chevys by me.
    • Ford 7.3: A great engine, but getting pretty long in the tooth by now, and used specimens in good condition are still quite expensive and fairly rare.
    • Ford 6.0: I am terrified of this engine, but by some reports a bulletproofed example that has survived this long may be a good choice? Plentiful and cheap.
    • Ford 6.4: Seems to have all the reliability of the 6.0 and all the ease of working on of the 6.7 (i.e. the worst of both worlds.) Even more plentiful and cheap because no one wants them!
    • Ford 6.7: Certainly newer, but worth considering?
    • Dodge: Has the Cummins engines now, which is of course lovely, but have heard bad things about durability on the rest of the truck.

    So if you were me, what years/manufacturers would you be considering, given the tradeoff between cost and reliability? New or used? Thoughts on getting a 6.0 and bulletproofing it? And should I reconsider gas engines?

    Any thoughts appreciated, including those on things I haven't mentioned but should consider--thanks!

  • #2
    I LOVE my Dodge. It’s my third one. The Cummins is indestructible, but the trannys have a bad history. I got a 2019 with the new Aison transmission, designed by the Alison transmission folks.

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    • #3
      The 7.3 F350 was the best truck ever but when it hit 333,000 miles I traded it in on a new 6.7.
      I had no problems with my 2001 and have had no problem with my 2017.

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      • #4
        I had the Ford 2001 7.3. I sold it in 2015. It had a weird shimmy on the road that couldn’t be identified and therefore, not fixed. I bought another 3/4 ton Ford diesel and I LOVE it. I think it drives like a sports car. The person who bought my 2001 knew about the shimmy but didn’t care. It’s still on the road and runs great. I hope this helps somehow.

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        • #5
          RAM all the way (Dodge doesn't make trucks anymore). I have the Hemi so no diesel. Mine currently has 214K on it and it's a 2008 model. No major issues with the trucks durability - I really can't complain.
          "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

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          • #6
            As to brand, that's an invitation to a donnybrook!!! (Hey, St. Paddy's day was just yesterday!!! )

            As to year, with any engine if you can find a clean, well running machine before 2010 then grab it. That was the year the DEF system was mandated.* I've been told ALL the brands had trouble with it in the early days. I don't know about now.

            Every now and then, when I get bored with "tractor porn" or "horse porn" or "gun porn", I'll look at some "truck porn." Usually not for long as the "buzz killer" is the price tag on even modestly equipped hauler. My '08 Chevy 3500HD is still worth close to 75% of what I paid for it. It's low miles as I only drive it when I need the capability as it is NOT cheap to run. But it's been pretty much "cast iron", including the interior and electronics.

            Good luck in your search.

            G.

            *Pretty sure on this, but it might have been a year before or a year after. Google it and find out.
            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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            • #7
              DO NOT GET A 6.0!

              We put close to $20k into our to keep it running. It was bulletproofed but still not quite right. The best day ever was the day insurance totaled it for hail damage
              Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
              My equine soulmate
              Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dani0303 View Post
                DO NOT GET A 6.0!

                We put close to $20k into our to keep it running. It was bulletproofed but still not quite right. The best day ever was the day insurance totaled it for hail damage
                This is actually a very good engine in some applications, particularly marine uses where it runs literally for days at a time. It was turned into a white elephant by Ford engineers who had no idea what they were doing.

                G.
                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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                • #9
                  I had a 2012 Ford 6.7 and was very happy with it. It was always reliable, hauled great and held its value.

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                  • #10
                    My BO has been buying a GMC Sierra 2500 with the Duramax diesel and Allison transmission for years. She hauls a gooseneck, currently a 24' stock trailer. She gets the full size cab and long bed. She just purchased a 2019 leftover with the fancy Denali package. Two problems. It has oversized mirrors but you have to get out of the cab to extend them all the way. They weren't big enough to see the side wall of the hay barn when she tried to back the trailer into its usual spot. I know it killed her when she asked me to spot for her. It also has a sliding piece in the center of the back window. There is a black plastic piece underneath the sliding part. She can't hitch it up herself because she can't see the bed. She parks it next to a fence now. She has yet to go back to the dealer to have the sliding window problem solved.

                    I've known her for 20 years. She does not let anyone, including her husband, drive a load of horses.
                    "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

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                    • #11
                      So... I have a lot of trucks. Hands down the best one I have is the 2005 F350 bullet proofed. It is reliable, powerful, and it was cheap to buy as nobody wants them. Good for me as I will keep buying them.

                      My 2001 7.3 just broke a piston and is getting a new Ford remanufactured engine this week to the cost of $7,000. While we have that one apart we are bulletproofing the transmission which is the 7.3 weak link. I was listening to all these stories about how perfect the 7.3 is and that it is the holy grail, and on and on and now I am investing the most into that truck to get it right. I have to say, with a broken piston it got us all the way home. It did not leave us stranded.

                      I prefer the older trucks as I cannot work out of the new trucks ridiculously tall beds. Huge pet peeve of mine. We are not wanting to put a utility body on our trucks due to changing them to commercial licensing instantly.

                      Now... best truck we ever had was the 1999 F350 V10 Triton gas motor. That motor is currently at 490,000 miles and has had no major work done other than routine maintenance. It is not as powerful as the diesel motors, but it is a solid reliable work horse. It cannot pass a gas station without making your pocket book wince, but it has been a great truck.

                      So, don’t be afraid of the 6.0, but go into it with the understanding of what needs to be done to make them amazing. My 6.0 now has the Banks Monster Exhaust, Speedbrake, IQ, Ram Air & Intercooler. It can tow with the best of them. You can find them already bulletproofed, but make sure it was a complete bullet proof as some people do a partial, or pick up an inexpensive one and have it done. I do not regret the investment I made, as I did not want the payment of a new truck, the DEF bull crap, and the ridiculous bed height!

                      we also have the 6.0 Chevy gas motor, 5.9 Cummins Ram, and the really big Chevy gas motor (8.1 I think if I recall). If you want more info on any let me know....

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                      • #12
                        I was very happy with my 2012 Chevy 2500 (then it was totaled when someone hit us head-on) and am even happier with my 2016 GMC Sierra 2500

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                        • #13
                          I have both a 7.3 ('99, best truck ever) and a new-to-me 2015 F250 that I bought late last fall. I've had the '99 since 2004, and with the exception of the known CPS issue (solved with a $20 replacement part) it has been rock solid and trouble free this whole time. However, my '99 is a work truck - not much in the way of creature comforts or the modern technology (navigation, phone, etc) and on longer trips, that was a bit of a bear. We had decided to bring the horses to FL this winter and the thought of spending 11 hours each way in the old truck was challenging so I splurged and got the 2015. I was super picky and looked at a ton of them before finding the one I chose. It's pretty tricked out and I absolutely love it; in fact, I prefer it to my BMW for comfort and convenience. Happy shopping!!
                          **********
                          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                          -PaulaEdwina

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                          • #14
                            Dodge diesel, older is OK, if you can find a nice one. They are hard to find because no one who owns one wants to sell them. Get one from BEFORE all the computer crap went on to everything. Our 3/4 ton is a 1992, with half a million km on it. Purrs like a kitten. Easy to work on, fully mechanical, if you have a mechanical person in your family, parts are cheap. Very reliable, highly recommended. Yes, the body will wear out before the engine will. They are so much in demand that we get phone numbers put under the windshield wiper at the grocery store, saying, "if you will consider selling this truck, please call this number". It's not for sale. We've had it for 23 years, second owner.
                            www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

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                            • #15
                              7.3 Fords are nearly impossible to kill. I grew up with them as ranch trucks that were abused off time by teenaged boys who used them to rodeo and play. This is my favorite of all time and I wish they would make it again.

                              6.0 is junk and I haven't heard good things about the 6.7 either, but know a few ranchhands with the 6.4. From what I understand, you have to get a certain year to have a good one.

                              I know people love the Chevrolet Duramax with Alison transmissions, but my bf has had a few on the ranch and they all had transmission issues, then issues with the new transmission, and some just literally fell apart with broken axles and motor mount brackets. He's switching back over to Ram Cummins.

                              My family are Dodge, now Ram, people, and I have a Ram truck. I still think you cannot beat the Cummins for pulling. When I worked in the oil and gas industry, we used to use the inspectors' Dodge trucks to pull 18 wheeled trucks with trailers and heavy equipment up muddy right-of-ways and out of steep valleys in Northern Alabama.

                              We did have 1 Dodge (Hemi) that had a transmission issue. The transmission never went out, but it shifted oddly. Dodge replaced it for free even though they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it because they agreed that it did not shift properly. When the new transmission had the same odd shifting, they told us to drive it until it stopped and they would replace it again. The transmission never went out and went on for 300k miles at which point we sold the truck.

                              My Ram is a wimpy 1500 Hemi with a tow package, but it pulls and pulls well. The bf had to borrow it to pull a really heavy trailer one day (short distance) because his Duramax was in the shop and he was stunned that it did not squat my truck and said that he would not have known the trailer was behind the truck if he hadn't hooked it up himself. I'm eyeing a 2500 diesel next though.
                              Rhode Islands are red;
                              North Hollands are blue.
                              Sorry my thoroughbreds
                              Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

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                              • #16
                                2007 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD diesel. I love, love, love this truck, and I hope it outlives me so I don't ever have to buy another truck and then be disappointed.

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                                • #17
                                  Three Dodge diesels in our family. 94, 98, 04. 98 has needed the most work. 04 is my favorite, 200k and nothing major. I love that truck!

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                                  • #18
                                    I have a 2001 Chevy 2500 HD that still runs like a champ. Granted, it stays hooked up to my trailer and only has about 130K miles, but it's been a great truck.
                                    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

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                                    • #19
                                      Have two Dodge Diesels, both bought new. 1997 3/4 ton, body has not held up well but truck is still going. Use it as a farm vehicle now only. My 2006 Dually has held up much better. Runs well, no transmission problems, still in very good shape. Hoping it lasts me another 10 years. 130K miles on it.

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                                      • #20
                                        I have a 2004 Chevy 2500 with the 6.0 motor. I love it, although it was very hard to find one in my budget without any rust. I got a 2004 with 180k miles, regular cab, long cab, HD, 4X4 for $7500 which was more than I would have found from a private seller but I was buying with financing and no rust was almost impossible. It drives like a bus when it isn't hitched up but it's always hitched up. I sacrificed a crew cab for the 4X4 in my price range. Regretted it until the first time I had to pop it into 4X4 to get out of my driveway in the winter.

                                        I did a lot of research and a stick is not optimal for towing. You shift more efficiently and have a longer life in an automatic when towing a heavy load.
                                        http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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