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Doge Cummins VS GMC/Chevy Duramax

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  • Doge Cummins VS GMC/Chevy Duramax

    I'm in the market for a new diesel. I tow a gooseneck horse trailer that weighs 14,000 pounds loaded. I'm interested in the 3500 models. I want a truck with the power, torque and longevity to haul and to last - I'd like to not have to buy another truck for a very long time.

    For the 2011 models, and prospectively the 2012s, which brand would you recommend? Have there been many recalls, issues, problems that the company(s) is working to fix/change for the next model? I am not considering Fords.

    Your thoughts are much appreciated. Thank you all!

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  • #2
    I have a Dodge, but my dream truck is the GMC... the duramax with the Allison transmission can not be beat


    • #3
      I have loved my Dodge until last week when the gas pedal got stuck when I was going 70 mph. Scared me to death and I was lucky. But can't say that I will recommend them anymore. Seems to be a problem with many Dodge cars/trucks from what I am finding out. Go GMC.


      • #4
        Can't beat the Duramax/Allison combo, in my opinion.

        I don't have a newer truck, but I'm on my second Chevy/GMC truck with over 200k. First was a diesel, second one is a gas.


        • #5
          Were it not for the transmission issues, we'd take a Dodge. Love the Cummins Diesel.

          However, it will be a GMC Duramax Diesel with Allison transmission for us (used tho) due to the many many COTHers who pointed us that direction.
          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


          • #6
            From what I have heard that Duramax/Allison can't be beat. Even with a fully loaded 6 horse gooseneck behind it, there isn't much difference in the way it feels on the road. It is a powerhouse.

            I've had GMC SUVs since 1990 and drive them into the ground. I typically keep a vehicle 11 -12 years. They last, no matter what I do to them.


            • #7
              We just bought a new diesel truck- our choices were 2011 GMC or 2011 Dodge. We love how the GMC drove but the addition of DEF was a huge drawback. We ended up getting a 2011 Dodge for a few reasons- 1) our previous truck was a Dodge and had 250k miles on it and still going strong, they must be doing something right!, 2) no need for DEF in the Cummins until 2013, the additional cost and inconvenience of DEF in the GMC was a big drawback for us, 3) we were able to get amazing financing, very fair trade and way more features on Dodge than GMC. We love our truck (it has all of 270 miles on it right now...) and can't be happier with our purchase.

              Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong either way (and both our dealers agreed- GMC and Dodge both make a great truck). Both trucks have pros and cons... We love our Dodge but would be just as happy with a GMC had the financing worked out.


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by countrygal View Post
                but the addition of DEF was a huge drawback.
                Countrygal - what is DEF?


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                • #9
                  DEF is Desiel Exhaust Fluid. GMC wasn't very up front about it (though I blame this on the dealership, not the truck brand). Basically it's a fluid that consists of an ammonia mixture that helps the exhaust be cleaner. You have to add it every 5000 miles (ish, depends on the type of driving) under the hood. It holds about 5 gallons. Dodge is the only diesel truck brand that isn't required to use DEF right now for various reasons (the 4500 and 5500's have it, just not the 3/4 and 1 tons).

                  The way GMC is designed, when you get low on DEF the truck's computer limits your speed progressively down to 4mph. DEF will cost about $9k over the average lifetime of the truck from what I can gather. That plus the inconvenience of buying it (I have yet to find it locally) and the risk of running out on a cross-country haul and being stuck going 4mph pushed us towards Dodge.

                  Here's a video from GMC about it, I took this information keeping in mind this is what GMC publishes. Talking to GMC owners, they are getting a lot less miles per tank than what GMC claims:



                  • #10
                    I'll add that our mechanic (and his 2 sons who are HUGE into diesel trucks) recommended GMC assuming that all diesel trucks required DEF. However, upon finding that Dodge doesn't have the DEF system until 2013 they whole heartedly supported Dodge. We have one less critical component that can break, one less computer controlled doo-dad, etc.

                    Dodge and GMC both build really nice trucks though and it's all about what needs you have and which truck you end up liking better! Both have the exhaust brake, intrgrated brake control system, etc so ultimately I feel both are equally safe to tow with.


                    • #11
                      One more addition- there are VERY few 2011 trucks left right now. GMC was going to ship us one in from another state and Dodge only had 1 on the lot (maybe this is regional, but wanted to pass it along). 2011 has some great deals right now for financing, cashback, etc so if that's something you need/want keep in mind that the clock is ticking...


                      • #12
                        DEF is available at every truck stop in the US (2011 and later big rigs require it).

                        Both trucks are very appropriate, selection will be personal choice and local dealer, IMO. If events are any indication, GM is winning 3:1.


                        • #13
                          I don't live near a truck stop so perhaps that is why. I'd have to go significicantly out of my way to hit one in my area (not the end of the world, but something we considered in our purchase selection).


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sharri13 View Post
                            I'm in the market for a new diesel. I tow a gooseneck horse trailer that weighs 14,000 pounds loaded. I'm interested in the 3500 models. I want a truck with the power, torque and longevity to haul and to last - I'd like to not have to buy another truck for a very long time.

                            For the 2011 models, and prospectively the 2012s, which brand would you recommend? Have there been many recalls, issues, problems that the company(s) is working to fix/change for the next model? I am not considering Fords.

                            Your thoughts are much appreciated. Thank you all!
                            Have a read of this link. I bought the 2011 chevy duramax in Oct 2010 before this article came out. Great truck. Pulls really well. Very strong. I was wondering about a comparison, after reading I feel better about my purchase. This is my first diesel truck. Note where they talk about the Dodge. I put DEF in at 2500 miles, and haven't since and I am coming up on 11k. I did not get mine from the dealer, but from a local chain auto parts, and it was much less. I love the no stink diesel. I have 6 2.5G containers in my basement. I am not hassled by finding it. It is NO BIG DEAL. I get 18-19 in the city, and 16-17 towing. Love the 6 speed Allison. I always have loved this tranny. My gas truck had one. Gee those are some interesting $$ figures Country Gal. I think I paid $11 for 2.5 gallons of DEF. It will only get less expensive over time. The computer gives fair warning. I think according to my chevy book you have maybe 100 miles, and then it goes to 55 mph, then when you are 10 miles then it goes to 10 mph, or something like that. I have the chevy duramax and I am driving it, and, like I said, IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL. If you have an issue with it, you should consider purchasing a gas truck. Maybe the gm sucks more DEF than the chevy?? My truck sure does not.

                            Last edited by rmh_rider; Nov. 22, 2011, 04:36 PM. Reason: more info


                            • #15
                              Go w/the GMC...not the Chevy.

                              Can't beat an Allison transmission.
                              Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.


                              • #16
                                Let me be very clear- I think GMC is a GREAT truck! Had finances worked out we would be thrilled with a GMC. Dodge happened to be able to meet our requirements for less so that's what we went with. DEF wasn't the only factor for our decision. The OP asked about DEF and I provided what I know.

                                All my figures are based on research about GMC and in talking with dealers and diesel mechanics. I can't say for certain what DEF will cost over the lifetime of a truck, it hasn't been around long enough to know. But the $9k figure I gave it what was given to me and based on chatting with some folks it seemed reasonable. You're more than welcome to disagree, but it's information I received and felt it was worth passing along to someone who is in the same boat I was last week- wanting to make the best truck decision. I'm the last person in the world who wants to get into a pissing match over which truck is better as I whole heartedly believe GM and Dodge both make a killer truck that will serve the OP well.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Dressagelvr View Post
                                  Go w/the GMC...not the Chevy.

                                  Can't beat an Allison transmission.
                                  What? The original question was Dodge vs. GMC. Chevy are made by GMC. Both Chevy and GMC trucks have the Allison transmission and the Duramax engine.


                                  • #18
                                    We have a 2002 duramax diesel with the Alison tranny. It currently has about 105,00 miles. We love it! We bought in GA. It has taken Essie to VA with a packed trailer. Then when we moved to CA, it took a horse trailer packed with our stuff. (Essie came later.). It took a lot of stuff to and from AK. We have had very little to no problems with it. The spark plugs were replaced on a recall. There several other small things that were fixed that way.
                                    In 07 I bought a GN and a friend helped me drive the new trailer from CO to CA. She was amazed at the mileage. When we finally replace this truck it will be with another, but I'm expecting to have this truck for at least 7 to 10 more years.


                                    • #19
                                      Can't they just put an Allison transmission in a well-built truck with a Cummins diesel so we'd all be happy?
                                      www.cobjockey.com - Eventing the Welsh Cob


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by CobJockey View Post
                                        Can't they just put an Allison transmission in a well-built truck with a Cummins diesel so we'd all be happy?
                                        Yup - I'd be happy with that idea.

                                        I have my '97 Dodge with the Cummings and I'm at 351K - replaced the transmission at 300K, rebuilt the injector pump & replaced the solenoid last week at 350k [apparently the power supply line on he solenoid went bad and we didnt notice it in time to prevent the need for the rebuild :-( ]. Love me my Dodge though - 24 mpg without the trailer, about 18-20 loaded.
                                        Crayola Posse~ on the bus in Mahognany