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Thread: I Want to talk TRUCKS! Trucks for Hauling Trailers! Diesel Vs Gas.. 2500 vs 3500 etc.

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    sledge started this thread.
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    I Want to talk TRUCKS! Trucks for Hauling Trailers! Diesel Vs Gas.. 2500 vs 3500 etc.

    Ok gents. My very first pickup that I personally owned was a 2003 Dodge Dakota 4X4, with a puny V6. After I had started to get the itch to get bigger in my contracting business, as well as, haul a trailer. I upgraded and after a year.. found a saweet 2000 4WD Silverado 1500 LT with the 5.3 V8 Vortec.



    I've used my truck to haul a 16 ft flatbed- car hauler with it. I've quickly realized that even though it is a 4WD.. it seems to sag pretty bad, even with the addition of a Weight Distribution Hitch. I've played out many a scenarios and felt like putting some thoughts down.. thinking maybe some folks here could shed some light on some thoughts of my own.

    Scenario #1:
    Install bigger leaf springs and upgrade the rear shocks to coil overs. May help.. should help- not positive

    Scenario #2:
    Cop to the "oops" and look to swap the truck and upgrade to a 2500HD or 3500HD- Here is the kicker then. Gas vs Diesel.
    My thoughts- Yep Diesel will whoop the gassers behind. I know it, I've done a ton of research on it. But I don't know if:
    A. I need a Diesel
    B. Do I WANT a diesel.

    I will add this into the mix, and I really am not trying to offend anyone. But I owned a Dodge, I hated the dodge, and I won't own one again. I also do not care for Fords. So I know for fact that I'm looking at beefing the 1500, or looking at a Chevy or GMC 2500HD or 3500.

    So I'll put it this way. I'm nearly 40 years old, I don't need a super tuned, 15" lifted, coal rolling, semi-truck stack coming out of the bed noisemaker. Just looking for some real world, normal folk work truck that will do the deed.

    Here are my thoughts so far, maybe someone can assist me in heading in the right direction:
    1. Love my truck.. LOVE LOVE LOVE my truck. If I can beef it that would be the cheapest and most satisfying route. It tows beautifully for what I tow (Generally about 5500 lbs hitch towed)
    2. If For some reason plunking $ into beefier leaf springs and coil over shocks would be a waste of $ and I had to go with a "bigger truck" I'm leaning towards a 6.0L Gas 2500.. The Diesel would indeed out-tow it, but the maintenance on a diesel is something that would keep me up at night- huge $ outlay if something goes on it, gas is higher, parts are a lot higher- the pro- in the long long run the diesel would probably outlive ME for as little as I haul, and my "commute" to jobsites are fairly small trips- I keep it that way if I can help it.
    3. I'm thinking the 3500 would just be overkill- Since I don't haul 17,000 horse trailers or tri-axle trailers with backhoes on it- I know it would pull the car trailer as if it were not even there- but may just be way more truck than I need.

    So after all that- any thoughts gents? I'm all ears! And Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by sledge; 10-13-2013 at 09:02 PM.
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  3. #2
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    I Want to talk TRUCKS! Trucks for Hauling Trailers! Diesel Vs Gas.. 2500 vs 3500 etc.

    Air bags

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    Love these discussions. Lol.

    Im 22, first truck i owned was a 97 f-150 2wd. It was great as a first vehicle. It towed a u haul trailer with my grandfathers 29 model a on it plus a bed full of parts. Good thing the mto didnt see us... It wasnt great for hauling. Had a load of dirt in the bed and in a 6x8 trailer, made it very light in the front end...

    Second truck was my 99 ram 2500 diesel. Still have it. Has a 1 ton rear end (single wheel, with a duallys suspension) i swear, you hit bumps, feels like the axle is bolted directly to the frame. BUT it handles lots of weight. Iv had my 18ft trailer with an f150 on the rear. F150 was apprx. 4500lbs and the trailer is just under a ton (beefy trailer. Thick thick metal frame) the rear end didnt sag an inch. Iv had well over a ton of bricks in the bed, that made it sag, but barely.

    If i where you, id beef up the suspension. Dont even need to replace them, just add a leaf or two. But be prepared for a rough ride when not towing. You know your truck, all its quirks and what not. Just build it up.

    If you want to upgrade, maybe i can help the diesel/gas issue. Iv owned both. Diesel is much better on fuel when hauling loads. The f150 was cheap on parts, but it broke down alot. (it was a ford after all) the ram, didnt break as often. But when it did, this is what it was like.

    Wheel bearing $350 vs 200 something for gasser.

    Hanger bearing $150 vs 40 for gasser

    Injection pump 1500 bucks for new. Got one for 500 used.

    IF you maintain them, and do the research and understand how they work, they wont break as often. My mistake, i was stupid and young. Didnt maintain properly and took it offroad ever weekend, and didnt look into how they worked. The injection pump failure could have been avoided if I just would have replaced the stock lift pump with an aftermarket. Starved the injection pump and it burned out (the fuel cools it and lubricates it)

    Based on your situation and type of work, id stick with a gasser. Doesnt soumd like you haul lots of weight, so i would just beef up the rear end. Maybe replace the whole rear end with one out of a 2500, if possible.

    Hope my rant helps! LOL
    If I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all...

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  7. #4
    sledge started this thread.
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    Jord-
    That is the perfect type of "rant" I need. I think a lot of folks think "If ya ain't running a diesel.. and yer a haulin.. yer just a puss" I'm not sure how it is where you reside.. but here in Indiana (I'm a transplant from NY) it seems as though the bigger, and louder, and more smoke ya blow.. the better off you are. And these aren't all kids. I see "big boys" with their $60,000 trucks out bracking the crap out of them. I just know that a diesel was meant for work, but as I said, with the relatively little hauling I do, is it warranted at all. Never owned one- but they seem like an expensive and sometimes pain in the tush.

    My train of thought goes something like this (at least at the moment) a 6.0L GM Gas engine will give me approximately 30 more HP and 45-55 more lb ft of Torque than what I have now. In reality the 1500 5.3L does pull pretty nicely at its 270 HP and 315 lb/ft torque, but as I said- with that sag, I'm worried I'll wear hard on parts and eventually kill it. So that is why my thoughts have gone to beefing the suspension. The hard part is that the leaf springs and coil-overs won't help the rear axle rating. As someone said to me once- "adding stiffer springs to a 1500- a 2500 it will not make"

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    all 3 major trucks companies build awesome trucks. but its not what you buy its what you build. I drive a 2000 dodge 2500, cummins, its dacm near stock. i have a monster air filter and home made heat shield because I'm cheap. find a truck you like, build what you need.

    1500 is a bit small for any regular towing. the first thing i notice when driving behind other guys trucks is how small the rear axels are. towing trailers on tooth picks. buy more truck then you will ever need. i'm a die hard cummins guy. i love the look of the Ford 4 doors with stocky tires on um and i love the power towing of the duramax. all i have to say is go to the dodge dealer and ask to see a long horn Laramie truck and smell the seats. issue solved.

    whats the most weight you tow at any time?

    look for F350 with a 7.3L you can find them for 3/8 grand, do the head studs and watch your EGTs open up that air box, bigger exhaust. and roll coal all the way to the wreckers
    Last edited by cummins; 10-13-2013 at 09:42 PM.

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    Just my personal opinion but it seems you could add leafs, bags, whatever, but at the end of the day you still own a 1/2 ton truck with 1/2 ton brakes, cooling, etc.

    I'd probably ditch the 1/2 and find a 3/4.

    Btw, I like the Cummins, buttttt that's gonna be in the Dodge.



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    sledge started this thread.
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    Ok.. remember folks.. Do not want to offend. I will tell you a story that will make ya smile cummins. Guy I work with was hauling to a derby with a Duramax Diesel- 3500 Dually. Guy pulled up next to him with a 3500 Cummins Diesel about 10 miles from the track at a stoplight, they both took off- trucks both with trailers loaded with a derby car. The Dodge ended up at the track about 10 minutes sooner. I have heard nothing but good things about the Cummins diesel (we have the Cummins HQ just south of me in Columbus Indiana.) Honestly a match made in heaven for me would be if they put:
    A Cummins Diesel, with an Allison Transmission.. in a Chevy Body. That would be one baaaad twuck!

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    every time i see a ford with a trailer it reminds of my dodge schootchin across the carpet. every ford needs air bags, the one thing i like about my truck is with 1500lbs in the box it almost sits level

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    Quote Originally Posted by sledge42 View Post
    Ok.. remember folks.. Do not want to offend. I will tell you a story that will make ya smile cummins. Guy I work with was hauling to a derby with a Duramax Diesel- 3500 Dually. Guy pulled up next to him with a 3500 Cummins Diesel about 10 miles from the track at a stoplight, they both took off- trucks both with trailers loaded with a derby car. The Dodge ended up at the track about 10 minutes sooner. I have heard nothing but good things about the Cummins diesel (we have the Cummins HQ just south of me in Columbus Indiana.) Honestly a match made in heaven for me would be if they put:
    A Cummins Diesel, with an Allison Transmission.. in a Chevy Body. That would be one baaaad twuck!
    i got smoked by a ford last week. he was lucky i had my trailer on. was a coal show till i clicked my OD back on. my truck isn't very white by the pipe anymore. i need a new lift pump i think. i'm not getting enough fuel anymore.

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    Sledge i have a 94 cummins with 310k miles on it drive it everyday haul my 2 car trailer with it alot never had one problem other then last year i had to put a tranny in it.As far as more money in maintenance everyone says that but i cant really figure out how it really cost more.
    I mean you change the oil 7500-10,000 miles fuel filter 15,000 miles and air filter 10,000-15,000 miles and you get about 5-10 more mpg compared to a simalr gas truck so the extra fuel savings will pay for the maintenance hence maybe a diesel is cheaper to maintain.
    I will tell you get a older cummins or a later 99-03 7.3 powerstroke as far as a chevy diesel goes i dont think you want to spend $15,000-$20,000 for one do you.Because thats what it will cost for a duramax a good one 07 or later all ones before then are junk.
    If you want a 2500hd then go with the 8.3 gets about 2 miles less per gallon than the 6.0 and has alot more power and torque.

    I am looking to get me a 03-04.5 cummins within the next year i hope.

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    I have a ford 250 it does sag a bit. Its a gasser and I bought gas for some of the reasons you mentioned: ease of maintenance, parts, starting on cold mornings, the list goes on. My next will be a Ford 350 or even 450 diesel. I feel like I want more towing power, plain and simple.

    Others have touched on stopping power and such. Id like to say a word about your hitch. Most factory hitches are 3 ton or less on 250's and down. I don't mean the ball I mean the actual hitch. Check your rating on the actual frame of your hitch. I upgraded to a 17,000 hitch. Its a beast; my trailer capacity is 14,000 even though my truck really shouldn't pull that much I know that hitch pulling wont give before the truck does.

    Im also interested what others have to say about suspension. I've checked out airbags, leafs springs, shocks, anything that may even remotely help with sagging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sledge42 View Post
    Ok.. remember folks.. Do not want to offend. I will tell you a story that will make ya smile cummins. Guy I work with was hauling to a derby with a Duramax Diesel- 3500 Dually. Guy pulled up next to him with a 3500 Cummins Diesel about 10 miles from the track at a stoplight, they both took off- trucks both with trailers loaded with a derby car. The Dodge ended up at the track about 10 minutes sooner. I have heard nothing but good things about the Cummins diesel (we have the Cummins HQ just south of me in Columbus Indiana.) Honestly a match made in heaven for me would be if they put:
    A Cummins Diesel, with an Allison Transmission.. in a Chevy Body. That would be one baaaad twuck!
    There are shops that do Cummins conversions. Or you can buy a diy kit. Doubt either option comes cheap. But I do like the combo you described.

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    I have an 01 chevy 2500HD pulls great even with a suburban on the trailer I had no issues would've made it easier if my tow haul worked but still drove fine, I feel that if you're pulling regularly a 2500 would be a good thing to have especially if you get bigger things on the 16ft trailer. as far as gas or diesel, diesel will pull a lot better and you will get a couple more mpg but one thing you have to take into account is with the cars you bring in do they still have gas in them? I've covered gas that I used to get the car with what I've pulled out several times.If you're worried about sag a lot more can go into a 2500 before it becomes a concern and like said above if you beef up your suspension you still only have a 1/2 ton

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    Honestly a match made in heaven for me would be if they put:
    A Cummins Diesel, with an Allison Transmission.. in a Chevy Body. That would be one baaaad twuck!
    *I second the idea, have one built.
    *Check your rear tires, if their not 8 ply sidewall, get some that are. That will stop some of the "walking around" of the rearend.
    *I would also second the airbags, I think with a small compressor you can make them stiffer or soften them for a smoother ride.
    *Make sure the brakes on the trailer are working or a least there, if not install elec. brakes on at least one axle.
    *Might also want to check your trans. cooler if automatic and upgrade the cooler.
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    What are you talking about when you guys say coal?

    (I learn something new every day!)
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    sledge started this thread.
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    Thanks for all your input thus far gents. To answer some questions that may help. On my set-up (my rig as they say)
    *I run 10 ply "E Rated" tires on the truck
    *Because of running the 10 plys my mechanic suggested getting some Monroe Sensatrac shocks since mine were OE still when I bought the truck
    *My hitch is rated for 12,000 Lbs, I run a 10,000 lb Curt Ball
    *Trailer is a 16ft Dual Axle with brakes on all four wheels
    *Trailer Empty is roughly 1500 lbs

    Oh and Burly "Rolling Coal" is what diesel guys like to call it when you get that huge plume of black smoke out your tailpipe when they run it hard off the start!

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoScrapper View Post
    Just my personal opinion but it seems you could add leafs, bags, whatever, but at the end of the day you still own a 1/2 ton truck with 1/2 ton brakes, cooling, etc.

    I'd probably ditch the 1/2 and find a 3/4.

    Btw, I like the Cummins, buttttt that's gonna be in the Dodge.
    I don't know bout that cum-a-part but i won't EVER own a half ton again! Don't get get me wrong Ive pulled mad weight with my old half ton but the brakes just aren't there. I love the giant 13" drums on the rear of my C-20 ! In near future going to add the hydro boost to my '84 to get max stopping power.
    Alvord iron and salvage
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    I have a 2003 Chevrolet 2500HD extended cab with the 6.0L and a 4L80E Automatic Transmission. Almost has 350,000 miles on the Engine and uses 3/4 of a quart of oil every 3000 miles. I still to this day would hop in the truck and drive around the world, very relieable... I've replaced the transmission the transfer case and the normal front end parts (normal maint.) This truck was a former FABCO CAT truck it had a gooseneck hitch in the truck before I bought it and it also was a plow truck from the previous owner.. This truck has Been worked all of its life and Since I bought it. It has even a harder life now. I bought the truck with 145,541 miles on it. I've hauled everything from Rough Sawn Lumber to 2.5 Ton trucks.. and hauled a bumper pull 32ft enclosed trailer that weighed 18-20,000 LBS. My heaviest Load hauled in the box was 5,400 lbs of cut steel.. I highly recommend Getting this style Truck for any kind of hauling..

    The Bad: 8-10 mpg when hauling and maybe on a good day 13mpg empty...
    Cab noise -loud exhaust fixes that.

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    not off the start...when its under load mainly...after the turbo spools up the motor is right behind it. when the injection pump catches up its a shi!t load of fuel being dumped in into the cylinders. coal is just un burnt fuel pissing out your tail pipe..(BLACK SMOKE) in the hills my truck blows a little black smoke when towing.

    remember back in the day when farmers used to put stacks on their trucks so they wouldn't start grass fires when working in the fields. now its the coolest thing ever lol

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    Here is some pics....of the Stacks.


    Quote Originally Posted by cummins View Post
    not off the start...when its under load mainly...after the turbo spools up the motor is right behind it. when the injection pump catches up its a shi!t load of fuel being dumped in into the cylinders. coal is just un burnt fuel pissing out your tail pipe..(BLACK SMOKE) in the hills my truck blows a little black smoke when towing.

    remember back in the day when farmers used to put stacks on their trucks so they wouldn't start grass fires when working in the fields. now its the coolest thing ever lol



    Last edited by ginofrater; 10-14-2013 at 09:43 AM.


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