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Best truck for the job


burningbaal's Avatar
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05-22-16, 10:03 AM   #1 (permalink)  
Best truck for the job

We have about a 1/2 acre (not much, but it's the biggest piece) of our yard that will begin getting totally overhauled next year and we're going to buy an old truck for the work. something that I can haul debris around in, hopefully pull stumps out with (small ones, like overgrown rhododendrons), pull a 2-axle trailer with thousands of pounds on it, take loads to the green-waste-dump, etc.

I'm thinking a mid-90's 3/4-ton truck, but am looking for advice about what to look for. certain upgrades that are important (like trailer brakes, I know), certain types of engines or tranny? certain types of suspension? should I think more about a 1-ton? or even dually?

thanks!

 
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05-22-16, 10:34 AM   #2 (permalink)  
I can only suggest what I have experienced. For all the load you enumerate, how many times will you be doing this on a 1/2 acre tract? If it is something you will continue to do I suggest a Dodge Ram 3500 with a Cummins Diesel 5.9 liter with a 5 speed transmission in 4wd. I drive a 2001 dually and have 468,000 miles on it with only routine maintenance and fix up when things wear out.

 
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05-22-16, 10:43 AM   #3 (permalink)  
You'll probably want 4 wheel drive if you intend to pull stumps .... and even then that could be iffy, depends on the type or tree/soil. You'll likely want a V8, definitely a full size truck. The odds are you won't find a truck already equipped with trailer brakes but it can be added to most trucks.

I'd suggest decided how much you intend to spend for a used truck and then see what is available in that price range.


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05-22-16, 12:56 PM   #4 (permalink)  
I've been doing all the jobs your suggesting for many years with just a two wheel drive F150.
Only difference is I'm working dozens of yards and one 17 acre estate not a tiny 1/2 acre lot.
I've pulled many a bush out and never had an issue with getting stuck or not being able to get it out.
I use a heavy chain with a grab hook on one end a slip hook on the other so it tightens up as you pull on it.
I have a 16' equipment trailer, 12' utility trailer, and a 5000 Lb. dump trailer and never had trouble pulling them.
You going to pay a lot more for a 3/4 ton or a 4 wheel drive that would be far more then you'd ever need for what little your going to be doing.

 
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05-22-16, 02:42 PM   #5 (permalink)  
As mentioned, a truck can pull a lot more then it can carry. Most 1/2 ton trucks can pull around 7500 lbs while they can only carry about 1300 lbs in the bed. The heaviest thing you will carry in the bed is dirt. Dirt is not light, and about 1/3 bed full will put the truck down to the axles.

If you have a tandem trailer that will do the heavy load carrying I would also tend to go with a 1/2 ton truck. The repair parts will be cheaper, there will be more for sale to choose from, they will likely be less expensive to buy, and typically they will be cheaper to run with better fuel milage and oil changes. I have had a 2000 Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton since new and it still does everything I need it to do. I would think you would be able to find a early 2000's truck for under $5K.


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05-23-16, 05:19 AM   #6 (permalink)  
Truck

I agree with Chandler's recommendation and would add a dump bed unless you plan on a dump trailer. Just my 2 cents.

 
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05-23-16, 06:09 AM   #7 (permalink)  
You did all see where this is only a 1/2 lot, right?
Why would he need a dump truck or trailer unless he's planning on going into the landscape business.
Whole lot cheaper if they need fill, top soil, mulch to just have it delivered.

 
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05-23-16, 07:20 AM   #8 (permalink)  
I agree with Joe, too, in that I could load up 1/2 acre of dirt in 10 loads on my truck, haul it away and leave you with a big hole. Future use is important. If you plan on continuing the activity, say, for hire, then get what will do the job over a long run. Otherwise, you could rent a truck to do what little there seems to be to do on that small lot.

Yeah, Ken, I wish I had a dump body on mine for trash day. You wouldn't believe the amount of demo stuff I have to haul off. Too little for a dumpster.

 
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05-23-16, 04:54 PM   #9 (permalink)  
Truck

You did all see where this is only a 1/2 lot, right?
Why would he need a dump truck or trailer unless he's planning on going into the landscape business.
Whole lot cheaper if they need fill, top soil, mulch to just have it delivered.
Hey, the poster wants to buy a truck. Lets help him spend his money.

 
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05-23-16, 05:27 PM   #10 (permalink)  
For what you have for a lot a 1/2 ton, 2wd pick up truck and a 5 x 10 trailer, non dumping with two foot sides will do more than you need.
If you do need more it is far more economical to just have soil or gravel delivered than to own the equipment to do it.

The only upgrade I would suggest is to make sure whatever truck you buy has an 8' box.......anything less is pretty useless as a real truck.


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05-23-16, 05:46 PM   #11 (permalink)  
Have to agree 100% Greg and good point about the 8' bed, I forgot to mention that.
I had a short bed truck once and hated it.
90% of what I put in the bed is at least 8' long.

 
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05-26-16, 07:49 PM   #12 (permalink)  
Thanks for your input, everyone.
I definitely realize the 1/2 acre of land I'm gonna work is small, but it is a lot of work for its size. I plan to pull the stump of several huge shrubs (small trees? Rhodies get huge in the Seattle area) and have dozens of yards of greenwaste, plus trips to buy things at the home improvement store, etc.

Is 2wd gonna really do it? I'm expecting to be mucking around in non-level muddy (part of the project is getting a seasonal waterflow to be a creek instead of a 1500 sq ft puddle) PNW yard.
I can kinda see the argument for 1/2 ton except I'm liking the idea of pulling a heavy tandem trailer (with 2-3 pallets of retaining wall blocks or low # of yards of fill material), but 2wd for non-pavement in the PNW sounds like a terrible idea for my limited experience.

seems like your average 3/4 ton 4wd would be the safest bet? maybe diesel if it's available. I'm expecting mid-late 90's model, any reason not to? any of the big 3 makes better/worse in that era?

 
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05-27-16, 03:59 AM   #13 (permalink)  
I have an old ford 4x4 1/2 ton pickup. I also have a tandem axle trailer that I use for various things including transporting my tractor. The kids will call if their vehicle breaks down since that way they don't have to pay for a wrecker I do overload my truck from time to time but it's always handled it


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05-27-16, 05:50 AM   #14 (permalink)  
2wd vs 4wd

I have always been partial to 4wd. More traction in severe conditions. Using low range 4wd will put less strain on the transmission when pulling stumps. Just my 2 cents. Let us know what you decide. Good luck.

 
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05-27-16, 08:16 AM   #15 (permalink)  
I don't know where in Snohomish county you live but I lived in Mountlake Terrace for 22 years. I had a tiny house on a shy 1/4 acre and I thought I needed a truck. I bought a Dodge (Mitsubishi) 1/4 ton and it was all the truck I ever needed. Never had a job that would have required four-wheel drive and for the added cost and complexity I'm glad I never bought FWD. I found I could haul a whole lot more than the 1/4 ton listed payload without problem. I think I once hauled about 1200 pounds of bagged concrete mix up the hill between highway 99 and home (220th Street SW) without any problem.

One problem I did have one time was thinking I didn't need to tie down a dozen 2x4 studs. I went around the corner there from 99 to 220th and they slid over and out of the box. I had to scramble to get them back in the box without getting run over by the other traffic.

Oh, I had large Rhodies in the front yard at that house and it wasn't any big deal to remove them. Didn't even think about using the truck to pull them out.

I live in Bothell now, just north of the King county line. I haven't had a truck since about 1989 and while there have been occasions when I could certainly have used one the truth is that the money I have saved in insurance and licensing fees would allow me to rent any truck I could drive almost any time I desired.

So, unless you REALLY plan on going into a business where you would need a large truck or FWD I would advise going cheap and small.

 
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03-11-17, 01:03 PM   #16 (permalink)  
After having three, I can say I will never buy General Motors ever again.

My next truck will be either Toyota, or Honda, either will be 4x4. And for what you are looking for in this thread the Toyota Tundra should work. I'm leaning towards the Tacoma 4x4 extended cab myself, since I won't be trying any stump pulling.

 
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03-11-17, 01:16 PM   #17 (permalink)  
Thanks for the additional input Bob.
I'd imagine since this thread is almost a year old that the OP has purchased a vehicle.


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