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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at picking up a used medium duty truck. Ford/Chevy/Dodge 550/5500. Needs to be 4x4 and will service multiple purposes. About three days a month it will have a 300 gallon vacuum tank with small vac pump (this will be a removable setup). Will also hall equipment on gooseneck and bumper pull trailers. And, will probably want a service bed on it with tool boxes.

I'm kind of getting tired of having three different trucks for these purposes. I think I would prefer to have one to register/insure/maintain.

Will see mostly pavement but will have it's fair share of snow/muddy roads.

What's everyone's thoughts on best manufacturer and year range?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ford 1st
dodge second
chevy nope
Thanks. Just curious why the Ford? Drivetrain, chassis, interior?

I have a 2002 Cummins, but I really don't know much about the differences in the newer diesels. I do most of my own maintenance/repairs, so prefer something that's not crazy to turn wrenches on and has longevity.
 

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We have a dodge/ram 5500 with a service bed/welder/5500lb crane on it. Runs about 17k lbs with our tools and junk. It’s been a decent truck for us bought it with ~88,000 miles. We have had to do a wheel bearing, front brakes, and new tires on it between buying it and 110,000 miles. Tires and brakes do seem to be a weak point between it and a real medium duty truck like a f650/750 freightliner f70. Until some exhaust bits magically fell off it was very slow and under powered but now with a mild tune it’s much better and has better milage. The mechanic we use told us that a real medium duty truck would hold up better and be cheaper to run with tires and breaks, he has been somewhat right, but it’s offset with the comfort and drivability of what is basically a big dually vs a real truck.

Around here and in Richiebros auctions it seems the dodge is it as common as the ford for used units. The fords mostly come with the v10 though. I’d buy another ram, for industrial use it seems to be on par with the fords in durability and interior longevity.
 

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2014 ram 5500 regulator cab stripped cab, enclosed box. Weighs in at 15.5k when full of fuel. About 72,000 miles.

I fucking hate the truck. Interior rattles. The vents blow out like a constipated fairy fart. It cant keep tires under it to save its life. The brakes suck dick. Throws a DEF code when you use the exhaust brake.

The engine is predictable and the truck is just consistently slow. It's slow by its self with it's weird shift flares and it's slow pulling a 16k lb bean head. Not sure if the bean head slowed it down at all, but it was slow as fuck already. So take that performance evaluation for what you will.
I hate the shift flares in the transmission. Was told by dealer it was caused by "normal actions from transmission programming"
The plastic top coolant y likes to crack and leak. Get a.metal one and be done.
The brakes suck on these trucks. And they suck to change. And they wear out decently fast
 

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ford 1st
dodge second
chevy nope
Zactly!

There is a reason you see alot less Dodge & Chevy medium duty truck fleets.

My work truck is a 2019 Ford F550 extra cab 4x4 with a Maintainer crane service body and lube skid. Truck weights in at 18,650 ready to roll. I have put 33k miles on the truck since May 3rd of last year and have ZERO complaints. Runs great, comfortable to drive and no problems. I love my truck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, sounds like the Dodge is more of a pig than I thought.

Also, I have a few actual medium duty trucks... International 4300 and 4700. But, I need something smaller and a little more nimble but preferably bigger than a straight up 1 ton.

As for the diesels, am I better off with newer using DEF or older non-DEF. Not a money thing, but a power and reliability thing for me.
 

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What ford engine is good? I read nothing but bad things about anything thats not a 7.3. Curious.
I see that you are in Colorado, is that the rockies part or the flat part?

If flat, a v10 F550 would be a killer truck and probably tow decent with the gearing they have.

If you're way up in the mountains, you'd probably hate it. The F550s are solid trucks, what sucks is the 7.3 versions have all been worked to death, then the 6.0 and 6.4 ones are garbage. So you're stuck going with an 11+ with Def. In my experience, the 6.7 F550s have been pretty solid. My old work did have one that ate the short block at ~90k but it was always 20k lbs or heavier and the guy drove it like it was an F150.

Tires..... The stock continentals are garbage. What we did on ours was go to 245s up from the 225s, along with a 14 or 16 ply tire depending on the weight you're carrying. Don't try to go with an aggressive tread either, all 19.5s suck off road, so just get something mild, otherwise they'll wear terrible.
 

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My current work truck is a 2016 f550 6.7. Just hit 71k on it. I drive it like I stole it. With full transfer tank it's 21k pounds. Tools, 8k crane, welder and compressor. Only issue so far is broke centering pin on crane side getting up a 1' concrete ledge. It's governed at 83mph, I drive it with my foot on the floor and it gets 7.1 mpg. On the hills in norcal I can do about 55. If I've got anything behind me it's 45-50ish. If I have 10-15k then it's 30-45. Damn good truck, for a ford. Sucks up the def and fuel, but so does my personal fiat 3500 towing
 

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Yota, I am in California, Montrose is a small little city in LA

So Ford 6.7 > 6.4 and 6.0? You mention 7.3, so I am assuming you are talking an older 550?
 

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Wow, sounds like the Dodge is more of a pig than I thought.

Also, I have a few actual medium duty trucks... International 4300 and 4700. But, I need something smaller and a little more nimble but preferably bigger than a straight up 1 ton.

As for the diesels, am I better off with newer using DEF or older non-DEF. Not a money thing, but a power and reliability thing for me.

Have you looked at isuzu's? A little NPR sounds perfect for what you need. But if your only set on the big 3 as said the f550 or 450 would be best but damn that fuel milage seems really bad as posted above.

Most tires will wear out fast at 20k all the time. Retreads are your friend.

I ran a GMC W4 for 7 years in NY traffic with a 12foot tall utility body.130k with an oil change every year during downtime. Tose damn things are beasts. It got roughly 12 mpg at 17500 lbs. The later ones can be had with the bigger 5.7L diesel.
 

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Looking at picking up a used medium duty truck. Ford/Chevy/Dodge 550/5500. Needs to be 4x4 and will service multiple purposes. About three days a month it will have a 300 gallon vacuum tank with small vac pump (this will be a removable setup). Will also hall equipment on gooseneck and bumper pull trailers. And, will probably want a service bed on it with tool boxes.
How much do the trailers you pull weigh? Something that tripped up the bean counters at work when they bought medium duties is that many of the guys could not use them to pull trailers with as it would push them into another liscense class due to the weight of the medium duty + trailer. Obviously a specific state issue but something to be aware of if the medium duty is pushing you close to your liscense weight limit.
 

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Have you looked at isuzu's? A little NPR sounds perfect for what you need. But if your only set on the big 3 as said the f550 or 450 would be best but damn that fuel milage seems really bad as posted above.

Most tires will wear out fast at 20k all the time. Retreads are your friend.

I ran a GMC W4 for 7 years in NY traffic with a 12foot tall utility body.130k with an oil change every year during downtime. Tose damn things are beasts. It got roughly 12 mpg at 17500 lbs. The later ones can be had with the bigger 5.7L diesel.
did the Isuzu/ GM variants ever come in 4wd? I'm thinking they might be a little light on power with mountain passes everywhere in the OP's area.

With all the newer diesels the '7.5-'10 or '11 trucks were the first round of DPF/ emissions trucks and are asking for problems. I wouldn't rule out a '05-'07 Chevy/ GMC 5500 with a 6.6 duramax and 5 or 6 speed allison. 7.3 trucks are reliable but are going to have a 4r100 4 speed if you get an auto. I personally would stay away from 6.0 or 6.4 fords.
 

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did the Isuzu/ GM variants ever come in 4wd? I'm thinking they might be a little light on power with mountain passes everywhere in the OP's area.

With all the newer diesels the '7.5-'10 or '11 trucks were the first round of DPF/ emissions trucks and are asking for problems. I wouldn't rule out a '05-'07 Chevy/ GMC 5500 with a 6.6 duramax and 5 or 6 speed allison. 7.3 trucks are reliable but are going to have a 4r100 4 speed if you get an auto. I personally would stay away from 6.0 or 6.4 fords.
Yes, and it's extremely handy especially if you don't have weight on the back.

550/5500 isn't MDT.
MDT=two big parallel pieces of straight steel C-channels for a frame and air brakes.
 
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