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Thread: Truck selection

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Posts
    304

    Default Truck selection

    This isn't quite a welding question, but I think there will probably be some folks on here that could help me make a decision. I'm looking at getting a new work truck here sometime this next year. My question is do I stay with the one ton heavy pick up chassis, or step up to a small, low profile class 5 truck. I was looking as something like a 4400 series International or one of the business class Freightliners. I would want to spec it out with no more than a ten foot flat bed with all the usually amenities such as GN ball and tool boxes. I may even go ahead and recess mount a winch in the front of the bed and possible a rolling tailboard. Right now, a 3500 will do just fine, but I was thinking down the line for pulling some bigger trailers and equipment. One of the major drawbacks would be maneuverability on some job sites and the fact that I probably wouldn't be able to afford 4WD on the bigger chassis. Just thought I'd see if anybody on here has made that transition before and what your opinion would be. SSS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suffield, Ohio
    Posts
    344

    Default

    If you have the money I would recomend one of the International XT truck series.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,495

    Default

    Exactly what type of business are you in? How much do you anticipate driving the truck (annual miles?).

    I was in exactly the same position you were about ten years ago, working off an overloaded Ford F350, getting close to replacement. Considering F450/F550, upwards of $30,000, plus the time and cost of building a bed. Started looking at used medium trucks (class 5 and 6). Took a couple years, came upon an IHC 1900, already set up as a welding rig, with a 400 amp Miller on it, for $15,000. DT466, air brakes, common components throughout. Maintenance for the most part has been nil, tires, brakes, and parts are common and relatively cheap compared to those on Ford/GMC class 4 or 5 products and much easier and simpler to work on. Did have to do an in-frame, but that was my fault, the same problem on any other truck/engine without wet sleeves would have potentially been much more expensive.

    I have found the big truck is so overbuilt for what it does, things just hold up much better.

    Manuverability hasn't been a problem, customers either make adjustments or they are replaced by new customers who appreciate the service I can bring them with the big truck.

    For me, anyway, this was the only logical business decision to make. Much more money has ended up in my pocket due to my buying this truck, rather than a new F450/F550 class truck.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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    Default

    I really like the basic idea behind the 450/550 idea, but have some of the same reserves that you had, calweld. (I've looked at the XT, but I could buy a Z06 and a work truck for that kind of $) As the guy that does 95% of his own mechanical work, I just can't bring myself to buy a V8 diesel that you can't even see the engine when you open the hood. Now if only Dodge built a 4500, I'd consider it with a straight 6. Granted, the power stroke is just a repackaged VT 365, but in a 'nash you can at least get to it! I have put an untold amount of miles behind at DT466E in the 47/4900 trucks. It'll never rip out a drivetrain with too much power, but it's as reliable as the day is long. As far as the $ side, your right. I've found some decent straight trucks for about half that of a new 550, and there's no comparison to the durability. I just have to be able to work off the truck and can't have a real high bed height (36" max).

    To answer your question, I'm in primarily residential general contracting with some side ventures into light commercial. I'd say the truck would get around 10-15K miles/year mainly due to the fact that my work is in about a 30 mile radius of the house. Right now I average dragging about 12K lbs around with the loader and attachments. The bad part is that I'm not dedicated to just one area of construction. I have to be extremely flexible and tackle new problems/situation on a daily (if not hourly) basis. Basically, I have to be able to pick up everybody else's slack when they leave and something little needs to be done. There are days I'm a weldor, carpenter, mason, painter, and trashman....and that's just before lunch. I would like to be set up with something that I could permanently leave my basic mobile welding outfit (bobcat/torches/air comp/hand tools) on, plus be able to drag around equipment. When things get a little less hectic, I'd like to branch out and start doing all of my own dirt work. This of course would mean I need something to haul a D-5 and track-hoe around with.

    So, there's my situation. It's not going to be an easy answer and there are pros and cons to all sides. Ideally, I'd have my compact truck for running around, a nice 3500 decked out with the small stuff and then a dedicated move/haul truck for the equipment. But then I wake up and realize there's no way I can justify that much equipment to maintain, insure, and most of it would be sitting. I can only be in one place at a time (despite what some customers/contractors think I should be able to do).

    SSS
    Last edited by SkidSteerSteve; 01-07-2007 at 04:34 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Auburn, IN
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SkidSteerSteve View Post
    Now if only Dodge built a 4500, I'd consider it with a straight 6.
    SSS
    You're about to get your wish!! Check out this article at Allpar.com!!
    Lincoln Tombstone 180 AC
    Hobart Handler 120
    Millermatic 210
    Old Harris O/A setup
    Victor SuperRange II on propane
    Hypertherm Powermax 380
    Ryobi 14" chop saw
    Milwaukee Sawzall
    A bunch of grinders
    A lotta other tools

    Check out my website at: Ed Eldridge's Race Page




    http://www.millerwelds.com/education/projects/mboard/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1518&dateline=1167491  754

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Thanks BigEd,

    I haven't seen this info yet. I'll check around and see what else I can find out. I won't be serious about getting something until next fall sometime, but I'm starting the process now. The only thing I didn't like about the article was the line "Eventually, a Mercedes diesel and the Chrysler automated manual transmission may be added." Is it going to be a true Mercedes, or a rebadged Detroit like Freightliner is putting in the new M2s? Whatever happened to the days of Ford being Ford, Chevy being Chevy, Dodge being dodge. Maybe I'll just get me an Interforevyodge. It'll either the best of all worlds, or more likely the worst of all worlds

    SSS

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Auburn, IN
    Posts
    42

    Default

    It's the same in the big rigs (I'm a truck driver). Peterbilt, Kenworth, and Freightliner (commonly called Freight Shaker) are teaming up to build a truck........it will be called the Peter Worth Shakin'!!
    Lincoln Tombstone 180 AC
    Hobart Handler 120
    Millermatic 210
    Old Harris O/A setup
    Victor SuperRange II on propane
    Hypertherm Powermax 380
    Ryobi 14" chop saw
    Milwaukee Sawzall
    A bunch of grinders
    A lotta other tools

    Check out my website at: Ed Eldridge's Race Page




    http://www.millerwelds.com/education/projects/mboard/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1518&dateline=1167491  754

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Talk about the American way of doing something...Did you know that Freightliner was started by a freight company (I think it was Consolidate Freightways AKA Corn flake) because nobody else would build a truck they wanted to handle the west coast runs. So they just said fine, we'll just build our own. And the rest is, as they say, history (now it's headquartered in Germany )

    Words of wisdom from the road:
    Keep it between the ditches,
    Hope the chicken coups are closed,
    Don't run the front door in Ohio,
    Make sure your New Mexico card is valid,
    And remember to fill up in the morning so you don't have any pesky time stamp when you really got there

    SSS
    Last edited by SkidSteerSteve; 01-07-2007 at 09:01 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Auburn, IN
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Yep, it was definitely Consolidated Freightways. I had some friends that drove for them out of the Angola, IN terminal. Consolidated is gone now, as far as I know. I believe CCX is in their old terminal. CCX, I believe, is one of the companies that Consolidated spun off, that paid less than CF did. I don't worry 'bout the rest of the stuff you mentioned now, I run a local job shuttling parts into the GM pickup assembly plant in Fort Wayne. I drive 34 miles to work, shuttle 7 - 9 loads a day into the plant, driving at the most 30 miles, and then drive 34 miles back home. Too bad it doesn't pay as good as when I was running the road, but I don't miss being gone all the time, I actually have a life now!

    Ed
    Lincoln Tombstone 180 AC
    Hobart Handler 120
    Millermatic 210
    Old Harris O/A setup
    Victor SuperRange II on propane
    Hypertherm Powermax 380
    Ryobi 14" chop saw
    Milwaukee Sawzall
    A bunch of grinders
    A lotta other tools

    Check out my website at: Ed Eldridge's Race Page




    http://www.millerwelds.com/education/projects/mboard/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1518&dateline=1167491  754

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    springvale me
    Posts
    89

    Default

    Hi steve you do want to go with the low pro. but stay away from the chevy 45-5500 class the drive trains have a little difficulty and the rear fuel tanks are huge and get in the way if you want a hoist or hitch at the back. the KW and internationals are a good bet and the frames are usualy heavy enough to do a crane on them also. how ever the 4500-5500 chevy do come in 4x4 modles also its the save gvw as a f450 and 550 with a huge cab on it. hope this helped
    garthswelding@aol.com trail blazer 301g with all the fixins:delta band saw dewalt chop saw craftsman drill press, sp-135 mm251 spectrum 375 suite case mig, tig w/hi freq. one welding truck.

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