Author Topic: Need a truck for the homestead  (Read 5107 times)

Offline NarrowAcreFarm

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Need a truck for the homestead
« on: October 26, 2016, 08:33:43 PM »
So I have never had a truck before and I was thinking of getting a Dodge truck possibly, with a bed and possibly a plow. I live in the northeast and would like to make a side business out of the plowing. Also a truck is so versatile for the homestead.  I'm interested in something strong enough to tow some stuff and be able to plow small parking lots and driveways. Just looking for tips and hints on what to look for and even brand preferences. I am just at the beginning stages and may not even get this, this year. I know Jack talks up the diesels but I think they are out of reach for me. Any tips would be great. Thanks.

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Need a truck for the homestead
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2016, 10:15:34 PM »
Pushing a lot of snow, especially wet snow takes a lot of torque which is something diesels are good for. Diesels tow more too.

The funny thing is that most people recommend not to pick up a used Diesel if it has been used for plowing.

Never owned one so let's see what the others say.

Jerseyboy

Offline Zef_66

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Re: Need a truck for the homestead
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 10:40:23 AM »
I won't ever consider buying a used truck if it has been used for plowing. Plow trucks are ran in the worse road conditions, through lots of salt, and are generally abused by plowing.

That said, there is some money that can be made with a good plow truck and dedicated operator. Generally, being self employed or unemployed (and plow for cash) works the best to be a plow driver. When the snow flies, you need to be in that truck. For some deep snows, that can mean 36-48 hours of constant operation to keep things clear. If someone is paying you to plow a parking lot, you need to keep it open throughout the storm. Not just plowing once it is all finished. Also, if you are getting 15+ inches, a truck isn't going to plow that. So you need to plow several times throughout the storm to make sure you can get it all taken care of.

You can make a little bit of money doing a couple neighbor's driveways. But generally there isn't much money in that. Personal people don't want to pay much. And you don't get good return for the time you spend and equipment you have to keep up. Typically the larger customers like businesses and such pay better and pay on time. Not always, but generally.

For equipment, I wouldn't want to plow with anything smaller than a 3/4 ton truck. Diesel is not necessary, but helps to push more. Obviously four wheel drive is mandatory. You don't want to pick up something with a pile of miles on it either. You want something that is going to be trustworthy and not break down on you. If you are making money with the vehicle, you need it to stay running. So that also means you want to keep up on the maintenance. Oil changes, tires, brakes, etc all need to be kept in tip top shape to make sure you can do the job when needed.

Offline NarrowAcreFarm

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Re: Need a truck for the homestead
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2016, 07:15:48 PM »
I'm looking at the Dodge ram 2500 quad cabs. I was thinking maybe I can find a 2015 leftover all the way to 2012 amd still get financing. Seems like a powerful truck for the money used. I do have a full time job, but I was thinking I could work the scheduling around the jobs and use sick days etc for when I really need to be plowing like you said. That being said I would not be able to be plowing for 48 hours at a time as I have a family and full time job to service as well.

Richard (richard)

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Re: Need a truck for the homestead
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2016, 07:46:54 PM »
There are times when I want a certain dream tool but really don't have a use for it, so I dream up a project that I would have to have it for. Is that what you're doing? I don't think you really want to plow snow, or need to, you just want to have a throaty-sounding oil-burner. Have you looked into arranging snow plowing contracts? Around here you have to have the job done by 5 a.m. if you want the contract. And it is not hourly, or per incident, it is a seasonal amount, so if you are deluged, you are screwed. And to make any money at it you have to have a handful of contracts, all done by 5 a.m. And what if you have a breakdown when it is pitch dark out and employees are trying to get into the lot that you haven't got cleared? And lastly it is my guess that you won't find anyone that doesn't already have arrangements. If you want the truck, get it, but don't peg it to a snowplowing gig.

Offline NarrowAcreFarm

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Re: Need a truck for the homestead
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2016, 08:28:44 PM »
Well that's partially correct. I always wanted a truck and always dreamt about plowing snow for years just never thought I could do it. I'm not a car ego guy. I have family cars. I want something utilitarian to what I'm doing in the homestead and if I could plow some snow to make extra income that'd be great also.  I work nights I could conceivably plow the snow while people slept after I got off my primary job. Also I have a hyundai to drive to work, I wouldn't be using this for anything but my own job related functions. I drive 30 miles to work each way it just wouldn't be worth it.  I would love to make money moving with this thing as well. I'm thinking the 2500 series as most trucks this size have more power and gadgets and are usually only 2-5k more then the smaller versions of themselves ( I guess for the folks that want a truck without ever usong it as such).

Offline dirt

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Re: Need a truck for the homestead
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2016, 08:15:05 AM »
Hi Guys, hoping i can jump in on this topic.  I'm also looking for a truck for the homestead and I'm hoping to get some recommendations.  I'm in Southern NH so I need it to be able to stand up to pretty much all conditions.  4x4.  I'd like to have rear seating but not a full on crew cab - don't want to give up the bed space.  I have a daily driver to commute to work so I don't care a ton about fuel economy, this would be for picking up hay, dump runs, hauling firewood, plowing the driveway, etc.  I'm not completely unfamiliar with diesel engines so that is certainly an option.  The biggest question for me is - I am looking for something extremely common so there will be a greater availability of used parts.  I like to do as much work as possible myself without ordering brand new parts all the time.  I also tend to like older vehicles with less emissions regs/etc, but realize we are getting to the point where these vehicles are getting up there in age.  In my head, I'm looking for like a 1992 Ford F150/F250?  Does that seem right?

d3nni5

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Re: Need a truck for the homestead
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2016, 02:12:32 PM »


I can speak specifically to Dodge 2500's because I own one.   I have a 2006 Power Wagon.   While it's not a diesel, it does have a low rear gear ratio and torque to spare.   I wouldn't plow with it, only because of what others said...it really puts a hurting on a vehicle.   But it COULD plow snow without any issues.

That being said, if you are looking into a plow truck for that specific purpose, Dodge makes a great vehicle. 

Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Need a truck for the homestead
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2016, 03:10:34 PM »
This is what I have and it has more power than I know what to do with and it has been very reliable.  That said, they aren't cheap.  Even 16YO trucks like mine can be worth 80-90% of what I paid for it new.  As for buying a diesel motor, unless you are towing a lot, I don't think there is a good ROI.

2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 2500 SLT 5.9L Diesel
Horsepower: 325 hp @ 2,900 rpm
Towing capacity: 8,400 lbs
Engine: 5.9 L 6-cylinder diesel
Torque: 610 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

Offline Carl

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Re: Need a truck for the homestead
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2016, 06:41:28 PM »
  For HIRE means much higher insurance and often commercial drivers license.
I would NOT use a simple push blade ...an active plow with a PTO snow mover/blower might save some wear and tear on the vehicle
and be faster at the job that you may have no experience doing. Go big or suffer costly maintenance.

Offline greencountry

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Re: Need a truck for the homestead
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2017, 08:05:29 PM »
Sit down and really think about what you are going to do with this truck.
Pros to a diesel:
  lots of power, lots of torque, less maintenance than gas, heavier than a gas truck(good for snow), lots of life with proper maintenance.
Cons of diesel:
  higher price of vehical, higher price of fuel, higher price of parts and labor, heavier than a gas truck (bad for mud)
How I look at it is if you will be working this truck a lot diesel is the way to go. If it will only be worked once in a while I would go with a gas engine.

I am a mechanic that drives a Ford 550 gasoline engine, and Dodge 5500 diesel engine. I work for a big company with hundreds of heavy duty trucks on the road. They do studies all the time to try to figure out what is the best per dollar. Gas trucks are cheaper but will not last near as long and diesel costs more but will last 2x longer. Its just up to you if you want to spend more less often or spend less more often.

One last word of my 2 cents worth. If you buy a diesel and live in a state were you can get away with it, spend the money and do the emissions delet to it. Its not cheap but from what I have seen most of the time these trucks are in the shop its usully for emissions related parts. It will usually cost $2,000-$3,000 to get it back out of the shop. Not only will the delet solve these problems but you will also gain alot (100 +/-) horsepower.