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Gas pickups

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Well-known member
Mar 31, 2008
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north central SD
I'm starting to look for a different pickup. I'm trying to figure out what to look for. I'm not particular about who makes it, I just want to have something that can pull a trailer once in a while and get the ranch work done. I've been doing it with a 99 Dodge 2500 with a 360 gas. I get about 10 mpg doing ranch work with some trailering now and then. So I'm trying to decide between Ford's 5.4L, Chevy's 6.0L, and Dodge's 5.7 HEMI. Are any of these an improvement over the 360? For those who have had these engines, what did you get for mileage? I have a 7 1/2 ft x 20 ft gooseneck livestock trailer so it needs to have the kahones to pull it. Thanks for the help.
I have the Ford 5.4 liter and I get about 16 to 18 miles per gallon. Don't pull a stock trailer with it, but it has some get up and go. Solid unit.

I've got a 5.4L and I pull a 8x28 Cattle trailer which holds 17 cows It's a load but I normally only need to haul 5 miles or less.Empty I get 14 mpg. I would bet not great but I can live with it. It has enough power to get speeding tickets so it passes my test. I don't care for the diesel exhaust and noise so thats my biggest reason for not wanting one and I've had one. The power and milage was'nt that much better.
F250 with a 5.4L pulling a 16'x8' Norbert and it goes good. Mileage is in the 16-20 range, but the 250 is a big heavy truck.
Does a lot of 4x4 work, pulls farm equipment, and is usually loaded with something.
It is a very tough engine.
They will all do the job. I pick the best combination of price and how comfortable the seat and steering wheel are. Haven't pulled anything with my hemi but it does go fast enough to get a speeding ticket. 8.1 Chev will allow me to pass anything loaded or empty but guzzles the fuel. Cummins diesel does most of my pulling but I agree with Denny that I dislike the fumes when warming it up.
My son and daughter in law traded thier Maxum as it was " sudgested " they needed a USA truck to do their sales calls in. It was 4 door and got about 16 to19 MPG driving around. Didn't use it for a live stock trailer but when pulling a 32' camper got about 12 to 15 MPG

They got the dodge as it was $5,000.00 under ford or chevy. Body is so thin when my daughter in law stumbled in the garage her elbow put a dent in the door of the truck. Then she opened the other door into the mirror on my son's motorcycle and put a dent in that door. Elbow was fine and mirror was fine but the metal is so thin if you look at it crossways you will get a dent!

Driving empty this dodge gets 12 MPG on a good day and pulling the same camper it gets 6 MPG. Last winter she got stuck in the snow and when she took it back to the dealer complaining the 4X4 did not work she was told it was her fault! The dealer told her the new trucks shut off all "non essential " functions if they are not hooked up to a dealers computer every 6 months to do a maintainence scan! ( truck was 7 months old and did not have enough miles on it to require an oil change yet )

She was told for $65.00 they would do the scan or for $68.00 they would do an oil change, lube, and tire rotation and the scan would be included! She spent the $68.00 but I feel dodge should be sued over this type of action! They are going to keep it for 2 years ( about another 15 months) and they will then be like me and never have another dodge!

Now you have to give dodge credit as it is a very pretty truck! And it does seem to have plenty of power to pull the camper. But with milage this bad the $5,000.00 they saved will be gone in no time!

We had a 1999 3/4 ton Dodge with the cummins diesel that we put over 300,000 miles on with 2 transmissions, 3 injector pumps and several other normal issues and for what we did with it I felt it was a good truck. But we no longer work pick-ups that hard ( now have 4 semi tractors and put multiple hitches on the back of one ) so the only pick-ups we have are my 1996 S-10 and the 2010 dodge. My son keeps telling me to upgrade the S-10 but is has over 327,000 miles and still gets in the upper teens for MPG and no one would give me more than junk price for it so I just keep driving it!
I'd say it probably depends on your terrain some too. I've pulled a 7 1/2 x 20 with both a 5.4 ford and a 6.0 chevy. The 6.0 is much stronger and wins hands down getting up and down our hills. The ford is a better ride for sure. Diesel motors make it nice because you can put on an exhaust brake to reduce downhill brake usage and improve overall stopping power. The new trucks also have the automatic downshift transmissions, which is helpful, but I don't think you can even get a stickshift in a General Motors product anymore.
The other man here at the Waldorf has a new Toyota Tacoma that he really likes. Ty and I both have Cummins that are chipped and get pretty good milegae with them. Mine is getting onto 200,000 miles on it. I think the possibility of a keeper or a lemon exists in all types unfortunately. I wish Toyota still made diesels in their small truck-I had one in the 80's that I really liked.
I am a died in the wool dodge guy when it comes to diesel trucks would own anything else. My neighbor is a chevy guy and loves gas trucks for the same reasons Denny said I have been in all types of gas trucks while they were pull trailers and I would say that I would have to go with the chevy. My neighbor has a one ton daully that never leaves the trailer always pull heavy loads and he is getting around 12 to 13 a mile and when I have pulled with him in my diesel he has pretty much kept up with me. I don't think you can go wrong with chevy and that allison transmission.
If the Dodge you have suits your trailer pulling needs, how about keeping it and buying a 1/2 ton or smaller for an economical runaround/chore pickup?

I have a '90 Jimmy 3500 with a 454 for my trailer puller. If I were to buy another pickup I'd look for something like George's S-10, except with lower miles.
Pretty hard to go wrong with a Ford 5.4L. May not have the extra power when pulling a trailer, but what percent of the time are you hooked up anyway? My Expedition with the 5.4 gets 17-19, and my 2007 F250 will get 18.

The other reason Ford gets the nod? THEY DIDN'T NEED TO GET BAILED OUT! I won't own a rice burner, and I'll never buy another GM or Chrysler product.

Took this picture last week. Truck is a '99 F-250 5.4L auto trans.
Burns a qt of oil between changes(esp if I don't use Lucas oil treatment) and gets 10-11 mph when I pull my hoof trimming chute.
Transmission has never given me an ounce of trouble.
John SD said:
If the Dodge you have suits your trailer pulling needs, how about keeping it and buying a 1/2 ton or smaller for an economical runaround/chore pickup?

I already have an economical outfit (95 Jeep Cherokee), but my pickup is a regular cab and we added 2 to the family in January (twins, boy and a girl) and would like to be able to put the whole family in it. I'll probably trade the Jeep off for an s-10 or something eventually. I'd rather have a box than the hatchback, but it works for now.

My Dodge has been pretty reliable. I don't put on a ton of miles, maybe 10-12,000/yr but they are hard miles. Short trips, gravel & pasture roads, pavement only when pulling a trailer (usually trying to keep up with dad's cummins so I'm pushing pretty hard!). Its only got 115,000 miles and is a perfect ranch pickup - 4x4, 5 speed trans, heavy duty grill guard, vinyl seats, rubber floor, crank down windows...just not room for the whole family.

I'm not looking for a diesel. Too many short trips and I don't want another bulk tank in the yard. And I don't want to worry about it gelling when it gets real cold. I worry enough about the tractor. Couple of years ago we got a bad batch of diesel and all the tractors gelled up so I was feeding with the pickup. Sure was glad I had a gas pickup then. Kinda scared me a little I guess.
Chev./GMC pickups make me disgusted. They aren't very handy. Ford pickups make me disgusted. They are handy but have operational problems.

Maybe Dodge pickups are the best if you don't get a total lemon.

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