I need a Used 3/4 ton truck

We live in the Rockies and need a truck for towing horses. I am looking to spend $12-14M on a short bed diesel extended cab. I’m a first time truck owner. What should I look for

1) Is my price range fair

2) should I stay away from the Ford power stroke

3) is there a 3/4 ton model i should prefer

Thank you in advance for any comments or direction

I think that with $12-14 million you can pretty much get whatever you want in a truck :wink:

This is sort of like asking a bunch of people whether Coke or Pepsi is better. You’ll hear all manner of things.

Things like Consumer Reports reviews and scans of the internet for actual customer reviews/complaints about different vehicles is likely your best bet.

You may get a kick out of this recent thread: http://community.cartalk.com/posts/list/2161800.page

Cig stated it perfectly.

I’d also suggest that you throw the question out to those in the world of horses. Most of the horses I see being transported around here are in fifth-wheel trailers with larger than 3/4 ton pickups, usually with double rear wheels. With the weight of the animals, the high center of gravity, and the unusual tendency for the load shifting, horsess need special care beyond just towing capacity, and the tow vehicle needs to be stable beyond what it would with a static load.

I suggest you buy the one that is in the best condition. If you really must have a diesel, it will add $4000 to $5000 to the cost. You’re looking at a 2003 or earlier truck. A Ford F-250 HD with the V-10 engine is only about $200 more than the base V8. You could get a 2005 or 2006 with the big gas engine.

I purchased a four year old F350 V10 short bed to haul our bumper pull, four horse trailer. It has worked out well, because the trailer hauling is a relatively small part of the truck’s overall mileage. The problem with diesel is that the 5K or so extra for the engine gets passed down to the used vehicle price without much of a discount, so I decided I could purchase a lot of gasoline and suffer plenty of mileage penalties before I came close to breaking even. While a dually is nice, it is not necessary, in my opinion, unless you go for a very large fifth wheel set up.

My father in law purchased a 99 F250 diesel to haul his travel trailer, and he lives in it about nine months a year. That vehicle has worked out well with the 7.3 L diesel.

The newer 6.x diesels come with a bad reputation. Ford sued International, the manufacturer because of issues with them. I suspect you will see plenty of them on the used market, so be aware.

While Ford has developed new engines like the ones tested inthe Rocky Mountain showdown, I don’t think their overall reliability can be proven yet.

Of course, Cummins diesels also come with a rabid following (and a price attached). However, I have driven several 1999-2001 Dodges and they are very noisy in my opinion, and the truck cabin fitments leave a lot to be desired.

Am partial to the Chevy/GMC Duramax in diesel, but I think you’ll be paying a premium for the motor and suffer more on the truck. In gas I’d recommend the Ford F250 and you’ll get a better truck over all for the assumed $14K. I’d avoid Dodge unless you’re lucky to run into a pristine Cummins.

If you want a brute force pulling power, good mileage REAL diesel truck the Dodge has no equal. But it’s a nasty, noisy, smelly shake-you-apart TRUCK…If you want NICE, then a Ford is the way to go…I would hold out for a stick-shift for serious towing…In todays economy, you don’t have to spend $14K either…The truck goes before they foreclose on the hobby ranch…

Actually, now that you mention it I live in horse country and see exactly the same thing - lots of monster duallies (and many of them diesels).

The Dodge used to be the one to get, but once the Duramax came out and Ford’s 6.xL engines came out (despite their problems) The Cummins was weak sauce in stock form. Even the 24 valve Cummins doesn’t stack up well with the Duramax and new Powerstrokes. It may a “real” diesel but from a power and performance standpoint it’s pretty limp wristed compared to what the competition offers.

Maybe we should ask how close to 8000’ elevation these people live…Diesels can be a lot of fun in the high Rockies…