Purchasing a used pick-up truck

I’m looking for a good quality, used diesel pick up. I don’t care about the make, year or cab configuration but do care about towing capability, reliability, brakes and dependability. I intend to use the truck solely for pulling a six horse trailer to and from various horse shows. Some of the driving will be on mountain roads so “grunt” and brakes are very important. As I have no history with trucks I thought this forum could give me some helpful advice.

Unless you want to go with something pretty new the only thing with any age on it that I would even consider would be a vehicle using the Cummins 6 so I guess you should be looking for a Dodge. Stay far away from GM 6.2’s and that newer FORD Powerstroke (6.6 I believe,is another one to stay away from).

If you don’t consider year model 2000 or so to be too old or new the larger Powerstroke FORD would be a good choice.

Other than a few years of Powerstrokes in the 2000’s where they really did have some design issues, I think any of the big-3 diesels are pretty good. Just try to find the one that’s the best deal for the truck that’s in the best shape.

You may also consider some of the V10 gas trucks too. From what I’ve heard, especially about the Ford version, they have about the same towing capacity as the diesel and only get moderately lower fuel economy, but are much cheaper to maintain and are way cheaper to buy used.

That is exactly what led me to my 03 F350 V10 purchased used. At the time I bought, the premium for a used diesel was being passed 100% to the buyer, it appeared. I got the V10 instead and averaged about .3 mpg lower than a Dodge Diesel I had used in the past, when I hauled my 4 horse trailer over the same routes.

Does it pull as good as the Cummins?-Kevin

Check out the excellent Turbo Diesel Register buyers guide. Buy a Cummins. Join TDR for the best diesel info around. I love my 2006 Dodge Ram diesel.

I have owned them all and all are good. There is not a thing wrong with any of the Powerstrokes or Duramax engines. Some versions have quirks that you need to be up-to-speed on to take proper care of them, Cummins included. The early Cummins, for example, were dogs. Great mileage…no power. As their power output increased, their problems increased. Not to mention the transmissions they were coupled to. It is always wise to look hard at first-model-year releases but recognise that you can get a very good deal on them - the trade off is often worth it for people on a budget.

It is good to remember that everything is a trade-off and ALL engines need to be understood by their owner and cared-for properly. It is the whole package that matters - engine, trans, transfer case, hubs, shafts, accessories, etc.

You are a very “tolerant” man to give the 6.2 GM Diesel a favorable review.

No difference in pulling power, stability or cruising ability. I am extraordinarily happy so far.

There is a stereotype that pick-up truck owners don’t take very good care of their trucks. This may not be a fair stereotype, but you should make sure you get any used vehicle checked out by your mechanic before you buy it. Personally, I would opt for a new truck so I know it gets proper maintenance from day one.

The 05-up V10’s have the 3 valve heads, and 5 speed automatic torqueshift transmissions. They are absolute beasts and even get a little better mileage than 2 valve V10’s with 4 speed automatic. I used a 05 V10 F-350 4x4 as my demonstrator when I sold Fords. Fantastic vehicle.