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  1. #1
    Elite Member
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    Stowe, Vermont
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    Kubota L3240HST, KX-121-3S

    Default Half ton vs 3/4 ton pickup?

    I have a 2002 Chevy regular cab longbed 4x4 pickup that I'm pretty happy with. Sure, it would be nice to have power windows so I can give the dogs air without pulling over. But that eight foot bed is really nice when it comes to bringing home loads of hay for the sheep, hauling firewood, etc. And the 5.3L engine has plenty of power for shoving snow aside.

    My problem is the truck is fairly regularly called upon to push its hauling capacity and I worry that I'm shortening the life expectancy of my truck. Last winter our water line froze and for six weeks I brought home 400 gallons of water every Monday and Thursday. That's a lot of weight! And then there are the cab high loads of maple for firewood, the stone and gravel I occasionally bring home, and the 700# of ballast I carry in winter to offset the weight of the snowplow.

    Should I, while the truck still has value and is in good shape, consider trading up to a 2500HD (or F250 for you Ford guys; sorry, but Dodge is out because of our crappy local dealers) or should I just add a leaf to the rear and drive it till the poor thing collapses?

    Pete

  2. #2
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    South Puget Sound, WA
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    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: Half ton vs 3/4 ton pickup?

    A trailer is cheaper. My half ton 98 chevy hauls my trailer plus 4500 lbs of tractor easily. Why upsize your truck and be punished in initial cost plus fuel when you only need the bigger truck for occasional hauling.

    The 3/4 ton trucks will get much worse fuel mileage. The 6.0 in the chevy is a low to mid teens machine compared to the 5.3 which is a mid teens to 20+ mpg machine. If you wanted to haul a large, like 7000lbs or more, trailer regularly then I would say go for the 3/4 ton but you aren't.


  3. #3
    Veteran Member tractorErnie's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    2,214
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    Bahamas
    Tractor
    Yanmars = Fx235- F255- FX335... branson 4220i tlb - hinomoto JF1 New Holland 7610 Branson 3510 tlb

    Default Re: Half ton vs 3/4 ton pickup?

    Good advise highbeam !!
    A trailer gets great mileage too. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Save your money & get a nice trailer like beam said, or make one & have fun doing it.

  4. #4
    Super Member
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    Apr 2000
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    7,961
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    Shingle Springs California
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    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Half ton vs 3/4 ton pickup?

    Most of your description is why I have a 3/4 ton truck(besides snow... last week we got about 1"!)

    Have you thought about a trailer though? For most of what you describe, you could distribute the weight between the truck and trailer. Seems you have the power. You just need more weight capacity.

    I could do everything I want with a 1/2 ton and a trailer, except a camper(and I have no need for a snowplow). I had a large cabover on my old truck, and am looking forward to getting another. I wouldn't try to put a 9.5' cabover on a 1/2 ton. I want one like what Egon has.

    I would be concerend about adding another leaf to the back and continueing to overload it. You are overloading your tires, rims, bearings, and axle shafts. You could upgrade to "E" rated tires, but your rims may be marginal for both the load and tire pressure(often 80psi). Your 6-bolt lug pattern is not made for the excessive weight, nor are the axle bearings.

    I would have the same concern for the front-end though too, which may preclude just putting some of the stuff in a trailer. A plow is pretty heavy for a 1/2 ton front end. Same things apply; tire ratings, rim ratings, small lug pattern(6-lug vs 8-lug), bearings, axle shaft ratings...

    It may in fact be time to look at a 3/4 ton... IMHO, I would look for a 1 or 2 year old Dodge CTD xcab with a towing AND camper package(beefier rear overloads and sway bar). Chevy and Ford make similar packages.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2000
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    1,573
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    Waco, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910; Kubota T1670

    Default Re: Half ton vs 3/4 ton pickup?

    I did exactly as highbeam has suggested and am very happy with my decision. A good 7000 lb trailer with brakes cost me $1400, or about 2 truck payments on a 4 year note.

    400 gallons of water = 3330 lbs [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] That's no problem for a trailer but pushing it for a half-ton.

    Of course, if you really want a bigger truck . . . [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    17,499
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Half ton vs 3/4 ton pickup?

    Ohh Pete:

    1/2 tons are great for transportation and hauling grocery type things. They can pull a trailer but there are brakes and frame to consider.

    Go get the 3/4 ton with the heavy duty options like coolers, tow/camper packages and an 8 foot bed. Then next year you can add a nice trailer for some serious hauling. P/u's just do not have suffient room to get much on. Trailers are also easy to load and can carry long stuff. You may even be able to put one to use behind your new tractor! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    The fuel milage between 1/2 and 3/4 may be less that one thinks if the 1/2 ton has a proper towing drivetrain.

    Another option is to get an older 3500/350 series truck with a flat deck or trailer for dedicated hauling and snow ploughing.

    Egon [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Half ton vs 3/4 ton pickup?

    Pete,

    I have a F250 because I dont' think the F150 I had before was build as tough. The axles had plastic and aluminum. The tires were only 5 bolt instead of eight. The brakes were almost useless under load compared to the F250 and the frames are differnet. The engines get the same mileage if they are the same size and similar gearing. I figured the 3/4 ton has a better transmission, but I don't know this to be true.

    Weight capacity from one to the other in the bed of the truck is marginal at best. For that reason alone, I wouldn't upgrade.

    If your going to tow a heavy trailer, than the 3/4 ton is a much, much better choice. Towing puts allot of strain on a vehicle and the half tons are just marginal at best. You want a bigger radiator, lower gearing and bigger brakes.

    Ideally, a fifth wheel trailer would be better than a bumper pull due to the way the weight is distibuted.

    I bought my truck before I had my land. My next truck will be a diesel one ton duelly with a flatbed. No more messing around!!!!

    If I want comfort, I'll get a car.

    Eddie



  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Half ton vs 3/4 ton pickup?

    Pete, I agree with RobertN. The last option I'd consider is adding a leaf to the springs. Many years ago, an uncle of mine decided to beef up his half ton for a camper. He put heavier tires on it and ran 50 psi tire pressure until one of the steel wheels split. When I realized my fifth-wheel travel trailer was running about 300# over the GVWR of the axles, and I busted a shock mount and ruined two tires, I talked to the manufacturer about adding a leaf and going up one step in tire ratings and quickly found that it would not only be dangerous for the wheels, but it didn't cost nearly as much as I expected to replace everything below the frame with heavier equipment.

    In my opinion, ideally, you'd move up to the 3/4 ton truck, but for financial reasons, I'd personally just buy a trailer.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    Apr 2000
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    Bucks County, PA
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    Kubota B2400

    Default Re: Half ton vs 3/4 ton pickup?

    Pete,

    Like the rest of the esteemed collegues here, I would say get a trailer. Adding a leaf doesn't help you stop that 400 gals (3000# [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]) of water any better. I had two half tons before I got my F250 last year. It's nice having the extra brawn under you when hauling even moderate loads.

    Now, the actual reason I ened up with the F250 defies logic, but that's a different story [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Veteran Member RedRocker's Avatar
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    Lewisville & Montague County, TX
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    Kioti CK30 HST, dual remotes, FEL.

    Default Re: Half ton vs 3/4 ton pickup?

    I'm kind of opinionated about trucks, 3/4 ton is a minimum and a 1 ton is better and a dually is better yet. You can never have too much truck!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

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