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Thread: F550

  1. #1

    Default F550

    I am looking at buying a F 550. can anyone tell me about how many hives you can haul on a 12 ft. bed and still tow a bobcat. Any trouble with DOT

  2. #2
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    Aug 2003
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    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
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    996

    Default Re: F550

    You will have to get a DOT number. As long as truck gvwr and trailer gvwr is under 26k you are ok without a cdl. But I think that truck is going to put you over the limit and you may need a cdl. If truck gvwr added to trailer gvwr is over 26 k you will need a class a cdl. I would think long and hard about getting a f550. It is one geat built truck but the powerjoke(I call it that because they gave me hell) is a joke. It is good until you hae a problem then its one after another. Our local ambulance quit buying them...stayed in garage too much. Plus all NEW diesels ger horriable milage. I would look at a new sterling or dodge 4500 or 5500. My old 12v cummins in my 98 has over 300K and has never been touched. I am looking for a f405 or 550 with blown engine....I want to put a 03 to 06 or 12v cummins in it. Now that would be a truck!

  3. #3
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    Feb 2009
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    Lafayette,Missouri,U.S.A.
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    54

    Default Re: F550

    Ford 350-550 are common in the industry but the engine is not what the 7.4 engines were. The early 460 gas engines could turn out the horses.

    We use a 450 super duty ( 6.0) and run 24,000 tags and have been able to scale so far but at 46,000 miles of pulling a trailer with a swinger the clutch is slipping and needs replaced.

    injector issues with both the 450 and a friends 550. The 550 (6.0)left us stranded with less than a 1000 miles outside of Barstow, California when brand new (Injector issue.)

    The 550 has a 16 foot bed as a long wheel base was ordered from the factory.
    4x4 and is one heck of a bee truck aside from motor issues.

    The 450 super duty has a 12 foot bed and has enough power but two pallets high is the limit on hives not because of weight but because of control. The truck will rock as top heavy. The driver of the 450 on a regular basis is 20 years old and we have had serious mud issues the last year so the clutch
    may simply be because of his inexperience.

    I like ford trucks and own 4 but not the ford trucks of old. Plastic radiators and intake manifolds . The newer trucks are hard to work on so I send mine to the local dealer. The dealer fixes fast and the fix stays , gives me a discount on the parts.

    I will give you a tip. I have found that my small town Ford dealer will work with me. Charges less labor than the big city dealers and only charges a half hour labor to diagnose with the Ford computer.

    I use a chevrolet workhorse dealer in the city for my chevy truck issues.

    Finding a mechanic you can trust is a big deal with me as truck repairs can quickly run into thousands of dollars.

    I used to complain about the old international engine put in big fords but not after the 6.0 engine.

    All Fords drink fuel!

    460 gas & 7.4 were my favorite engines . 6.0 & 428 gas my least favorite.

  4. #4

    Default Re: F550

    i have had good luck out of the 7.3 and that is what i would like but they are hard to find. I agree that the 6.0 and 6.4 or no good. Ford is coming out with a new diesel this year hope it will be back closer to 7.3 I agree that Dodge with the cummins is the way to go as far as motor i just dont like the rest of the truck. Yea i was preety sure that i would have to CDL and that is ok i have been planning on getting them and just havent done it. any idea on how many hives you could haul....Thanks David
    Quote Originally Posted by suttonbeeman View Post
    You will have to get a DOT number. As long as truck gvwr and trailer gvwr is under 26k you are ok without a cdl. But I think that truck is going to put you over the limit and you may need a cdl. If truck gvwr added to trailer gvwr is over 26 k you will need a class a cdl. I would think long and hard about getting a f550. It is one geat built truck but the powerjoke(I call it that because they gave me hell) is a joke. It is good until you hae a problem then its one after another. Our local ambulance quit buying them...stayed in garage too much. Plus all NEW diesels ger horriable milage. I would look at a new sterling or dodge 4500 or 5500. My old 12v cummins in my 98 has over 300K and has never been touched. I am looking for a f405 or 550 with blown engine....I want to put a 03 to 06 or 12v cummins in it. Now that would be a truck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    dallas, tx, usa
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    543

    Default Re: F550

    Cummins, pre-July 2007 ROCK! New Ford might be good but I would wait a few years until they work the bugs out. If you only have a 12ft might as well downsize. My 06 2500 gets 20+mpg. Thats unloaded of course...

  6. #6
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    Feb 2009
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    Lafayette,Missouri,U.S.A.
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    54

    Default Re: F550

    I said 7.4 but should have been 7.3.
    we haul 64 hives on a 12 foot bed. Our 4 ways are 33 in. wide.
    Cummins guys always lie about their fuel milege. ( or at least leave out the fuel milege when loaded part!)
    toss a big load on a cummins and watch the little fuel milege gage drop. At times I see 3-4 MPG.
    We run over 70 down the road empty and I have personally never seen 20 MPH with a cummins at those speeds.
    Cummins do usually get better fuel milege than fords EXCEPT when loaded.
    My 2 cents worth driving and being around ( and buying fuel) for both.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2003
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    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
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    Default Re: F550

    I disagree witht the 7.3 engine being good....It was MUCh better than the 6.0. BUt still mine spent weeks in garage and I spent 5k on and never had it right. If it was under 50 degrees you better plug it up or else you would crank for 5 minutes. Dealer cound not figure it out...got rid of it for a cummins. Was my wifes and she never cusses.....but called it the SO&. Yes my milage drops when loaded. My 12v is cranking 425 hp(you never see a ford in a truck pull....wonder why)at over 600lb foot torque. I get about 9.5 mph when I was pulling 27' tamdem gooseneck grossing 26k to 29k from KY to FL . The only problem it has given me is the tranny,,,,not big enough for the cummins, been thru two of them...but I worked them too!. IT has 305k miles and runs like new! I get 18 mPG empty. I want a 08 or newer Ford and when I do get it, it WILL have a cummins in it even if I take the powerjoke out and throw it away(wouldnt sell one of those to my worst enemy). KIt cost 2,500 to convert a junk powerjoke to a good cummins. New dodge trucks are better than the old ones....but ford is still better. I just cant figure out why ford cant build a decent engine...the dt466 is a really good engine but it is a straight 6...maybe Ford needs to look at that!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: F550

    I have a 2003 F-550 with the 6.0. The truck runs good and pulls great. I have the 203 wheel base with a 16 foot flat bed and get about 12mpg empty and when I just pull the bobcat. THe truck has had some issues but overall its been a good truck. You dont need a CDL to drive one my tag is for 25900 . If you are looking at a used F550 with a 6.0 the 2006-2007 models had the least problems. The transmission in the newer fords have had few if any problems, I know the new Dodges are having some transmission issues. If you can avoid the 6.4 try to as they have more issues then the 6.0. If you can wait the new 6.7 comes out in a couple of weeks it has a lot of nice features ,but I would still wait until next year to buy one. Im going to take a look at the new 6.7 next spring , my 6.0 will have 200,000 miles on it by then. With all the new emission standards all these new trucks are going to have some issues especially if you take them where we do.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2009
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    dallas, tx, usa
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    543

    Default Re: F550

    The fuel does drop when hauling or driving fast. This is Physics. I drop to around 15-16 towing, and then down to maybe 9-13 completely loaded down. This is hauling 8k + a full bed. If you want to burn up the tires the mpg slips a little depending on what the road is like. I never drop anywhere near 4 mpg. That was maybe 20 years ago with my Ford 350. If you have an automatic that is going to burn up no matter what you are driving with those loads. The stick is the way to go if you can stand shifting that diesel through the low gears all the time. The 24v Cummins pre-emissions and post bugs is the best motor out there and will stay that way until Ford releases their new engine for a few years. Keep away from those Internationals: the 6 and 6.4. There is a reason they lost the Ford contract. The 7.3 is a good motor but the technology is outdated on them and you won't see the good mpg on them for the most part...my buddy claims 25mpg on his, but its chipped.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2006
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    Delta, Utah
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    501

    Default Re: F550

    On an F550 I'd go with a longer bed than 12'. That or stack the pallets 3 high and haul 96 hives instead of 64. If you're only hauling 64 hives, get a 350 or 450.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  11. #11
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    Lafayette,Missouri,U.S.A.
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    Default Re: F550

    I do not believe stacking pallets ( 4 ways with doubles) on a 12 foot bed with even a 550 is a good idea.

    We tried once on a trip to California ( all hives empty) and turned around in Kansas and returned and removed the top pallets.

    If the hives were full of bees and weight we most likely would have turned over with the wind.

    I agree with the 16 foot bed. The only way to go!

    Short haul of a few miles maybe but makes any truck with a 12 foot bed top heavy. Been there and done that!

  12. #12
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    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: F550

    Just bought a 2005 F550 cab and chassis. Plan is to put a 16 foot deck on it. Right now I can put a 12 foot deck on it. So either I have to lengthen the chassis or add onto the back. Any suggestions and experiences?

    The GVW on my F550 is 17950 lbs, will carry a good 10000-12000lbs
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #13
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    Lafayette,Missouri,U.S.A.
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    Default Re: F550

    Lengthen the frame. Several places in K.C. do the job and make a driveshaft.
    Same result as ordering with a long wheelbase.

    The last I priced was priced a certain price per foot. Includes driveshaft, material and labor.

    A guess would be between $200-300 a foot.

    * Remember the frame does not have to reach the whole sixteen feet.*

    You only need the axle moved the right distance for stability.

    you may only need a couple feet of axle movement done right to install a 16 foot bed.

    The only issue is finding places to park and such with the longer bed. Easy to forget if you have a truck with a 12 ft bed and one with a 16 ft. the long bed is behind you at times.

    Pulling the forklift is the same with 12 or 16 bed.

  14. #14
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    24,490

    Default Re: F550

    I get 80 hives on my F-450 and pull a Bobcat skidder. Truck is 16,000 GVW and trailer is 9,990 GVW. So far no trouble weight wise.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  15. #15
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    Jan 2005
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    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
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    Default Re: F550

    Quote Originally Posted by Missoura View Post
    I do not believe stacking pallets ( 4 ways with doubles) on a 12 foot bed with even a 550 is a good idea.

    We tried once on a trip to California ( all hives empty) and turned around in Kansas and returned and removed the top pallets.

    If the hives were full of bees and weight we most likely would have turned over with the wind.

    I agree with the 16 foot bed. The only way to go!

    Short haul of a few miles maybe but makes any truck with a 12 foot bed top heavy. Been there and done that!
    Shoot I stack my 550 with 80 doubles front to back with a 3/4 super on each one . I haven't rolled over yet.

  16. #16
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    Lafayette,Missouri,U.S.A.
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    Default Re: F550

    Trevor,
    80 are not a problem with a 16 foot bed. In fact we haul 96 ( two pallets high) . The discussion was about going three pallets of doubles high ( the same height as many semi loads) .

    You could legally scale 96 hives on a 12 foot bed on a 550 but you can take my word its a scary ride with a top heavy 10,000 lb. load on a 12 foot bed.

    At times we use a 98 ford truck ( Not sure the size but bigger than a 550) with a 18 foot bed ( not a 10 wheeler) to move heavy hives into apples. Hives which came out of almonds. Three pallets high can be a scary ride and at times the tires rub and the tires are the same size as semi tires.



    The truck is not a 10 wheeler like Horace used with a hendrickson walking axle and 30 foot bed. Now there is a bee hauling truck. Scale 40,000 on the bed and used 54,000 tags.

    Three high on a 16 foot bed with our pallets is 144 hives. We use a heavier truck for three high *unless* a short distance.

    I drove semi regularly for 31 years. I have seen semi's blown over by wind in Kansas.

    Little trucks ( not to hurt feelings but most my trucking has been with semi's) like 550 and lower have their limits.

  17. #17

    Default Re: F550

    thanks guys for the info. i will look at the 16 foot bed that my be a better opition. does anyone have any info on the the freightliners

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,044

    Default Re: F550

    One word of caution on the 450/550 (they are virtually the same truck) is if they are not a 4x4 they are nearly worthless pulling a trailer particularly empty if you are in any type of mud or even wet grass on an incline (I'm speaking from a lot of experience). You should have at least a 189" WB with a 14' bed if not the 201" with a 17' bed to keep your load low and properly distributed. In the current used truck market you can buy a good 2 ton truck with a 25,999 gvw with a dt 466 or similar cat engine with around 200,000 miles for well under $20,000 (I just bought one with a new 20' bed for $21,000) that can really handle a load and it gets around nearly as well (at times maybe better) than a 4x4 450/550.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    848

    Default Re: F550

    im with you there jim i just got a 4300 international i shortened the WB and put an 18ft flat on it it is 26000GVW and has air brakes and air ride i like it so far.

  20. #20
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    Aug 2005
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    Boston, Georgia
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    484

    Default Re: F550

    Maybe a little off subject, but if you shorten the frame this would make an awesome bee truck.

    http://www.trucksforsale.com/truck/4417/truck-for-sale

    My truck is a Freightliner FL-80 with an 18' bed. Coming out of the blueberrys I often triple stack triple deeps on four way pallets. It likes to rock around but its in no danger of tipping over.
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

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