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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
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    1,830

    Default Truck Recommendations?

    Question...We already have a 2002 Tundra truck. I have been looking at getting a truck later in the year. Have about 50ish hives right now. Will dip to 25 in a few weeks and hope to be at 75-80 at winter. I really need to get a personal vehicle that i can use for the bee work but still not burn the gas so bad. I was thinking something that i could mount a flat bed. Any recommendations? Kirk Webster has a flat bed on his tacoma...bet that gets good mileage lol. Thinking something along the lines of a 3/4 dodge or chevy (not a Flat on the road dead lol). Want to start researching now.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,258

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Get the brand name crap out of your head! The components are mostly all made in the same place. You don't need pretty, you need LOW overhead. Have you thought of a trailer for your existing truck? You could buy a trailer that would do you way cheaper than even making your truck a flatbed. They are nice and low to work off too! Any payment you don't have to make pays for a lot of fuel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Isuzu NPR 16' or so flatbed with a four cylinder turbo diesel and auto trans., And they are cheap to keep on the road and to purchase
    Honeydew

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Is this for moving hives or mainly for supering? If it's for moving hives then you want something that has power. If it's just for supering, pulling honey, checking out yards then you can go with a 4 cylinder Nissan or Toyota P/U, build a cheap flat bed and do really well. Buy used. I drive a 91 Chevy flatbed one ton with a 454...needless to say it get's poor gas milage, but I only paid 2k for it and it has never even come close to getting stuck in spring mud with a full load.

    Good luck
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Taylorsville, NC,USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    A good V6 would work like the new Toyotas or one of the older s10 p/u that have the 4.3 in them.

    Most V8 are not going to get you the gas mileage. But you are pulling stuff I would stick with the truck you got.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Heres the deal...the truck is my parents (I am all of 17.5) and I really need to get my own set of wheels. My main thing on this truck (would get another one in a heartbeat) is that I can never tie down loads just right (cannot mod my parents truck) and that the towing capacity is like 5k...no skidder hauling there! Really want something to grow into. I do have a trailer...but having a trailer is such a pain when you are getting in tight yards. If anything I would just get a flatbed trailer...but then we get back to the hauling capacity of my truck.
    So my main needs are-
    Something that I could drive to school/town when needed (about 20 miles each way)
    Something that gets good enough mileage to check yards 45 minutes away while still having the towing capacity to haul a skidder (hopefully sometime in 2012 I will get one).
    Something that is relatively easy to work on with parts that do not cost a gazzilion bucks.
    Something that I could mount a flatbed on if i want it...if I do put a flatbed on I will add a box to it.
    Something in the under 6-7k range as far as price (know there is not a whole lot but that is all I can spend)

    Help?

    Mike
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,811

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    I believe that "good mileage" and "towing a skidstear" are mutually exclusive. We run a 1982 turbo diesel Vanagon that gets 30-32 mpg and hauls 1400 lbs for making the rounds before supering, and fall packing. It is rear engined, so it does not need Four wheel drive, and does less damage to the land than a heavy pickup. For hauling supers and barrels of feed, we have a 1977 Grumann Kurbmaster, built on a 1 ton chassis, with a floater rear axle. Got it for a dollar, with a "bad engine"(50 dollars for parts , and a new seat in the head, runs good now). It gets 10 mpg, and gets limited miles.

    Can you fix your own vehicles? That may be a big consideration in your choices.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    From what you are saying, it looks like you should go with a good 6 cy 4x4 pickup that is either a flatbed or one you can build. You won't get the best milage, but you can still haul things. Buying older you can get in cheaper which gives you more money to modify it and will also lower your insurance costs, especially since you are 17.5. If you can try and register your truck as a farm truck if your state allows this. It can also cut down on your insurance and gives you some flexability when hauling certain loads. Right now is a great time to buy used as lots of people are selling extra vehicles. If you can find an old fleet truck, they usually have good maintenance records so you can track how they were treated.

    good luck.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    When I was used truck shopping, I made a habit of checking GSA's auction site weekly. There are a lot of clunkers there, but if you are diligent, you can also find some great deals. You DO have to go get what you buy though.

    Good luck!

    B

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Turnbow Hollow, Tennessee
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher Apiaries View Post
    Thinking something along the lines of a 3/4 dodge or chevy (not a Flat on the road dead lol). Want to start researching now.
    Drop the Chevy choice and go with the Dodge if you want better fuel economy. I would suggest a Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab 4x4 Cummins diesel with a manual NV5600 6 speed transmission in the year range of 2001.5 to 2002. These are the best 2 year models for this particular models with the 24 valve engines. Properly tuned and running, these trucks can get between 18 to 26 mpg depending upon the load and speed being driven.

    There are a few things to be aware of on these trucks such as:

    the VP-44 fuel injection pump and fuel lift pump (these issues can be addressed by a number of fuel system and lift pump upgrades)

    http://mopar.mopar1973man.com/cummin.../2ndgen24v.htm

    http://mopar.mopar1973man.com/person...airdog-150.htm

    and 53 series engine block (if the truck has one DON'T buy it or pay SUBSTANTILLY less)

    http://www.stamey.info/Truck/Cummins53BlockFAQ.htm

    The 1998 and 1998.5 trucks that came with the 12 valve Cummins B series engine are also a very good choice but may require more maintenance depending upon the previous owner.

    The BIG issue with these trucks is the engine front timing cover locator dowel pin or "killer dowel pin (KDP).

    http://mopar.mopar1973man.com/cummin...al/kdp/kdp.htm

    and the NV4500 manual 5 speed 5th gear nut issue.

    http://mopar.mopar1973man.com/cummin...r/5th-gear.htm

    These trucks have their short comings in OEM stock trim as do most all the other brands. The Cummins engine in the vehicles and years mentioned abouve are in my opinion is the best diesel engine for pickups currently on the market.

    I own 2 of them.......a 2001.5 for the wife and a 2002 for me.

    I suggest you join or at least monitor and read a number of the web forums on the net that cover the various diesel pickups. I did for about 3 years while learning about each brand and model as well as the maintenace particulars for each. For me the Dodge Cummins pickup was a total no brainer.

    The newer common rail (CR) diesels being offered by all of the US pickup manufacturers are much more advanced and do run smoother and quieter but they have ALL had horrible problems with fuel injectors, EGR systems, and exhaust problems effecting or damaging the turbo charger(s).

    The 12 valve Cummins is the easiest and simplest to work on and the 24 valve is more fuel efficient provided you make some basic and fairly simple fuel system modifications.

    The wife's truck is stock except for the upgraded fuel lines from 5/16" ID to 1/2" ID and an Airtex OEM style fuel lift pump that we relocated to the truck frame just below the fuel tank.

    My truck has the upgraded 1/2" fuel lines, Air Dog 150 (gal. per hour) fuel air separator pump, Formula 1 90 hp. EDM fuel injectors, Edge EZ, BHAF upgraded air filter with turbo heat shield, Cummins eBrake (exhaust brake), and 5 inch turbo back exhaust.

    Both of our trucks averate 20 to 22 mpg around town & local driving. On the highway with no load and keeping the cruise speed below 55 mph, they both get between 24 to 26 mpg.

    If you drive like the rest of humanity in a hurry at 75 to 80 mph, the fuel mileage falls like a Simmonize piano to around 12 to 14 mpg. Optimum speed for best fuel economy for these trucks is about 45 mph and fuel economy falls off from there due to increased aerodynamic drag.

    These trucks are not the highest hp or fastest in OEM stock trim however with the proper upgrades they are the best at pulling a load/hauling while at the same time being the most economical on fuel.

    All of these trucks in my opinion require a set of in cab gauges the provide at the minium, fuel system pressure. My gauges in the cab provide fuel lift pump system pressure, turbo charger engine boost pressure, and exhaust gas temperature. (EGT) If you leave the engine stock, a good quality lift pump fuel system pressure gauge is all the is really required. That is the only extra non OEM gauge in the wife's truck. When it drops below a certain pressure, she tells me and I know to change the fuel filter.

    Diesels are not for everyone but I love mine.
    Last edited by Live Oak; 04-08-2011 at 11:17 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,811

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Good post, Live Oak. It pays to do your home work on what goes wrong, and anticipate problems. Your suggestions are probably more mainstream than mine.
    Was it Sutton that talked of the Case(Cummins) engine in a Ford?



    Crazy Roland

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Keep the suggestions going...thanks live oak. When I say good milage I mean in the range of 20 mpg with no or light load.
    Anyone want to talk about diesel vs gas on 3/4 ton?

    mike
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Any thoughts on something like this-http://easttexas.craigslist.org/grd/2284970775.html
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher Apiaries View Post
    Any thoughts on something like this-http://easttexas.craigslist.org/grd/2284970775.html
    I'd stick with a Toyota v-6 flatbed for now, that 454 with these gas prices will make sure you never get your loader. If you did get a v-6 Toyota make sure the head gaskets are good or have had the factory recall work done on them, I guess there was a problem with the 90's head gaskets. But the "1 ton" flatbeds can haul a fair amount for what they are....
    Honeydew

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Mike, it is not that the mileage of Diesel vs Gasoline. It is the wear factor. A gas guzzler will start to wear out at 100,000 miles. A diesel engine does not really come into its own till 150,000+ miles. I have a dodge one ton flat bed-1997 model with 284,000 miles on it. I expect to get half of that again before I rebuild the engine. So you can go and purchase ONE diesel truck or purchase three gas burners for the same period lifetime of the diesel truck. I would recommend dodge with a cummings diesel engine. Hey, girls like big trucks and bees now days. (I sell quite a few nucs to young women) It was not the case when I was your age. So your girl friend will also enjoy riding in your diesel truck when you go to your beeyards. TK

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Turnbow Hollow, Tennessee
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher Apiaries View Post
    Any thoughts on something like this-http://easttexas.craigslist.org/grd/2284970775.html
    You can expect in the 10 to 12 mpg range with a truck like that. The 454 is a stout engine but it is a gas toilet.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher Apiaries View Post
    I am all of 17.5....and I really need to get my own set of wheels.
    One consideration that it seems you are overlooking.....
    Will this truck be something you'd take a girl to the prom/dinner/movie/dance in?
    We may be beekeepers but we still need to keep our priorities in order here.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    i would go with a dodge cummins one ton. I have one and a few of my beekeeper friends have one.
    They will pull the load, with a 12ft bed you can haul 64 hives, and when empty i can get 15mpg driving around town.
    And they last quite well mine is 5,000MI shy of 400,000 mi. I would go with the manual transmission. You should be able to pick up a 99-02 year truck for under 6,000.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    Well...dont have a girlfriend (am homeschooled and we do not do that stuff) and do not plan to for a while yet...that is just how we do things....
    This would strictly be a work truck.....why would i go out and get a v-6 toyota and when i already have a v-8?

    mike
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Truck Recommendations?

    My thought is to get a mid 90s 1 ton and a small honda car for running the no haul trips to town (could also still take the toyota to check yards)...any thoughts on this...would i be better off getting a nicer truck for the same money that is newer but is smaller?

    Thanks

    Mike
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