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Old 04-23-2014, 04:23 PM   #1
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Truck Comparison - Which is best?

I am looking at trucks, I would like a 350 or 3500 series, Diesel, Dually, 4WD with a super cab. I grew up a Ford man and have always been happy with them. But now as I look to go up in size and will be pulling an approx 40ft fifth wheel I am looking at everything. I have read the studies on pickup.com as well as talking to my mechanic.

I don't think I can afford a brand new truck, but 2-3 year old is realistic.

The studies seem to note that the engine brake feature on the Ford does not work as well as on the Chevy or Dodge.

My mechanic says the fuel injection system on the Ford is crap and recommends a Dodge for hauling. I have heard good things about the Cummins - Allison combination.

What are your recommendations and things I should look out for?
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:26 PM   #2
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Allison is a GM product and in combination with the Duramax engine in the 3500.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:35 PM   #3
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You are going to get a lot of differing thoughts. i like my GM product, no issues in 60K miles. I don't need DEF so can't comment on that. I would take a serious look at tongue weights for a 40 footer. Will all of the big 3 carry that much weight???? You may have to look at a 4500 or 5500 type truck.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:41 PM   #4
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Silverado or GMC with a Duramax Diesel/Allison tranny is by far the best out there. I have researched since 2007. I have NEVER met an un-happy Duramax owner.
Do some research yourself, ask Duramax owners. Dodges are slugs and noisy, Ford has been through several un-successful attempts in the past 10 years to match Duramax.
Duramax has a history 0f over 24 billion proven miles of a beautiful marriage with the Duramax/Allison.
You can find used ones but they are scarce.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:47 PM   #5
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Allison is a GM product and in combination with the Duramax engine in the 3500.
Thanks: I'm learning, how do you feel about the Duramax/Allison combination? pickup.com seems to feel the interior has now surpassed that of the Ford which used to be the leader.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:50 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, I definitely have a lot of research to do, but I prefer to start with users rather than a salesman. So I appreciate the input from everyone!
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Old 04-23-2014, 05:54 PM   #7
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Dodge is the only way to go. Their motor does not have as many moving parts as the other two brands. The Torque Kicks in at 1100 rpm where the V8 torque will kick in at 2100 to 2300 rpms. The dodge has a six speed trans that is every bit as good as the Allison.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:32 PM   #8
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This is a VERY touchy subject here. I just got a 2013 GMC Dmax, I drove the Ford and Dodge in comparable trucks.IMO the Dodge interior was not to my liking.The Ford rode like aa truck, The GM products rode more comfortable. I have about 7500 miles towing my 32ft 5th wheel. I average 12mpg.towing, and 17 every day driving.Ours is very smooth towing, we can average 600 miles a day with no problem.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:04 PM   #9
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my suggestion is to drive each three and take a look at the interior and exterior styling of each. I just purchased a 2500 RAM Diesel and couldn't be happier. The big sell for me was the mega cab which neither of other two came even close in cab size. I honestly don't think you can go wrong with any of them - all have big backer and big support. Look at your warranty on all if that applies - I think Ford is alot shorter than Dodge & Chevy. I will agree with what you hear on the exhaust brake. My brother has both a ford and dodge, says the ford brake is a joke..
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:19 PM   #10
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As previously said.
Ford has been inconsistent with their engines. It all depends on what year you choose. I have friends that have had great success with some years and others with nothing but trouble.
Dodge has a great engine. Transmission not so much. Dodge owners either love them or hate them. They are less expensive than Ford or Chevy/GM.
Based on my research and the fact that I'm a Chevy guy I recently purchased a 2009 Chevy 3500HD with the 6.6L Duramax with the Allison Transmission. My opinion they are the best overall combo.
Rumor is Ford may be working a deal for a Cummins with an Allison. Now that would be the ultimate combo.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:47 PM   #11
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I simply love my Silverado. It is loaded with the options.

Unless you're planning to get a long bed, the Dodge's box is smaller than Ford's and GM's. It's only 2" shorter, but that can make a big difference with a 5th wheel. Dodge also puts coil springs on the rear of their 2500s.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:32 PM   #12
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Mine is BETTER than yours is !!!!

All of the big 3 make great equipment now days.... but I've always had the best luck with fords...
on my 5th one now...
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:40 PM   #13
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The best one is the one you buy after YOU test drive them all and make YOUR own decision. Opinions come from the minds of those who give them.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:48 PM   #14
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There is no right answer but because you are buying used I think the pre DEF Dodge Cummins is the way to go. They do have issues with the tranny but hopefully someone else has weeded the problems out (Carfax?). Ford has a great chassis and interior but their success with 3rd party engines hasn't been great. GM has a good engine and a great tranny but the Fisher Price styling and interior are mind numbingly boring. The absolute best truck would be a Ford chassis with a Cummins CTD and Allison Transmission.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:18 PM   #15
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The best one is the one you buy after YOU test drive them all and make YOUR own decision. Opinions come from the minds of those who give them.
Mark has made a very logical statement. They are all major makers and it is a logical and emotional decision try them all . IN YOUR OPINION MAY THE BEST MAN WIN. Sorry for the shout but that is the realty. They all make good trucks let your instincts decide.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:25 PM   #16
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Thanks, I think I do need to get out and kick some tires. i just like to get feedback from current users to know what to look for and help narrow the field. I appreciate all the input!
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:05 PM   #17
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If you are going used stay away from the ford 6.0 and the 6.4. The 6.0 is the worst engine ford had. The 6.4 has a lot of problems (I just happened to buy one that had these problems) although rumor has it an egr delete will fix the issues (this is illegal in some states). I loved towing my little 7000 lb tt with my 6.4 but there were just too many engine issues for me. The 6.7 is supposedly a nice engine but has had some major issues that ford has weaseled out of warranty claims on. For these reasons I chose to stay away from ford when we traded our problematic 6.4 for the silverado 3500 duramax. I have not owned this truck long enough to give an educated opinion on it but I will tell you, that I have enjoyed the 1200 miles I have put on it since I bought it earlier this month. I have only taken the tt camping once since purchase but I loved the engine braking this truck has. In fact one big difference between chevy and ford is the chevy comes standard with an engine brake whereas it is not standard on the ford (although my engine did an awesome job of controlling the tt just by using the tow haul mode). I drove the ram but wasn't overly impressed (would have bought if they were asking less). I bought the chevy over dodge because the price was right and dh preferred chevy to dodge. I don't think I will regret my decision. In the end, test drive whatever looks to fit your needs. Triple check all capacities for towing. Buy whatever truck fits your needs and likes. Happy hunting
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:09 AM   #18
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The 6.7 is supposedly a nice engine but has had some major issues that ford has weaseled out of warranty claims on. For these reasons I chose to stay away from ford when we traded our problematic 6.4 for the silverado 3500 duramax.
That statement requires more information. I have the 2011 6.7 with 105,000 virtually trouble free miles. The only thing the big 3 have all weasled out of warranty claims on are the high pressure fuel pump failures due to water in fuel - not a Ford issue, its across the board. The Bosch pumps don't like it and GMC uses the same pump.

Ford 6.0 and 6.4 diesels were built by Navistar. The Ford 6.7L diesel which came out in 2011 is Ford in house built and proven bulletproof, very different engine than the previous two from Navistar (and no injector problems). The transmission has also proven itself over the last ten years and been equally comparable to the GM Allison in strength and durability. I've had both the Torqshift 5 speed and now the Torqshift 6 speed and they perform well. Dodge didn't solve its transmission issues until the most recent model year (so far so good). For towing, they all had to be rebuilt bulletproof within the first three years of ownership up until now. This is a well known problem in the Dodge trucks prior to 2014 for those that tow heavy loads (12,000 lbs and up).

From the sounds of the OP inquiry, he should put up some total weights of the trailer as it is likely you will be looking at a dually version if your weight exceeds 15,500lbs loaded. There are a lot of 40 foot trailers under this, but if I were over that weight, I would be looking at a dually. Either way, the year of the truck you choose does matter. My preference would be only a Ford 6.7 F350 (so 2011 or newer) because I don't like IFS on the front and enjoy the solid Dana 60 which both Dodge and Ford use - hence ride more like a truck. GMC/Chev 3500 in the 2009 and up range have been solid. Dodge, 2010 to 2012 (pre DEF) but be prepared to rebuild the transmission and bulletproof it if not already done - can be done for about $2,500.

Start your research!! Drive them all but look to specific years for the issues that have arisen before buying.

I do a lot of my own diesel and truck repairs and the first Ford diesel I would buy since the 7.3L was the new 6.7L and it has been incredible. FYI - I've owned GMC and Ford and several of my friends are hardcore Dodge so the information is from real world drivers who tow.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:12 AM   #19
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I would take a serious look at tongue weights for a 40 footer. Will all of the big 3 carry that much weight???? You may have to look at a 4500 or 5500 type truck.

Stan has made a very good point here!!
If you have, or, planning to purchase that much 5th wheel, you definitely don't need to start out under sized with your truck.

If it's big enough to do the job, and you like it---then that's the one for you.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:43 AM   #20
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You will need a dually with that size of a trailer. Drive them all and purchase the one that suits your needs. I think they all make a good diesel now days.

Check your state laws for towing. In NY state when the combined GVWR exceeds 26,000 lbs a class R license is required. Another behind the wheel exam pulling the trailer on city roads, on the highway and parking the unit. No physical or drug screening is required like a CDL does.

I have always been a fan of the duramax-allison combo. The addition of the exhaust brake and added GVWR in 2011 makes for nicer towing.

Previous Duramax/Allison:
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