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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the newer class 4 &5 trucks with the gas motors (f450, f550, Ram 4500, Ram 5500)? I know it seems like there are more and more on the road. I test drove a 6.4 hemi Ram 4500 crew cab 4x4 with the Aisin 6 speed automatic a few days ago and it impressed me more than I was expecting, but it also was not pulling a load. I was wondering how these would compare to the v10 in the F450 and F550's with the 5 speed automatic? I know a gentleman that has the Ram 4500 and loves it hauling cattle, hay, and equipment. He says it doesn't pull quite like the 6.7 Cummins he had before that, but it is close. And cost several thousand less and is getting better fuel mileage on average with cheaper fuel. Not really in the market for another truck right now, but getting several miles on my 2003 Duramax and just like to keep options open if it looks like it might become repair prone. Those trucks with the gas engines look to have higher towing (and much higher payload due to higher class truck) than my 3500 flatbed dally.
 

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In the year 2000 we bought a brand new truck Ford F 350 with a 7-3 Powerstroke diesel. We still have the truck and we decided at that point for a truck used on the farm every day running about feeding where you need to turn the engine on and off etc diesel is never the way to go. If you have a big class 4 or class 5 diesel for heavy towing that is great but you will need another truck for you run about daily jobs for sure. We have a Chevy with an Allison transmission and 8.1 gas engine and that truck will do some impressive towing. We also have a Ford f350 V10. A lot of dairy farms around here transition from having all diesel trucks back to having some gasoline engine pickups. I am amused at the people around here that use an F 450 for their daily driver and have never towed or hauled anything a Chevy s10
Could not tow or all or haul
 

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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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The Ford Torqshift is now a 6 speed. Rumored to be going to an 8 speed in upcoming years.
For the most part, diesel engines have lost their advantages over gas engines in all but 3 areas:
Off-pedal torque- diesels make much more torque at lower RPM's to get heavy loads moving. I know I appreciate that when I'm towing 12 tons in stop/go traffic and on hills.
Fuel mileage- diesels still hold a big advantage here, too. They get 20-50% greater fuel economy than their gas counterparts. Buddy of mine has a F-550 V-10 and it gets about 7-8. I.m getting 10-11 with my 6.4L diesel and enjoying the much greater torque.
Longevity- although a gas engine can last a long time, on average diesel engines given proper care, will last longer.

They've lost their reliability advantage they once had and they're now a 7-8K upgrade over big block gas.
I dont really know why anyone would want to tow 10-15 tons with a gas engine. OTR truckers wouldnt touch a gas engine, but if its only carrying heavy weight in the bed or towing smaller loads, then I guess it'd be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Have they changed to the 6 speed in the v10? The ones we have at work are the 5 speed and they are 2015 models. I have not understood why Ford has not changed to the 6 speed in the 450/550 with the v10. You would think it would be cheaper to have one transmission on the assembly line. That would probably help them out, as I know the ones at work seem like they could use tighter ratios to keep a full head of steam. They are crew cab 4x4 with 11' tool beds loaded down and some times pull a mini hoe or skid steer. They do not pull as well as the 6.4's (no 6.7's at work due to all the issues with 6.4's and 6.0's) but get comparable mileage, maybe 1-2 less. With price of diesel they would actually be cheaper on fuel.

I think the big advantage Diesel engines still have is the exhaust/engine brake. I know those seem to work great from the few I have seen. Thought about getting one for mine, but $1,200 is hard for me to put on that truck just now. Although the brakes are so good on class 4 & 5 that maybe those don't come into effect as much.
 

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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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Even the older 5 speed torqshifts are really 6 gear transmissions, but they only use 5 of the 6. The newer ones use all 6 behind the diesel. Didn't know gas used only 5.
I can't even sit in a gas truck used for serious work. I've no use for them.
 

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If ur using the truck all the time i dont see how gas is cheaper. We have one gas truck and as soon as we can it wont be here. Fuel savings it is not. But every operation is different. I know for us the up charge for the deisel is paid for in about a uear and a piece just in fuel savings.
 

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I haven't owned a gas truck since the early 90's. They are low on torque, especially at low RPM. If you are hauling large loads of hay, diesel is the only way to go.
If you aren't, then a gasser is fine.
If that was wrong, large trucks would have 15L gas engines in them.

Now on the fuel mileage issue, it depends on preference. It's true that it might take a while for a diesel to pay off, but me personally, I don't like having low torque when towing. I like to get the load moving without revving to 6,000RPM. If I have to pay more for fuel to own a diesel to move loads easier, it's worth it to me. I bet OTR truckers would feel the same way, even if they didn't drive 50-100k miles per year. They'd still want a diesel for the quality of driving experience with heavy loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is one of the reasons I started this post, to see if the gas engines had improved enough to be viable in an average farming operation. If you are hauling heavy loads constantly, the torque of the diesel, especially on the low end, is a no brainier. But with the new gas engines making more torque and horsepower than my older diesel and with the lower gears of the class 4 and 5's, could they be as effective as the older Diesel engines. With new diesels being around $10,000 above the gas engines, it starts making you think. I was really wondering if anyone on here had even tried these, especially the Ram 6.4 (although I'm not a fan of the cylinder deactivation). With the loss of fuel economy in the newer diesels and the lower cost of gas per gallon, it just made me wonder if anyone had any real world experience in this matter. I could see the gas motors coming into play in a 60% or less total towing in a year. Just getting others thoughts.
 

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It basically comes down to how fast do you want to go if you are loaded. Personally I don't think it's worth it, I've had 3 cummins and a duramax, I have 2 gas burners now. Dont have anything against them just don't think it's worth the upfront cost and extra maintenance.
 

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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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That is one of the reasons I started this post, to see if the gas engines had improved enough to be viable in an average farming operation. If you are hauling heavy loads constantly, the torque of the diesel, especially on the low end, is a no brainier. But with the new gas engines making more torque and horsepower than my older diesel and with the lower gears of the class 4 and 5's, could they be as effective as the older Diesel engines. With new diesels being around $10,000 above the gas engines, it starts making you think. I was really wondering if anyone on here had even tried these, especially the Ram 6.4 (although I'm not a fan of the cylinder deactivation). With the loss of fuel economy in the newer diesels and the lower cost of gas per gallon, it just made me wonder if anyone had any real world experience in this matter. I could see the gas motors coming into play in a 60% or less total towing in a year. Just getting others thoughts.
Agree. I didnt think the delta between gas & diesel was $10,000. Thought it was more like $7,500. Still a lot though.
 

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We have a gas and diesel one ton at the moment - an old 5.4 gas and a newish deleted tuned 6.7 diesel. The power difference is amazing but the cost difference would buy another truck. I don't think there any savings to be had with normal farm mileage. The fancy water separators and expensive oil changes and higher price of diesel all negate the increased mileage.
 

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I own both gas and diesel.....both were purchased new....and a diesel truck does not pencil for farm/home use here in the East.....possibly out West where average driving distance is much greater, but even out there I doubt it. It is just hard to watch that gas gauge indicator move like it does when pulling a heavy load. :eek:

Regards, Mike
 

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I wouldnt want to live my whole life by what "pencils out".
Sometimes its little pleasures in life, like being able to pull a load at 1800RPM instead of 5000RPM. Or a little diesel snort. Or John Deere tractor over a different color tractor that although pencils out better, the Deere makes life more enjoyable.
And yes, I still have enough money left for the kids college tuition ;) :)

Over the course of 150,000 miles a diesel 550 at 11 MPG and gasser 550 at 8 MPG, my diesel just about pencils out. And after 150,000 miles the engine has a lot more life left in it than a gasser at 150,000 miles, its more fun, and it tows better, and it has much better resale value.. ;)

I also have no emissions inspection on diesel. 2 inspections a year @ $100 pass/fail, and that's another $200 saved. Less frequent oil changes offset extra oil at each change with a diesel.
One type of fuel makes life simpler at times than gas for truck and diesel for tractors.

All the Deere guys say "buy Deere because it has the best resale value". I buy diesel for same reason.
 

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One big issue for us is the putting around pulling wagons etc. you'll burn 20/25 gallons of gas in a day pulling wagons where you can burn less than 10 running a diesel not to mention the fuel savings on the highway pulling all the time with the diesel it comes down to if you're not running the miles and or hours it would be a lot harder to justify at least for us spark plugs are out
 

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I test drove a Dodge 3500 cab and chassis with the 6.4 hemi and Aisin auto about a month ago and was pretty impressed. Really wanted a diesel but the initial higher purchase cost and the fact that for just hauling hay a few miles from the field to barn and running errands around town I decided it was going to be hard to justify a diesel so I decided to look at a gas burner. The only thing that I wasn't so sure is if I would like the gas truck for the occasional load of hay I would haul long distance but that would only be a few times a year. I came real close to buying that truck but at the end of the day I realized that for no more driving that I actually do that I could make do with what I have now for a little longer because the money would be better spent on some better hay equipment and more hay storage.
 

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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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I test drove a Dodge 3500 cab and chassis with the 6.4 hemi and Aisin auto about a month ago and was pretty impressed. Really wanted a diesel but the initial higher purchase cost and the fact that for just hauling hay a few miles from the field to barn and running errands around town I decided it was going to be hard to justify a diesel so I decided to look at a gas burner. The only thing that I wasn't so sure is if I would like the gas truck for the occasional load of hay I would haul long distance but that would only be a few times a year. I came real close to buying that truck but at the end of the day I realized that for no more driving that I actually do that I could make do with what I have now for a little longer because the money would be better spent on some better hay equipment and more hay storage.
I don't doubt it was an impressive truck, but that's without a lot of weight behind it. Once you get it home and load it down with a big trailer, you might not feel same.
Of course that's irrelevant if you're not towing heavy regularly.
 

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I don't doubt it was an impressive truck, but that's without a lot of weight behind it. Once you get it home and load it down with a big trailer, you might not feel same.
Of course that's irrelevant if you're not towing heavy regularly.
That's true and why I was a little apprehensive if I would have liked it when I do tow the occasional load a longer distance. But for hauling heavy loads of hay 1-15 miles from the field to the barn I feel that it would have been just fine for that......heck I do that now with a 1995 chevy 3500 that has a 350 in it.
 
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