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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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“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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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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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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“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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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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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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“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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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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Of course we are not true haulers, if I was I'd be trucking instead!

Not mentioned are a few other benefits of gas:
Gas truck starts easily all winter, no wait to start, no wait to shut down. No gelling, no overloading of the front axle by putting a plow on.
Don't feel bad starting and stopping engine while fencing, feeding, using truck as scafolding, etc.
Don't instantly fill shop with fumes when you back in to load stuff on the back. This is another mainly winter issue when you're trying to keep the heat inside and don't want to leave the doors open.
Less ruts in the fields due to the almost 1000 lbs less on the front axle.
The 6.4L diesel engine in my F-550 weighs 1,130lbs.
A Ford V-10 weighs 650lbs.
That's a 480lb difference, not 1,000lbs.
I dont know where you come up with this stuff.

Putting a plow on a 350-550 means you're adding about another 1,000lbs. Front axle ratings on 350-550 are 6,000-7,000lbs. Plow is no trouble at all. They're equipped with "plow packages" which means the truck is built and warranted from Ford for plowing.
Fumes in garage? New 6.7L is certified clean idle. Cant get much cleaner than that!
Gelling? Add power service- no gelling.

I don't like to stop/start-wears out engine faster. You can leave a diesel running and it'll consume much less fuel that a gas engine at idle. Now I wouldn't idle for more than 5 minutes because its not good for the engine.
 

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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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Farms spread out is one killer (35 miles from one end to other), but we deliver all of our product and then more on top of that. All of our hay is kept at two places so we haul from field to barn more than most. We haul all of our own supplies, gravel, cattle, ect. Before we did hay we was still running around 30,000 miles. Were not as bad as out west but nothing close it seems like and getting ground right next door is impossible.

U can use farm tags to deliver out of state with, us dot numer, ifta tags, and urc. Seems to be that way with most states but trying to find someone who knows anything about farm tags and going out of state is a nightmare.
I got apportioned tags and I'm done with worrying about crossing state lines
 

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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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I think we're overlooking something very significant: many of us buy used trucks. Many of those used trucks we buy could have 50, 100 + thousand miles on them. Diesel engine powered used trucks given similar care to a gas truck would last longer.
 

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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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Talked to several insurers now, and the insurance watch dog, the insurer only has to underwrite what he wants to, a client has no way to force them into offering a non-commercial policy. As soon as I said delivery of hay to folks that was it. Once the broker asked the underwriter the question they flagged my account and said I'll never be able to avoid commercial from them in the future.

Next place I called I didn't give my name but got the same answer. Found one last place that has a farm policy for limited radius of operation but they want my personal vehicles, farm liability and house policy too. Not too sure about that.
Thats what I have (Nationwide Agribusiness). I shopped it around. Couldn't find much better/cheaper, but I'd like to.
 

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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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Insurance is a legalized moffia. We tried nationwide agri buss and that was a joke. But id say it comes down to each opperation and each aggent. But i feel all your pain. Just makes me move a few more bales. Sad part is u are pentilized for moving ur own product. But having to rely on other shipere gets to be a pain.
If my insurance is a joke (and everyone else with them), can you tell me who you have so I can get on board with your insurance?
 

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“Not a real farmer” farmer
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I tried Goodville Mutual Insurance and they were more expensive. I talked to fellow farmers in the area (they will still talk to me even though I refer to cows as cattle ;) ) and they all use Nationwide. I'm pretty much on my own, so thats all the information I had. Also, I own a barn/garage building business too, so they were pretty reasonable on that cost.
Shopping insurance isnt an easy process. I think they know that and make the paperwork discourage switching.
 
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