Building the Ultimate Work Truck

Building the Ultimate Work Truck

Today I wanted to discuss the building of the ultimate work truck. This is a project I have had on my mind since I sold my favorite truck while we still lived in Missouri. I really miss that truck, and haven’t had a truck that can compete since then. This is not going to be a truck that will be purchased new, nor will it have a bunch of bling added. I’m looking for a real work truck and be able to build it on a budget. I only have a couple of requests:

  • Has to be dependable
  • Has to have A/C–I’m a wimp
  • Has to have a lot of miles left in it (no 300k mile diesels)
  • Has to have room to take kids to school (not often, but I do have to once and a while)
  • Has to have a working bed on it (factory beds don’t hold up–needs a flatbed or something similar)
  • Has to be heavy duty for pulling (no 1/2 ton trucks-3/4 ton or heavier)

So there it is. I went on the hunt about a week ago in search of such a truck. As everyone knows, there are a ton of options. There is the diesel VS. gas choice. Then there is the automatic VS. manual transmission choice. Or how about dually VS. single rear wheel choice.  Here are a few of my opinions on the subject to help you figure out what you want in an ultimate work truck.

Diesel VS. Gas

This depends on how often you pull. The fuel savings is nearly a wash since the other maintenance is twice as much on a diesel, as well as diesel fuel is more expensive usually. The only time this is NOT a wash is when you pull often. By often I mean couple times a week. Even then it’s close. I pull stuff, but usually only a couple of times a month. The additional money on the price tag usually does not offset the savings. Don’t get me wrong, I love diesels, but there is no savings here like there used to be. Gas motors have come a long way and can usually go 200-250k miles without issues. If you tow a lot though, you will notice a big difference in mpg. Gas drops fast and usually hovers around the 6-10 mpg when towing. Diesels towing usually get twice that.

Automatic VS. Manual

Not sure on this one. I have had both and they both do great. If you are pulling a lot of big equipment around, the manuals usually have a very low first gear. Granny gear, as its usually called, is a real stump puller. A real handy option, plus some manuals have a PTO, or power take off, that comes in handy for added equipment. Auto is nice, especially for a lot of short trips. Jumping in and out, its nice to just throw it in park and go. Autos cant be push started if ever needed, but I like the fact you can leave it running in place without the use of a parking brake. It used to be that the manual was a lot cheaper to rebuild, but that isn’t the case anymore. They are still cheaper, but not by much. Get YOUR preference here, as it’s an even wash in my opinion.

Dually VS. Single Rear Wheel

This subject is often discussed, and a google search will find many opinions on the subject. If you are hauling heavy loads a lot, or hauling long distance, than a dually would probably be the best option. Another option would be to mount 19.5 wheels and tires on a single wheeled truck. I personally do not haul super heavy loads, nor do I haul them long distance. If I did, I still would not use a dually. Here in Colorado, there are too many mountain trails, and too much snow. Rocks get caught in the dually’s while off road. Dually trucks tend to not do well in 4wd. I personally like single wheel. Its easier, for one, to get through gates. You may say, “My gates are wide enough for a dually”. That may be true, but are your neighbor’s? How about the guy with a smoking deal on a broken tractor in the back 40. Like I said, I just don’t haul enough to justify a dually so Ill be looking for a SRW.

So what do you need in an ultimate work truck? Post up and let me know and lets see just how this beast turns out!