A good first truck??


Apr 25, 2008
Lexington, KY
Well, seeing there's already a topic on trucks going on, I thought I would start my own. I still don't have a license (or permit for that matter.) but in about a year, I will have my full license, so I figured I'd start researching trucks. I'm not looking for anything big, probably around a 1500/150 size or maybe even smaller, say an S10/Ranger/Colorado/etc.

Looking to able to tow a trailer (nothing big, maybe a two axle with plywood sides for brush) our stump grinder, and a nice bed, for hauling gear, and probably the biggest thing, a firewood load. My Dad plans on selling the firewood business to me in a year or two, and that's how I plan on paying for the truck, and some new gear, along with college money. Any ideas on make/model/year/engine size/trans/etc. Auto vs. Manual.

One more thing, would like to keep the engine around a V6 size or lower. Better fuel economy, etc. Thanks
No way a V6 (or lower?:what:) is gonna tow anything for any extended amount of time.

(I moved this thread to the Gear Forum)
I miss my Chevy. But I sure don't miss filling that pig up!:D


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Thanks MB, but I'm looking for fuel efficiency also. This is also going to be a college truck, so I want something small for now.

And Scott, as far as buying the farm, he's just not quite ready to sell it yet. When he does though, I won't be buying it!:/: He's got in his will, everything related to the business goes to my son, Adrian Wilson, including my very nice collection of Stihl saws!!:D:D
Thats asking alot of a V6 midsized truck.

And you gotta sell ALOT of firewood to pay for a truck AND college.

You are very ambitious!!
Hell a motivated young dude can make alot of firewood. I've lined up a grand in firewood sales this summer to regular customers without even trying. I'm thinking of expanding my firewood side of things.

A grand worth is a lot of wood which all has to be split, and evenso, a grand is far from paying for a new truck, let alone college.
Firewood biz is good for extra ching, not supporting ones self.

you get my drift
I know a couple dudes around here who do firewood full-time and they seem to do quite well sooooooo................no I don't get your drift.:P

All I'm saying is firewooding goes hand in hand with treework, cause all the wood I sell I've already been paid to get rid of by someone. It's like found money. And honestly I've burned wood my entire life, it was my chore as a kid. It's not really that hard.
Yeah yeah,

Im sure its more of a commodity up in the artic tundra. Hell its damn cold here for half the year almost, and noones getting rich slinging cords.

But that could very well change with the economy in the shitter and fuel costs on the rise.
Welcome Ranger Danger, i love that screen name as i used to get chased off my camping ground in yos and on the east side and pretty much anywhere i camped on gov. land
Yo so buy your self a good truck .
You dont need no big pretty red piece of crap.Get a awesome good running truck with low miles. Dont worry about looks worry about how she runs and how she has been maintained.
Cool and you might as well climb some trees or some rocks.
Trees pay better for most of us ,, but rocks are more fun.
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Sorry guys, I think I worded it wrong. This isn't going to totally pay for college. I already have college taken care of mostly, with a bunch of money my grandparent's left me for college, retirement, investing, etc. When I hit 18, I can use it for college, etc. So really, I guess it's just to help pay for the truck, etc. Also, like I said, I want the V6 for fuel effiency mostly. I won't be hauling a trailer every day. For 9 months out of the year, it'd be used mostly to get too and from school. Dad's 3500 can take care of any real heavy hauling.

Around here, firewood also does pretty well. We especially thing this year, were going to sky rocket for a few reasons

1. A load of wood from us is cheaper than filling up our 3500, so we think with high gas prices, theres going to be more sales.
2. We store and stack our wood in a barn, and it dries out for at least 3 to 6 months, compared to others who make a big pile in their lot with no protection/air flow.
There is a BUTLOAD of money to be made from firewoo if you do it right!!! Get with the local tree companies and have a lot set up, they will bring it and dump for free most times just to get rid of it. That is the money.
Then go hunt some hardwoods, that gives the clients somethi for variety. But CHARGE them for it!!!!

I ran an F150 with the 4.2L V6 for two years hard hauling before it gave up. Honestly, I wouldn't do it again. By the time I put in gears, 3:73, and overloads, I lost 1 MPG going to my new truck. "04 F150 5.4L with the towing package. It will pul anything I need to pull and not strain, or burn up the clutch, doing it.

Check Consumer Reports etc., you will see what I am talking about. If you really want to pull much, get the V8.
Fuel efficiency is not = to pulling power, they are infact completely opposite in my experience.

Fuel efficiency for a work truck is irrelevant, its a cost to absorb and charge back to the customer. If you want something cheap to get to school thats all good but the one truck wont do both jobs. Unless someone invents a 350 horsepower hybrid in the next year or two.
The smallest truck I would consider would be a Dodge Dakota.
The V6 option in this truck has a very flat torque curve. Meaning it hits max torque at very low RPMs & maintains through out it a large portion of its range.
But the new 287 V8 would be much better while also getting very respectful fuel economy.

The earlier Dakotas had some issues but the new ones are pretty sweet & I think would work for the medium duty use you speak of. Not the best choice but it would work.
dont forget braking in addition to power. My GMC Sierra 1500 (2004) brakes suck compared to my 10 year older F250 (1995) that I just traded up from. Under load the GMC sucks. The Ford braked really well no matter how fat I had packed the bed.
The newer Chevy/GMC 1/2 tons with the 5.3L are good trucks. Get the extended cab. They are decent on gas and can pull what you are describing with ease.

Absolutely. Boat and trailer are almost 5,000 and it'll move it down the highway at 75. About 17 mpg not under load, 12 mpg with the boat.


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Absolutely. Boat and trailer are almost 5,000 and it'll move it down the highway at 75. About 17 mpg not under load, 12 mpg with the boat.

And this is what I am talking about. With the V6 you might get 18-19mpg. My dad can get 20, but hardly ever breaks 50mph and drives like he is an 80 Y/O. In my truck he might get 19:lol:
And there is no comparison between pulling with the two motors.