talk trucks! Questions and hopefully answers. Below in
the box is a link to a great website for mechanical questions. Here,
lets talk about what you like or don't like about your truck and SUV.
Such as towing questions for trucks and SUV's.
Come on in and talk about your favorite truck or
your nightmare! I could talk for days about the early eighties holy frames
on the Ford's, saddle tanks on the Chevy's, metric transmissions from GM and
putting Perkins combine diesels in pickups until we finally have a diesel in a
pickup from Cummins. But now I'll let you spill your guts. Get it all out, you'll feel better!
If you are like most
people planning on buying a pickup truck or SUV, you're
wondering exactly what truck you really need.
Trucks can be confusing with
all the options & configurations. I've owned, Ford,
Chevy, Dodge, Isuzu, Toyota & Mazda. I was an auto
broker for AAA, selling all makes and models. Most
dealerships have new salespeople with little experience
with trucks. You need the right information to make an
Trucks can last several
decades, so can the wrong choice.
depend on the salesperson to know the answer.
They've only been selling trucks
for 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 months! In my 32 years
on the farm, I've put over 1,000,000 miles pulling heavy
trailers and wearing out pickup trucks like only a
farmer could! Your guide to the
inside. Read my,
Truth About Trucks! Get the
Best Truck. Gas or Diesel?
Truck/ SUV Reviews.
Trailer Electronic Technology for Safer, Easier Connection.
is a magnetic connection, powerful magnets. Just get the male end near
the female plug and "pop" it sucks together. A tab slot align the socket
and plug to match the right connections. The male end has two silicone
o-rings, the cables have sealant injected inside, all to make the system
water proof. If you can keep the water out, you can keep the mud and all
the corrosive chemicals used to dissolve ice on the highway out. Spent my share of nights with a flashlight in
my mouth in the rain as I work on trailer lights.
See the review....
I believe in long test drives and
several of them. Always remember it's your money and you are in control. If the
salesperson doesn't want to accept those terms, I borrow from a phrase I heard
from Amway, "some will , some won't, so what, next!" When you compare different
brands of trucks to find the one to keep, look at things like the size of hinges
on the doors, hood and tailgate. Then get real nasty and unscrew a rear tail
light and look at the gauge of the wires. Then get the creeper out and get under
the truck and look at how the frame is joined and how the front axle suspension
is attached. Note the thickness of the metal under the truck. Next take a good
look at the seats and under the seat to see the springs. Note the thickness of
the fabric and the stitching. Some fabric is sewn and glued to the foam and some
is just stitched. Examine how the bed is attached to the truck.
Check out the plastic in the cab and how sturdy and well attached it is. Get a
feel for how the inside controls are, can you reach them without be distracted
from the road? It's easier to get statistics on engines and drive-trains than
the over all quality of a truck. And the quality of workmanship is not getting
better. Some years a better than others, some plants are better than others.
Competition has improved dramatically in the last two years, which is the
driving force for quality.
Help narrow truck buying
research down to your best choice.
Questions are a good thing.
I have plenty of them. Trucks are changing dramatically and the competition is
heating up, which is good for you. My job is to give you a different view than
what you’ll get on the street or in a dealership.
the research, and many test-drives check out my online services page,
quote to get some real quotes on the trucks. I’ve
narrowed the online buying services down to the two that do it the best, try
them both, they are free to you and they can get a quote on new and used.
Carsdirect will send you a quote. For used trucks
only I like
Autotrader, they are the biggest and I sold many trucks to folks who
came over 200 miles to buy from me because they saw the ad in
have dealer and private trucks. For the two-ton trucks and larger they also have
want you to have the opportunity to have price discovery on the trucks
you’re looking at. To do this for free and often, use the websites of
KellyBlueBook. AutoTrader and Yahoo use Chrome Data, the same place thousands
of new franchised auto dealers use to order vehicles direct from the factory. I
use all three websites and compare the prices. You can build new trucks with the
options you want and also get used truck prices.
With new trucks be sure
to add the national advertising that those programs have and ad another 1% for
regional advertising which is all built into the factory invoices. The “Prep
Fee” or “Dealer Handling” charges very a lot across the country. It is a bogus
fee for extra profit. The majority of manufactures pay the dealer to get the
vehicle ready for delivery and is itemized on the federal law mandated Marony
retail sticker on all new vehicles window. But some dealers will take the Prep
Fee or D&H Fee off and some won’t. Use these three websites to get a close
invoice price and average used price so that your price is negotiated up from
dealer cost not down retail sticker price.
Always remember to get your money first. You can always take 0% interest from
the manufacture financing when available, but be prepared with your own options.
The two online loan services I recommend are on
Don’t forget an equity loan on your house and then deduct the interest off
your taxes. Ask your bank or credit union for details.
Before you get talked into the dealer extended warranties, do your own research.
Sometimes your credit union or insurance companies have better warranties. To
check out the two online warranty services go to,
checking back on the latest Rebates, Recalls and Interest Rates, which can
change each month at
RecallsRebatesRates. There is also crash tests and EPA
mileage on trucks 8500 GVWR and lower.
if you don’t want a diesel or weren’t planning on a diesel, I just want you to know
Diesels generally cost
between $4000 & $5000 new as an option and bring closer to $2000 to $3000 more than a gas engine
in a used truck.
It generally takes
miles (Revised) before the extra fuel economy of a diesel pays for
the extra cost of a new diesel. And then the oil changes cost 2 to 3 times more;
the noise and the smell if it gets on your hands while filling the tank. If I
didn’t plan on keeping a truck for over 100,000 or haul often, I wouldn’t get a diesel and I love diesels!
But if you drive over 20,000 miles a year and love power when pulling a trailer
then consider the diesel. Consider the extra cost of a diesel on a 5 year loan
adds approximately $100 a month.
way to look at buying a truck new or used is your future needs. Find the
salesperson and dealership you trust and build a relationship. There are some
good ones out there. I did discover if the dealership names itself “Friendly
Motors” run. The month I got out of the business, my oldest son rolled his truck
and we had to go truck shopping. I had forgotten how hard it was. We started out
going dealer to dealer, reading the paper, looking on the Internet and I just
tagged along as dumb ole dad playing with my granddaughter. After my son and
daughter-in-law got tired of it and after changing their mind several times on
which vehicle they wanted, they asked for help. I got on the cell phone and
called one of the veteran salespeople I bought from and trusted as a broker. I
told him what I needed and then we went and picked it up.
Of course I have the
advantage, knowing the dealer cost of vehicles and who to trust. But the point I
was trying to make to my kids was, you’re going to buy a lot of vehicles over
your lifetime. Find the salesperson and dealer you trust and build a
relationship and send them your friends. You still need to do price research to
keep everyone honest, and let me help you sort which truck is your best
choice, but in the same areas of the country used and especially new, cost all
the dealers very close to the same. I would think a positive relationship with a
dealer you trust would take some of the stress out of something you would do
more than once.
in the business I use to see some amazing things. Retired people were always a
target for salespeople, they were old school and got used to believing some of
the wild stories from salespeople and they didn’t use the Internet for research.
Next in line for the land sharks used to be women, which has totally changed, I
talk about this on my web site, salespeople use to be able to intimidate women
who would come to a car lot by themselves. I’ve seen this evolve to the point
now that a single man coming to a car lot is the target. But if he’s married no
one will talk to him without his wife. Today’s women buyers are educated about
what they are looking for, do more research and ask a tremendous amount of
questions. And they put up with less BS.
not easy to find a superstar salesperson and most big dealerships have a 70%
turnover rate of salespeople. When my customers had a problem with the service
department, I was in the middle of it getting things done, when my clients had a
problem with warranties, I was calling the regional manufactures managers
getting things done. What I saw with most other salespeople was, they only went
out of their way to help customers who made them big money. We all know that’s
not right but it’s true. Just like I know several small franchised auto dealers
who will service your “under warranty” problems only after customers who bought
from them are taken care of and them some. That’s against all manufactures
franchises rules, but it’s the real world.
New Dodge Trucks at Fleet
Deals: Ask for Kathy or Linda in fleet at 1-800-880-1940,
Tell them MrTruck sent you.
Quality salespeople know that if you are happy, you are the best advertisement
for them. In my years in the auto business I saw how happy people were, to come
back a few years later and get to work with the same salesperson, someone
they trusted and sent their friends and even their relatives to. Words of
caution here, even with a trusted salesperson, always do your homework and
research prices, interest rates and rebates. As long as salespeople are paid on
a commission of what they make the store, it’s human nature to try to make more
on you if given the chance. We all are trying to feed our families and I
don’t expect people to work for free. But that’s just me, the older I get the
more I can see both sides of any argument.
don’t let friends buy the wrong truck!
In my ten
years of answering questions on trucks and trailers publicly, I have
learned 2 basic truths. #1 Right or wrong folks will disagree with you,
which is a good thing. #2 It's hard to find the right truck, a lot of
people don't have the ideal vehicle that they need. So I can either, (a)
recommend everyone get a 2-ton dually, or (b) tell you my opinion of
what you can do with your present vehicle and what help it needs, or if
you can't get there from here, tell you what dangers you face.
Control, where 300 to 500 emails come in and are processed, monitoring 7
message boards on 15 websites. Truck library and data base on the left,
laser printers, scanners, speech recognition system. On right toy truck
and tractor collection, view of apple tree, coffee machines back side,
exercise machine, boxing bag, bat phone. Backup keyboards, hard drives.
Night goggles, generator, gas mask, red phone, tunnel to helicopter pad.
All below blast level where MrTruck never sleeps.
NEW verses USED Revised
We all know how nothing stays the same. Markets change, economies change, my
weight changes. With the recession of 2001 and that darn 0% financing on new
trucks that seemed great at the time, we now have too many used trucks. This
year, 2002 we can hardly sell any new trucks. Free money, 0% interest, took
folks way into the future out of the market by buying early. And you can only go
so low on a new truck and then you have one of those bankruptcy sales.
Used trucks get churned over and over at the dealer auction when things get slow
and finely some dealers gets great bargains. One year old trucks are still too
close to a new truck but 2 years old and older trucks are way down there.
Now of course you know what I say about used 4x4's, they need a great extended
warranty Click Be sure to
check or have checked a used truck over carefully. I'll be coming out with a
list of what to look for soon.
We have all heard how much you loose when you
drive a new car off the lot. Cars drop like a rock no matter whether they were
used or new. The people you hear this saying the most from are the USED CAR
They make more money on used than new. You don't
have an invoice on used vehicles and you have no way of knowing exactly how much
they traded it in for. Very few people pay full retail for new vehicles and then
there are those rebates. It would surprise you how close the actual sales price
of a new vehicle and a one year old one are. And you know the new one wasn't
raced to the airport by 100 different people. I actually know people who trade
every year and never change their oil. Some of the used vehicles make it all
over the US that have come from the last hurricane. You can see the water damage
on the starters and exhaust systems. Some manufactures, especially Ford have
different settings from the factory by the altitude too.
Now in trucks, since they have better resale value and generally last longer,
can priced even higher at one year old than new. I have seen that happen often.
To see a significant difference, you need to go back 3 years in trucks. The 3/4
ton's also hold their value better than 1/2 ton's and extended cabs or crew cabs
4X4's are the kings. In 4X4's used, can be a whole new experience. Since you
won't know how much off road use it had, a 4X4 can create it's own payment! It
seems that every part on the bottom of a 4X4 costs $2000. If you are the first
owner of a truck, especially a 4X4 or diesel and you take care of it can last
you decades. I see a lot of people buying diesels that don't know anything about
how to take care of them.
"Uncle Jerry" farming the depleted
soil. Not too many "Buffalo chips" left. This is where I would love to be! I
could fill a web site about what I miss from turning over spring soil to sorting
and branding cattle!
Interesting Sites-More Research
The Fence Post, farm
magazine, Windsor CO
The best weekly magazine I've found. They have a
tremendous reach with their classified adds. A very entertaining and informative
magazine.. I started a monthly truck column with "The Fence Post" farm
and ranch magazine on Nov. 13th, 2001.
Which truck do you need.
Report 2.0 SUV's and Trailers and Wheelbases.
Why your child's First car should be a Truck.
Why not a 2-ton
medium duty dually.
5.0 Used Truck Judging 101. "Insider" version.
Truck Future: camless diesel, ESC, and lane departure warning.
Do I need a diesel? Is maintenance & mileage different? Are emissions
Report 8.0 Who has the best loans and warranties?
9.0 Which fuel does it use in the winter?
10 Traveling with a Trailer
11 What you should know before you buy your next
12 Trailer Tips
13 Truck Loyalty, good, bad and ugly
Had a Ford E-150 conversion
van for 17 years..375,000 miles and never had the heads off! Still running
fine when I gave it away to charity. I was lonely for a truck and mom just
let get a 1996 F-150, Eddie Bauer with the I-6. Sweet truck and I hope it
lasts as well and as long as the first...You have a neat
site...Thanks...Pete B, Chula Vista , CA USA
LOVE YOUR WEB SITE, IT HAS
BEEN VERY HELPFUL IN BUYING MY NEW TRUCK. FORD SD F250 V10 AUTO. LOVE
IT AND IT DOES THE JOB WITH LEFTOVERS. R A. VADNAIS HTS. MN.
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"Copyright 1999-2010 by H. Kent Sundling"