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Discussion Starter #1
Currently I'm driving a 2017 Ram 3500 Promaster with a KUV body. For the most part, its a super functional truck and I'm happy with it, but theres a couple glaring drivetrain issues that I can't get past.

The FWD should be great up here in the Northeast with the hills and the snow we have, but truthfully this truck is next to worthless with even a minor coating. With the rear of the truck loaded up, there's not enough weight on the front end to keep the tires planted. Same thing with a muddy jobsite. I have trouble in the rain too. If I have to start on a hill or pull out into an intersection, the tires break loose no matter how much a feather the throttle. It can be a little dangerous at times. My old RWD E250 was more capable than the PM. With the storms we've been having I'm forced to bring my personal truck to work which is not ideal because I obviously don't have all of my tools and material with me. It's frustrating.

Another issue that I notice is the V6 struggling to move all of this weight. On the highway the truck is constantly up/downshifting to keep up with traffic and running at high RPM's (4.5-5k @ 70mph). It's really too small of a motor for this size truck. I fear that once I hit 100k I'm going to start having some very expensive problems.

Now that you know how I feel about my current truck, lets fast forward a bit.

I was at the dealership having some routine maintenance done and I ran into my salesman. I've been tossing around the idea of getting a new truck, so I asked him about a very nice Ram 3500 CC (diesel, 4x4) with a service body that they had on the lot. It's really a nice truck. It's a 2020 leftover demo truck, so it's got a lot of bells and whistles on the work end. I've been in touch with the salesman since that day and they've come down on the price quite a bit and given me a very good offer on the PM trade-in, so it's all very enticing, but at the end of the day it's gonna cost me an extra $400+ a month over what I'm paying now. The extra money isn't going to kill me, but obviously there are other things I could be doing with it.

I get that most of you guys don't go with a service body truck, you'll take a Chevy Express any day of the week, and that's fine...I had 2 other vans before my current one, but working out of a service body just works for me, I just need it to get me to where I need to go.

I guess what I'm looking for is some peer advice on if it's worth it to spend a lot on a work truck?

I've priced out some Sprinter vans, and by the time I outfit them with shelves and ladder racks, I'd be paying the same as if I went with the Ram. Even the AWD Transits wouldn't save me much by the time all is said and done.
 

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It sounds to me that you've made up your mind. Good luck with your new truck. :)

If you can afford it, I'd got with it. It's a business expense so that $400 has tax breaks. You are in the business to get to the job.
 

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All of our trucks are Ram 2500/3500 CC 4X4 Cummins with mostly Reading utility bodies.

We really don't have any issues with snow/ice, these trucks are heavy and seem to stick to the ground pretty good. But, we are flat ground for the most part, no serious hills to climb in the snow.
 

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My ride is a 350 diesel 4x4 dully with a 9' body, we've taken it up in some pretty nasty snow/ice conditions in the 4 corners area. I run AT tires year round, about the only time I'd have to kick in the 4x4 in the snow is to jockey trailers around but I'm probably a lot heavier then a typical sparky rig so it sticks to surfaces pretty well.

I'd jump on the deal, I've never seen a good reason to cheap out on service trucks. Considering the time you spend in one it could be comfortable, functional, and have all the features you need to do the job even if it costs a little more up front. Better then suffering in the long run.
 

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400 a month MORE would scare the heck out of me. Are the tires the same on your personal truck as work? Way cheaper to get some different tires for the road conditions.
I am surprised that a one ton has 6 in it. Is there any way to re distribute the weight and get it more forward? Maybe a tool box on the front? I have always taken my work trucks to a scale and got them weighted so I knew the weight distribution.
Lastly find someone else driving something close to yours and have lunch with them.

In the drag racing days I had 90-10 shocks on the front of my GTO. It allowed the weight to shift back when I put the pedal to the metal. Wonder if they have something reversed for your truck? You do not say how may miles you have on the truck but at 4 years factory shocks might be shot. I know when I changed the shocks on my pavement pounder a 2011 F150 that is a garage queen, like 50K miles. The ride was a lot better and it behaved much better on wet pavement.
Ideas only, hate to see you spend that much on a new vehicle.
 

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I have a friend with just about the exact truck you have, he hates it. Reading your post, I think I hate yours more than he hates his :) I wouldn't take my car to work too many times before I'd replace my truck. Seriously I think it's just a matter of time before you have a long downtime with an engine, transmission, or body shop repair. I'd do something promptly.

Don't fall under the salesman's spell. Don't look at the monthly payment, that's what the salesman wants, he can easily talk you out of that, look at the total cost like your accountant does. A vehicle is a big investment, it's worth a call to the accountant to help figure out what the real cost here is and decide what you really ought to spend.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
400 a month MORE would scare the heck out of me. Are the tires the same on your personal truck as work? Way cheaper to get some different tires for the road conditions.
I am surprised that a one ton has 6 in it. Is there any way to re distribute the weight and get it more forward? Maybe a tool box on the front? I have always taken my work trucks to a scale and got them weighted so I knew the weight distribution.
Lastly find someone else driving something close to yours and have lunch with them.

In the drag racing days I had 90-10 shocks on the front of my GTO. It allowed the weight to shift back when I put the pedal to the metal. Wonder if they have something reversed for your truck? You do not say how may miles you have on the truck but at 4 years factory shocks might be shot. I know when I changed the shocks on my pavement pounder a 2011 F150 that is a garage queen, like 50K miles. The ride was a lot better and it behaved much better on wet pavement.
Ideas only, hate to see you spend that much on a new vehicle.
It is a lot more than what I was hoping/wanting to spend on a truck, but I see upside by doing so.

No matter what tires I put on there, it doesn't help with traction issues...thats another thing, I have 55k on my Promaster and I'm already on my 3rd set of tires...and I don't cheap out on them. When I chatted with the tire shop about that, they equated it to being too narrow of a tire with too much weight on it.

I do have a lot of the heavier stuff pushed towards the front of the body, but that doesn't help things much either, and I can only move so much stuff forward before it becomes detrimental to my ability to work efficiently.

All PM's have the 3.5 V6 in them...I believe early models offered a small diesel option, but thats long gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That caught my attention also. Seems a bit underpowered for the expected loads (being a 1-ton).
The PM actually has more HP, but less TQ than my old '04 E250. I suppose in a typical van configuration it's just fine, but with a service body it just falls on its face.
 

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Actually in a van configuration a Promaster does quite well. I run snow tires on mine in the winter and don't have the issues you are talking about. I dont do muddy jobsites much either, tho. I have wondered how the service body configuration would work with them. It just seemed that they were not quite enough truck for that application.


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