Sometimes our fan’s emails are so good, we have to let everyone see. In this case, it’s a fan with five heavy duty trucks!
What’s the best and the worst about owning HD trucks? Our fan Rob is an independent contractor who moves a variety of RVs from the manufacturer to their storage facility. He has a fleet of five heavy-duty pickups that he uses. In this email, he outlines what he does, what he drives, and what he thinks of these trucks. It’s an excellent perspective from a guy who truly uses these trucks on the daily basis.
——- Robert P. writes:
Hi there, my name is Robert P. I watch your videos heavily. Always being a truck enthusiast, I’m partial to Chevy and Dodge/Ram. I am also a CDL holder and have driven the great country in class 8 trucks over the road in 42 states. I am writing you for a reason though.
If you are well aware, the RV capital of the world is Elkhart Indiana. A large majority of RVs are produced in Elkhart County providing to the U.S., Canada, and even international shipments overseas. Obviously, there are transport companies that haul those trailers and drive the motor homes to the dealerships across the country. Here is the process.
1. Produce RV at the manufacturer
2. Move RV from the manufacturer to a storage yard via the transport company, typically within 20 miles.
3. Over-the-road driver transports RV from storage yard to the dealership.
I run units from the manufacturers to the storage yards with my own truck for a large transport company, I am an independent contractor. I have done this job for 4 years and enjoy it well. Here is my list of trucks I have used or currently use.
- 2001 dodge ram 3500 dually 820k – Cummins 5-speed 2wd
- 2004.5 dodge ram 3500 dually 199k – Cummins 6-speed 4×4
- 2014 Ram 3500 dually 99k – Cummins 6-speed 4×4
- 2016 Ram 3500 4×4 134k – Cummins 68rfe auto 4×4
- 2018 Chevy 2500 162k – 6.0 gas V8 6L90 auto 2wd
I use the 2004.5 Dodge and the Chevy currently and love them both! I have used your reviews in the past on the Ike Gauntlet to understand what I’m getting for towing. My job is to pull everything for pop-up campers to pull behind a jeep wrangler to the massive 5th wheel luxury campers from Drv and Lux. Weights ranging from about 700 lbs to 22,000 lbs empty trailer weight!
If you are wondering, yes I have pulled all of that with every truck in my listing above! Without issue! I don’t have the mountains, but I have little hills at speed. I’m also towing in the mud, gravel, ice, snow, and grass (left by the Amish horse and buggies). Ha! I know Andre got to be in the area doing a review of Lippert control systems on a 5th-wheel toy hauler, so I am sure he has seen some of the scenery. Here is a quick review of my trucks.
2018 Chevy 2500
It has the lowest power of all the HD trucks. It does its job well, albeit slower. It makes me money! Interior not greatly intuitive but functional. Overall, it’s a great truck
2004.5 Dodge Ram 3500
It’s a good heavy-duty truck, lacking in the braking department some, but it just does a great job towing without effort! With the current supply chain issues, I have had the least issue replacing parts on this truck as compared to a newer truck as most of my comrades currently use. Slow on take-off being a manual, but reliable power. Sadly, this trans is being rebuilt currently. Typical Dodge!!
2016 Ram 3500
It’s a spartan run-of-the-mill truck, comfortable, intuitive, and very capable in terms of braking and power. 68rfe was weird to use, shift points were a bit wild but worked well. I wish I kept it, but sold it to pursue a new venture.
2014 Ram 3500
It is a 2-door Dually! It is a manual! It is a luxurious truck, very comfortable, but not enough space for my needs. It towed trailers without a single hiccup.
2001 Dodge Ram 3500
My buddy owns it now. I wish I kept it because it’s still ticking along as a 24v Cummins diesel does. It’s the most reliable truck I ever had! I bought it with 776k miles on the clock, the dash was half missing and it had a slanted front wheel. I fixed the front end and covered the dash. It was commercially used its whole life! Its original engine running perfectly! I miss it the most, but I get to drive it every so often.
Anyways, what I do is unique in this country for working a pickup truck.
It is extreme work, bad terrain, all of us go through multiple sets of tires yearly and are constantly being held up in traffic for various reasons. Big rigs get the abuse, but boy – do these pickup trucks, duallys, 1-tons, and 3/4 tons do the same jobs. Some of them even have custom hydraulic hitches mounted to make the job easier. If I bought a brand new truck today, it would be out of warranty in about 9 months based on mileage. They get worked to death and keep running every day.
I appreciate the content you make in a big way, I am a pickup truck nerd, always have been since my dad bought a new chevy s10 in 1989. Keep up the good work, it does provide insight into what I do for a living and for daily life.
Just thought I would pass this bit of information on to you guys as a fan and a hard pickup truck worker.
Here are those trucks, got to get one of the chevy working hard still!
Thanks so much for your insight, Rob! We’re grateful you’re a fan, and we wish you a Happy New Year!