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  1. #1
    Master Firefighter nwadler's Avatar
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    Default Ford vs. Chevy chassis

    Who makes a better chassis and you guys who own the chevy duramax what do you think of the diesel from chevy. I want true feelign. Maybe some of you guys have driven both. Pros and cons. I am talking about the 450-750 for ford and the chevrolet 4500-8500


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    Default ford chevy question

    I guess my quesion first would be what are you using it for. I am a firm beliver in the ford chassis. If you are looking for a larger chassis tho why not look at the freightliner M2 chassis. More info would be helpful. thanks jeff

  3. #3
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    You might want to look at the thread "Warning about Ford 4x4"contains some useful information. T.C.

  4. #4
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    This was also discussed in another forum.

    The Ford F-450 & 550 are beefed up pick-up trucks while the GM (Chevy & GMC) 4500 & 5500 are built on medium duty chassis and de-rated for GVW purposes. The GM's have 80,000 lb frame rails while the Fords have 35,000 lb rails. The GM's have a better turning radius and 1/2 the sight line of the Fords.

    The larger Fords are truly medium duty trucks but you still have sight line and frame rail differences.

    As far as the Duramax goes I am recommending it to my customers over the CAT engines that GM also offers. The warranty is better being a full 36 month warranty, no curtailment of rental or labor, and while both have unlimited mileage the Duramax also offers unlimited hours.

    Just remember that both manufacturer's only go to 60,000 GVWR. Anything over that you do have to look at the larger trucks.
    Steve Dragon
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  5. #5
    Master Firefighter nwadler's Avatar
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    I am not specing a vehicle my self just inquiring why we dont see more chevy chassis out there in the fire service. I can not find what the psi of the frame rails are for the ford f-550. I am trying to figure out why people in the for repeatably go to ford for a light rescue, ambulance, tanker, I know for some the international and the freightliner chassis are better but why not chevy. Never driven one so I was looking for info from people who knew about them. How the power of the engine is compared to the ford powerstroke. How they hold up. Stuff like that. Thanks for your comments.

  6. #6
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    I think that one reason people are using the F550 is that it has the ability to have the 17,500 gvwr AND 4X4. I looked at the GM website a while ago and they did not cover that combo with their product offerings. It is like GM not making the larger rear wheel drive police cruiser. When they decided to stop, and Ford kept making the Crown Vic, they got more of the cruiser market that wanted rear wheel drive.

    I am sure there is a reason for this. It could be just big corp. exec's making decisions that we don't understand... the guy in the trench doesn't have the "big picture" even when it is a boneheaded idea that the "exec" just made happen.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    I will try to answer that question based on computer generated work orders from my business.First let me say quite plainly that I have an opinion based on personal experience and what I'm about to tell you.The reason most folks in my area have switched light rescue and ambulance chassis to FORD in MY AREA is simple economics.These units have LOW downtime,HIGH reliability and the lowest cost per mile operating costs of any small truck with the exception of International.Based on our shop records if it weren't for GM we would be in another line of work.We work on vehicles (light trucks)by quantity in this order GM,Dodge,Ford,Int.And no it's not because there is 4 times as many GM's as the others.This is one area where my good friend and trusted associate Dragonfyre and I disagree.I've been in the towing business over thirty years.In that time I've tried GM products three times. I currently own my LAST GM.There will NEVER be another in my fleet,I'll buy a horse first.Every last one I've ever owned has had reliability problems(bad for an emergency vehicle)and nickled and dimed me to death.My Fords,when they break,are expensive to fix.But the downtime has been almost nonexistant and these vehicles run 24/7/365.I suspect the replacement for my current GM is going to be a International although I may get a 750.The turning cramp angle is better on the Int.and I like to run a "heavy"carrier so I can bring anything I go after home.But it needs to turn tight to get into some of the "holes"we're called to service.And the 450/550 aren't built up pickups,they have a totally redone frame system built specifically for that platform.All other information Steve presented is correct,although given a choice between Cat and IscrewsU(Duramax)I personally would have the CAT.Having EXTENSIVE knowledge of Isuzu products and their inherent propietery components I wouldn't take the gift of one unless I knew where I could unload it tomorrow.But that's just me,I'm sure there are at least a hundred people waiting to flame me. T.C.

  8. #8
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ChiefDog
    [B]I think that one reason people are using the F550 is that it has the ability to have the 17,500 gvwr AND 4X4. I looked at the GM website a while ago and they did not cover that combo with their product offerings.
    Don't know how long ago you checked by GM started producing 4X4 4500 and 5500 in regular and crew cabs July 1 as 2005 models.

    As for why there are more Fords out there, it's a mentality thing. People had problems with other products and even though newer and better versions are produced they live in the past and won't believe that the product could ever be of any value. They will continue to buy powerless-stroke engines even though Ford acknowledges many problems with the new ones and has already started replacing them rather than try to fix them.

    I know because I have a customer who just switched after Ford bought back two F-450's after replacing the engine in each in under 10,000 miles.

    But that's why there's vanilla and chocolate. I'm sure we could start a forum over which one is better and then someone will throw in strawberry.
    Steve Dragon
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  9. #9
    Master Firefighter nwadler's Avatar
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    I didnt know that gm is producing a 4x4 chassis in the 4500 and 5500. Do you have a link to the press release. Thankyou all for you r information.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Personally I LIKE strawberry, All three even better,Hehe T.C.

  11. #11
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  12. #12
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Steve,Hate to pour kerosene on a fire but you might want to check inventory on those durajunk injectors.National backorder I'm told.So Ford isn't the only ones having new engine release problems.Play it safe,buy a cornbaler.Truth is there are trucks and there are "mini"trucks but there isn't much out there in the form of a GOOD reliable midsize truck and I can safely include the jap trucks in the lot 'cause they've got issues too.Don't test 'em just get 'em out the door,some sucker will want one.Want to test it?Give one to me;if I haven't busted it in a two year spread,it's good stuff.The newer it is the more problems you can figure on.What ever happened to the good old throttle cable?Too good to last! T.C.

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