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Author Topic: F350 Dually or single?  (Read 6238 times)

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Offline OlJarhead

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F350 Dually or single?
« on: August 03, 2016, 01:10:57 pm »
So I'm starting to think more about my next truck.  I'm pulling my mill with an F150 Super Crew 4x4 and it does the job but I can't haul much with it (certainly not a camper) so I'm considering an F350 to haul a camper with the mill so I don't have to leave the job site in remote locations (driving an hour back to the cabin or staying in a tent is getting old)....

I get about 10mpg when towing the mill and would like to improve that (unless hauling a camper too) and want to be able to haul a larger camper so I have some comfort on the jobsite in remote locations.  I'd also like to haul lumber from time to time.

Anyway, a friend has a dually (GM) 3500 and swears it's the best optiion for hauling a camper and trailer but others have suggested getting a dually into tight locations can be a challenge and I do go places the road (off road) gets pretty narrow or the turn around spot is barely enough to turn around with my F150.....

What do you use?  What are your thoughts?
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Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016, 01:38:30 pm »
4x4 dually will go darned near anywhere. Hands down better than single tires.
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Offline pine

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016, 01:59:19 pm »
It is a trade-off but is not everything a trade-off? 

If the weight on the truck is light you can actually get stuck on wet grass in a dually because the PSI is so light that you get low traction and just spin your wheels  Seen it happen.  With a 4x4 the front end can help that however.  If you run the camper on all the time and it is heavy enough that should eliminate that issue as you keep the weight up so that the dually does not "float" on the terrain surface by spreading the weight across twice the surface area.  That can hurt but can also help depending upon the terrain.  Again trade-offs. 

The dually will make the truck much more laterally stable with the camper and arguably safer. If you get a large camper, which can raise the CG of the truck's back end and offer more lateral wind area, a single rear axle can be interesting at times.

There is the obvious width increase but I suspect that you have had more of a "turning radius issue" in the out of the way locations.  Look at the specs for the turning radius of the truck you are interested in and compare them to what you have and see how much you would be giving up.

Offline DanG

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 04:00:27 pm »
I never had any issue with the extra width, except with downtown parallel parking.  I suspect that the crew cab would give you more grief in tight places than the duals would.

One incident sold me on the duals as an after-the-fact safety factor.  My step-daughter borrowed my truck and horse trailer to take her family to a trail ride.  Along the way, they blew a rear tire while  rounding a fairly sharp curve.  That could have been a real mess with 5 people and 5 horses aboard if they had lost control.  :o
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Offline bkaimwood

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2016, 05:35:15 pm »
I am in a similar position, Eric. For what I do, it boils down to this....if I decide on a gooseneck trailer now or in the near future, I will buy a dually. If not, single rear wheel is fine. With a properly balanced load, the right hitch, and angles, my diesel super duty can and will pull anything. I've had a few trailers being me recently in the 18k lb neighborhood. I would rather not have, but got the job done. A gooseneck in a dually makes a big difference, but if you don't go that far, well, you don't have to go that far...
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2016, 05:45:27 pm »
How well the pickup will turn is determined by the wheel base, not the number of tires or weight rating. If you are going to put a camper in that pickup and tow something, definitely get the dually.
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Offline pine

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2016, 05:55:42 pm »
How well the pickup will turn is determined by the wheel base, not the number of tires or weight rating.

True to a point; but different brands with nearly the same wheel base can have significantly different turning radius due to different steering gear linkage design. 
I had never thought of that until back around  the mid 90's when I ran into the issue.

Thus my suggestion to compare the turning radius of the current half ton truck that Erik has to the one he is looking at replacing it with.  Wheel base is the biggest factor but others are there, thus look at the specs from the manufacturer.

Offline samandothers

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2016, 06:02:37 pm »
Dually or single is one question.  What about the F350 vs HD3500?   :D ;D

Offline plowboyswr

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2016, 06:29:44 pm »
With the camper on I would go for duals. When we have hauled cattle before, my dually would pull in and out of places that Dads single wheel would drop in. That being said my single wheel 3/4 ton with 33-12.50 x 16.5  could also get in and out places that Dad with 7.50x16 on his couldn't. The wider tires on the singles will give better weight handling than the narrower tires will.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 06:32:07 pm »
   Not speaking from experience but the dually sounds real good as to the hauling capabilities. I can't see where it would make your turn around issues worse.

    As to the turn around/tight spots I assume you are talking just the truck and not the truck with mill/trailer. I have sawed in the bend of mountain road as only wide spot around. Disconnected the mill, went up and turned the truck around then turned the mill by hand. The mill balances pretty well and it is not unreasonable to turn around by hand especially if you have a helper or two.

   BTW - you are not in USMC any more. You don't have to camp all the time now :D :D. (We always said you don't have to practice to be miserable- Semper Fi.)
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Offline Magicman

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2016, 07:57:24 pm »
The word "truck camper" alone does not require or justify dual wheels, and yes, a lightly loaded dually can get stuck on wet grass.

Unless you are planning on hauling heavy loads, the SRW gets my vote.
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Offline ozarkgem

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2016, 08:21:01 pm »
Back in the 50's the military did a study on dual's verses single wheels in mud. The single wheels would go through more mud so I guess that is why they used dual's for 50 yrs afterwards.  I am ok with singles. Dual's do have advantages for really heavy loads. I just see 2 more tires to buy. I see more singles than dual's here.
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Offline fishpharmer

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2016, 08:41:22 pm »
I have pulled a good many miles with both dually and srw.  Given the choice, dually is my preference.  Not only does it offer stability and safety in a blowout situation also gives more tire surface area when braking.  My $0.02
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Offline cwimer973

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2016, 09:25:33 pm »
I just picked up the Chevy 2500hd cause my mill and rails fit in the back.  Everything is a k-turn when parking since I had the 8' bed put on, but I love it.  With the extra low and tow package this thing can pull lots of weight so I love.  Didn't have the money for diesel so this was the best option.
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Offline barbender

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2016, 12:18:10 am »
My dually gets around better in 2wd than the half ton I was driving for work. I've never had a problem getting around with it. On second thought, it gets around well enough that I got myself places where I didn't belong :D
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Offline redbeard

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2016, 12:56:51 am »
 

   if you don't need extended cab or four door the single cabs Ford Chevy dodge duallys get in tight spots real good. Short Wheel base is what you need.and 4x4 is a must where your at.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2016, 07:51:20 am »
Lots of good feedback on this thread thus far.  My own 2 cents.

1 - the turning radius on a truck is usually related to the distance from the frame to the front tires.  My F450 turns in half of the radius of my old F350 and my Excursion because the front tires have a wider track and are thus further away from the frame. 

2.  Unless you are carrying a lot of weight, a DRW truck will usually get stuck in places where a SRW truck would not.  Having 4wd helps a lot with a dually.

3. As other have said, much better lateral stability and braking with DRW. 

4.  Usually SRW gets better fuel mileage.

5.  A diesel with 3.73 rear end ratio (or thereabouts) will probably provide the best compromise between towing capacity and fuel mileage.  2008 and newer F250 SRW diesels with 3.7's typically get 18mpg or better on the highway (non mountainous) in a lightly loaded (no camper) configuration.  Figure 20% - 30% worse for a DRW in the same configuration due to the lower aerodynamic efficiency of the extended rear fenders and more friction losses through the drivetrain.

Most sawmills are fairly light (less than 5K lbs), so either one will work from a towing capacity perspective.  Although I personally prefer DRW's, unless your camper was extremely heavy, for your application I would strongly consider a crew cab F350 SRW truck with a diesel, mainly because you will probably get one two two MPG better fuel mileage.  You certainly won't go wrong with a DRW though, just avoid 4.3 or 4.88 rear end ratio's unless you plan on doing some extremely heavy hauling.


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Offline scully

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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2016, 08:05:20 am »
I have a 2014 Dodge Cummins crew with 8' bed . It is a single rear wheel 4x4 . They say duellies are more stable for hauling heavy stuff but I pull my mill and 5th wheel and don't even notice them behind me . With no load or trailer I get 20 to 22 MPG on the highway . with my 5th wheel 10 to 11 in the hills and 15 to 16 flat open road . I have a couple friends with big fords and gas motors one of them gets 10 mpg empty !  I'm not sure how well their deisel does . I can say duellies ain't much good in the snow , been their done that . Good luck with what ever you decide .
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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2016, 08:09:03 am »
One item that has been mentioned a few times; whatever you get, make it 4WD.

Most vehicles are now "limited slip" but that is also a requirement.
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Re: F350 Dually or single?
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2016, 08:45:00 am »
Everything is a k-turn when parking since I had the 8' bed put on, but I love it.

What is a K-turn?
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