January 9, 2014 dieseltoys

Why Heavy Duty Diesel Trucks are a Bad Idea…

Everybody knows that there are diesel trucks sold in the USA by Ford, Chevy, and Dodge. These trucks are typically used for heavy duty applications including towing and industrial work. While these trucks are diesel, they have some “heavy duty” shortcomings when compared to our Toyota diesel conversions. We regularly have people email us saying “If I’m going to spend $25k on a diesel conversion, why don’t I just buy a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge?”. There are actually several issues working against these heavy duty trucks that people need to consider when making a purchase decision.


The average 4-door heavy duty truck is in the +$50,000 range. This is for a basic truck with 4WD and a diesel engine. If you want things like interior packages and cabin options, the prices truly skyrocket from there. So, if you decide to bite the bullet and purchase one of these $50,000 trucks and drive it off the lot, you’re going to lose a substantial amount of value. To be fair, this has always been true with new vehicle purchases. But, with heavy duty trucks this effect is largely amplified. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average heavy duty truck loses 50% of it’s value within the first 5 years. Not sold yet? Price out a new Dodge 2500 diesel then look at a 5 year old model. See what we mean? You’re going to lose conservatively, $20-25,000 in 5 years time. This is remarkably poor resale value compared to other vehicle segments and rivals exotic segments like Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s. In fact, heavy duty trucks have some of the worst resale value of any vehicle segment. This is due to the fact that people that tend to buy these vehicles use them for commercial reasons so they’ve been worked extremely hard. So, even buying used, these heavy duty trucks have taken a beating and will likely need expensive repairs within the first few years of ownership.


Purchasing a heavy duty truck would be a much easier  decision if they were even remotely reliable. The modern (2007+)  heavy duty diesel truck has both a diesel particulate filter, catalytic converter, dynamic EGR system, and more recently an SCR (selective catalytic reduction) system. These emissions systems add huge complexity, decreased reliability, and dramatically decreased engine life. By law, DPF systems must be rated at 150,000 miles by the manufacturer. This means that after 150,000 miles you will need to replace these systems on your own dime. The replacement cost for a 2012+ Ford F250 DPF on the new 6.7 liter Powerstroke engine is around $7,500. It is also VERY common that these problematic DPF systems fail AFTER 150,000 miles leaving many owners having to repair these systems on their own. The sad reality is that today, our modern heavy duty trucks are no longer reliable and are EXTREMELY expensive to repair.


Not only are Ford, Chevy, and Dodge trucks expensive, have poor resale value, and terrible reliability, they get 12-15 mpg on average and cost upwards of $120 to fill their massive fuel tanks.  Due to the emissions systems installed, you also cannot run any of these heavy duty trucks on Biodiesel as it will void the emissions warranty. This is a huge deal breaker for any environmentalist wanting to burn this wonderfully renewable fuel in their trucks.

Most of our conversion customers are folks that want a fuel efficient, reliable,  modern diesel engine, but don’t have a need to tow 20,000 lbs. This makes these heavy duty trucks completely unrealistic. Coupled with the fact that our Toyota conversions have unbelievable resale value, reliability, and fuel economy, if you’re in the market for a diesel truck, these conversions make excellent financial sense and will protect your investment for years to come.