Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Finally a Truck Purchase

My old Ford truck failed me and I was grounded for a couple of months while Mr. OnceUpon and I considered repair/replacement options and test drove several used trucks.

We chose to replace the old Ford F250 diesel with a new 2010 GMC Sierra 2500 HD SLE Z71 4x4 with the 6.0L gas engine. (If that isn't gibberish to you, then you know trucks and I'm impressed.)

I've never had such a difficult time narrowing down a vehicle choice. Ford, Dodge, Chevy, GMC...then there are the different engine options and trim levels and this and that. It was becoming overwhelming so one Saturday we decided to get in the old Ford, drive to a dealership, and "Get 'er Done!" Eight long hours later, we drove home in the GMC.

We went back and forth about gas vs. diesel and everyone we talked to had a strong opinion one way or the other. We decided on the gasoline engine for a couple of reasons.
  1. The diesel engine is a $7,000.00 option. Ouch.

  2. A diesel engine is overkill for the amount of towing I do, which is less than 2,000 miles a year (3,219 km).

This new truck has the power to haul two horses anywhere I want to go. Sure, it will be less fuel efficient hauling a trailer up a mountain pass, but I can buy a lot of gasoline for many years to come before I'd reach the break-even point on a diesel purchase.

The new truck is a pleasure to drive and it is nice to have a positive occurrence after the recent string of truck & horse issues.

LESSON LEARNED: Get the facts - the Carfax (or AutoCheck report) when you buy a used vehicle.

When someone wants to make their problem your problem...buyer beware! (That goes for horses too.) We got ripped off on the old Ford which we bought based on the seller's word and a pre-purchase check at a local diesel specialty shop; both of which turned out to be a bit unreliable.

We spent a lot of money repairing that truck, but kept finding more and more problems. It was time to be rid of it. We received a clean title when we purchased it, but when we went to trade it in, we discovered it had been salvaged early in its existence. It originally came from Canada (the tire pressure info on the inside of the driver's door was in French). Apparently it was wrecked at 15,000 miles, rebuilt, sold, and the title got washed as it passed through several states in the U.S. If we'd pulled a Carfax or AutoCheck, we would have known better because all the details showed up in the report. We didn't get much in trade at the dealership because of the salvage history. As they say, "Live and learn."

In the meantime, I'm finally getting out & about with Misty; taking riding lessons and getting training help.

Misty is faring well as a lonely-only, but I do want her to have another stablemate one of these days.

I heard from Marley's owner that "he is happy and doing well."

I'm shopping for a 2nd horse now and I wish I could pull a Horsefax on prospective ponies. I hope I can be smart about this next purchase. I'll be sharing some thoughts on that in an upcoming post.

Horse shopping is even more portentous than truck shopping!


  1. Congrats on the new truck... I need one too and am dreading that shopping trip.

    I'm glad you and Misty are getting out =) and YES horse shopping can be more stressful then car shopping!

  2. Hi Becky,

    I am glad you got a new truck. I sure remember your stressful drive to Durango for my clinic. Let me know what you are looking for horse wise and I will keep my radar tuned for you. I am glad you are doing well and I hope to see you again sometime.


  3. Congrats on your new truck purchase! I loved reading this post, because I really want a new truck someday, if we can ever afford it. There is nothing wrong with our truck, but it is only a 1/2 ton and I really want a one ton. Our truck gets me where I need to go for hauling shorter distances . I borrow my friends one ton diesel for long hauls and hauling over the mountain passes. Thankfully I have that friend that lets me borrow her truck.
    We are GMC/Chevy people, and I can't wait to go truck shopping! Although it will probably be quite a few years before we can afford it. I am just happy I have a truck that can tow a trailer at all!
    Can't wait to see how your horse shopping goes!! Very exciting!

  4. So glad you finally found a truck that will work for your needs! Good luck with the horse shopping, can't wait to see what you find.

  5. I hope you have much better luck with the new truck. I prefer gas over diesel since I don't haul too much weight. The people in my neighborhood who have diesel engines spend a lot of time idling them and adding to the noise pollution. One neighbor has a souped up diesel engine that gurgles so loud that it vibrates the windows of my house, and he lives across a highway, three houses down from us. That's quite a ways to be affected by it.

  6. Oh, How wonderful! I bet you just sit in your truck and INHALE the newness...:)

    And one rule of thumb we follow for vehicles and horses and even other things ~ not from friends ~ ever. If things go bad, it can really taint the friendship.

    What we DO do is ask someone very reputable (in the biz for years, has education on the subject, comes with excellent references etc.) if they know of someone they would recommend we could talk to etc. IMO Professional people do not refer unprofessional people ~ their own reputation is at stake.

    And we also look at court records in the area where they live and work in ~ those are public documents.

    At least thats how we do it in the Forestry world, where that issue is a huge concern!

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  8. Thanks Jeni...yes, the shopping is the bad part. Well..fun and awful at the same time. I took the day off work today and hauled Misty to a riding arena. It's nice to be mobile again. Confidently mobile, especially.

    Hi Kathleen. I'm sure a trip to the mountains would be much more pleasant now. Maybe I could even keep the A/C over the passes in the new truck. I'm looking for a gentle, kind, seasoned, been-there-done-that, seen-it-all, grade Quarter horse with no vices. Nothing fancy or unusual this time; just a good horse that is a pleasure to ride and care for.

    Thanks PaintGirl. You'll get your big truck. Til then, it is great that you have a friend who will loan you one when you need the extra power.

    RMYankee, thanks. I hope I find a really nice trail horse this time.

    Thanks NuzMuz. Yeah, those diesels can get loud. I felt really guilty starting mine up early in the morning at a motel when I took it on a trip. I hope your neighbor doesn't have a habit of leaving on fishing trips at O-Dark:30.

    FeralWoman, thanks and good advice about not doing car/truck/horse business with friends. I'm planning to have a Pro help me find the next horse. I don't feel very secure about calling up sellers advertising online.

  9. Congratulations on your new truck and good luck with it. I'd have gone for the gas too. I've had GMC's for a long time and I've really liked them. Hope you do too.

  10. Thanks GreyHorse. It's good to know you have been happy with you GMCs.

  11. Congratulations on the new truck and your future trailering with Misty girl. She is one lucky horse that her people are so careful with her and get her the best truck for travel. Good luck with the horse hunting!

  12. Once upon a time, diesel fuel was much more economical than regular gas (and boy is that out the window :o) Yay for a spiffy new truck; we're still driving an OTD Chevy. It's pretty much held together with spit and duct tape *grin*.

  13. Your new truck is Beautiful!
    Enjoy it and all of the places it can take you....and Misty!
    We need to go out together some time...soon!

  14. Juliette, thank you. Miss Misty's trailering attitude has improved quite a bit since getting the new truck. I think we all feel less stress now.

    Jen, spit and duct tape are economical options. I still long for the days when gas was less than a buck a gallon.

    Dreamer...we need to go trail riding before it snows.

  15. I think Erin has a horse you might be interested in. I can't seem to find your direct email. She would let you try her for a few months to see if you like her. Get in touch with me at kathleen@kathleensullivanhorsemanship.com or call me and we can see if this horse might be an option for you.


  16. Hello - I just found your blog and really enjoy it. I'm also a rider who came back to horses in my 50's so I can relate to this :)
    We own a diesel version of your truck (a few years older)which we bought for trailering our horses and we love it. We bought ours second hand, but it was from a dealer and had a warranty, so it all worked out well. I think your truck will be everything you hope for.
    Glad to have found your blog. Love the 'look'!

  17. Good news all the way around! I was wondering how things were going. Looking forward to more Misty updates, and horse search. Take your time. You are smart to ask for help. Enjoy your new reliable wheels, safety is priceless!

  18. So glad to hear about Marley. it just shows you that if you find the right person for your animal, maybe giving them to a new home is not so tragic! So YEAAAY! I am also interested to hear about your truck search. My husband wants to do the same!