Hey Folks. I've got a 94 chev 2500 that I have for a work truck. I'm always on the look out for something I can afford that would serve my needs and save me some gas, but so far no luck. Seems the best option would be to have an effecient 4 cyl ranger or something that I drive most of the time and just use the 3/4 ton when I need it, but then you're balancing extra insurance costs with fuel savings.
My plan here is to follow the 201 fuel saving tips, find out ways to make my chev run more effeciently (starting with a tune up) and learn about what the most effecient trucks on the road are.
That he mentioned the Ranger as a possibility for "most of the time" tells me most of the time it is smaller loads or perhaps even no loads being hauled. Then I'd suggest doing what I've done: keep the pickup for the big jobs and do the other 99% of tearing around on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, or econobox. I am proof that if you have decent repair and shopping skills, these "additional" vehicles can be bought, repaired, maintained, licensed, and insured for so little that the savings in fuel are sizeable and real EVEN IN situations like mine where I accrue far below the national average of annual miles driven (which causes fixed costs to skyrocket per mile).
Old EPA 23/33/27
New EPA 21/30/24
Thanks for the replies guys. I do drive quite a bit almost 15k KM a year and only a few times a month or less do I actually carry a heavy load. I build cabinets and concrete countertops so it is important to be able to handle 2000+lbs. We also have a small travel trailer that we haul with the chevy. That being said the other 95% of the time the truck is either empty, or has 100lbs in the box.
I've actually got a lead right now on an 85 ranger with a 2.3L turbo diesel for $800. According to my reasearch they get 35ish mpg. Nice. Just have to see what kind of shape it's in. Insurance should be cheap too, probably $6-700 a year.