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Sorry for the long post...

Has anyone besides me been looking at trucks lately? I have an '08 F-250 Super Cab with about 108k on the odometer. Runs well and I enjoy driving it (in spite of 10.5 mpg), but midwest rust is taking its toll. I can live with the rusty wheel wells, but the issue is that even the bed rails underneath are rusting out. I stepped in the back of the bed a couple of weeks ago and felt the floor of the bed move. Got underneath and.... YUCK!! The floor supports are rusted and even the "wire" supports that go from frame to the lower parts of the outer bed to keep it from shaking are rusted off. In spite of prices of new vehicles, I figured it's time to buy my "last truck". But you can't find 'em! And, there's pretty much nothing used out there either.

Truth be told, a 1/2 truck (or even a Ford Ranger or a Chevy Canyon) would probably suffice for 90% of my needs - trips to the lumber yard, the occasional trip to the landfill, pulling my 5x8 utility trailer, getting groceries, etc. But I want at least a 3/4 ton so I have capacity if and when I need it. I've rented a trailer to haul a tractor, rented a dump trailer and hauled some pretty heavy loads of mulch with my F-250. I'm also wanting to leave the possibility open of getting a travel trailer of some sort and hitting the road with Sweetie as we approach retirement age. If I buy a smaller truck, that will probably never happen. Yeah, I know that you can tow a pretty decent sized trailer with the new F-150's, but I don't want to be locked in. I also know that I'd get better mileage with an F-150 vs an F-250 or F-350.

I started shopping. First I look online at the local dealers. Not much of anything to be found. Get on KBB.com and expand my radius to 100 miles, then 200 miles, the 500 miles! Still not much of anything - especially if you want a heavier truck in a color other than white (which my current truck is). When you can find something, they're selling at MSRP - or more! I have found a few dealers still giving markdowns, but not many. It turns out that one of the major culprits for the lack of supply is a shortage of microprocessors. Of course, other parts of the supply chain are screwed up due to Covid, but the lack of chips is bringing the entire auto industry to its knees. And it doesn't look like the situation is going to change any time soon.

So, what to do? I'd keep my current truck, but I'm getting to the point where I'm afraid that the bed is going to rust through to the point where it's not safe to drive. Plus, even the gas tank straps are getting pretty bad. I've looked for a used bed and the only thing I can find that's not rusted is a badly beat up bed with a fifth wheel hitch welded in. The junk yard wants $2500 for it - nonnegotiable. Plus, I called a local shop that installs utility beds and they're looking at $1200-$1500 in parts and labor to install it. I called another shop to see about putting a flat bed on it. Again, $5k for a basic flat bed. My truck is a short bed (6'9") so there's no dump bed option available. Short of making a bed out of lumber (and looking like a complete hillbilly!), I don't seem to have many options other than a new truck.

Other than starting this thread so I can whine a little bit, I guess I'm looking for some advice. Does anyone have suggestions that might allow me to keep the current truck? Or any suggestions for truck shopping in a complete sellers market? My "plan" has been to use KBB to see what is out there, find any dealers that are selling their trucks for less than MSRP and then having them give me a price for ordering exactly what I want. I'll also send some requests to quote an ordered truck to the local dealers. But, if the price difference is enough, it might be worth it to drive or fly for a deal. Does anyone else have ideas?

THANKS for letting me whine and moan! :)
 

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Depending on how comfortable you are flying, expanding your search even farther might help. Did you have your mind set on Ford or would adding GM and Ram to the list be on the table? Other wise will it have to be your "last truck"? You could pick up something that will last another five years, and maybe by then the new/used truck market will recover.

My 2005 Colorado is in the same shape as yours. I was hoping it would last another couple of years, but that might be wishful thinking. The replacements for it are very few and far between (Colorado / Canyon baby Duramax diesel long bed extended cab).
 
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Have you tried CraigsList? Here are two I found locally. You will want to stay with 2017 or later for the aluminum body.


Dave
 
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I looked up my local Ford dealer and found one only new F250. They sell everything at plus $50 over invoice.

They are only showing 23 F150's available. Last fall, they had over 100 F150's available.

Dave
 
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Yep, i do IT work for two dealers, supply is almost dried up due in part to this silicone shortage globally, i know gm has said they wont produce any 6.6L Gas the rest of this year because of it, good luck, the other side to this is used pricing is sky rocketing because of shortage in the new market.
 

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I work for a manufacturer and can second what Crazy said. My friend was supposed to turn in his Colorado lease for a new one last week, they can’t get him one, so GM is covering the extension of the lease for at least 3 months to hopefully get him one. If I were in your boat, I’d look for a slightly used truck or just bite the bullet and order one with the knowledge you may wait a year for it. Maybe you can put in a stipulation with your order contract that you want $X off for each week they can’t deliver past 6 months.
 

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I just ordered 4 new trucks for my company. I have to wait 14 weeks for them to come off the line. Wound up getting Rams. V6 crew cab trucks. All white in color. The rams were $5K less than the equally equipped Ford units.

I tried to buy off lots but could not find 4 on a lot or even close to each other. Lot selection was for a more loaded up optioned vehicles. MSRP was $38k on all brands and the dealers would not come off very much. I have never paid over MSRP and never will. Heck, I have never paid MSRP.

Look all over. Fly and drive it back or have it shipped. My last personal vehicle was about 900 miles from me. I had it shipped for $700 on a load that was to be delivered within 125 of home.

My wife’s vehicle I bought online from a dealer that was 300 miles away. They drove and met me halfway to close the deal in a Wendy’s parking lot.

Try some of the newer type used vehicle dealers like Caravan or CarMax.
 

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I have only bought one vehicle locally in the last 8 years. Dealers are now used to long distance dealings because of the internet. My F150, the dealer drove half way (probably more) and met to show me the truck. I looked it over, with full disclosure that I was not going to buy it that day because I wasn’t going to bring a check to pay for it. I liked it, made the deal the next day, and the dealer drove the truck 400 miles to deliver it to my office and we signed the papers in a conference room. FYI, the days of haggling over prices are dwindling. A vehicle will sit if it’s priced too high or there is something glaringly wrong with it. In full disclosure I paid the asking price for my used F150 with stipulations they address a couple things (I wanted the correct floor mats and a bumper trim was scuffed that they replaced). The price was fair for what I was looking for, they were extremely pleasant and polite, and I had been looking for months for that configuration of vehicle/options. If your local dealer won’t locate one for you (even if you pay for the shipping) then ask them for the list or do a search on the Ford site. I would be willing to bet you can find something somewhere.

Also, if buying used, get a picture of the manufacturing label in the drivers door jamb. Canadian trucks are in the US and it usually doesn’t effect anything, but good to know. Ford honors the base warranty(unsure about extended/power train), recalls, etc, but your financing and insurance may or may not care.
 

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My last truck (and 4 cars and 2 trailers) I bought totally on line. I am not a hard core truck brand loyal driver, so I went to the build and price web sites for Ram, GMC (which is separate from the Chevrolet site), Chevrolet, and Ford. I built what I wanted on each and sent them out for prices. I had absolutely no intention to visit any dealer lots, and I didn't. That didn't stop sales people from trying to hook me with the "we have exactly what you want on the lot, except for the long bed, but we can throw in a bed extender. Just come in and look it over."

It took a while for it to sink in via email and sales calls that I was serious, that I was a cash buyer not interested in financing, and that I was not willing to compromise on what I had built on line. Finally, offers to order my builds started coming in. I picked the one I wanted, went by that dealer, paid a deposit, and signed the order. If the offer suddenly changed, or they tried to sell me on one on the lot, I was prepared to walk out. But it went smoothly and took about 10 minutes. It took months for the build, but I wasn't in a hurry.

In my case, it turned out that the best quote came from a dealer located just 15 miles away. The cars and trailers went pretty much the same way, except the trailers were on dealer lots and no contract or deposit was needed. I actually did the same thing with my 1025R tractor and my Kawasaki Mule - built them on line, got email quotes, and bought them off dealer lots later that week.
 

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One thing you could do to extend the life of your truck is replace the bed with a flatbed… Providing your cab and cab supports are in good condition. For some reason Fords have a tendency to have the box rust and collapse like that.… If that won’t do I would recommend you move quickly. And be prepared to travel. I have been a wholesale car buyer since the late 90s. The people I work for own Ford GM Ram Jeep Chrysler Dodge Stores. This isn’t a good year for anybody to have to buy a new or used three-quarter ton or 1 ton truck. There is no used inventory and there’s no new inventory. And one of the reasons there is no used inventory is because there’s nothing to trade it in on. And there’s not going to be for the rest of this year and possibly next year. This is just the beginning of the manufacturers woes. Right now chips are the problem. Shortly it’s going to be steel, plastics and resins …The few used trucks we have been able to get we have had to pay more then the price of a new one… And obviously we have to sell them for more than the price of a new one. And it isn’t because we’re making a bunch of money cause we’re not. In fact I am retiring April 16 of this year... and it’s partially because I don’t see this improving for quite a while.... like 24 to 36 months. Be prepared to see new truck prices rise significantly this spring… We are already being notified by manufacturers that we will need to update the window stickers on the few vehicles we have in stock to match what few incoming vehicles will be priced at.... in other words significant price increases. There are a lot of reasons for this that you could look up on the Internet. I don’t wanna turn this into a political discussion.... But I will say poorly thought out tariffs combined with Covid related shortages...and a workforce being compensated to stay home have caused problems no one ever anticipated....there was already a shortage of trucks before the Covid. Now there is a shortage of raw materials. And plenty of price gouging. Some automotive type steel has gone up 300% since last summer. I don’t know about aluminum.... but I do know there has never been a market phenomenon like this before. Not even during the recession when GM and Chrysler went broke. There are simply not enough raw materials to produce vehicles right now. And many other things. Anybody building a house or a barn is already aware of this. Now it’s vehicles… And I would expect there is more to come.
 

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I can't get into all the shortages. I will say I have been buying 1 ton Chevy cab & chassis since 1984. Last time I bought one, 2013, I looked at 3/4 and 1 ton side by side in the lot and they are night and day difference, there is NO comparison. 3/4 tons are cars and 1 tons are trucks. If your'e bed is rotting out then the rest is not far behind. I wouldn't put a penny into a rotting out 1/2,3/4 ton truck, at least a Chevy and I am a Chevy guy.
 
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I have a 2017 F150 super cab that has 1940 pounds of payload and will tow 9000 pounds. Is that enough for you. There is often more discounts and availability on F150’s. Things have changed though in the last 3 1/2 years though since I bought mine in terms of discounts, which aren’t as good.
 

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I can't get into all the shortages. I will say I have been buying 1 ton Chevy cab & chassis since 1984. Last time I bought one, 2013, I looked at 3/4 and 1 ton side by side in the lot and they are night and day difference, there is NO comparison. 3/4 tons are cars and 1 tons are trucks. If your'e bed is rotting out then the rest is not far behind. I wouldn't put a penny into a rotting out 1/2,3/4 ton truck, at least a Chevy and I am a Chevy guy.
As the owner of a 3/4 ton truck, I can't say I agree with you. Prior to 2017 models on Fords, the only difference between 3/4 ton and 1 ton single axle models was a little heavier springs and overload springs. Even the rear axle was the same. A little more difference on a dually. 2017 and later 1 ton single axle gas models have a little more beefy rear axle along with a little more beefy tranny. Not much difference on diesels.

I consider the 1/2 ton trucks to be more like a car, not the 3/4 ton. 3/4 ton and above, at least on Fords, have a full floating rear axle, which is necessary to qualify as heavy duty. 1/2 ton pickups have a car axle where the actual axle supports the weight. That axle breaks, you are in a serious wreck from which you may not survive. A full floating axle can be removed from the truck merely by removing the bolts on the end of the axle and slide it out without jacking it up. The axle does not support the weight of the truck, instead, the housing supports the weight. That is the way the heavy duty class 8 semi trucks are built.

That 3/4 ton of mine towed a gooseneck load last fall that grossed 30M and it is a gasser. Definitely not car like. Mine is a 2011 and the rear axle is the same for the 3/4 ton and the 1 ton.

If I remember right, the OP has already stated that a flatbed was not an option due to excessive cost. I agree that something needs to be done with the bed and I suspect the best option is a used bed. There are people around that pick up those beds that have been taken off a truck and replaced with a flatbed or utility bed, then resell them. I bought a tailgate off of a guy that does that.

Dave
 

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I have purchased several flatbeds over the years from this company.....$1350.... NOMANCO in Wabash Indiana. Just a small family production shop. Probably not an option if you are not within driving distance.... but a great value for the price.
 

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Mark02tj,

6 months ago I could have written what you did, in fact I might have posted the same things. I gave up looking for a while as I found a”new” 2019 that they used for plowing, a ”new” 2020 that they used for plowing each of these would take off 2000 for a truck with 800 miles of plowing. Then I found a new on that just come in that they would do sticker price on.

None of the 3 even called back after I was there to look at them.
 

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is it just me? ........but with the price of New 3/4 ..1 ton pickups.....you could put a new flat bed on yours every year for about ten years ........i think that is what i would do but then again i havent seen the extent of your other rust problems....
 

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I bought a new Ranger XLT last week and it was the worst deal I've made in 20 years of buying vehicles, about 10.5% off MSRP, and that took some work.

Usually my preference is to buy a used car 2-3 years old with 30-40K on it, which in the past would land me around 40% off the new price and 1-2 years of factory warranty just in case. This time around I was seeing prices more like 10-20% off new, not to mention 10+ year old trucks with 100K miles going for 15-20k. Absolutely bonkers.

I shopped the Colorado, Ridgeline, Tacoma, and Ranger and liked the Honda best, followed by the Ford. I tried to buy a Ridgeline, but supplies were tight and dealers wouldn't even send me a sticker for a car that was in transit, even though I was happy to buy one sight unseen. After getting that runaround from 4 different dealers I said "$#@! Honda" and bought a Ford. They had more supply but I wanted a pretty specific configuration and there weren't a ton of them around, and inventory seemed to be moving steadily.

I probably could have squeezed a bit more out of the deal but in the end I needed the truck and didn't feel like driving around to five more dealers to squeeze another $500-$1000 out of it. While I shopped and got initial quotes online and over the phone, I was able to get more price improvement in person.
 
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