Project Hoss

I wanted to start a project called Project Hoss. It’s about a new truck that we purchased to work here at the house. New to me that is. It’s a 1977 Ford Crew Cab. Because we have six kids I needed something with extra space so the crew cab was essential for a work truck for me. It comes with a 351 modified engine, four-speed transmission, four-wheel-drive, short wheelbase. Follow along as I modify this truck for my needs here at the house. Not sure exactly everything I’ll be doing to it but just to give you an idea it will have a winch bumper, working on board air compressor system, and also have radio communication such as a CB radio and ham. This is been one of those trucks I’ve wanted for very long time finding a crew cab in this model year is extremely hard let alone a short wheelbase crew cab so I’m really excited to tackle this project.

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Project HOSS-Dump Bed Complete

So finally have some time to give a follow up on Project HOSS. The bed has been attached using custom fabricated mounts. The power comes from hydraulics powered by electric.

HossSo finally have some time to give a follow up on Project HOSS. The bed has been attached using custom fabricated mounts. The power comes from hydraulics powered by electric.

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So its all good to go and working great. The next thing was to test it out. Hauled about 4000lbs of wood in a couple of different loads.

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Its been really nice playing with my new toy. This wood in the picture above was free off of Craigslist. Cottonwood is NOT the best wood out there, but hard to beat free. More HOSS projects to follow.

The Utlimate Work Truck-HOSS

I previously mentioned that we were taking on a new project. With Spring around the corner and recent move under our belts, we were in need for a new truck to handle all our needs. You can find our requirements here. So I have been on the lookout. One thing I really wanted to do was keep our vehicles near the same. My wife really loves her Suburban, so the chances of her changing were slim. So I decided to find a truck that was similar. I went searching on Craigslist and found exactly what I was looking for!

I previously mentioned that we were taking on a new project. With Spring around the corner and recent move under our belts, we were in need for a new truck to handle all our needs. You can find our requirements here. So I have been on the lookout. One thing I really wanted to do was keep our vehicles near the same.  My wife really loves her Suburban, so the chances of her changing were slim. So I decided to find a truck that was similar. I went searching on Craigslist and found exactly what I was looking for!

Project HOSS is a 2001 Chevy 3500 Crew Cab Dually with 75k miles. It has the Vortec 8.1 with Automatic.  It was wrecked and the dually bed was damaged. It has leather and is fairly loaded for a LS model. So here is how it looks upon purchasing it for a sum of $5000!!

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When I found HOSS, he was looking bad. The owner was a drunk and hit a pole. This forced the driver side duallies under the back bumper. This forced the passenger duallies forward causing the passenger side damage to the bed.  I reattached the axle to the springs, removed the damaged rear shock, replaced on break line, removed flat tire, and drove it home.

Future Plans:

Obviously replace the bed. Looking for a flatbed of some sort. Lose the dually setup. I don’t haul enough to justify wearing out 6 tires at a time. I also spend more time off-road so 4 wheels work better than 6 in the mud. Mount some gear for communications in the cab will then be next. Replace the front bumper with a winch bumper for helping people during the Colorado winter storms. Mount some tool boxes, etc. We will see how the budget goes, but I promise you this will be one serious work HOSS. Stay Tuned!

Building the Ultimate Work Truck

Today I wanted to discuss the building of the Ultimate Work Truck. This is a project I have had on my mind since I sold my favorite truck while we still lived in Missouri. I really miss that truck and haven’t had a truck that can compete since then. This is not going to be a truck that will be purchased new, nor will it have a bunch of bling added. Im looking for a real work truck and be able to build it on a budget. I only have a couple of requests:

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Today I wanted to discuss the building of the Ultimate Work Truck. This is a project I have had on my mind since I sold my favorite truck while we still lived in Missouri. I really miss that truck and haven’t had a truck that can compete since then. This is not going to be a truck that will be purchased new, nor will it have a bunch of bling added. Im looking for a real work truck and be able to build it on a budget. I only have a couple of requests:

  • Has to be dependable
  • Has to have A/C–Im a wimp
  • Has to have a lot of miles left in it (no 300k mile diesels)
  • Has to have room to take kids to school (not often, but I do have to once and a while)
  • Has to have a working bed on it (factory beds dont hold up–needs a flatbed or something similar)
  • Has to be heavy duty for pulling (no 1/2 ton trucks-3/4 ton or heavier)

So there it is. I went on the hunt about a week ago in search of such a truck. As everyone knows, there are a ton of options. There is the diesel VS. gas choice. Then there is the automatic VS. manual transmission choice. Or how about dually VS. single rear wheel choice.  Here are a few of my opinions on the subject to help you figure out what you want in an ultimate work truck.

Diesel VS. Gas

This depends on how often you pull. The fuel savings is nearly a wash since the other maintenance is twice as much on a diesel, as well as diesel fuel is more expensive usually. The only time this is NOT a wash is when you pull often. By often I mean couple times a week, even then its close. I pull stuff, but usually couple of times a month. The additional money on the price tag usually does not offset the savings. Dont get me wrong, I love diesels, but there is no savings here like there used to be. Gas motors have come a long way and can usually go 200-250k miles without issues. If you tow a lot though you will notice a big difference in mpg. Gas drops fast and usually hovers around the 6-10mpg when towing. Diesels towing usually get twice that.

Automatic VS. Manual

Not sure on this one. I have had both and they both do great. If you are pulling a lot of big equipment around, the manuals usually have a very low first gear. Granny gear as its usually called is a real stump puller. A real handy option, plus some manuals have a PTO, or power take off, that comes in handy for added equipment. Auto is nice, especially for alot of short trips. Jumping in and out, its nice to just throw it in park and go. Autos cant be push started if ever needed, but I like the fact you can leave it running in place without the use of a parking brake. It used to be that the manual was a lot cheaper to rebuild, but that isnt the case anymore. They are still cheaper, but not by much. Get YOUR preference here, as its an even wash in my opinion.

Dually VS. Single Rear Wheel

This subject is often discussed, and a google search will find many opinions on the subject. If you are hauling heavy loads a lot, or hauling long distance, than a dually would probably be the best option. Another option would be to mount 19.5 wheels and tires on a single wheeled truck. I personally do not haul super heavy loads, nor do I haul them long distance. If I did, I still would not use a dually. Here in Colorado, there are too many mountain trails, and too much snow. Rocks get caught in the dually’s while off road. Dually trucks tend to not do well in 4wd. I personally like single wheel. Its easier, for one, to get through gates. You may say, “my gates are wide enough for a dually”. That may be true, but are your neighbors? How about the guy with a smoking deal on a broken tractor in the back 40. Like I said, I just don’t haul enough to justify a dually so Ill be looking for a SRW.

So what do you need in an ultimate work truck? Post up and let me know and lets see just how this beast turns out!