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Feel good story about the L8T towing heavy


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There's not a lot of traffic in this subform so I thought I'd share a nice, real world story about the gas 2500HD ('21 CCSB SLT).

 

In late Oct a friend of mine bought a new track loader for use in managing his forestry property (ASV... 'nice').  He was without a HD truck at the time so asked for my help with picking it up from the dealer.  Basically a 9000lb machine, on a 3500lb flatbed (not gooseneck), with a ~2000lb cutter head.

 

Drove about 90 minutes from his place to the dealer, country roads and interstate, central NC, flat and some rolling hils.  Loaded things up, strapped things down, pulled out.  I can honestly say, at max rating I was expecting the truck to have to work harder than it did.  Not at all saying "you didn't know it was back there", but I was surprised at how well it handled a max conventional tow load.  Shifts were smooth, not harsh.  It accelerated fine when merging onto the interstate, didn't sound like it was screaming at redline.  Once on the highway rolling 70mph, it was solid, smooth, planted.  There was power enough to accelerate into the left lane to get around slower traffic, etc.  Slowing and stopping was uneventful. The trailer had electric brakes which of course played a big part, and the built in brake controller just worked, no drama.

 

90 minute drive home, that last 20 of which was on country roads.  The trailering app showed a combined round trip mileage for this "guest trailer" of 8.1 mpg.  I get similar mileage pulling my 9k boat and trailer, which seems about rights since a boat with a t-top is a much larger sail than a track loader.

 

Moral of my story... if you need to pull heavy, the 6.6 gas will get it done.  I admit if you pull heavy all the time, diesel is probably the right answer.  But as a guy with his first 3/4 ton truck, I continue to be amazed that the experience of towing, even at max rating, is so much better than any half-ton (at any weight).

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1 hour ago, vucelick said:

If they ever offer the same 10 speed as in the diesels with the 6.6 gas, properly calibrated to the engines power curve, I think it will be a very good alternative to diesel.

 

Maybe for low speed and around town, but look up the gear ratio of 5-6 in the 6L90 vs 7-8-9 in the 10 speed. At highway speeds nothing will change. It's a big reason why TFL out MPG'd a 10-speed Duramax with a 6-speed Cummins on the Ike and the Flats. The 6-speed is matched very well to the L8T. More gears for the sake of more gears may leave people disappointed in their expected result.

 

As far as "if you are towing all the time get a diesel" mantra, I would argue that when I was in my RAM diesel group I saw countless posts from hotshotters and guys that work their trucks daily for money that had no pay/down time due to the fragility of modern diesel emissions. There is a case to be made that if you need to pull to make money, you're at high risk of a minor problem (like a DEF sensor) putting you out of business for the day/week/month/who knows.

 

I see the same thing with Class 8 rigs at the City or even my buddies brand new $750,000 concrete pump. Not even 100 miles on it and it's down. Oh, the pump part works fine. It's got diesel emissions issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, good story. Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT: On the topic of low traffic in the forum, that's a sign of the times for sure but part of me wonders if its this website design. It is PACKED full of ads like its a clickbait tabloid site or something. You have to scroll a mile just to get to the first post! I get that this place doesn't run for free and that they need to make money, but this is really off the deep end. I'm sure it discourages new posters from sticking around. I don't remember it being like this a few years ago. It's really off-putting. I get the response is "put an ad-blocker in". No thanks. I don't have this problem with pretty much the rest of the entire Internet lol. Don't need another spy tracker following me around and copying everything I type into a database. Anyhoo....

Edited by Epsilon Plus
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EDIT: On the topic of low traffic in the forum, that's a sign of the times for sure but part of me wonders if its this website design. It is PACKED full of ads like its a clickbait tabloid site or something. You have to scroll a mile just to get to the first post! I get that this place doesn't run for free and that they need to make money, but this is really off the deep end. I'm sure it discourages new posters from sticking around. I don't remember it being like this a few years ago. It's really off-putting. I get the response is "put an ad-blocker in". No thanks. I don't have this problem with pretty much the rest of the entire Internet lol.

 

Well said.

I use an ad blocker because it's the only way I can tolerate being here.

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4 hours ago, Epsilon Plus said:

EDIT: On the topic of low traffic in the forum, that's a sign of the times for sure but part of me wonders if its this website design. It is PACKED full of ads like its a clickbait tabloid site or something. You have to scroll a mile just to get to the first post! I get that this place doesn't run for free and that they need to make money, but this is really off the deep end. I'm sure it discourages new posters from sticking around. I don't remember it being like this a few years ago. It's really off-putting. I get the response is "put an ad-blocker in". No thanks. I don't have this problem with pretty much the rest of the entire Internet lol. Don't need another spy tracker following me around and copying everything I type into a database. Anyhoo....

 

I use Adblock and have zero issues. 

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The problem with hot-shotting with a gas truck would be 1.5-2x the fuel costs of a diesel (roughly).

 

I agree with Epsilon about the 10 speed.  These days people seem to think a 10 speed has some magical power.  If you look at real world mileage figures for the Ford 7.3/10sp and the GM 6.6/6sp, they are essentially the same when you compare loaded vs. loaded, city vs. city, hwy vs. hwy.  But hey, 10>6.  I will admit a 10 speed should certainly do a better job of keeping the engine at its ideal speed when towing/hauling heavy (like pulling up a mountain in CO).  But again, that's not something I need to do everyday.

 

I use ad-block here too.  Otherwise.... sheesh.  It's too bad too, this forum has one of the better forum structures/organization (T1, separate from K2, separate from GMT900, separate from HD, etc).  SilveradoSierra lumps everything together in "engine" or "transmission" or "suspension" etc.

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I would disagree that fuel costs would be 1.5 to 2x greater. Depending on region fuel cost differences can bring them close together on a cost per mi. calculation add def, maintenance, reliability and gas looks pretty good. This obviously assumes you are towing within capability of gasser. Its a separate discussion/ consideration if you NEED the diesels enhanced capabilities.

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Looking at diesel forums where guys are hauling similiar weights to me they seem to report 9.5 to 11.5 mpg with the occassional outlier. I have tanks towing a 12k fiver ranging from 7.2 to 9.9  with an overall average towing number on most trips, those over 1500 mi at 8.8. I am betting my average speed is probably slower than the diesel guys. I intentionally try to stay at 65 or slightly less in an effort to maximize my economy. I would be very curious to see a simultaneous test done by someone to see what the real comparative Differences would be. I would guess 20%, in my area of country diesel is 10% higher on average thus closing the gap a bit for fuel alone not considering the other costs.

 

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On 12/1/2021 at 10:22 AM, mrjulian416 said:

There's not a lot of traffic in this subform so I thought I'd share a nice, real world story about the gas 2500HD ('21 CCSB SLT).

 

In late Oct a friend of mine bought a new track loader for use in managing his forestry property (ASV... 'nice').  He was without a HD truck at the time so asked for my help with picking it up from the dealer.  Basically a 9000lb machine, on a 3500lb flatbed (not gooseneck), with a ~2000lb cutter head.

 

Drove about 90 minutes from his place to the dealer, country roads and interstate, central NC, flat and some rolling hils.  Loaded things up, strapped things down, pulled out.  I can honestly say, at max rating I was expecting the truck to have to work harder than it did.  Not at all saying "you didn't know it was back there", but I was surprised at how well it handled a max conventional tow load.  Shifts were smooth, not harsh.  It accelerated fine when merging onto the interstate, didn't sound like it was screaming at redline.  Once on the highway rolling 70mph, it was solid, smooth, planted.  There was power enough to accelerate into the left lane to get around slower traffic, etc.  Slowing and stopping was uneventful. The trailer had electric brakes which of course played a big part, and the built in brake controller just worked, no drama.

 

90 minute drive home, that last 20 of which was on country roads.  The trailering app showed a combined round trip mileage for this "guest trailer" of 8.1 mpg.  I get similar mileage pulling my 9k boat and trailer, which seems about rights since a boat with a t-top is a much larger sail than a track loader.

 

Moral of my story... if you need to pull heavy, the 6.6 gas will get it done.  I admit if you pull heavy all the time, diesel is probably the right answer.  But as a guy with his first 3/4 ton truck, I continue to be amazed that the experience of towing, even at max rating, is so much better than any half-ton (at any weight).

Great info.  I recently ordered a new 6.6 gas (no idea when I’ll even get it) after a lot of analysis. I am keeping my 2015 diesel and adding another pickup to my fleet.  Don’t really need two diesels so thought I’d give this new 6.6 gas a shot.  I will occasionally tow max weight from time to time but I live in western Kansas where it’s flat and we have very little traffic. Most of the time I won’t be towing, just running empty.  I’ve had 6.0 gassers before and they were ok, but from what I’ve heard from friends that have this 6.6 it’s a big upgrade.  I’m not too concerned on the 6 speed.  My biggest complaint is not offering the 4.10 gears.  If they do come out with that 10 speed I hope they at least offer the 4.10 then.  My lifetime mileage on my LML with 100K on it is around 14.3.  I don’t think the gas will be a whole lot worse.  I’m guessing maybe 11.5-12.  My old 6.0 was about 11 average for my type of driving.  Here locally gas is about 15% cheaper than diesel so it might end up being a wash on fuel cost.  Don’t get me wrong a diesel is awesome for towing and I’ll always probably have one around, but I think these new gas engines are starting to bridge the gap a bit.  Pretty crazy the 6.6 has a max tow rating of 24K.  I don’t think my 08 LMM was even that high.  

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10 hours ago, mrjulian416 said:

The problem with hot-shotting with a gas truck would be 1.5-2x the fuel costs of a diesel (roughly).

 

I agree with Epsilon about the 10 speed.  These days people seem to think a 10 speed has some magical power.  If you look at real world mileage figures for the Ford 7.3/10sp and the GM 6.6/6sp, they are essentially the same when you compare loaded vs. loaded, city vs. city, hwy vs. hwy.  But hey, 10>6.  I will admit a 10 speed should certainly do a better job of keeping the engine at its ideal speed when towing/hauling heavy (like pulling up a mountain in CO).  But again, that's not something I need to do everyday.

 

I use ad-block here too.  Otherwise.... sheesh.  It's too bad too, this forum has one of the better forum structures/organization (T1, separate from K2, separate from GMT900, separate from HD, etc).  SilveradoSierra lumps everything together in "engine" or "transmission" or "suspension" etc.

 

I don't think your comparison between the 6.6 and 7.3 was quite what you meant it to be.

 

A much larger displacement engine, with noticeably more power and a 10 speed, gets the same mileage as a smaller, less powerful engine using a 6 speed.

 

Technically that would point out why the 10 speed is better.

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On 12/2/2021 at 6:54 AM, vucelick said:

If they ever offer the same 10 speed as in the diesels with the 6.6 gas, properly calibrated to the engines power curve, I think it will be a very good alternative to diesel.

The key statement being “properly calibrated”.  In reading some of the posts stating the 10spd isn’t needed I would agree its not “needed”.  That said after spending 2 years driving a 10 speed Duramax (78,000 miles between 2 trucks now) I can confidently say I would never go back to a 6 speed Duramax.  You can post statistics, quote mileage comparisons etc but for me it comes down to seat of the pants driving experience, it simply feels better, smoother, quieter and pulls great.   Always seems to have the right gear empty or pulling heavy..IMO, GM did a fantastic job calibrating the 10spd to the Duramax.

I understand I’m using a 6 spd to 10 spd comparison with a diesel and not a gas truck but I don’t see why the comparison wouldn’t be the same with a “properly calibrated” 10 spd in the gas.  I have said that if/when they offer a 10spd in the gas truck, I will at least consider it. I’m that happy with the 10spd in the diesel and based on that alone I believe a properly calibrated 10spd would also benefit the gas truck.

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8 hours ago, nick112288 said:

 

I don't think your comparison between the 6.6 and 7.3 was quite what you meant it to be.

 

A much larger displacement engine, with noticeably more power and a 10 speed, gets the same mileage as a smaller, less powerful engine using a 6 speed.

 

Technically that would point out why the 10 speed is better.

The optional 7.3 is 10% larger in displacememt than 6.6 makes 7% more horsepower and less than 3% more torque.  Not many efficiency test done on these but I recall TFL doing a comparison on these and 6.6 was more effecient both towing and unladen. I think the difference was fairly significant based on % differences. Can't recall specifics but I do know they where different days and different trailers so exact conditions where not present. I seem to recall the GM was a heavier trailer?

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