When we bought our current truck in 2001 a 2000 F350 dually I didn't want a dually. No way no how. After getting out of the army and driving the duce and a half and 5-ton and the HEMMITs I was tired of the "big fill up the flippin lane" trucks. I did however have some requirements that I absolutely wanted.
I wanted a diesel, period. It also had to be a Ford because of the IH Navistar motor. I'm an IH nut, owned a few Scouts and trucks in my day and all of our tractors on the farm were IH. It may have had something to do with my Opa (grandfather for you non-German type folks) having owned the IH dealership in my home town. Go figure.
I wanted 4 doors and a split 60/40 front seat. We have 2 little ladies and I wanted to get the whole family in plus a set of grandparents if needed. I can't stand having to take 2 vehicles to go out to eat either with my parents of my wife's.
I wanted a full long bed. I'm a DYI kinda guy and when I make a run down to the lumber yard and pick up some plywood I wanted to be able to haul it without dropping the tailgate.
Those were my requirements and I was in no hurry to buy a truck. I was perfectly happy with my full-size late 80's king cab F150. Ya know back when an F150 was a full size truck not the cut down little things they are today.
Well as luck, fate, alignment of the stars and planets would have it... My wife and little ladies were back home visiting her family while I was working and living the bachelor life. I was at work on a Thursday and "She Who Would Be Queen" gives me a call and says "Honey I found your truck". Ok I'll bite what did you find? She then proceeds to tell me it has all the requirements that I wanted plus a leather interior, only 16k miles on it, looked great, and was a dually. What??? I don't want a DUALLY! She then tells me she took it for a test drive and fell in love with it. Crap. So I bug outa work early and drive my late 80's F150 3 and half hours to go have a looksee. Dang that was a BIG truck. I didn't want a BIG truck. The salesman just happened to have sold my father a truck about a year earlier and is a good guy. Redneck rodeo type with the pressed Wranglers (never quite understood the whole starching blue jeans thing) and the hat and all. Anyways he tosses me the keys and says "let's go for a ride". Well crap ok. I get in and danged if it wasn't the nicest truck I had been in. My old F150 was really starting to look crappy. We get out to some back roads and Zunker (yeah that's his last name) tells me to "hammer down on her". Well I can't resist mashing the throttle and when it took off I was hooked.
Since I've had the truck I've done a few mods to it. Superchips programer, Airaid intake, Amsoil dual bypass oil filtration, and my latest a 50 gallon auxiliary tank in the bed (no more hauling plywood with the tail gate up now). It's got over 144k miles now and has been a great truck and my next will be a diesel dually in another 8-10 years or so.
We are on our second 5'er now, the truck tows great and my wife has no problems with pulling for hours at a time. She also takes it to the store, will drive it to work, haul kids around since it's bigger than our car, and just generally use it as another vehicle.
Originally Posted by MightyMike
Now, there are also drawbacks to the dually, depending what you use it for. As a daily driver on coutry roads, you have to pay attention to traffic, as it takes up the WHOLE lane your in. And some drive thrus (banks, fast food, whatever) don't acomodate a truck that wide. Parking in the smaller strip malls can sometimes be a challange, too. I think the answer to this really is how often you plan to use it, how you plan to use it (daily or just towing) and how far are you going to travel.
I like these comments but I'll give you my take on them and again it's only my take.
When you first get a dually you are PARANOID about where you are in your lane. Where are my duals in relation to the strips. Am I hanging over in the other lane, and on and on. This subsides the more you drive it.
As far as taking up the whole lane goes well that's subjective. The truck is 8 feet wide and most lanes out there are 10 feet. Country roads are usually smaller and most don't have stripes and are only about 18-20 feet wide total if you're lucky. BUT folks on those roads are used to big trucks and most of those roads don't have a deep ditch and you can hang your right dual off of the asphalt and then there's plenty of room for 2 dually's passing in the night.
Also the comment of "drive thrus (banks, fast food, whatever) don't accommodate a truck that wide". Again that's subjective. No they don't if you like to have a foot of clearance of either side of your truck. But there is plenty of room if you are used to your vehicle and 4 inches or less of clearance doesn't bother you. I always drive with my mirrors fully extended (preference) and the mirrors stick out a schosh more than the duals. So if the mirrors fit the truck will fit. I've never had a problem at ANY drive trough including the regular car lanes at DFW airport (they have lanes specifically for wide vehicles), banks, or anywhere. Tight maybe but it'll fit.
Parking sometimes is a challenge and I like a challenge. With practice you can get a 4 door long bed dually into a compact car space in front of your local Chilli's. I ALWAYS back in to any parking space. It's easier to get in and a heck of a lot easier to get out.
So here I will end my ramblings with this: As with anything practice, practice, practice.