The prohibition against idling seems to be a east coast/west coast thing, in other words states where the greenies hang out. Here in Mississippi I doubt anyone could care less if you left your truck idling or not. Diesels lean out to about 85:1 air/fuel mixture when idling, they burn very little fuel idling. In the winter at least, you probably use more fuel starting and warming the thing than you would leaving it idling for an hour or so. It's a classic case of a solution in search of a problem. I know many parts of the country are that way, but I don't hang out in places where I have to worry about someone stealing my truck as soon as I turn my back. Leaving a vehicle parked and idling just isn't a big deal to me, and I don't want to live in a place where it would be.
My current dogs don't usually ride with me, but I used to have an old dachshund that went everywhere with me, he loved to ride in the truck. I always left the truck idling with the air conditioner blasting in hot weather (10 months out of the year down here) when he was with me. I had two sets of keys and I'd lock him inside taking the set with the fob with me. I'd come back and he'd be curled up asleep & snoring with the truck about 60 degrees inside. He passed 5 years ago and I still miss him riding with me. I have two more great dachshunds now, but they haven't gotten into the truck riding lifestyle like the older one did.
Here's what led me to ask the original question. There are P-metric tires and there are P-metric tires. Some weigh thirty pounds and others forty (33% more) in the same size. Some feel stronger and thicker in the sidewall. I am not totally opposed to LT's, just curious about some of the P-metric's that are out there.
That's true. I don't know that you can really tell that though from the ratings system though. I'd say the best way to figure out what you're wanting to know would be to browse the owner's reviews on tirerack.com, you'll get actual hands on advice about the tire you're considering. Another comparison point is the weight that you mentioned, generally a heavier tire is going to be stouter built. My jeep liberty is a good example, the stock goodyears weigh 26 lbs. and are considered junk by pretty much everyone who has a liberty, you can buy the same size michelin with the exact same ratings as the goodyear but the michelin is about 10 lbs. heavier and a lot better tire.
"P" is of course for "passenger car", and most folks don't run them on light trucks.
That's not correct. P rated tires are standard equipment on 1/2 ton pickups. A "light truck" is really a 3/4 ton or above by definition, half tons aren't technically "light trucks". P doesn't stand for "passenger car", it stands for "passenger vehicle", which a half ton pickup is considered to be. Looking through both Ford and Chevy's website shows that out of all the 1/2 ton pickup tire and wheel combos available, about 10 for each manufacturer, all are P rated tires except one optional LT which is C rated. By far the vast majority of half ton pickups out there are running around on P rated tires.
LT tires on a half ton are kind of overkill, but if I were towing a lot with it I'd consider them. There are some downsides, notably they DO ride worse (there's no denying that), fuel economy, and price. The rims that come stock on a half ton pickup aren't going to be rated for the full pressure a D or E load range tire can take. D tires can go to 65 psi and E goes to 80 psi I believe. To get the full rated load capacity out of the tire you have to run it at max pressure, just because the tire says it can support 3000 lbs doesn't mean it can do it at 35 psi, and your half ton rims won't take the 80 psi it'll take to get that load rating. Fuel economy is also going to be lower with an LT tire because it's heavier, more unsprung weight means more energy to turn the wheel.
I would change to synthetic rear axle fluid within 20,000 miles, it will run cooler than the mineral oil.
That's great advise.. thanks! Any reason why I cant switch to synthetic a bit earlier? The reason that I ask is we wil probably go on a LONG trip after about 10K miles
My 1998 dodge 2500 came with synthetic in the rear end. I can't imagine any new truck, especially a 3500 diesel, coming from the factory with dino oil in the differential, transfer case, or transmission. I doubt the differential in any heavy duty pickup has come from the factory without synthetic in over a decade.
Good advice, but outdated by about ten years.