I never really liked the looks of the new Tundra, but there are a couple people around here that have the regular cab/short box TRD configuration with plows and the leveling kits. They look really sweet!
Even though I do plow my driveways with a half ton, I'm always going to recommend going bigger for a few reasons:
- Most half tons will only carry a 7.5 ft blade. But they have the same truck width as 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. So your wheels and sides are more exposed to snowbanks. This storm I "rubbed" the truck on a few banks in tight areas. Mine is a long bed, regular cab. I can actually use an 8 ft blade on mine and am considering changing it out (have the 7.5 HD now).
- More maintenance. I've changed; brakes, wheel bearings, U joints etc. on my current truck more often than on previous 1/2 tons that didn't plow or 1 tons that did.
- Weight, ballast and pushing ability. Large lots are tougher on 1/2 tons, because even a full 7.5 ft blade of fluffy snow will stop the truck. Or steer it. To avoid that, I used to run it (when I was plowing commercially) in low range and ballast to the GVWR (a measely 6000 lbs). As my daily driver, I wasn't going to break it, but that meant slowing down and taking little bites at a time. Little bites with a little plow.
- Moving old snow. I tried to open up a few drives from frined this week that were not plowed or not fully cleared. Not a chance. Again, I did not beat on the truck to try and move the snow, as she is still my dailiy driver, but in low range, I could not budge the edges. I had limited sucess pushy back the banks at my own house.
I think at first your frined will enjoy the truck, until he gets into a situation that a bigger truck could handle. Then in the back of his mind he will always wish he went with a bigger truck. I know I do. In fact, when I bought my 04, there was an 01 GMC 2500HD next to it with a new plow. It was actually cheaper and my favorite color, black. A few times I wish I bought that truck instead.
Also keep in mind that all of this is only my opinion. And when the economy was good, I still had trouble getting retail price for it.