The 4.6L can haul a 5,000 lb two horse, but I'd be leery of hauling anything bigger. The smallest I'd want for a 4 horse would be a 5.2L, and only because it's a stock trailer. Anything heavier, and you'd need to go higher.
You have to remember that you're not hauling empty; you have the weight of the horses as well as tack, other people, and miscellaneous stuff. That has to factor in with the gross vehicle towing capacity.
When in doubt, bigger is always better. For a 4 horse, I'd probably go with an F250 with a 5.4L or higher.
Remember, it's not just hauling capability you need to worry about, but your stopping power. If your truck is undermuscled for the job, you'll find out in a very scary way when you try to stop it while hauling fully loaded.
You CAN haul with a smaller liter size but you'll be putting undue strain on your transmission, and replacing a tranny is very expensive. Get the right truck for the job.
That's where I get worried about gas mileage though, and having too much for what I need (if I hauled with a four horse it would be literally once or twice a year, and if my truck couldn't I would borrow a friends). But good information, I HATE pulling with a truck where you can 'feel' it pulling the horses.
I would probably stay away from the 97, because being used for a construction company I'm sure it has had the S*&% beaten out of it, between hauling, snow removal, and who knows what else. Either the 01 ford or the 96 chev would be fine.
Find out why they are selling the Ford, seems a bit cheap for an 01. Sounds like the upkeep has been done on the chevy, rust along the rocker panels is completly normal for a chevy, just check the frame (the ford's too) for rust.
If an owner says that something has been repaired, get recepits, if they do not provide them, or say they did it themself then whether or not it has been done without receipts from a shop, I think it has not been done. That way there's no way they can lie to you about something. Unless of course you know the person, or someone you trust does.
It does worry me a bit as to why the 2001 ford is only 4k but check it out, maybe they just need quick cash. When you go to test drive, let them know that you intend to bring it to a shop to have it looked over before you purchase it, if they have a problem with this, walk away.
Can you guys tell anything about this one? (5.4L!) 2000 Ford F150, 4dr Extended Cab, 4x4
Or this one: 1997 Ford F150 Ext Cab 3rd door, 4x4, CLEAN!!
This one seems like everything I want, but seems too cheap! 1997 Ford F150 XLT, Ext Cab w/3rd Door, 4x4...
I'm not in a huge rush, like I said I'm not planning on actually buying until March, but I want to be prepared so I don't jump on the first thing I see and make a huge mistake.