I absolutely despise of the blue oval. My boyfriend and I have a 2001 dodge cummins and we have never had any problems with it. Its a manual, and the only thing that was necessary to replace was the clutch. We have pulled a stock trailer with 5 horses in it, and you couldnt hardly feel the weight. We have also pulled loaded goosenecks full of scrap iron and you can feel the weight, but we have never had problems.
As for transmission problems, like I said the only thing we have had to replace was the clutch, but that happens. We have a good friend who has a 2001 dodge cummins with an automatic in it, and his tranny went out a few months back, but that's because his pickup had close to 300,000 miles on it. He rebuilt the tranny and hasnt had problems since. There are alot of people around this area with dodge diesels from 1995-2000s and I have heard of only a few with transmission problems.
Its your choice, but if I were in your situation, I would definitely go with the cummins. Go for a manual 5 speed if you can find one, or if you can drive one. They are better built for pulling than an automatic. Much better puller, and better to look at :)
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