Sheee-it! My 01' Dodge/Cummins will pull any of your trucks into the woods and have its way with them.
Seriously, don't buy a 1500 anything unless you're just using it to take the garbage to the dump on Saturday. A lot of the parts they use in the 1500 series are car parts. Buy at least a 2500 as those are real trucks.
More than brand, when it comes to older iron, is condition. They were all comparable and they all used a lot of gas. Don't buy a 4 by 4 unless you need it.
New truck picks are tough. Currently, GM's aren't what they used to be and the skins on them are like aluminum beer cans. Dodge with the Cummins and the 6 speed are real good(auto transmissions are okay for light duty, but buy the extra warranty just in case, as I did), and you'll get around 18 to 20 mpg and have some big power. The Hemi's got plenty, but they are thirsty. Fords got the chassis, very good frame, solid truck, but their diesels are suspect. I never liked V8 diesels as diesels do better as in-line 6's and the Cummins are bullet proof. You can find older Dodges with the Cummins at reasonable prices ($8500). However, I wouldn't buy one with an automatic unless it had been recently rebuilt, and if it has the 5 speed, check to see how the truck was used (the 5 speeds have a tendency to spin the main shaft nut off with "heavy" use).
Plow trucks have had a hard life, and trucks used in construction pulling around bulldozers and what have you, would be off my buy it now list. I'd look for a 2500 that has had one (preferably) or two owners and has a known history of a soft life. BTW, Cummins are nicely broken in at 100,000 miles.