T Nation

American Trucks


#1

Hey guys,

I'm a big fan of utility vehicles and 4x4s, although they aren't as common in the UK as in North America (or SA/NZ/Aus).

The pick-ups available here are also a lot smaller than US equivalents - we get Land Rover Defender pick-ups, Isuzu Rodeo, Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi L200 and the Great Wall Steed (and I've probably forgotten others). To put the size difference into perspective one of the bigger pick-ups available in the UK is the Nissan Navara which is sold as the Nissan Frontier in the US and seems to be one of the smallest pick-ups in that market.

Like I said I'm really into these types of vehicles, and I just wanted to start a general discussion on the topic (what trucks do you guys drive, personal preferences, what do you use them for) but I'm also interested to hear your opinions on why they are so popular in the states. I understand over half of vehicle sales in the US are trucks these days while they seem to have so many drawbacks for the average driver (maneuverability, running costs, convenience, handling), so I'm just curious as to why they are so popular in the US. Especially the larger ones, which sacrifice off-road ability with there sheer size and must be a real struggle to park!

Pretty off-topic but I'm just really curious about the trucks you guys in North America drive!


#2

Sorry if the first post wasn’t clear - I know a lot of you guys are fans of big American trucks and I mostly just wanted to open this up as a general platform for American truck discussion (as well as other countries).


#3

2012 Ford F350 Supercab (extended cab) long bed FX4. Would rather have the crew cab (true 4 door) but that thing is like 50’ long. Not having the 8’ bed doesn’t make sense. Not having any space behind the seats is annoying. So extended cab long bed. 4x4 is useful in the soft dirt/snow.

Use: it’s a second car so it doesn’t get driven much. Fuel economy doesn’t matter. But it sure saves time when you need to move the motorcycle, bicycles, gravel, beds, etc. Snow is less of an issue.


#4

Get the ford pickup with the extra row of wheels inside or the yellow Hummer H2. Doesn’t get any better.


#5

2013 Silverado 2500HD with the Duramax/Allison combo. It is my daily driver and I love it. It is a diesel but it is quieter going down the highway than many sedans I’ve been in. The new post-2012 chevy’s have really made great progress with the unloaded ride quality as well. It is also the only place I can really crank up 2-channel audio without pissing off neighbors or scarring the family.

I tow a 36’ travel trailer that weighs over 10k loaded; I tow a 10K dump trailer that I use for projects; I tow a 10k flatbed that I use for hauling things on pallets or my little Deere; and I tow my little ski boat. The Duramax/Allison combo never breaks a sweat, even towing the TT loaded over mountain passes at 80 mph.


#6

[quote]furo wrote:
so I’m just curious as to why they are so popular in the US. Especially the larger ones, which sacrifice off-road ability with there sheer size and must be a real struggle to park!
[/quote]

Towing. Wheel base and tow-vehicle weight help with towing stability. At least that’s my personal reason for driving a bigger, heavier truck than, say, a more nimble 1/2 ton or a shorter-wheel base SUV.


#7

[quote]johnnytang24 wrote:
Not having the 8’ bed doesn’t make sense.[/quote]

You, my friend, need a dump trailer. :slight_smile:


#8

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:

[quote]johnnytang24 wrote:
Not having the 8’ bed doesn’t make sense.[/quote]

You, my friend, need a dump trailer. :slight_smile:

Gah! I already have a 10’ enclosed trailer that I need to get rid of. There’s no room for a trailer in the 'burbs.

A big truck is more palatable to the neighbors here than a trailer. Plus, maneuvering a trailer in NY city and surrounding areas is… difficult.


#9

Those trucks are extremely cool! And I’m sure they are unbeatable for towing. I’m still curious as to why trucks are quite so popular in the US though, surely most people don’t have the same towing requirements as you two? What do you think the reasons are behind their popularity?


#10

[quote]furo wrote:
Those trucks are extremely cool! And I’m sure they are unbeatable for towing. I’m still curious as to why trucks are quite so popular in the US though, surely most people don’t have the same towing requirements as you two? What do you think the reasons are behind their popularity?

[/quote]

I live in Canada, but the market is similar.

Trucks are popular here because they’re cool and the costs to own a truck seem worth it to most people. The half tons drive like cars now and are luxurious. For every 10 people I know who own a truck, one or two of them regularly use it for towing or moving a load. Most of them are used as commuter vehicles.


#11

I drive a Chevy Avalanche; it is essentially a large SUV with part of the back cut off to form a small bed. I don’t “really” need a truck very often, but I do like the interior room, elevated driving position and, to be honest, the large overall size. It gives the impression of added safety, although I don’t know if that is a true impression. It rides like a car and the small bed does come in handy often enough to justify the poor fuel mileage for me.


#12

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#13

[quote]pushharder wrote:

[quote]johnnytang24 wrote:
2012 Ford F350 Supercab (extended cab) long bed FX4. Would rather have the crew cab (true 4 door) but that thing is like 50’ long. Not having the 8’ bed doesn’t make sense. Not having any space behind the seats is annoying. So extended cab long bed. 4x4 is useful in the soft dirt/snow.

Use: it’s a second car so it doesn’t get driven much. Fuel economy doesn’t matter. But it sure saves time when you need to move the motorcycle, bicycles, gravel, beds, etc. Snow is less of an issue.[/quote]

Yep. All this.[/quote]

Oh, also, in the USA, the only 4x4 vehicles you can get are pretty much trucks, the Jeep Wrangler (even less practical), a GWagon ($$$), or old military vehicle (awesome). The other 4wd systems are all electronic controlled. No rear locking diff.

Also , was going to go with a F250 for putting a camper on, but the 350 doesn’t up any on the fuel economy and can haul more, if necessary.


#14

I drive a 2012 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab and I love it. I drive it every day. I already have 60,000 miles on it! I bought it new and it has served me well from hauling, driving in the snow, pulling a trailer, and providing comfort on a 4 week long road trip. Best truck I’ve ever owned for sure.

One of my first jobs out of college was working as an automotive sales consultant. I hated it, but I did learn that it makes NO SENSE to buy a small sized truck anymore, at least in the US, such as a Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon. Based on their fuel economy, price, and engine size-- it is really a waste of money and for a few thousand more dollars you can buy a full sized truck such as a Silverado or Sierra.


#15

[quote]Evolv wrote:
I drive a 2012 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab and I love it. I drive it every day. I already have 60,000 miles on it! I bought it new and it has served me well from hauling, driving in the snow, pulling a trailer, and providing comfort on a 4 week long road trip. Best truck I’ve ever owned for sure.

One of my first jobs out of college was working as an automotive sales consultant. I hated it, but I did learn that it makes NO SENSE to buy a small sized truck anymore, at least in the US, such as a Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon. Based on their fuel economy, price, and engine size-- it is really a waste of money and for a few thousand more dollars you can buy a full sized truck such as a Silverado or Sierra.[/quote]

I see where you’re coming from but why spend the extra money for a bigger truck when a smaller one suits your needs? I get it if you need the space or towing capacity, but bigger isn’t always better, especially if you plan to take the truck off road. Price difference between a Canyon and Sierra is about $5000, which isn’t chump change.


#16

[quote]Will207 wrote:

[quote]Evolv wrote:
I drive a 2012 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab and I love it. I drive it every day. I already have 60,000 miles on it! I bought it new and it has served me well from hauling, driving in the snow, pulling a trailer, and providing comfort on a 4 week long road trip. Best truck I’ve ever owned for sure.

One of my first jobs out of college was working as an automotive sales consultant. I hated it, but I did learn that it makes NO SENSE to buy a small sized truck anymore, at least in the US, such as a Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon. Based on their fuel economy, price, and engine size-- it is really a waste of money and for a few thousand more dollars you can buy a full sized truck such as a Silverado or Sierra.[/quote]

I see where you’re coming from but why spend the extra money for a bigger truck when a smaller one suits your needs? I get it if you need the space or towing capacity, but bigger isn’t always better, especially if you plan to take the truck off road. Price difference between a Canyon and Sierra is about $5000, which isn’t chump change. [/quote]

It’s not much when amortized over the lifetime of the vehicle. Plus, you recoup a good part of that back when selling.

My 2012 F350 had 150,000 miles on it when I bought it in 2014…


#17

[quote]Will207 wrote:

I see where you’re coming from but why spend the extra money for a bigger truck when a smaller one suits your needs? I get it if you need the space or towing capacity, but bigger isn’t always better, especially if you plan to take the truck off road. Price difference between a Canyon and Sierra is about $5000, which isn’t chump change. [/quote]

Also, with discounts/rebates that are more common on the 1/2 tons, the price difference can be much lower.


#18

We bought a Suburban in the mid 90s because my dad refused to get a minivan but needed a 3rd row. Sold it last year with 240k miles, and it was a great truck. (truck term is not limited to pickups imho)

The combination of space + 4x4 made it amazingly practical between my mom hauling kids around, my dad using it for work, and it was able to do all this through feet of snow.


#19

The reason they are so popular is before everyone moved to the cities, America was filled with farmers. And, unless you are my great grandfather who drove a Buick on his farm. You drove a truck.

Now, everyone buys them for their safety. Pretty dumb choice, but whatevehs


#20

[quote]johnnytang24 wrote:

[quote]Will207 wrote:

I see where you’re coming from but why spend the extra money for a bigger truck when a smaller one suits your needs? I get it if you need the space or towing capacity, but bigger isn’t always better, especially if you plan to take the truck off road. Price difference between a Canyon and Sierra is about $5000, which isn’t chump change. [/quote]

Also, with discounts/rebates that are more common on the 1/2 tons, the price difference can be much lower.[/quote]

This is true. I think the opportunity for a deal is greater with a full size.