By on August 13, 2011

In his New York Times comparison of heavy-duty pickup trucks, Ezra Dyer opens with a provocative comparison:

Heavy-Duty pickup trucks are the supercars of the truck world. They have more power than drivers are likely ever to exploit, and bragging rights depend on statistics that are, in practical terms, theoretical.

How does he figure?

While you can’t buy a diesel engine in a mainstream light-duty pickup, heavy-duty pickups now offer propulsion suitable for a tandem-axle dump truck.

I’m not exaggerating. Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8 packs 400 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque; the base engine in a Peterbilt 348 dump truck offers a mere 260 horsepower and 660 pound feet. Does your pickup really need more power than a Peterbilt?

I’m guessing most HD truck owners won’t take kindly to the question, especially coming a scolding Gray Lady. But if you read the full review, you’ll find that Dyer was able to locate at least one contractor willing to admit that he realized he just didn’t need his HD’s overabundance of ability. It goes against the grain of the “bigger, faster, tougher, more” marketing message that has helped make trucks such a huge part of the American market, but is it possible that the tide is turning? Have pickups improved too much? The huge sales of Ecoboost V6-powered F-Series certainly suggests the we may just be moving towards a more pragmatic truck-buying market…

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88 Comments on “Quote Of The Weekend: Heavy Duty Demand Edition...”


  • avatar
    Philosophil

    Excess torque in pickups has become equivalent to excess horsepower in cars. Excess in general has often stood as a symbol of status, particularly in a consumer society, so there’s nothing surprising here.

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      More is better. Power is better. Freaking monkeys know this.

      Any dopey journalist pretending to take this demand for heavy duty trucks and twist it to justify his preconceived biases is a moron.

      The idiots supporting this story, and the publication publishing this story feel powerless. They need to deal with their jealousy and show some respect for people with differing opinions than they.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    If pragmatism ruled the roost two seater commuter vehicles (like my Insight) would out sell all the pickups and SUV’s in this fair land.

    But most folks don’t buy utility. They buy ‘perception’.

    The better question for this journalist to consider is, “Why do most consumers buy cars that have far more horsepower than they will ever need?”

    The answer to that question is ‘duh’ obvious as well. If utility were the only concern we would all be riding around in 4WD tractors that use recycled tofu and untreated hemp as fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      Philosophil

      Yeah, most people’s purchasing decisions do not rest solely upon practical concerns. People buy for all kinds of reasons, and simple utility is only one among a host of preferences and desires that motivate people to buy what they end up buying (and I include myself in that as well).

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Your last sentence gave me a good laugh. My ’73 Haflinger LWB/Poly/PTO is a street legal tractor. Despite its diminutive chassis and 27hp Ledwinka 2-pot motor it has hauled several Toyota 1.8 engines with transmission attached from the wrecking yard and a built Cadillac 500 engine from the loading dock to its temporary resting place at a friend’s garage several miles away. While I don’t use it as a daily driver, I still go months between refills of its tiny gas tank.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    That’s one of the biggest aggravations for the diesel market. The engines have become ridiculous. Having a small, fuel efficient 4 or 6 that can do the same job as the base gas V8′s seems to make more sense than these monsters.

  • avatar
    mazder3

    Would it be all that hard to cleave the Powerstroke in twain to create a 3.35 liter 200hp 400lb/ft four? Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at.

    • 0 avatar
      Tree Trunk

      That engine combination would be great and serve most users very well. More than enough power and potential for great mpg.

      For the fun of it I once counted the first 100 full size trucks I saw on a drive to the hardware store.

      Over 90 of them had nothing on board but the driver. 3 had something justifying the size, lawn tractor on the back or towed a jet ski.

      Only two were solidly loaded contractor trucks. Not that a bed full of lumber and 16 foot trailer could not be handled by something less then a superduty I can see the allure of knowing that your truck can handle that sort of load and more with ease.

      Given that this was a very unscientific sample I would be tempted to think that many (most) drivers of full-size trucks in general and Superdutys in particular do so for a hypothetical need for size and power rather then a real one.

  • avatar
    agroal

    I don’t tow more than a utility trailer so I have no want or need for a HD truck or even a full size one. If you really need one get one. My un-scientific research shows me most never utilize them fully. Mostly daily drivers. I just parted ways with my 2000 Tacoma 4 cyl. 5sp. 4×4. The last of the mini trucks that served 12 reliable years. It wasn’t my decision. It was one of a few thousand that came of the line without proper frame rust proofing. Though not technically a recall Toyota bought it back and crushed it. They gave me $15,000 for a truck I paid $19,000 for in 2000. They figured the best possible KBB value times 1 1/2. I bought a 2011 Tacoma 4 cyl. 5 sp 4×4. Other than it now being a mid size it’s better in every way. I drove the 4.0 6 cyl. and the difference wasn’t that much. The Toyota 4 cyl. is a great engine and 400 miles to a tank is nice. Why kill a fly with an axe?

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Let me get this straight. You drove the same truck for 12 years. The frame rots. Toyota pays you $15k due to the frame rot.

      Damn!

      Were you in some type of accident of sorts? In 10+ years on the auction and remarketing side I have never heard such generosity unless there were mitigating circumstances involved.

      Your depreciation was right around $1 a day for a truck bought new. THAT is impressive.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        It happened a lot up in our neck of woods, to the point of my then employer telling me to buy one if I found one because regardless of condition they were worth $10K! The local Toyota dealer had a designated parking lot for them. It was crazy!

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        I planned on driving it for a lot longer than 12 years. It had about 85K miles and was in great shape. I had gotten something in the mail and read about it online but I didn’t pay much attention to it. I had it inspected at a dealer and they confirmed it was involved in the buyback.A free loaner for as long as I needed it too. Certain frames were repaired if possible and if not, bought back. When Toyota called to give me what they called their “surrender offer” I damn near shit my pants. No salvage titles accepted for obvious reasons. I liked the 1st gen. Tacoma because of the compact size. I now have a 2011 for about $13k out of pocket. Toyota got hammered over the unintended acceleration fiasco only to be cleared in the final report. Driver error was deemed the cause. They made good on it where I don’t see the big 3 ever doing that.

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        FWIW: http://www.showstop.org/images/truck/rust_warranty/dealer-communication.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Who in the world is that avatar?

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        That’s me after I lost all the weight! No, that’s my universal symbol to remind people to never believe anything on the internet. I can imagine him describing himself on some dating site: 27, male model, body builder, into marathons and healthy living etc. LOL

      • 0 avatar
        Mathias

        I was curious, too. If you go to google images, type “naked fat guy computer,” take a really deep breath and hit return, he’s result #1, 2, and 3. Believe me, you don’t want the ones after that either.. just take my word for it.
        I’m now trying to unsee it. At least I know the squirrel on the guy’s shoulder is actually a beard, so I feel a little better.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        @Mathias
        I did the whole “drag and drop the photo” thing on GIS. I also wish I hadn’t (my EYES!!!) but at least Google has no record of me looking up “naked fat guy computer” :)

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        Actually he’s not fat. He’s just two feet too short for his weight.(rimshot) He was recently diagnosed with the dreaded flesh-eating disease. At his current weight his doctor gives him only him 87 more years to live.(rimshot) I shouldn’t criticize him. The poor guy has to rely on a machine every day just to survive…….the refrigerator.(rimshot) Thank you very much, you’re a lovely audience, I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

        http://instantrimshot.com/

  • avatar
    Bryce

    I used to drive a Btrain that only had a 430hp caterpillar thats 45tonnes all up and that was on steep hills no freeways here, Just what do you wankers think you can tow with a shitbox pickup? No pickup has the chassis strength or braking ability to exploit that MUCH POWER Grow up a little.

  • avatar
    morbo

    Fark that. I need to tow 20,000 pounds while passing uphill at 70 MPH.

    Do it all the time. Need that capability 100% of the time.

    And it better have Bluetooth too.

    But then the jackholes at AQAP have also found a use for ‘Built Ford Tough”

    http://m.memri.org/14499/show/c55873da647af1a58930739e484dd548&t=20320d97cb30b6845cb6422bedb5dfbe

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Not only are HD trucks overpowered but as Paul Niedermeyer pointed out some time ago, trucks are too high off the ground. You can’t load/unload them very easily.

    At work we use HD trucks for snow plowing. We don’t need diesels. I hate the HDs because I have to grab the steering wheel and pull myself up to get in. And I’m 6′ tall.

    The Ford HD line is particularly ugly.

    • 0 avatar
      Aqua225

      Get your supervisor to spring for accessibility options like side bars. I had to have them as I am 5’7″, and my truck is 4wd and came from the factory with a good bit of lift.

      I do not agree on these trucks being overpowered. As they keep cranking the HP up, mileage has not suffered greatly, since what is actually happening is thermal efficiency, especially in the diesels, is climbing — at least from the numbers I see people post.

      Why should anyone with a 30 to 50K$ pickup have to deal with sluggish performance when small sedans in the same price range zip along? And plus, that power pays off while towing, in spades.

      I think this whole war against big pickups is merely a function of the usual liberal approach of “we are smarter than you and we are going to tell you what you can and can’t do”.

      Russia failed as a planned economy. The only reason China survives is that they relinquished the reigns on their economy, at least to an extent that businesses, privately owned, started popping up to satisfy the demands of manufacturing.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    It seems like we have the natural convergence of the following:

    What kind of engine is durable to 300,000+ miles or more, is simple to fix, simple to maintain, and well understood? Unless people looked too closely at the crazy Ford experiment with different spark plugs, and until the Ecoboost V6 proves itself over about a decade of work use — people who have to have that durability are going to make the safe choice with their money: A V8, probably a push-rod V8.

    (You can never underestimate the human inclination to not feel like they made a mistake and roll up with a Colorado on that day they need a Silverado…It’s right next to the rationalization engine in the reptilian brain.)

    What happens when you throw all of the tricks that give us 4-cylinder engines that produce 200 lb-ft of torque on a wide band of power? You get behemoth V8 engines that produce 300-500 lb-ft of torque on a wide band of power.

    What did Toyota do to try to stand out when moving from the perfectly-adequate-but-invisible T100 series to the Tundra? They pulled an Altima.

    So, people want a reliable engine and think that means V8, the technology exists to make monstrous amounts of power at V8 displacements, and the upstart challenging everybody is going to play the game of “mine is bigger”.

    If we had 10 years of experience with a V6-mill from all of the major players — and Chevrolet offers a V6 WT trim that’s good now, but they don’t put that in the LT; and Dodge/Ram had nothing good in a V6 before the Pentastar — nobody would buy a V8 truck because you would have separated “reliable” from “V8″.

  • avatar
    tiredoldmechanic

    This has long been a pet peeve of mine. If people want 400 hp and 800 ft lbs that’s fine. But I’d love to see 200 hp or so and an extra 10 mpg, and I’m sure most fleet operators would agree. I’m surprised none of the domestics have a reasonably priced lower power diesel option. The last couple of Ford Super Duties I purchased have been gas powered partially because the benefits of the (very expensive) diesel option are now so few.
    I had to laugh at the Peterbilt comparison. I learned to drive trucks on an old Mack with 237 hp and maybe 600 ft lbs of torque and a 5 speed box. It wasn’t fast but it hauled a lot of gravel and was surprisingly easy on fuel. Now we have 3/4 ton pickups with more power and gears just to haul a camper trailer.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Sometimes a larger and more powerful engine can get equal or better fuel economy compared to a smaller and overworked engine in a particular vehicle. Toyota offers (or offered, I think I might have heard about the option being discontinued) a 4 cylinder in the 4Runner, but the fuel economy isn’t (or wasn’t) much better than the V6 due to the weight of the vehicle and the engine having to run at much higher revs just to move it.

      It’s not impossible, or even very hard, to get mid 20s highway fuel economy from the new Ford 6.7 liter diesel. One of the great benefits of a diesel is that you can get much better fuel economy than a gas engine while towing a very heavy load. While the diesel may drop a couple Ms per G at full towing capacity, a gas engine may have its efficiency cut in half. For someone who is going to be towing a big load a majority of the time, the diesel makes sense.

      • 0 avatar
        tiredoldmechanic

        I guess it depends on the application. I agree that diesels will use less fuel under sustained full load than an equivalant gaspot, but the difference is not enough to amortize the extra cost at purchase for many users. If Ford would offer a 6.7 tuned for optimal fuel economy for commercial users, I’ll bet they would sell a lot of them.
        I might be persuaded to try a couple of 6.7s once I’m convinced there won’t be a repitition of the problems with the 6.0 and 6.4 engines. Ford still has the best heavy pickup and if they finally get the engine right I expect GM and especially Dodge will be in trouble in this segment.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        I understand the skepticism due to the reputation of the 6.0 and the 6.4. Though the 6.4 was pretty solid towards the end, both of the Navistar co-designed engines had far too many issues. The big difference with the 6.7 is that it was an entirely Ford designed engine. That being said, it does make use of a number of new technologies, and commercial buyers are famously conservative.

        Still, Ford already has the majority of the heavy duty truck market, and close to the amount of GM and Dodge combined. I agree that the first order of business is proving the new engine, then winning back the buyers who were burned by the 6.x engines, and then taking full control of the segment.

        As far as the cost/benefit goes, it depends on how long you plan to keep the truck, how much you tow, and how many miles you put on per year. Lifestyle buyers have mostly left this segment in my experience. Even if the diesel isn’t the most cost effective option, it does make towing feel more effortless in many situations. Since my dealership has a dedicated commercial/fleet department, I don’t deal with too many of those customers. The majority of buyers I have on the diesel Super Duties have very large boats, horse trailers, or campers that they need to tow. As owning a huge boat, horses, or a big camper usually means that someone is generally pretty well off financially, most of those buyers are willing to pay the extra for the diesel just for the extra torque, even if they never realize the savings in fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar
        Z71_Silvy

        All of the issues with the 6.0/6.4 were due to Ford’s short-sighted quest to make their truck look good on paper. It really didn’t have to stack up in the field (just like the current trucks), but as long as the “paper war” was won, they were happy.

        Navistar didn’t have NEAR the problems with the 6.0 as Ford did. Why? Because the Navistar engines were tuned PROPERLY…and only made 250HP or so. Ford insisted that Navistar bump the power to levels that the engine was not designed to handle.

        It’s the same story with the gas guzzling Egoboost V6. It’s only a matter of time before that miserable engine starts to fail. Ford’s durability testing has always been terrible. From the time the 5.4 came out they had major spark plug issues with it…even once it got the 3V heads.

        Ford needs to focus on getting the product right rather than just rushing to get it to the market.

      • 0 avatar
        Bryce

        Toyota 4runne/Surf has many powerplants best is the 3litre turbo diesel prterol engines of any size are a waste of money

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Silvy, Ford’s tuning had nothing to do with many of the problems of the 6.0. That was Navistar’s dodge to hide the facts. When the EPA announced the 07 and 10 diesel emissions standards they dangled a little loophole. Actually it was a big loophole large enough to drive a semi through. For each 07 spec engine that was sold “early” they got a credit to sell to sell an 07 spec engine and have it “meet” 10 emissions standards. So they rushed it into production and started shipping them to Ford as quick as they could and let Ford customers do the testing. After the initial run then they started putting them in their trucks. Then they simply blamed Ford for the problems, denied warranty payments and forced the “divorce”. Navistar packed up all those credits earned from Fords volume and are happily selling trucks that don’t need Urea injection.

        Yes Ford was in a hurry to get it to market too and did push for numbers to keep them on top of the diesel wars but power level has nothing to do with injectors that don’t seal properly filling the crank case with fuel and causing the turbo to seize. It also has nothing to do with many of the other problems that were due to poor quality control, like ICP sensors.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I wish Chevy would just re-release the 1967-1972 C10′s and Ford would re-release its F-100 and call it done, for those of us who are comfortable with who they are and don’t need to prove anything.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    No fooling, a 60s 1/2 or 3/4 ton with a dinky I6 0r V8. Ford or Chevy No Ac, 3 on the tree, single stage drums on bias tires. Power nothing. Vent windows. Those were the days.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Well…O.K., add disc brakes and A/C and call it done!

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      I was thinking the same thing, only going back another decade. The 1950s Dodge flat fender Power Wagons managed with a 100hp 231 I6. They are a one ton pickup and are as durable as anvils. But you know what happens when you put a 100hp six in a 2 3/4 ton pickup? You are lucky to break into low teens for mileage. 2 3/4 tons after all. You better be patient too – the ultra low geared ones top out at 45mph or so. There is a kit to swap out the drums for GM disk brakes. And there is plenty of room for a V8. If you only needed a pickup for 1000 miles per year, your depreciation on one of these wouldn’t be bad at all, provided you didn’t get all crazy about restoration.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      The 300 cube I6 Ford put in it’s pickups was hardly a “dinky” engine. The 300 didn’t produce a lot of horsepower, but it did serve up an ass-load of torque and those engines were indestructible.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Most Americans are brainwashed that bigger is always better from their very early days. This is most evident in the the truck market. The entire industry is marketed to one upmanship. A truck with the towing and carrying capabilities from 1985 would be adequate for 80% of the market. But try telling a typical truck guy that…

    • 0 avatar
      mazder3

      And then there’s that whole subliminal messaging thing going on. Power Stroke, Cummins, Duramax (max duration!)

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Sometimes I wish these guys would just find another thing to take their testosterone out on than these ugly-ass traffic obstructions. Their wives, perhaps? A good game of tackle football?

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      A mid-70s Datsun pickup would have adequate towing and carrying capacity for about 60% of the full size pickup market. My Corolla and Volvo station wagons were worked harder that the average full size pickup in the U.S.

  • avatar
    segfault

    Judging from what I hear on a daily basis, heavy duty truck buyers want something they can remove the catalytic converters and mufflers on and install stacks so it’s louder than a Peterbilt… What a bunch of lowlifes!

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I’ve worked in construction companies, heavy civil included. Typically the superintendents get heavy-duty trucks and the engineers get half-ton trucks (or less – one company gave out Toyota Tundras, before the full-sized redesign).

    In heavy civil (infrastructure, like roads, flood control projects… things with a lot of dirt moving) the superintendents tend to carry heavy things around and occasionally tow stuff. Everybody on the project needs something that can drive over mounds of dirt. There should be one heavier-duty truck onsite, like an F-550 with a flatbed.

    In building construction you don’t need as much, though the superintendents should still have F-250s. But in both types of construction, the superintendents are often older men who would greatly benefit from lower bed walls so they can grab things from the side. The industry really messes with your joints over time.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      They gave away a Toyota on the job site…I guess that says allot after their 3rd attempt to compete with the Big 3 trucks. No Japanese HD trucks in this comparison:

      http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2011/08/2011-heavy-duty-hurt-locker-introduction.html

      I’m gathering from the responses that the most of you are in the minority when comes to a new vehicle purchases as they are not the highest selling vehicles like a Ford or Chevy truck. Most of you live in surburia and spend many hours in front of a keyboard. Probably drive a 200 horsepower FWD car but for the daily commute where only 100HP is needed or about double and you’d survive.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    And even with all that power…the Super Dooty is amazingly hideous and severely outclassed by the D-Max from GM.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Most Powerstroke failures from come problematic headbolts/headgaskets that are shared parts with the Navistar diesels. Navistars have similar failure rates all around but you may not learn about them because fleet managers w/Navistars have better things to do than raise hell on forums/write angry letters and they’re out numbered by private F-series owners like 500:1.

      Not a big deal if one of your Navistars is in the shop and you deliver some packages behind schedule. Problems with 6.0 Powerstrokes grabbed national attention when fire, rescue and ambulances could not respond to emergencies or get patients to the hospital. Yes people died.

  • avatar
    13withinfinity

    I haven’t seen a D-Max in forever. They still make those?

  • avatar
    Aqua225

    I guess from reading the B&B here, that Volvos should be all one needs for light duty towing.

    Which pretty much proves that few here has a need for a full size truck, so most don’t own one, and therefore don’t understand people who buy them, or what their applications and concerns could possibly be. At least you guys aren’t hypocrites, merely without clue, unfortunately, and welcome manufacturers to take away other people’s toy’s capabilities because yourselves can’t see the point… we’ll give up our mega gas burning V8s and mega-oil-burning super-boosted diesels when you guys start riding around in electric golf carts, because they are perfectly adequate for short range transportation. They can even pull a garden cart.

    Seriously….

    I DO agree that diesels should be deregulated to some extent by the EPA (come on folks, have to replace filters & buy urea for injection into the exhaust??? WTF?), so that smaller high specific output diesel motors can be placed into the 1500 class of trucks. It’s not like a modern turbo diesel with the newer piezo multi-event injectors give off a appreciable amount of soot, and NOx emissions are not that bad either. It really has come down to the EPA just trying to justify their own interference in the market, by continuing to just push tighter regulations each year with by playing the public health card.

    Finally, I had to have a chuckle at the “pragmatism” of the ecoboost motor in the F150 being a hot seller. Get a clue: the ecoboost is pushed as the top end mill, and has the top end specs, and the best towing capacity when mated with the proper rear-end gear ratio. Ford was brilliant here — they know many light duty truck buyers purchase on specs alone, and the ecoboost is the “big dog” in the F150 lineup. I just hope it doesn’t bite them in the end — lot’s of people are going to pull stuff with these motors, and not just light duty pulling. I hope the motors will hold up. In the real world, the mileage is not that much better (maybe 2 mpg, unloaded, in highway cruising?). This would be welcome if the engine is rock solid, but if it’s not, it will cost Ford dearly with new truck buyer’s money going elsewhere, over a mere 2mpg.

    Believe it or not, I am pulling for Ford on this, I just have a bad feeling…

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      I kind of wonder about the eco-boost’s durability myself. I’m old fashioned maybe but a v8 still seems like the more long lasting option compared to a boosted 6. But if there are problems in most cases they will be down the road and not for the original owners of the trucks.

    • 0 avatar

      “Which pretty much proves that few here has a need for a full size truck, so most don’t own one, and therefore don’t understand people who buy them, or what their applications and concerns could possibly be.”

      Sorry but the rest of the world laughs when they hear that someone would pay $40k for a truck like the F150 with a puny 900kg max payload rating. Obviously marketing these as cute fashion accessories to emasculated suburban dads is working.

      • 0 avatar
        Aqua225

        Praxis, you are a troll or uninformed, which is it?

        I have owned two small trucks, both S10′s, both with tow packages, H.O. motors, and very basic amenities (manual windows, locks, A/C & cruise only luxury items). They both had enough power to yank a 19ft bass boat out of the water and hit sixty mph before you could shake a fist at it. But they were not pleasant to tow with. They were very lightweight vehicles, and wind gusts against the enclosed trailer that I used the last one for, would make you feel awefully uneasy, uneasy enough to back way down on your speed and block traffic to preserve one’s life.

        A 1500 series truck does not have this problem. They have more *mass*. Not only does this improve traction while towing (can’t remember the number of times that those H.O. 4.3L powered S10s with low gearing would light the tires up while towing — even at speed), but it also improves my personal safety, and therefore the safety of the drivers around me in traffic, because it can hold the trailer down, and it can stop *much* better (bigger brakes & tires).

        Additionally, as to the bed capacity for weight, just because the box is big enough to haul household items, doesn’t mean you should be able to fill it with concrete or whatever, and be able to move it around safely and reliably. That’s just stupid.

        Finally, the high pricetag is the luxury aspect of the vehicles. Sure, the manufacturers can build strippers (and they do for the commercial markets), but a guy who wants to tow his enclosed trailer, boat, or whatever on the weekend, probably doesn’t want to buy two vehicles, and likes for the vehicle he purchases to both tow his bpoat and carry him to work and the grocery store, to be comfortable as well.

        If you can’t understand that, then I think the joke is on you.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      It really has come down to the EPA just trying to justify their own interference in the market, by continuing to just push tighter regulations each year with by playing the public health card.

      Small, efficient diesels are mostly made overseas. The cynic in me suspects the EPA, with it’s anti-small diesel ‘save the children’ policy, is just covering for the domestic V8 gas engine lobby.

      Believe it or not, I am pulling for Ford on this, I just have a bad feeling…

      +1.

      The used truck market focuses much more on reliability and practical ‘fixability’. I’m doubting Ecoboost engines will get there. There’s a reason NY City cabs stuck with Crown Vics for so long. However craptastic Fords’ 4.6L V8 and chassis were, they were known animals.

      • 0 avatar
        Aqua225

        Yeah, I feel as if the bottom end is going to be the failure spot. Detonation is a mean beast of a problem, and while Direct Injection can help this problem greatly, it is not a 100% solved problem. I do not think dyno pulls and Baja racing can test a motor like real world towing.

        Taking a heavy trailer through a 100 mile area of steep grades during 100+ degree weather has always been tougher than a perfect test on a dyno or even a race in the desert, where high RPM vibration from rotating mass is more of an enemy than detonation.

        The Ford engineers can work around this by decreasing power output in engine control software (curtailing boost and spark advance), but if the pickups develop a reputation for reduced power for owners, people will start talking.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The EcoBoost in the F-150 is a different animal from the one used in the Taurus SHO, MKS, MKT, etc.

        The bottom end is a significantly beefed up six-bolt design, the crankshaft is forged, the exhaust manifold is cast iron, the oil pan is die-cast aluminum, the turbos are liquid-cooled and a convection driven capillary cooling system prevents coking without having to idle the engine before shutdown. Additionally, like all of the new F-150 engines, there is an integrated oil cooler.

      • 0 avatar
        Aqua225

        I have read up on the extent Ford has gone to strengthen it, but detonation is a mean mistress. You really need to step up to Diesel specs, since Diesels are essentially detonation dependent (it’s not really detonation — but the fuel does burn quickly enough to rattle the engine block via thermal transient in the cylinder head). Maybe this block is capable of being a diesel… time will tell!

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Aqua225

      I have two friends who are, for lack of a better word. “truck people”. One uses his truck for work and boat towing, the other guy for his daily driver. The work/boat guy has a Silverado HD Duramax. On occasion he tows a rental generator or a small piece of construction equipment, loads he used to tow with a gas powered Silverado 1500 pickup. At the boat launch, every truck I saw was way oversized relative to the boat it was launching. Of course there may be a much bigger load at home that I am not aware of. But I have listened to the guys talk over the years and the one-upmanship,and Egoboosting is alive and well. Wanting and needing are two different things. Far be it for me to tell them what truck to buy. But let’s be honest here. Collectively most of these folks could take a step down in truck capability (probably their previous truck) and still have more than enough capability.

      I do share your concern about the Ecoboost. My gut feeling that a more highly stressed turbo engine like this may not take to abuse as well. I hope Ford did the proper durability testing, and has taken into account that not everybody is as good with maintenance as they should be. Used truck buyers may become new buyers in the future so leaving the problems for 120K and beyond is not a wise business move.

      My friend mentioned above tows his family’s boat to Lake George from Connecticut every year. With his diesel Silverado, he fuels the boat just before he gets to Tongue Mountain. With maximum weight in the boat, and typically a 90 degree day, he gets on it hard for the ride up the steep road. The truck just pulls like a locomotive. It is kind of intoxicating to have such grunt available, I must admit. The temperature readouts on engine and trans barely increase. Pretty damn awesome. BTW, he drives a Camry when the truck is not in use…

      • 0 avatar
        Aqua225

        If he is pulling in the hills, I think the Duramax is justified, myself. I’d have probably gone the same route with that much weight and mountain driving. The engine brake would be a nice addition by itself!

        Personally, I chose the smallest full size because I wanted to be safe towing a somewhat heavy enclosed trailer (previously pulled the trailer with a Jeep Liberty 3.7L & a 4.3L H.O. w/tow package powered S-10). Even backing the trailer with the big pickup is a easier ordeal than with the smaller truck/SUV.

        My father, who lives a few hours away in a more rural area, has seen several S-10 grade pickups fail to pull 19ft bass boats out of the ponds, rivers, and lakes of the area (not all areas are the same quality as others in terms of how the landing is constructed — more sand/gravel, you need the weight of a 1500). He has even seen 1500 series trucks fail that do not have some sort of traction improving device (ie., right wheel lights up, boat goes nowhere).

        There are lots of stories of people’s boats pulling even full size vehicles into the water, because of loss of traction.

        Big truck weight is just so much better for towing, IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        I have a lot of customers opt for a 4wd pickup just because of boat ramps. While a limited slip or fully locking rear diff should be able to get the job done, there are plenty of slimy slippery ramps that are easier to negotiate if you have all four wheels pulling.

        It doesn’t matter how much power you have if you can’t put it to the ground. The Mustang Shelby GT-500 puts out 65 more hp, 76 more lbs/ft of torque, and weighs about the same as a Nissan GT-R. The GT-R is still almost a second faster 0-60 because all the power goes to the ground through the AWD system whereas the Shelby is almost guaranteed to have some wheelspin at launch.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @golden2husky

        One-upsmanship & egoboosting is also drives sales of German/luxury cars, sports cars, boats, RVs, mcmansions, jewelry/watches, bigscreens… Wecome to America. Least a megatruck is useful/justified more than a few times out of the year. Ever been stuck in the snow and had a guy in a Smart stop & pull you out?

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        Four wheel drive is essential for towing, be it slippery boat ramps, driving up grassy knolls with a dump body full of sucked-up leaves, or going through mud with a tractor on. While it can be fun to light up the rear tires it gets costly.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @NulloModo:
        “It doesn’t matter how much power you have if you can’t put it to the ground. The Mustang Shelby GT-500 puts out 65 more hp, 76 more lbs/ft of torque, and weighs about the same as a Nissan GT-R. The GT-R is still almost a second faster 0-60 because all the power goes to the ground through the AWD system whereas the Shelby is almost guaranteed to have some wheelspin at launch.”
        The AWD is only the beginning of it with the GT-R – the car has a whole computerized launch system, including a trick gearbox.

        Plus, let’s be honest, I think those Shelby owners dig a little wheelspin.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        This aspect of the discussion reminds me of a real conversation a friend had once with a Cadillac owner looking down on him because he drove an older Suburban. The Caddy owner touted each luxury feature his car had, and every time my friend replied he had the same luxury feature. Finally the conversation came down to one feature my friend’s Suburban didn’t have – the “class” of owning a Cadillac! My friend’s response? “Yes that’s true, but when your classy Cadillac runs into a ditch in the snow, my lowly 4WD Suburban can pull you out!” End of argument!

        Somehow, that fits in here – somewhere! “Better to have and not need, than to need and not have”

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Both the tax code, CAFE loopholeschasms, and culture produce incentives to get the biggest and baddest truck, regardless of intended use.

    Of course, the same can be said regarding Americans’ housing choices. Who really needs 3000 square feet? But don’t expect the Gray Hag to wax puritanical regarding house size…

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      3000 square feet? Try 5000 or more. That’s they typical McMansion size in these parts. And yes, the editorial page of the NYT has commented on the massive increase in energy consumption of these oversized houses before…all for a family of 5 people…

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Have you seen a picture of NYT columnist Thomas Friedman’s house?!?

      http://wonkette.com/413811/this-is-literally-thomas-friedmans-house

      The hypocrisy is priceless.

  • avatar
    RabidChild

    Just traded in my Volvo C30 for an F-250 crew cab 4×4 6.7 diesel, so I’m getting a kick.

  • avatar
    CougarXR7

    Two years ago I purchased a 2002 Ford F250 Super Duty with the 7.3 Powerstroke diesel to replace my ailing 230,000-mile 1990 Chevrolet 1/2 ton with the 4.3 pushrod V6.

    In my case it was more out of necessity than an ego boost. I buy and restore old cars as a hobby, and also have a race car under construction. When towing 6,000 lbs. worth of car and trailer up California’s “grapevine” in scorching desert heat, the Ford’s much greater torque and vastly superior brakes and suspension are a welcome companion.

    Sometimes you just need a real, hardcore truck to get the job done. A car with a bed on the back ( which many new 1/2 ton trucks are ) just isn’t gonna cut it.

    • 0 avatar
      Tree Trunk

      The new superduty has nearly twice the power of the ‘hardcore’ truck you have, which still handles any job that is thrown at it.

      Is more always better?

  • avatar
    jogrd

    I’m just back from a trip pulling my travel trailer. Lots of two lane and hills. I’m pretty sure that the other 10,000 people on the roads with me appreciated me keeping up with traffic. I remember back when nothing had enough power and highway trips were a lot slower once you got behind either an underpowered big rig. or inadequate tow vehicle. I’m also pretty sure the guy who crashed his motorbike right in front of me appreciated that I had a tow vehicle that could stop easily rather than running him over.

    I don’t use the big truck for everything, I have a small car or a bike when the truck isn’t needed.

    And since I’m in a ranty mood.

    1)Despite that Top Gear episode the L series Toyota diesel is not indestructible. Based on the all the JDMs that made it out here now all it takes to kill it is trying to keep up with traffic on a hot day in North America. Hello cracked head.

    2)We have a lot of unpaved roads and remote areas in North America. Every Bruce, Nigel and Clive who gets his ideas about North America from the cities he sees T.V. should imagine what it’s like to have to come back to the truck at -40 degrees, 100 km from the highway on a January day after working in the woods. You could bet your life on the Land Rover starting I suppose. Or you could run a Ford or Chevy pickup and make it out.

    3) Why is it every time I go to the Home Depot there is a gut with his Jetta or Volvo pulling his wheelbarrow sized utility trailer and yet he still can’t get off to the side? Guy always has a beard and wire frame glasses and you just know he is thinking what a clever guy he is and how wasteful he isn’t being by not having a truck yet he is about to make three trips home carrying 100 lbs each time.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    $5 gas can’t come soon enough.

  • avatar
    CougarXR7

    Hey Jogrd-

    Since you mentioned a Jetta. On the urban legend website Snopes.com theres a photo and accompanying article of some strange, wacky yuppie couple who loaded their late-model Jetta with 3,000 lbs of construction equipment (!) in preparation of tornado season. 4X8 plywood sheets and various 2X4s and 4X6s lashed to the roof, along with several hundred lbs. of concrete mix in the back seat.

  • avatar
    jogrd

    I’ve seen that pic. Reminds me of my sister. She would attempt to carry everything in her Golf.

    As a disclaimer: I used to be “that guy” minus the beard and wire frames. Four cylinder mini pickups and utility trailers were all I’d ever need and I had 5 of them in a row. After one too many overheating, 30 mile an hour mountain pass climbs with my mighty 22R Toyota pulling a 2000 lb load on a trailer and getting 14 mpg for my trouble I saw the light and went full size. As tough as the little trucks were they were not meant for that. I got pretty good with Toyota repair in those years.

    I’m not much of a redneck and I’ve got a couple of degrees. I have a cargo trailer for my bicycle which I use to haul things sometimes. But when I want to safely haul something out comes the big truck.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Seeing all these rigs being used to chariot overweight middle aged guys to their desk jobs, in a place where the lakes are too lame for boat ownership (thus no need to haul the boat) makes me wonder about the motivation for laying out fifty large for one.

    But then I check out the back windows, replete with the “Calvin pissing on the Ford/Chevy/Dodge symbol, and of course the low-hanging nutsack, and the motivation becomes clear. These boys are compensating for something. What they’re compensating for I’ll leave to my fellow posters to debate.

    • 0 avatar
      Aqua225

      Maybe in your area?

      Here in NC, there are great fishing holes galore, and you sure don’t want your boat tied down to one body of water. I couldn’t imagine a bigger nightmare for the fisherman of both my family and friends.

      I don’t get how the Calvin stickers are compensator additions. That is more like blind devotion to a specific brand. If I were a manufacturer’s marketing department, I’d crack down on the trademark infringement that occurs in either direction.

      I see more sets of male genetalia components on female-driven full size pickups than anything else. I think that is some sort of statement, maybe indicating bisexual tendencies? No clue here.

      But for that matter, I think all non-compliance type stickers (ie. parking badges, etc.) on any vehicle are some sort of statement making. Tastelessness in bumper art is prevalent in every corner of society.

      Funny that full size truck owners are the first that are called when something needs to be moved around by the car-only class. Heck, if they all had to rent their trucks when they needed them, the big three could survive supplying the rental market with full size trucks. I seriously doubt much less gas would actually be burned.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        “If I were a manufacturer’s marketing department, I’d crack down on the trademark infringement that occurs in either direction.”

        If Bill Watterson and the Universal Press Syndicate couldn’t stop them, Ford and Chevy don’t have much of a chance either.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        I thought Watterson and UPS DID stop them. I haven’t seen a Calvin sticker in a parts store since 2000. I wanted one for my Corsica and had to go to a vinyl graphics specialist to get one.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @aqua225:
        “I don’t get how the Calvin stickers are compensator additions. That is more like blind devotion to a specific brand.”

        Dude…look at that sticker literally and what you have is a pissing match. Guys who have nothing to compensate for don’t get into those, much less drop little Madison’s college wad on some gargantuan pickup truck so they can “win” one. Toss in a bit of of “I’m politically incorrect and don’t care if you know it” to boot, and you have…compensation…for something. Ditto for the women who drive them.

        But, hey, it’s their money.

        And the only thing I see “moving” in the bed of these duded-up super pickups, by and large, is all the crap that just got picked up at Costco.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        Mine wasn’t a penis extension, I swear! Calvin was peeing on a CT sticker that I yoinked from a Mini Ad in C/D (long story…). Plus, I have relatives in Belgium.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manneke_Pis

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @Mazder3…

        Somehow, I don’t think some guy who just bought a truck the size of Wyoming, with enough horsepower to wrench a small house off its moorings, is all that interested in cute little Belgian boys peeing…and if he is, that’s a whole different ball ‘o wax.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        The semi-reputable (read: sue-able) auto parts places like Autozone and Pep Boys don’t stock them anymore, but every state fair, souvenir shop, and other small business will freely piss all over Bill Watterson’s work.

        Yes, I’m a Calvin & Hobbes fan who gets pissed off every time I see one of those stickers.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    No doubt the current crop of 3/4 ton fullsize diesel pick-ups are stupidly overpowered for most people. And the the worst thing about it is that the mileage sucks as a result. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, stick a nice little I4 turbo diesel in a 1/2 ton chassis designed for fuel economy, not performance, and you won’t be able to build them fast enough.

  • avatar
    vvk

    While there is a small percentage of HD pickup owners who really need the capability, I say vast majority are cowards who are afraid to drive a smaller vehicle. They need a big bad truck to compensate for their lack of driving skills and they lack social skills to be considerate of others. Also notice how many of these pickups are driven by diminutive women. Which is also understandable…

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Wow you gather alot from what a person drives… Get to know a person before ye judge. You’ve got social skills right? If you care so much what these trucks are used for, ask and you might be surprised. Or just sit in your cubicle & judge.

      Besides ‘snowbirds’, many folks have foregone home ownership and pull an RV from resort to resort, park it and use these behemoths to fetch groceries. I use my lifted DRW Superduty King Ranch for work but I also love getting it detailed and taking it into town to get a reaction from all the yuppies in their German cars sneering or looking at me sideways… That’s what I enjoy but enough about me… If you enjoy/prefer making assumptions and judging, rock on!

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @DenverMike…How true. My friends wife has recently been confined to a wheel chair. When she gave up driving he sold her Cobalt. So now thier daily driver is a F 250 with a fith wheel hitch. Right now thier saving thier cash,and looking for a wheel chair friendly RV.

        The words “Judge not” come to mind.

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        > get a reaction from all the yuppies in their German cars sneering or looking at me sideways…

        Now you know what they are thinking :-) That’s your “image” in their eyes.

        Now tell me you couldn’t be better served by a Ford Transit Connect “for work”?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @vvk

        Stop trying to convince ‘YOU’ no one actually needs a lifted 4X4 dually. Not sure what purpose it serves you but whatever… Truth is I could get by with a Geo Tracker half the time but when I need my truck, it’d better be close by or I lose the job *but* how ’bout you and your yuppie friends *limit* yourselves to only driving VWs… if you absolutely must have German that is… OK? Can’t you get by with a Passat 2.5 SE 99% of the time???

  • avatar
    Junebug

    Aw c’mon, if you can afford it-drive it, I’m not one to judge. I could care less if you have a F350 duelly that cost 6 figures, or a 29 year or mini truck.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      As long as they’re not riding up my ass in a show of machismo, or giving off a Dresden-after-the-firebombing black cloud, it doesn’t really matter to me either.


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