Ask Jack: A Truck Without Consequences?

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

Sixteen thousand, five hundred miles. In ten months. It would be fair to say that I’m getting a lot of use out of my Silverado “Max Tow”. What that number doesn’t make plain, however, is how much effort I put into not driving the truck. Unless the hitch is in use or there is some kind of load in the bed, I don’t take it out of the driveway.

This is not sitting well with my wife, the infamous Danger Girl. She point outs that we should be able to get a quarter-million miles on the truck and it makes very little sense to use something that is plainly more expensive to run, such as my ZX-14R, rather than the Silverado. All I can say in response is that I feel guilty using a three-ton-plus vehicle for the drive to work or dinner. It’s a mild form of mental illness, I suppose.

Not everybody is crazy like me. Which brings me to today’s “Ask Jack” questioner, who is in a rather unique position to go truckin’ like the Doo-dah man.


Bobby writes,

What’s worse than a rich kid asking you what car to get? It’s probably when somebody is getting a free car lol. Or in my case, a free truck lol. I’m being sent to Texas for a work assignment that would last maybe two years, possibly three. Living in the city I never had a truck and didn’t see the need. Basically, I can have a three-year lease paid by the company for a truck. The new Ram looks pretty good, but I remember you bought the Chevy. What should I do?

This was a remarkably terse email, so I’m going to make a couple of assumptions. I’m going to assume that the would-be company truck in question is a half-ton full-sizer, most likely a crew cab. So we can leave stuff like the Ridgeline and the Dodge Power Wagon out of this. I’m also going to assume that Bobby isn’t able to get something like a Tahoe RST or a Range Rover instead of the truck.

Given what an outsized presence half-tons have on both the American road and the American economy, it’s kind of odd to think that there are relatively few entries in the marketplace. They are:

* Ford F-150


* Silverado/Sierra


* RAM


* Toyota Tundra


* Nissan Titan

Did I forget any? Who cares if I did, because these are the only trucks that matter.

Right off the bat, I think we can forget about the Nissan Titan. It looks weird and I can’t see what it offers that the other trucks don’t. Sure, there’s that mid-size diesel, but… nah.

Normally the Tundra would be the next to go, but it happens to have a bit of an inside line here because it’s actually built in Texas. You never know. It might come in handy if Bobby has to deal with people who earn some or all of their living from the Toyota presence here.

My experience with the Silverado has been outstanding but there’s no point in leasing the old model and the new one isn’t available yet.

So I think this is a three-way fight between the local-favorite Tundra, the default-choice F-150, and the new Ram. Given that this is a company-paid lease and not a long-term personal purchase, I would find it very hard to say no to the Ram. It looks good, it will ride better than the others, and it has some utterly gobsmacking infotainment options. Last but not least, it might be cheaper to lease than the others thanks to incentives. So in Bobby’s shoes, I’d order myself a crew-cab Ram with every option in the book, and I’d make sure I’m in Amarillo by morning.

That’s a country song, in case you don’t know as much about country as I do. I know a lot about country music now. I’m a truck owner, you see.

[Image: © 2018 Matthew Guy/TTAC]

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on May 09, 2018

    If the company is picking up (no pun intended) the tab on a new pickup, order the most loaded variant that he can get his hands on. It does not say who is paying the fuel bill or associated expenses. I assume that the company will cover that so it really doesn't matter the kind of mpg. If he has to cover fuel expenses or if he is uncomfortable driving a full sized truck then he can get a Colorado/Canyon or Tacoma. The Canyon can be had in Denali trim for the same price as a mid-spec full sized truck. If the only option is a full sized truck, get a short box i.e. 5.5 box if he doesn't need to haul anything or as stated, isn't comfortable with the size.

  • Olddavid Olddavid on May 10, 2018

    Is this some parallel universe? I come here and read a buy-it recommendation from Baruth that specifies the convenience of the "infotainment" for a truck? I thought it was Jalopnik that sold their soul.

  • ToolGuy Honda is dreaming. And resting on its 'laurels' (French for 'posterior').
  • SCE to AUX Here's some advice - slow down. That's a great way to arrive home safely, without a ticket, with lower blood pressure, and more economically.
  • Dartdude They need to rebrand the models, The standard model should be Wagoneer and long version should be Grand Wagoneer. There should offer the Ram Rev powertrain in these
  • Irvingklaws Seems more like they're adopting Honda styling queues. Now if they would just adopt their reliability...
  • FreedMike "Obsidian Edition."Oooooh, obsidian is really, really hard stuff.
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