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Full-size pickup sales - F-150 best selling truck, but for how much longer?



  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    The reason we don't stock them at my dealer is they only come with BUTT UGLY 7 lug steel wheels.

    Also, with the 4.10 rear you are loosing a little fuel econ.

  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    So if you saw the info on the new Ram, you will see that the dropped the leaf springs in the rear and went with coil springs. According to Rick Titus, Driver's Talk Radio, this will kill the trucks cargo and trailer towing.

    In addition, I know coil springs are much less able to take a beating compared to leaf springs. Ever have the springs in your car break?

    Anyone have insight into this? What was Dodge thinking? Or is Dodge only trying to cater to the people who "use their truck like a car"?

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Dodge knows what they're doing. The new Ram 1500 will be able to tow and haul just fine. Will it win the "bragging rights" war? Maybe not, but for 99% of owners the vehicle will be perfect.

    BTW, you're flat out wrong about leaf vs coil springs. Oshkosh, the maker of huge severe-duty trucks for the military and airport service makes trucks, not only with coil springs all around, but also IFS/IRS and AWD. It's just a matter of time before this technology trickles down to consumer vehicles, and at realistic prices.

  • Yep, that new dodge will work them fields, cuz them big3 ones is just built that way from the get go. But them forien ones got that feather thin frame and them t100 pumpkins... them pumpkins pop and that frame twists quick if worked any now. Folks is quick too work that tundra on that hi-way now, but where is them folks that is workin them forien ones in them fields? We need them big3 ones with haul, not them shiny forien ones that bust when worked any. Facts is facts on this one. Good luck on this one now!
  • rsholland
    Sorry to disagree with you. I do agree that coils can be made to be very heavy duty, but doing so destroys the reason they would be used on a 1/2-ton, which is ride quality. Coils also require panhard bars and trailing arms to keep the rear diff from moving sideways and front-to-back. Leafs are bolted directly from the diff to frame and don't need all that extra junk. Also, panhard bars and trailing arms travel in an arc, which means overall generally less travel than leaf springs in the same application. Trucks are supposed to have a lot of travel, due to the varying loads they are required to carry and extreme road conditions they encounter.

    Dodge is using coils due to improved ride quality, so you can bet they aren't extreme heavy duty springs. They also don't expect the truck to carry heavy loads, needing a lot of rear travel.

    For many people, esp. those who value a softer ride and who use the truck bed to carry light loads on occasion, the coils will be fine. But for those who use their trucks as trucks, they will move away from Dodge.

    Dodge is making a big bet on a change in their demographic. If they're right, they'll gain a few sales. If not, they'll become a distant 4th in sales, behind Tundra. There is a lot at stake for Dodge.

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    A lot of the people making the claim about how the new Ram's rear coils won't work are using nearly 40-year-old GM trucks as their basis of comparison. C'mon people... technology has done wonders since that point in time. We were driving on bias-ply tires back then, for crying out loud.

    The Ram's rear suspension is a beefed version of the design used in the current Grand Cherokee - and no one seems to be complaining about the GC's abilities off-road in terms of travel or articulation.

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  • h20h20 Posts: 42
    WOW no biased opinions on edmonds ? please don't E mail me with your threats.
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    Pretty bold remark. I don't remember edmunds being tied to a manufacturer.
  • kcram
    Can you show the readers anywhere in the post that I said "...Ram's rear coils won't work"? Of course they will "work". What I said is that they are not the best rear spring for what a truck is supposed to do. Rear coils aren't some sort of magic technology. Dodge did not invent something great and new. What sort of "new technology" are you referring to, exactly? As you said yourself, GM had them 40 years ago. If they were superior, truck makers would have been using them all along. They use rear leafs because that is the rear spring design that has been shown to be superior, time after time, for the full range of hauling/towing/working/pulling that truck owners do.

    Rear coils are used in cars with a live rear axle. Rear coils are used in SUVs where the short rearend overhang will not allow a leaf spring to be used, and because SUVs are not designed to haul or tow heavy loads. Rear coils are used in applications where ride quality is paramount.

    Rear leafs are used in vehicles designed to maximize towing and hauling. Is there any serious doubt about that?

    You can't be serious about comparing the overall capability of a Grand Cherokee and a full size Ram pickup. That's just ridiculous. The GC is built to do a small fraction of what the Ram can do. No one's complaining because no GC owner can tow 8,000 lbs. safely, or haul 2,000 lbs. safely in the bed, and they're not stupid enough to try it in the first place.

    Time will tell, but I predict that current Ram owners who use their trucks for big, heavy work will look elsewhere when it comes time to buy new. They may be outnumbered by buyers who've never had a truck before, and don't use it hard. It's a BIG gamble for Dodge.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    A couple of things:

    To the best of my knowledge, Dodge is using rear coils only on 1500 series trucks. I expect 2500 and 3500 models, when they're introduced the following year, will continue to use rear leaf springs.

    As to your assertion that if rear coils were so good, that truck makers would have been using them for year. Well, my take is this:

    As KC mentioned, suspension technology has come a long way. Second, I have no doubt that coils can be made to "work" as well if not better than leaf springs. The problem is—and you're a perfect example of this—is convincing truck customers that it's possible. Truck buyers are notoriously conservative, and are very slow to accept new ideas. The truck makers know this. So they too have been slow to change.

    Taking this discussion even one step further, Ford, Nissan and now Toyota have moved to IRS on their full-size SUVs. Now that IRS has proven itself on those vehicles, it's only a matter of time before we see this being used on a 1/2-ton pickup truck; and once it proves itself on a 1/2-ton, it will show up on 3/4-ton models. That's the way progress happens—and it will happen, eventually. Remember... 50 years ago IFS was unheard of on pickups. Now they're all using IFS.

    The trick is coming up with new technology—and being able to "time it" with customer acceptance. Automotive history is littered with marketing failures—not because the ideas were bad, but rather because they were just too far advanced for the market at that time in history. Remember the Chrysler Airflow from the mid 1930s? A great idea, but an utter marketing failure because car buyers just weren't ready for aerodynamic styling 75 years ago.

  • rs
    What exactly is this "new technology" you refer to as it relates to rear coil springs? The technology is quite old. It has been tried. It works fine on lighter duty applications, less well on heavier duty applications. To look at the extremes, show me a Kenworth or a Peterbuilt with rear coils. Ain't happenin'. I love new technology, I am no Luddite. But, more importanly, I like what works.

    You say you have "no doubt" that rear coils can be made to work as well or better than rear leafs. What do you base your assertion on? Facts, or opinion? A long history of owning a heavy duty truck with rear coils? No, the real problem is me and others like me, just not open minded enough to get with the program. Maybe you're right - I don't like being the guinea pig who needs to be "convinced" to try what hasn't been successfully done. I'll hang back and wait for others to test it out, then if it works, I'll buy. If not, I get the last laugh.

    Full size SUVs use IRS because sales and marketing show that buyers of these vehicles prize ride comfort over hauling and towing. SUVs are the new minivan. Minivans are 'out', SUVs are 'in'. Minivans are for fuddy-duddies, but SUVers want that comfy ride, too. Rear coils allow the rear axle to move farther back without increasing the overall length of the vehicle. A longer wheelbase and rear coils means a better ride.

    I have a Trooper with IRS/rear coils. It's a fine vehicle for what it is but it won't do what my Silverado will do, in terms of work, and I don't expect it to.

    I'll go way out on a limb here. Rear coils in full size 1/2 ton trucks will not catch on. The next iteration of the Ram will go back to rear leaf springs, and they will claim it as a big improvement over the 'older' model. Dodge will rediscover the amazing new technology of rear leaf springs for heavy duty truck applications!

  • Funny how folks is now that expert on coils and springs... same folks will argue on them colors and shine next week! Fact is them tractors and such use them coils for many years now, not a lick of troubles. So much for them coil worrys now! Work them trucks in them fields, that will bring that knowin of what works and what don't now. Good luck on this one now!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    What exactly is this "new technology" you refer to as it relates to rear coil springs? The technology is quite old. It has been tried. It works fine on lighter duty applications, less well on heavier duty applications. To look at the extremes, show me a Kenworth or a Peterbuilt with rear coils.

    Check out the Oshkosh truck links I provided earlier. Those trucks are as heavy duty as an Peterbuilt or Kenworth out there—and they use coils and fully independent suspensions.

    As to Dodge reverting back to leaf springs, I'll take that bet. In fact I bet that coil springs on the Ram is just the first of many such applications on full-size pickups.

    I will also bet that the new coil spring Ram 1500 will be fully competitive with leaf spring 1/2-tons. Note: I didn't say it would be the best—but fully competitive.

    No I don't expect you to be a guinea pig, as you're a classic, old-school truck buyer. Newer and younger (folks who are more open and accepting of new ideas) will eventually replace folks such as yourself. Whatever happened to Caddy Fleetwood buyers? Their equally wealthy children are now buying CTSs, etc. Time marches on...

    Let's revisit this conversation in 10 years and see who's right. :)

  • Yep... some folk sure lack that knowin on them coil springs, thats for sure!

    Folks that work them farms and such, be using them coils in tractors and such for 100 years now! And how bout them trains? Yep... coils in them ones too!

    This aint no trick photo... them coils is used big and small now...

    Learn up on them coils here now...

    Good luck on this one now!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Ah... I think you addressed your reply to the wrong person. I'm "supporting" the use of coils springs.

  • Yep.... you got that knowin on em... but some folks sure lack it! Some foks must work them hiways more than them farms... cuz they sure enough aint looked under them tractors now! Them coils work hard and long, that is the fact of that one. Good luck on this one!
  • Mr. Rube...True enough about Big3 being tougher than Tundra. I own a 1st gen. Tundra that is a total city truck; never worked an honest day in its life. Reliable as it gets, as was my 394K '85 SR5. But, I looked at the video of the 2007 Tundra crashing and smashing around on a washboard. Disgraceful. The Ford was well-controlled, as was the GM truck. Boxed frame or not, you can make either stiff AND strong. C'mon, Toyota.

    Now, combine what you saw in the video, the 2009 F-150 highlights, and Toyota's history. Toyota will fix all these flaws with time (but probably faster than Big3 would). The F-150 updates are merely cosmetic, with the exception of new trailer package. Finally, Toyota's history teaches us they ruthlessly pursue their target and don't let up until they capture it. If they want the "working" truck market AND Big3 sits on their laurels, Tundra will beat them all. Someday.

    Ford, you are screwing up by not investing heavily in product. Make Toyota chase you instead of fearing what's in your rearview mirror. Toyota will catch you and crush you (and your Number 1 product) it you don't.

    As for Big3, they are still better as Real trucks than the Tundra, for now. I drove the 2008 Tundra and Sierra Denali. The Tundra drove like hell. The GMC Sierra was far superior. I will buy the GMC, after previously buying a total of 4 Toyota's. The Tundra is far from sorted out, and uses crappy materials inside.
  • Good gawd, farmer rube, perhaps you need to read the posts and follow the thread. Of course coils can be made extremely heavy, as I've said in previous posts. BUT, that defeats entirely the purpose of using the coils on the Ram, which is ride quality. You can make a coil spring so stiff it won't flex at all, but what's the point of that?

    Bob says that the Ram will be competitive, but not class leading. I totally agree, Bob. The Ram is already not class leading, it's in 3rd. It will soon be in 4th IMO. But in this business, if you aren't out in front you are losing sales. Like the old saying goes, "If you ain't the lead dog, the view never changes." If Dodge doesn't do something soon, instead of looking at the rumps of just GM and Ford, it will also be looking at the Tundra's rump. Not a good long-term view, IMO. I'd like to see Dodge open a big ol' can of whupass in the full size market, but apparently they folded and instead took the easy route.

    Ram is clearly going for the lighter duty, softer riding market. What will be the impact on sales of that change in strategy? How about addressing that original point? Isn't this the thread to discuss sales leaders? Am I missing something?

    Here's what I want in my next 1/2 ton 4x4 truck:
    small v-8 diesel w/250 hp, 400 ft lbs., and 25+ mpg hiway
    really nice interior, comfy seats, like the GMs currently have
    robust, proven drive train parts
    auto rear locker, front air locker
    optional factory offroad pkg. incl. a mild lift (2"-3"), larger wheels and tires

    Build that truck and I, and a bunch of guys, would stand in line to buy it.

  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Class exclusive features galore and you call it cosmetic?

    The new 2009 Ford F-150’s “smart” features turn the half-ton pickup truck into an even more skillful tool.

    Industry-exclusive features:

    SIRIUS Travel Link™ for real-time data on traffic, weather, fuel prices and more
    Tailgate Step makes access to the bed easier
    Integrated Box Side Step makes accessing the front of the box easier
    Easy Fuel™ capless fuel filler system
    Ford SYNC™ in-car communications system that allows hands-free operation of MP3 and cell phones

    Class-exclusive features:

    Trailer Sway Control
    Integrated Trailer Brake Controller
    Power running boards
    Sony premium audio system
    Most comprehensive safety package on any full-size pickup, including standard AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, standard side curtain air bags, Ford’s Personal Safety System, and a hydro-formed high-strength steel body structure that improves roof strength.
    6-inch stretch to SuperCrew features a fully-flat load floor
    Stowable bed extender
    Strongest cargo management system

    The wheel is not reinvented but there is enough new stuff there that I think people will be trading in old ones sooner than they planed.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    I fully expect that one or more truck makers will follow Dodge's lead in offering coil rear springs on their 1/2-ton models the next time they're redesigned, which would be in 5 years or so. Maybe even IRS will show up by then, although that may be further down the road.

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