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Current pickup truck trends

lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
edited March 2014 in Dodge
I was curious about how other people feel about the current trend of pickup trucks shrinking the bed. I have driven trucks since I got my drivers license and back then you had basically 2 choices for a 1/2 ton truck a regular cab with an 8' bed or an extended cab w/8' bed, if you didnt need an 8' bed they had "compact" pickups. Now trucks come with beds that range from 5' to 8'. Personally I fail to see the use of a 5'6" bed on a truck it seems like an expedition or Yukon would be better than a truck with a short bed. I currently have a Ram quad cab with the 6.5' bed, the only reason I have the short bed was because there was no 8' bed trucks available.


  • My truck is an '01 F-350 Crew Cab Long Bed. It mostly works for a living carrying construction stuff, pulling a 7500 lb work trailer or for those fun times an 8500lb camp trailer. I'm fortunate in that I can afford a Minivan for my wife and kids and have another car for a daily driver.
    For what I use the truck for, there are times I wish the bed was bigger than 8 foot, and that the truck had more payload capacity. However, if this vehicle was my daily driver I'd probably go nuts - it's a big beast. I smirk at folks trying to tie stuff to the roofs of their Honda Civics at the Home Depot parking lot while I just pile a ton of stuff in the bed. But then it takes me five minutes to jockey my way outta the freakin' parking lot because the truck is soooo long. (Thanks Ford for the reverse sensor.)
    I'm sure there's a lotta folks out there who need a vehicle that can haul more stuff than a car and still be their Soccer Mom vehicle too. By how some of these hybrid pickup/suvs are selling it looks like the car manufacturers hit the nail on the head and are able to sell "trucks" to people who normally wouldn't have bought one. It's all in what you need. So while an Explorer Sport Trak with its 4 ft. bed might do it for some folks, it definitely wouldn't work for me.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    6.5 ft bed works fine for me but there are times like last weekend when a longer bed would have been nice. Left the home depot parking lot with 14ft boards (tailgate down = appx 8ft so 6ft hung off)
  • The 6 ft bed really makes me mad, the 8 ft bed isn't that much more money but they are so much harder to find, and that means in the used truck department (my current market being a college student and all) all I see is freaking ext short bed.
  • I'm one of those guys who wouldn't normally have considered buying a truck, but I now have a 2002 Ram 1500 with 6'3" bed. It's the only vehicle I have, so I have to be able to get it into parking spaces that seem to be getting smaller and smaller.

    I agree with the notion that an SUV or minivan would probably be more appropriate, however, SUV's have become almost as feminized as minivans these days. Here in Texas, you're more likely to see a woman driving an SUV than a man.

    No, I don't haul stuff around and I don't go camping much. 90% of the time, I won't have anything at all in the bed, so the shorter bed is just fine for me. I guess I can always have something sticking out a couple of times a year if I need to. I'm sure many others are just like me.
  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    I like to drive a Pickup and like the utility when I need it. I could easily get by with a "S'Crew" or Dakota-sized bed. I had all Reg. Cab SWB until my '99 Sierra X-cab and I don't like the extra length. Really would have preferred a GM "S'Crew". But the 1500HD CC is even longer and I don't need an HD. I think Ford has the right idea and I think GM is missing out. If a Dakota QC was as comfortable as my Sierra and got the MPG that's probably what I'd be driving. Tahoes and Suburbans are too much more money or I'd have one of them.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    I think big cabbed trucks with short beds (under 6') look silly (and avalanche wins the silly award). We bought a 3/4 ton extra cab with the short bed, and 6.5' is just enough to get by. I appreciate the shorter wheelbase (tighter turning) when pulling a 35' trailer. Good combination in my book. I suppose a full crew with a short bed would be the same length as an ext. cab with long bed, so that wouldn't be too bad either. I'd trade off some manueverability for full back seats. I think these hybrids have merit for alot of folks. Just don't go throwing a couple ton of gravel in the back of the things.
  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    I think "big cabbed trucks" with shorter beds are cool. Leave the cute Little Jeeps to those cute litle girls.

    My new Ram has the 6.25' bed. My ATV fits in there fine. My Home depot parking trips are no problem (I don't have to schlep around in a football field length truck).

    If I need anything longer, I have a bed extender.
  • danogdanog Posts: 318
    If you choose to carry very long items often then a long bed may be the better choice. For me, I very seldom carry anything requiring a bed longer than 6'. Since many trucks are used now as daily drivers and not just work trucks this trend will continue. Not to mention with a towing package you can haul very long items with a trailer.

  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    I was a former SUV owner. Instead of hitching my large toys and pulling them, I can just drive them into the bed and haul away.
    The extra cargo/bed space is a plus for people who do not haul more than 6 people...not to mention items that may give off odors (like trash). COmpromising a shorter bed with more passenger space, while making the truck less than 225" in length, its suits the people who want a 4x4 but with added utility.
    GM COULD have had a major hit with the Avalanche with the midgate, if it wasn't for the plastic overloading. It's Ford's chance to make another hit.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Easy on the Jeep, I love my Cherokee and it's far from a girlmobile. Try the CRV/Escape/RAV4 crowd for cute. Anything that has less torque than tire pressue is all looks.

    Even the newest hybrids don't do everything well enough to get me into one, and I personally never see it happening. So I'll keep my Cherokee for general getting around and my Ram 3/4 ton diesel for big jobs. Of course, sometimes I'm in my Jeep and wish I had my truck and vice versa. I'm gonna look closely at the new Rams with the heavies come out next year. Probably up-grade but still won't be my main vehicle. Can't justify throwing miles on something when the Jeep can get me around quicker and easier when I'm not loaded up.

    Avalanche: we had one pull out in front of me the other day and I was driving the Ram with about 12,000# behind me. My wife commented that if we'd have hit them it would have looked like a kid dumped a box of Legos all over the highway. So you're right on the plastic look.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    My buddies and I decided that the Avalanche looks like a big, ugly piece of tupperware.
    GM's on a roll: aztec, avalanche, I wonder what will be next...?
  • Well, there is that new Cadillac version of the Avalanche that looks like a the Griswald's Vacation-mobile on steroids.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858
    ..........if you could indicate what sort of mileage you generally get on your 3/4-ton RAM. My old diesel pickup is approaching 300,000 (it's not the engine:it's the rest of the vehicle that's wearing out) and I've always admired the Cummins......even without the 24v improvement.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    2001 Quadcab 4x4 3/4 ton cummins with automatic.

    Generally 17-18mpg empty, 12-18mpg towing 8500#-12,000#. The towing mileage has increased by 1-2mpg since making improvements taking us to around 300hp and 600lb-ft of torque. The low of 12 is on trips across plains states where the speeds reach close to triple figures at times. Unless it's flat, long, and deserted I keep the speeds legal which is where the cummins seems to maximize gas mileage. 55mph seems to be the sweet spot for ultimate mileage. That's where I hit 18mpg with a 12,000# trailer. Had to follow a friend with a gasser that couldn't go much faster than that with a load. I love diesels, wish they were available in more vehicles.
  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    Now that you've mentioned it, i don't recall many either.

    Wonder how true truckers would feel if they had diesels available in these crew cabs/shorter beds...
  • avalanche seems to be extremely popular, so some people think it looks good.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    has the avalanche sold well?? I sure don't see too many around. there are a lot of people with bad taste though so I suppose it could be true...
  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    thought when Ford continued to outsell Chevy after the '97 re-design.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I see a lot of them in my neck of the woods.

    I hope it succeeds. There are a lot of interesting features on that truck.

  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    I'd rather have a 1500HD CC on the Av chassis and a shorter bed like the Ford. I'd like to see one the Customizers build one. My truck is more basic transportation than anything and I can live with a smaller bed.
  • I had a 6 foot bed once on a 93 Toyota Truck. Now that I have had an 8 foot bed since 94, I could not see going back.
  • moparmadmoparmad Posts: 197
    And eat it too. The truck I drive everyday is a 2001 1/2 ton shortbed 4X4 regular cab Ram,for times of seriousness I have a '76 crewcab big block,full time 4X4,flatbed Powerwagon.
    One neat trick my old boss found,was a ladder rack on a shortbed Ranger. It handled 16' lumber with ease and was much easier to reach than the ladder rack on his 4X4 F250.

    As far as new trends in trucks,don't get me started,most of them suck as far as I'm concerned. What happened to trucks being judged by payload,towing capacity,and toughness. Now it's quarter mile times and cup holders. Why would anyone buying a big block gas engine really care about gas mileage,it is either going to suck,or REALLY suck. If your towing cross country you would be crazy not to buy a diesel anyway. But I guess that is what happens when the breed becomes popular...indescriminate breeding.
  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    like me. Bought my first pickup in 1980 about the time more people started buying trucks as second "cars". I want a pickup that rides like a car and has good power and just enough of a bed for the occasional weekend chores. Hey that sounds like a TUNDRA! I shoulda bought a Toyota.
  • yeah but if you live in texas you probably would have gotten lynched for driving an inferior toyota. I'd stay with the silverados
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Things aren't like they used to be. I am one of those that sold my Big truck when I figured Gas was getting just too expensive. I went for about 9 months or maybe closer to a year with out a Pickup. I bought a small 4 door sedan for work and the weekend trips because it was easier for friends and relatives to get in and out of. I got a small Coupe to leave at home for my wife to run errands. I live in the mountains where there is always something to haul to the dump or pick up at the hardware store or garden shop. I couldn't take it any longer and so I went out and bought another pickup. I didn't need a crew cab because I had two other cars and for the first time in my life I looked at short beds. I ended up with a B series Mazda-Ranger. It seems bigger than the old mini trucks I have had. A Toyota SR-5, a Ford Courier, and a Dodge D-50-Mitsubishi. And of course has less room than my old Dodge full sized ½ Ton or even my Dakota longbed. But it seems to meet my needs. I think the new trends in trucks are leaning towards trying to make a compromise vehicle. If the SUV craze is winding down, sales don't prove that yet, maybe this is the next wave. I don't care for the short bed SUV pickup truck combos but that is personal taste. Just like the fact that I don't care for the Mad Max look of the Nissan. Diesels are an iffy proposition for many manufacturers because they are afraid of the stricter pollutant standards expected in the US over the next few years. Look at California and its attempt to restrict diesel school busses. I have said all that just to point out that the new truck trend may be just that, a trend. But even if it last there will always be a need for a standard truck because there are people that don't see a truck as a replacement for the family sedan, but only see it as a supplement.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    I agree 100% with your analogy of "indiscriminate breeding." that's exactly what happens anytime something becomes overly popular. (like the golden retriever. a fabulous dog that has been virtually destroyed by careless breeding)
    kinda the same thing with SUV's. their popularity has killed classic designs like the cherokee, or the original '91-'94 explorer. now they are nothing more than big ugly station wagons with 4wd.
  • hunter98hunter98 Posts: 273
    I can agree and disagree about the Golden Retriever, I am on my second one, and they were both wonderful dogs. The first one did die as a ten year old with bad hips and arthritus though. But his personalaty, temperment, loyalty and appearance was wonderful.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    We've got a 5-year old female Golden. What a great pet!

    Oops! This topic is about trucks...

  • GM is pushing the E85 ethanol 5.3L on their big SUVs, and it's available on pickups. Gas mileage is worse, but I would think they could improve on that in the future. If we can get farmers to use it in their farm machinery, we could eventually be energy independent - maybe an exporter. Farm production is still better in the US than anywhere else in the world - and getting better every day.
  • moparmadmoparmad Posts: 197
    I cover both sides of the dog spectrum...I got a yellow lab and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. One super popular and bred by back yard entrepreneurs everywhere,and one never heard of by most folks.
This discussion has been closed.