Good MPG from trucks....Is it possible?

wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
edited March 2014 in Ford
My automatic 3.0 ohv truck gets like 18-19 mpg overall. It is not a big truck by any means.

Why can't a truck be produced that'll deliver 26 mpg and a Home Depot "average" homeowner's load or a refridgerator from Sears??


  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    My F-250 Power Stroke gets 15 to 20 mpg. It got 17 pulling a Jeep Cherokee and a two axal trailer from California to Colorado. Small diesels could be the answer.
  • mullins87mullins87 Member Posts: 959
    A Ranger, S-10 or Dakota with a 4 or 6 cylinder diesel in the 2.5 to 4.0 liter range would probably get in the mid to upper twenties. The problem is that they probably wouldn't sell very well because of the diesel engine. As a population, we don't like diesel engines. I can't understand why we aren't driving more diesels in cars, minivans and small trucks. And a diesel/electric hybrid would be great.
  • akjbmwakjbmw Member Posts: 231
    One part of the answer is what GM did with a Gas motor running on diesel in the not too distant past. INHO, it was a stupid economic driven mistake... Or was it? Could they have done it on purpose to sour the market?

    Later Ford bought BMW diesels to put in Lincolns, but the market damage was already done. Too Bad, I think. All that engine needed was enough folks here who had a clue about how to service them. Not even enough BMW dealers were trained.

    More gears maybe? A second trans or over/under unit (cheaper than a single bigger trans) to provided more relative gear ratios for the optimum operation for the required load?
  • nra1871nra1871 Member Posts: 26
    My tacoma consistantly gets between 22-23mpg with its 2.7L 4cyl engine. Thats with 31in tires and 4wd..not too shabby. Same power as the 3L 6 in my old ranger, better mpg. More than enough to handle my 'home depot loads' and offroading duty.
  • black_silverblack_silver Member Posts: 39
    My 2003 2500HD LT DuraMax/Allison gets around 22MPG empty, 18MPG pulling my boat, and 13MPG pulling my 8500 pound 5th wheel camper.

    Hard to complain on that, unless you're driving a toy truck with a 4-banger!
  • bigfurbigfur Member Posts: 649
    Or just cant afford 35-40 grand for another truck
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Light duty pick-up trucks don't get 30 MPG for the same reason most cars aren't built to haul 1500 pounds of mulch or bricks and tow 10,000 lb. boats.

    By their very nature trucks are built to perform as work vehicles. The fact that most Americans drive them for other purposes is not the fault of either concept called "truck" or the people who design and build them.

    Since by definition a truck is a work vehicle, manufacturers have designed them to do just that. They are expected to haul or tow large sizes of materials of heavy weights and still deliver car-like performance. In a way the laws of physics should be imparting the message that "good" fuel mileage and "truck" are near contradictory terms.

    Now, could a truck be designed to give you 30 MPG on pump gas? Sure, and we already have some. Of course, they are the smallest of trucks and will likely have a manual transmission. If you want a 4500 pound fullsize pick-up to do that you will have to give something up. Capability, probably in the form of horsepower and speed.

  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    What happened to them?

    They were good looking car like utility vehicles that came with a nice big cargo bed.\

    Most pickup trucks don't usually haul around 4 cubes of bricks or 10,000 lbs of boat trailers. You'd think Rangers, S-10's, and Tacoma's that are designed for normal everyday use could all realisticly get a minimum of 26 mpg overall....and 30 on the highway.

      There are many things that need to be carried around in a "bed" that don't weigh over 500 lbs.

    Hello Detroit....Are you there?? Or are you more intrested to see who can make the biggest and most powerful gas hogs?
  • ezshift5ezshift5 Member Posts: 858
    ..been driving a small pickup that routinely gets 40MPG around town. Enroute Oregon you can see 55 every now and then. Sure, it's a diesel and most folk don't have a clue (except for the noise, that is)...ez
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    One of them thar lil VW Rabbit pickups from the old timey days?
  • bigfurbigfur Member Posts: 649
    be a lil VW diesel. Old neighbor used to have one, seemed like a great lil truck.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 Member Posts: 858
    ..are right on the mark. (VW) ez..
  • lennxlennx Member Posts: 73
    El Camino
    As I recall there was not enough interest to sustain this vehicle. Check out the Subaru Baja. I do not think it is meeting its sales numbers either.

    For people who feel they need a truck, a car with a bed usually does not cut it.

    Small Trucks
    These are just what they are - trucks that are small. Reduced size, smaller engine, smaller payload. All this translates to beeter fuel economy.

    Big Trucks
    As one poster indicated, by meeting other design critera, gas milage suffers. However, I am sure there are things they can do to improve milage. Here are a few.

    Overdrive Tranny - My F-150 has a 4 speed. Add an overdrive 5th.

    Better Aero - more aerodynamic shape. a bed cover comes standard or maybe a tailgate is optional? It seems recent designs are going in the opposite direction with big, flat fronts grilles.

    Displacement on demand - yeah I know this was bad in the GM vehicles in the 80's but maybe we have the technology now.

    Active suspension - lowers the ride height at speed to get better milage.



    Containers of helium to reduce vehicle weight.

    I am sure there are lots of ideas - some good, some bad. The question is which ones are cost effective and reliable and do not compromise all those good things we want a big truck.

    For now I am happy with the 15 to 18 mpg I get. Maybe the truck I buy 2013 will have a few of these improvements and I can get 25 to 30 mpg in a real truck.
  • mullins87mullins87 Member Posts: 959
    I see absolutely no reason why we aren't driving diesel/electric hybrid trucks right now. They could be exactly the same trucks that are on the road right now, only they could get better than twice the mileage. I have no expertise to back up that assumption. Just an observation in what the gas/electric hybrids have done in the compact car.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    the major oil companies have you? The technology is there, just not the "politics".
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    If the technology was there, GM would put it in their trucks, and advertise the He!! out of it. Ford would be more concerned than the oil companies.

    Reduced fuel usage would be good for the oil companies, prices would creep up, and costs would drop.

  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    The first sentenance may be true...if they knew a market existed for high MPG "Home Depot", "Walmart", or "Sears" light weight haulers. I don't think they(detroit) are focusing upon anything other than the high profit margin vehicles in pickups.

    Are the Toyotas and Nissans, or Koreans of this world going to eventially slip into a high MPG pickup niche and totally eat Detroits lunch?

    We'll see over the next 10 years...
  • lennxlennx Member Posts: 73
    Auto companies design and build what they can sell for a profit. Technolgies can seem good on paper but do not always pan out in real like.

    Things such as displavcemnt on demand and electric vehicles come to mind.

    Toyota and Honda are making a go of the hybrids. There seems to be good consumer acceptanmce but are they profitable?

    The big three are also working on Hybrids that will be avaible soon.

    If the auto comapnies can make money on it, you will eventually see it the show room. If people don't buy it, it will be gone faster than a Lincoln Blackwood.

    As for why you don't have one right now to drive - Someone needs to make a business case for them. Once this makes sense and is approved, then engineers have to design something that works, is buildable and is profitable.

    A few final opinions:

    Would I pay a little extra for better gas milage? maybe.

    Would pay a lot for it? No.

    Would I pay extra for more power and hauling ability that hurts my mpg a bit. Yes.

    Would I pay extra for better MPG that reduces my payload? No.

    Would I pay extra to have a diesel? For me - No. If I had 5 business trucks - maybe

    Would I take a Diesel if they gave me an extra $3000 off? For me - No. If I had 5 business trucks - yes.

    Just one guys opinion but I think many truck buyers have simialr opinions.
  • eharri3eharri3 Member Posts: 640
    If most Americans are driving big gas guzzling trucks that never carry or tow anything heavy enough to justify owning a vehicle that gets such poor mileage, why not make a better choice from the myriad of lighter duty, more economical vehicles out on the market?

    "Most pickup trucks don't usually haul around 4 cubes of bricks or 10,000 lbs of boat trailers." So why do people buy them then when there's a ton of hybrid SUVs, minivans, and stationwagons out there that would serve the same needs? Answer: Because the regular trucks are 'cooler' and more stylish and people just don't want to be caught dead in vans or wagons right noww. So instead of buying the sensible vehicle to own, they buy the one they really do not need and then complain about the inherent draw backs that are necessary to give that vehicle it's hauling capabilities.

    All we accomplish, as someone said, by whining about the fuel conomy of big trucks designed for work is eventually the manufacturers will wussify them and they won't be as capable as real truck owners need them before.

    Why do American drivers never accept responsibility? We drive poorly and crash and then sue the automaker because they could not build a 100% idiot proof vehicle. The automaker's response:They design every safety gadget imaginable into their vehicles, driving up car prices by thousands of dollars... and what does it solve? We still find ways to crash!

     We buy big gas guzzling trucks to cruise to the mall when minivans or station wagons would suit our needs better and then complain because we get poor mileage. So what will happen? We will demand 30 mpg from everything we drive, they will try to give it to us, and the pool of capable, truly heavy duty trucks will dwindle and the ones we're left with will get more and more expensive.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Eharri3, that sound you hear in the background is applause!

    You hit it dead-square on, my friend.

    Best regards,
  • bigfurbigfur Member Posts: 649
    "a ton of hybrid SUVs, minivans, and stationwagons"
    I can think of about two cars right of the top of my head that are hybrids and avalible to the public. Just wondering where all the other ones are that you speak of. I know a couple of companys are working on them, but i havent seen them on the show floor yet.
  • mullins87mullins87 Member Posts: 959
    I think by using the word "hybrid" that he is referring to the many crossover vehicles that are not exactly a truck, not exactly a van nor are they a sport utility.

    Dusty beat me to it, but Ed hit the nail on the head. I'm the type that always had a truck and always will. I use mine not only as a daily driver, but also to pull my camper, haul things to and from my small farm, pull my Jeep to a nearby off-road park, etc.... My last two trucks wouldn't break 15 mpg. So, my current truck is a diesel and I am happy to be getting 18 mpg. I LOVE all of the inconveniences of driving a truck, especially a heavy duty one.

    The soccer moms and daddy's of this world who think they are to cool to drive a sedan, station wagon or minivan are ruining our trucks. I heard on the radio just this last week that automakers are going to be lowering the bumper and frame heights even more to make then more "car friendly."

    I know I'm in the minority, but I happen to like driving 8,000lb trucks that are built like an anvil. Why not build a vehicle like a car with unibody construction, make it look like a big honking SUV, put it on oversized tires and sell it to those people and LEAVE OUR TRUCKS ALONE!!!
  • eharri3eharri3 Member Posts: 640
    Toyota Rav4
    Geo Tracker
    Honda Pilot
    Ford Escape
    Subaru Outback

    Just to name a few of the hybrid 'car/trucks' that offer more room for cargo than cars but still get decent mileage. and car-like handling. The people who buy trucks for a reason and dont go in blind know what to expect. They may complain, they may not always like it, but they accept it. Unfortunately they are now in the minority.
  • eharri3eharri3 Member Posts: 640
    Another thing that ticks me off. PArt of why I like driving real trucks is I dont like being protected by egg shells on either end of the car. Now they want to take THAT away from me. And what about the people who care about things like approach and departure angles who actually might, god forbid, want to take their 4x4 SUV or truck off road?

    It's part of a never ending effort to fully idiot proof cars and surround us in a cuccoon of egg shells and air bags to shield us from our own poor driving ability. I bet if the manufacturers spent even a tiny fraction of what they've invested in all that expensive safety gadgetry and gimickry to fund driver's education programs, we could actually PREVENT accidents more accidents in the first place.
  • seajayacasseajayacas Member Posts: 6
    Detroit could do it, but there is a significant cost to either create from scratch or to modify a current truck to do so. Correctly or incorrectly Detroit has estimated that there aren't enough people interested enough to recoup those costs and turn Detroits investment into profits.

    The masses prefer a truck with great performance and sexy looks as the important criteria. To the masses fuel mileage is fairly low on the list.
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