I like Chevy's, Steve. We've tried Fords and <gag> Dodges, but the old Chevy
wins out every time.
Ford beds seem weak to me, and the bumper arrangement sucks (if you need to
use it). The Chevy drive train is tried-and-true, and if you get a 4 x 4 or
an extended cab it'll be built in Fort Wayne, Indiana, by people who give a
shit (take my word for it)!!
Ford brakes, clutches, and power steering pumps all seemed to present
problems.. if I remember correctly.
To whoever asked about a manual tranny... you better have one in a work
truck if you're gonna move much weight around.... nothing else lasts, IMO.
I can't speak as to diesels, as none of the small ones worked for us...
maybe in a warmer climate you'd do OK.
We get our bodies from Warner.... they're an Indiana company right up the
street but well renowned:
Call Mark Boice and you'll find he'll build you just about anything you
want.... at very competitive prices.