Just to add my two cents (and probably repeat stuff that's already
You've got three choices in cabs: regular, extended, and crew (the
names change some between brands). Regular cabs are all but useles,
extended cabs are ok for kids but too cramped for adults (and near-
adults). If you'll end up needing to haul full size people in the
back you'll need a crew cab with full size doors in the back.
You've got 3 choices in beds, short (~6'), long (8') and extra-short
(5' something). The crew-cab models get the extra-short bed, unless
you go for a 3/4 or 1 ton model (e.g. F250, C2500). As far as I can
tell, the extra-short bed is essentially useless. A long bed is a
huge convenience if you actually haul much stuff.
Long trucks are a royal pain to manouever. An extended cab long
bed truck has about a 50' turning circle (compare to 35' for a
normal passenger car). They don't fit in parking lots very well,
and making u-turns requires 4 lanes worth of road.
Ford & Chevy trucks have slightly higher payload capacities and
towing ratings than Dodge, and all 3 are better than Toyota (I
don't know where the new big Nissan fits in). Fords are more
likely to be "built right" from the factory, especially compared
to Chevy, but if you are lucky to get a good Chevy or Dodge, they
last well (Toyotas are probably built even better, but I don't know
enough people with them).
On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 17:26:36 +0000 (UTC), John McCoy
I am not sure that I understand the "essentially useless" statement
above unless you are talking about really heavy duty payload trucks.
My Dakota Quadcab has a short bed. In hauling sand, gravel, shingles,
plywood, sheetrock, and most other things, I run out of payload
capacity long before I run out of room in the bed (and the Dakota has
far more payload than the small trucks the OP has owned recently).
About the only time I miss a long-bed is when helping someone move
(wait a minute - that lack of capacity when other people are moving is
a GOOD thing). Seriously, it only seems to be an issue when hauling
relatively light things because I run out of room in the bed before
maxing out the payload. I guess it might also be an issue if I hauled
12' sheetrock or something else long that needed more support.
Yep, my lowly Dodge Ram extended cab with a 6' bed does what I need it to
do, and SWMBO would rather ride in it than her Toyota Avalon on a long trip
(not me, I have to pay for the gas)
As far as hauling sheetgoods and lumber in a 6' bed, simply laying a short
2x4 crosswise behind the tail gate will give a stack of 8 - 10" lumber or
plywood enough angle to keep it from shifting out the back providing you
exercise prudence in driving, as you should with any load.
Yer preachin' to the choir, Mike. Stretch that "little" truck out with a
hood & stick a set of training wheels under the back end, then try and get
around downtown NYC!(LOL)
Some yrs. back, SIL and our boss were running two rigs to CA, got out in
AZ(Flagstaff) and somebody wanted to know what those "East Coast trucks were
doing out there with the "big" trucks". SIL told 'em . . "Our boss only
hires professional drivers, we don't need those training wheels". Sorta shut
the CB down for a couple min.(Of course, this happened while SIL & boss were
both out cruising in the hammer lane through 4" fresh snow)
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