Which Half-Ton Truck Suits You? | Living the Country Life
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Which Half-Ton Truck Suits You?

Whether you own a small acreage or a large farm, it isn't difficult to list the many jobs a half-ton truck can tackle. Before you roll off the lot in a newly purchased pickup, consider these options.
  • Overall Power

    Consider what kind of jobs you'll take on in your pickup, and determine the heaviest loads it will transport. Then opt for a truck with the horsepower and torque up to the task, even when conditions are muddy, snowy, or hilly. Full-size trucks in the half-ton (or 1500) class are the top-selling pickups precisely becausse they hit the sweet spot by balancing muscle with efficiency. Avoid choosing heavy-duty packages you don't need. These pickups, while powerful, are less fuel efficient, more expensive, and offer bumpier rides than more streamlined trucks. 

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018
  • Cab Style

    When choosing a cab style, think about your likely passengers. Will your new ride's chief function be for work, or will it double a a family vehicle? A regular-size cab should hold solo operators or two-person teams, but if you'll be packing in a load of kids (or you just want extra space to stow gear), opt for a larger interior. An extended cab, which contains a second row of compact jump or bench seating, makes a smart choice for families, while a crew cab offters a comfier ride for multiple adult passengers. Just keep in mind: the bigger the cab, the bigger the price. 

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018
  • Truck Bed Length

    Pickup manufacturers offer a variety of bed lengths, with most in the 5- to 8- foot range. If you transport building supplies or other lengthy items, a longer truck bed is a must. Keep in mind that your cab size impacts bed length. Trucks with spacious cabs often come outfitted with smaller cargo beds to prevent unwieldiness. Check with the manufacturer to see if you can mix and match cab styles and bed lengths. Bed extenders can also add extra incehs by forming a fence above the open tailgate. 

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018
  • Ford F-150 XL

    ford.com

    Starting price: $27,110

    Engine choices: 3.5-L V6, 2.7- and 3.5-L turbo V6, or 5-L V8

    Fuel economny (city/highway): 15-19 mpg/22-26 mpg

    Horsepower: 282-385

    Maximum towing capacity: 5,000-12,200 lbs.

    Seating capacity: 3-6 depending on cab style

    Cargo box length: 67.1, 78.9, or 97.6 in.

    What we love: An optional turbocharged V6 engine packs the power of a V8 with a more budget-friendly fuel economy.

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500

    chevrolet.com

    Starting price: $27,785

    Engine choices: 4.3-L V6 or 5.3- or 6.2-L V8

    Fuel economny (city/highway): 15-18 mpg/20-24 mpg

    Horsepower: 285-420

    Maximum towing capacity: 5,500-12,500 lbs.

    Seating capacity: 3-6 depending on cab style

    Cargo box length: 69.3, 78.9, or 97.8 in.

    What we love: Accessing contents at the front of the cargo bed is easy thanks to available power-retractable running boards, which extend at the bush of a button. 

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018
  • GMC Sierra 1500

    gmc.com

    Starting price: $28,405

    Engine choices: 4.3-L V6 or 5.3- or 6.2-L V8

    Fuel economny (city/highway): 15-18 mpg/20-24 mpg

    Horsepower: 285-420

    Maximum towing capacity: 5,500-12,500 lbs.

    Seating capacity: 3-6 depending on cab style

    Cargo box length: 69.3, 78.9, or 97.8 in.

    What we love: The smart design of the cab shuts out highway sounds with triple door seals, sound-absorbing materials, and an inlaid design that lets doors fit snugly into the truck body. 

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018
  • RAM 1500

    ramtrucks.com

    Starting price: $26,495

    Engine choices: 3-L EcoDiesel V6, 3.6-L V6, or 5.7-L V8

    Fuel economny (city/highway): 15-21 mpg/22-29 mpg

    Horsepower: 240-395

    Maximum towing capacity: 4,210-10,620 lbs.

    Seating capacity: 2-5, depending on cab style

    Cargo box length: 67.4, 76.3, or 98.3 in.

    What we love: With the only diesel engine option in the half-ton class, the Ram 1500 is ready for heavy hauyling and efficient highway miles.

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018
  • Nissan Titan

    nissanusa.com

    Starting price: $29,580

    Engine choices: 5.6-L V8

    Fuel economny (city/highway): 15 mpg/21 mpg

    Horsepower: 390

    Maximum towing capacity: 9,390-9,730 lbs.

    Seating capacity: 3-6, depending on cab style

    Cargo box length: 67, 78 or 98.5 in.

    What we love: Available LED bed lights, lockable in-bed storage boxes, and a 120-volt outlet instantly transform the cargo bed into a well-equipped work space.

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018
  • Toyota Tundra

    totota.com

    Starting price: $30,120

    Engine choices: 4.6- or 5.7-L V8

    Fuel economny (city/highway): 13-15 mpg/18-19 mpg

    Horsepower: 310-381

    Maximum towing capacity: 6,400-10,500 lbs.

    Seating capacity: 3-6, depending on cab style

    Cargo box length: 66.7, 78.7, or 97.6 in.

    What we love: A touch-screen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity comes standard, encouraging drivers to spend less time fiddling with devices and more time with their eyes on the road. The Tundra's CrewMax cab option boasts reclinable rear seating. 

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018
  • Truck-SUV Hybrid

    Honda Ridgeline

    automobiles.honda.com

    Starting price: $29,475

    Engine choices: 3.5-L V6

    Fuel economny (city/highway): 18-19 mpg/25-26 mpg

    Horsepower: 280

    Maximum towing capacity: 3,500-5,000 lbs.

    Seating capacity: 5

    Cargo box length: 64 in.

    What we love: The interior comfort of an SUV and a tough truck appearance put the Honda Ridgeline in a class all its own. It boasts unit-body construction and independent rear suspension for a more comfortable ride than the body-on-frame design of a full-size pickup. The Ridgeline offers front-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations and a lockable storage space under the truck bed. It's best suited for lighter towing work and on-the-road adventures, but its 3.5-liter V6 engine could be just right for acreage owners who don't need as much truck in their truck. 

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018
  • More Features to Consider

    Bed Material: In 2015, Ford debuted its aluminum cargo bed as a lightweight alternative to steel; the lighter bed boosts fuel-efficiency and resists corrosion. Competitors, however, claim that aluminum lacks the resilience of steel and that heavy materials easily puncture the bed. Consider your brand loyalty and cargo needs when evaluating bed material options. Choosing a factory- or dealer-installed bed liner offers the best way to fend off dents and dings and to keep your cargo space looking new. 

    Towing Capacity: On average, half-ton trucks usually tow between 5,000 and 12,000 pounds. If you plan to tow a trailer behind your truck, ensure that the pickup can handle the load by examining the vehicle's drivetrain, suspension, horsepower, gearing, frame, and drive axle. Then choose a rear-axle ratio that aligns with how you'll use your truck: A higher ratio is best for heavy hauling, while a lower ratio improves fuel-efficiency (if you don't anticipate hauling a significant amount of weight). 

    Cab Interior: Today's full-size pickups pack a number of comfort and entertainment features that rival those of luxury sedans. Backup cameras and blind-spot assist systems improve safety and lend a hand when hitching trailers, while oversize storage cubbies, heated seats, and Bluetooth connectivity offer convenience. Make a list of your must-have features before heading to the dealership, keeping in mind that add-ons often push up the price. 

    Date Published: October 4, 2017
    Date Updated: March 12, 2018

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