THE BIG THREE—AN OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT
We’ve all got our chosen brand—yes, I’m a Ford guy. Which to GM and Dodge guys means I’m slow, broken down all the time and for some reason can’t seem to keep my cab on the frame. But hey at least there’s a big ole circle around the problem on the grille…
I’ve always said people don’t get to choose their brand; that often comes from what your dad drove when you were a kid. But my dad drove a BMW when I was a kid, so go figure that one out. How’d I become a truck guy? Funny enough, I never really had an answer to that question. I know why diesel runs through my veins, but it wasn’t until seeing family recently that made me realize it was my Aunt’s old splitwindow F-250 I rode around in as a kid that started the truck addiction. My first car happened to be a Ford Ranger. If it wasn’t your family that made you pick your brand, it was probably a job of some sort that made you go that way. Be it a job that had you driving around in a company truck, or a job you needed to get done so you picked the right truck for said job.
And here’s where the hate mail starts to come in. But before you cancel your subscription, burn all your copies of DW and build a voodoo doll of me, there’s so, so much more to this conversation that I can’t fit on this page and honestly, we all could redirect just about any point I bring up here given enough time.
Nowadays the Big Three (Ford, GM, Ram) all make extremely similar trucks that all do the job they were designed to do very well. They’re all extremely close in just about every way. The only big difference in my mind would be GM’S lack of a solid axle up front, limiting its off-road capability. That being said, GM’S suspension design performs much better on the pavement, as an IFS system should. Most of us spend eons more time on the street than in the dirt, so is not having a solid axle a bad thing? Depends on what you need the truck for. But other than that, they’re pretty close to the same.
Towing numbers are close, power differences are negligible—heck, which truck has the most horsepower when it hits the showroom floor is a game the manufacturers have been playing with each other for years. Just like we can change a tune and go up or down 100 hp, they can too, and who has the most power at any given time is usually only up on the competition by a small amount. I can’t remember the exact details, but sometime around 2005 one of the Big Three leaked “classified info” to someone in the media regarding their upcoming horsepower numbers. The number was published by that media person and it made it back to an executive at one of the other manufacturers. So, not to be outdone, that manufacturer changed its tune and released its numbers at just a few horsepower above the aforementioned “classified” number. Joke was on them as their competition then released its own numbers as a few hp higher than that. If I say 300, you’re going to say 305 sorta thing (look at the horsepower numbers among the Big Three around 2005; it’s interesting to see how much they go back and forth). Think about it: They’re all going after the same group of buyers who have a specific and similar set of needs. Which one is better is really up to you.
I like the ride of the GM. I’m a Duramax fan, and I like how they look better than the Fords or Rams, but the solid axle is a deal breaker for me since I spend a ton of time in the dirt. Which leaves Ford and Ram. I like the Cummins much better than the new 6.7L Power Stroke. This is not because there’s any huge problems with the Power Stroke, but because the Cummins has been around longer so there’s more aftermarket support for it. Plus it’s much easier to fit a set of compounds on a straight six. But I’m not a fan of the Ram’s interior, so it becomes a toss-up between the Cummins and the interior of the Ford.
I’m looking for a new truck as we speak. Whaddya think I’ll get?