The 10 Best Options for Pickup Trucks

 

Written by Tori Tellem and Drew Hardin

Sometimes automakers nail it when it comes to knowing exactly what we need to outfit our pickups for work, play or a bit of both. But they also know personalizing is part of the lifestyle, and they leave a bit of that outfitting to us by offering a hearty list of options, from floormats and tires to heavy-duty towing equipment and performance upgrades.

Here’s a roundup of what we think are some of the best options, though it may never be that some of these appear across the board for every brand.

 

10. Niche Trucks

Best-10 II
Why not just go straight for an entire optional truck! These days, factory specialty trucks are tailor-made for a specific type of buyer, such as outdoorsmen, hunters or off-roaders. But they aren’t all recreational vehicles. The Tradesman is technically a Ram option package, but it’s priced to move and is built with a theme: work truck. It has, among its many attributes, a spray-in bedliner, a Class IV trailer hitch, RamBox storage and heavy-duty cooling equipment. The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is a pure off-road truck that’s wider than the standard F-150 and has a Torsen front differential, off-road shocks, special control arms and SVT-tuned tires, not to mention loads of suspension travel front and rear.

 

9. Big Engines

Best-9 II
Four-cylinder engines are en vogue right now, even for trucks. But sometimes you can’t beat muscle, both in brute force and for that throaty sound. But upgrading to the big engine often is a necessity born of work or towing needs. And then yet again, maybe you want to check that option box because you simply want something big, like a Hemi or a Duramax. Have no guilt for a big engine; it’s available for a reason. Besides, that big ol’ Duramax will get you the great fuel economy that comes with diesel power, and on most models the Hemi has fuel-saver technology. See, no guilt.

 

8. Trailer-Sway Control

Best-8 II
If you do any trailering, you’re familiar with the nuisance that is sway. Ford has made trailer-sway control an option for many of its trucks to prevent a trailer from heading in a particular direction and getting away from you. In its most simplistic form, it applies some brake pressure on the opposite side of your tow rig to help reduce the sway. It's one of those unusual options that provides significant insurance for both the expert and novice. And although we know they are technically separate features, we also combine the integrated brake controller with this favorite option of ours.  

 

7. Extend the Bed

Best-7 II
Ford, Ram, Suzuki and Nissan have already jumped on the idea of a bed extender, which does just what it says: It extends the length of the bed. It’s ideal if you’re trying to haul lumber or other goods when length matters. Also perfect for carting Suzuki motorcycles, right?

 

6. Tailgate Step

Best-6 II
When Ford added the tailgate step to its options list a few years ago, it was one of those “aha moments” that we prefer to refer to as “duh moments.” As in, why wasn’t this invented sooner? It folds out so you can gain easy access to the bed rather than having to ungracefully crawl in and ungracefully fall out. With this aide, it’s simply a matter of stepping in and out, and it stows away in the tailgate when you’re not using it.

 

5. Off-Road Packages

Best-5 II
Gone are the days of modifying your truck for off-road use by doing it yourself or heading to a 4x4 specialty shop. Now the factory can beef your truck for you, such as with Toyota’s TRD Off-Road Package, which includes a factory-tuned suspension, special shock absorbers and tires, and advanced technology such as downhill assist. Nissan also has packaged off-road oomph via its Pro-4X package, which includes an electronic-locking rear differential, off-road struts and hill descent control.

 

4. Supercharger

Best-4 II
A factory-installed supercharger that doesn’t void the warranty? Yes, please. Toyota offers a supercharger kit for its 5.7-liter V-8 that turns up the heat to 504 horsepower and 550 pounds-feet of torque with help from an Eaton Twin Vortices system. It’s emissions-ready in all 50 states and is covered under the truck’s five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

 

3. Office on the Go

Best-3a II
The Ford Work Solutions is a bundled package of technologies for running your business remotely. Features include an in-dash computer with internet and hands-free calling and Tool Link, which lets you track, in real time, your inventory — and by that, we mean the tools or equipment stored in your pickup’s box. Work Solutions also has Crew Chief, a fleet-tracking system for managing vehicles, keeping an eye on driver performance and providing dispatching capabilities.

 

2. Wireless Hot Spot

Best-2 II
Forget heading to Starbucks. An option worth every penny to us —and probably to any of you on the go, who are at work sites or who feel like you run your business out of the truck — is a WiFi system inside the vehicle for mobile functionality (and no one knows whether we’re on the move or sitting in a windowless office that day). GM’s system is available on select models, and it turns your truck into a wireless hot spot with a 150-foot range.

 

1. Cargo Management

Best-1 II
A pickup truck is the ultimate road tool mostly because of its bed and special compartments. The question then becomes, “How do you take something like a hammer and make it better?” In the case of Ram, improving the tool meant adding a cargo management system like the RamBox, with lockable, lighted storage bins in the truck’s bed walls with enough space to fit toolboxes of course, but also stuff like kayak paddles, guns and fishing rods. Ram paid attention inside the bed, too, by building a cargo rail system with adjustable cleats.

Comments

Wow, GM really showed up well in this piece :). The truck has become the ultimate family/ work/ tow vehicle and Im glad to see innovation and out of the box thinking, however, I believe we need more. It still surprises that engines are still not more efficient. Over the course of my buying vehicles I have seen improvement, but not the kind that would cause me to celebrate. The Vortec 5.7 of the late 90's was a great engine and I have yet to see significant improvements in terms of mileage and overall performance. My new Ford 5.0 sure hauls but is it a truly major improvement? The 2005 Hemi I thought would blow my doors off in comparison to the beloved Vortec, but to no avail. I guess my point is I'll take a base work truck but with all the underneath bells and whistles. Im sorry if Im off base.

Ford work solutions is a great tool that's often overlooked. Actually, the biggest problem is it's only available in 1/2 tons instead of the Superduty's that a crew chief is actually going to be driving.

And though I hate to say it, the factory backed TRD supercharger is pretty cool too. They should have just included it standard and called the truck a 3/4 ton.

@ Larry P Engines are much more efficient. Problem is EPA wants more emission junk on them, plus truck have got bigger, and more stuff stuff in them. Air bags all over now computers heat/ac seats power motors for this and that. It adds weight plus add the emission junk that chokes the enignes down.

"GM really showed up well in this piece"? Okaaay.

Problem is,Ford pioneered or dominates in seven out of the ten items listed, plus a lot of game-changing technology that "this piece" neglected to mention.

So glad to see that Nissan is blazing the trail with an e-locker, hill-descent, and special off-road suspension. Of course, I liked that technology even more the first time I saw it...two years ago, when it was called the SVT Raptor.

@ted - Agreed. Ford is leader of innovations. Other trucks are good but Ford does it better.

I think the supercharger should have been number 1 and the list left off factory dual exhaust what Tundra owneer doesnt like the factory backed 2009+ TRD True Duals. I think it's a great option a lot of Tundra owners have taken maybe Dav has it also or some other Tundra owners that have it will chime in but here it is http://www.motoiq.com/magazine_articles/id/1873/project-toyota-tundra-part-5-testing-trds-warranty-friendly-exhaust-system.aspx and what it sounds like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSLozSyNJ7Q thanks to whoever made that vid.

My opening sentence was sarcastic. I agree Ted and Jackalope.

Should that be whomever one of you grammar guy please let me know.

I can't believe this made the list:

6. Tailgate Step

It's the dumbest idea ever.

First, if Ford didn't make their truck beds so d@%n high you wouldn't need a step to get into the bed.

Second, has anyone on the PUTC staff actually used a truck with one of these to haul any loose material? I have, and it sucks. If you haul any stones, dirt, mulch, etc. and try to unload it the raised part of the tailgate protector gets in the way. And then the material clogs the workings of the handrail and step and you have to spend time cleaning everything out so that the pieces will fold back down.

This wasn't a great innovative design, it was a band-aid for a problem (making the bed floor too high to step onto).

SK you are an idiot, you obviously DO NOT use your truck for work with comments like " tail gate step is the dumbest idea ever".
Can you step easily into the back of a GM, dodge or Toyota? No you can't. Stop being a hater cause your favorite company has no innovations

@ sk Good point i always worried bout dirt/rocks in them steps

The z71 package was the best option ever. As for the man step, well it's ok but way to over priceced i think people who have a hard time gettin in the truck bed might need to use it.

The step is a great idea for people like my uncle who still have to work a job site, but have had a hip replacement. Once again, that is an option. I do like the retractable side step that Dodge uses. Thats a practical idea unless you need the full clearance behind the rear wheel.

The man step isn't a good idea, the premise of it is but the actual function and usefullness of it isn't. I have stepped on one at the auto show, and being 6'5 and 275 the thing bent more then a 80's boat ladder. That wouldn't last much time stepping on it regularly, and holding a bag of concrete? Pshh... I can see exaclty what sk means, it looks like it would suck in any mulch, pebbles, dirt ect and render it useless/broken at some point.

Dual exhaust is another bad idea, if it comes out behind the tires it gets chewed up from the road and looks like crap pitted and rusted. If it is directly behind the truck it will get smashed and bent in the first steep ditch crossing or off road adventure. If someone wants it let them go to the local exhaust shop and put it on, chances are if they want it they also want it louder with a new muffler. I vote dump the exhaust, cleaner look, nothing to drag or hang up and cheaper/less weight. Is that 50 state legal? I know in texas you can dump exhaust if three is a break between the bed and cab which is why it is legal on pick up trucks but not suv's/cars.

Umm, backup camera?!? being able to park a 21ft truck within inches of well anything is an absolute neccesity.
Offroad packages are a waste of money. For less than half the money you can do it yourself with a little know-how.

toycrusher: just to put the S/C on the tundra and call it a 3/4ton? yea thats a good idea!! everything is there already EXCEPT a FRAME to handle it!! my friend had about 1,500lbs of fire wood in his tundra, ext cab 4X4 sr5, 6'bed, and he had more than enough power, and brakes, because he (and I, in the pass. seat) was terrified to even do the speed limit on the hyw. because the rear end was bottomed out, and the truck was swaying around like there was no air in the tires (45psi)!!! the most the tire said to use, when we went over the overpasses it was like Divine intervention to get to the other side!. When we went back for the next load, we left the tundra and to our suprise, we put the same amount in my little Dakota reg cab 4X4 and made two more trips to complete the task at hand, and the diff. in power was like night and day, BUT so was the ride and handling, the little Dodge rode just fine, and had enough power 3.9 5spd. 3:92 lmtslp, that I was very proud to be the owner, two months later my friend came over to show me his new Ram.

The frame thing again really??? The towing test is the SAE J2807 in which the Tundra is the only 1/2 ton to take the test and we have to take sh*t about how well we passed the test from the kids who got an incomplete because they wouldnt take the test. Also the people who administer the test SAE didnt say your truck couldnt have frame flex as the tundra was designed too. Payload is vertical weight as explained here http://jimmcnatttoyota.blogspot.com/2008/12/tundra-tripletech-frame-explained.html and seen here number 3. http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/minisite/tundraexperience/#/quarry. As for something you cant have they do tell you not use a TBC for the braking part of the test. Also for the record let me know when your 1/2 ton was used as a 3/4 ton for a 100,000 miles with no major problems.

I also want to address the price of the frame before someone throws out that BS it cost Toyota more money for Tundra's frame as it tripletech design isnt used on its body on frame SUV counterpart the Toyota Sequoia like other brands that share frames.

Agreed. Ford is leader of innovations. Other trucks are good but Ford does it better.

-Very true Jackalope. The sturdiest built truck on the road with the best interior packages and the most innovation. We also have trucks like the Raptor that is unmatched by Chevy or Dodge. We also have the Super Duty. A dedicated truck unto it's own with a SFA and tucked away frame which is unmatched by Chevy period. Chevy doesn't offer any of the good interior packages like Ford does although Dodge is coming close. Ford owns Trucks... And we sell a Ton of cars because of it.

Factory Spray in Bedliner should be on here, shouldn't have to take a brand new truck to an after market shop to have this done. Dodge and Nissan have are doing it, why not Ford and GM?

@Sandman,

Question, is your Dakota reg cab stock or modded? 1500lbs in the bed would have bottomed out your suspension if it is stock. If it's modded then the comparison you have made is invalid.

I hate the spray in bedliner. Large heavy items are a pain to "slide" in. Nothing beats a plastic bedliner. Try moving appliances or furniture and see what I mean. The spray in bedliner is a gimmick.

Definitely plastic or composite or whatever its called bedliner. And the rambox is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. I have no idea why everyone isn't poaching that idea and incorporating it into their trucks.

@phillyguy - just give it time. It only took a little over a century for Ram to finally come out with this ingenious idea so after the other manufactures finish slapping their forehead for not thinking of it first, they will find a way to rename it and add it to their trucks.

@ FordTrucks1

"Agreed. Ford is leader of innovations. Other trucks are good but Ford does it better.

-Very true Jackalope. The sturdiest built truck on the road"

lmao thats why in the rocky mountains the brakes where smokeing on the ford. the ford is far from the sturdiest at this day in age even the Ram handles better in the towing tests better then the ford its just slower up hill

Left out the most useful and clever truck option I've ever seen.......the in-bed trunk in the Ridgeline. Lockable, water-proof storage that doesn't use up any interior or bed space. Plus, it has a drain plug so that it can function as a cooler for tail-gating. Now that I've had the joy of using the in-bed trunk on my Ridgeline for over 2 years, I couldn't imagine going back to a regular pickup truck bed without one.

Ford is very innovative with neat little gadgets in their SD trucks. I suppose you can afford to come up with those kinds of things when you have not released a totally new truck in well over a decade. They have saved a ton on development costs due to sitting on the same basic design for well over a dozen years.

The extend-a-bed just gets in the way when you have the gate closed. A net or a couple of straps - not so much. Ram's cargo management extended gate gets real close to useful without being in the way: it fits under the rear seat of the crewcab.

The RamBox however kills your options for a camper cap or stake-hole ladder rack.

The step? Really? I think if you need one of these you should directly trade to the mini-van with the wheelchair ramp.

@tyler

the Z71 was nothing more than 2 skid plates and locking differential. and better shocks

i remember driving the chevy work trucks in the farm and they had 3 skid plates too. nothing special

LOL i ahev seen some 1990's 2wd chevy trucks with the "Z71" badge... LOL

just my two cents.

@Larry P

i agree when i bought my 2006 ram 1500 it came with a plastic bed liner. everything moves easier, i just need to make sure i secure everything good. but this one time i spilled a little oil and warped


IT SEEMS LIKE GM IS SLOWLY DISSAPEARING OR ARE THEY JUST FORGETTING THAT THEY BUILD PICKUP TRUCKS..

ohhhhh....just look at that man step on the back of that ford pickup truck. that is right up my alley! kudos to ford for offering the man step and that neat tucked up frame!

@ Donald: the spray in liner is a option for Ford trucks

We all get older folks, the tail gate step is a good ideal for us 50 and older crowd.

@Ted The Titan had elocker HDC and the other goodies on the off road package which was avalible on all titan trim levals and models and was even avalible on some 2wd titans in 2004, it wasnt until the last few years that it was branded PRO 4x as its own trim, the Armada also had some of the same options on its off road pakage.

I find the whole anti - tailgate step rhetoric laughable at best. Here are the specs on Ford and Chevy "load in" heights.

Ford SuperCrew 5.5 box
4x2= 33 inches
4x4 = 33.9 inches
Ford SuperCrew 6.5 box
4x2 = 32.8 inches
4x4 = 33.6 inches

Chevy crewcab 5.5 box (only config in crewcab)
4x2 = 32.9 inches
4x4 = 32.7 inches

Lets do the math (5.5 box):
Chevy 4x2 = 0.1 inch lower
Chevy 4x4 = 1.2 inches lower

If you look at Ford's 6.5 box:
Ford 4x2 = 0.1 inches lower
Ford 4x4 = 0.9 inches taller

How can anyone say the Ford is extremely tall ?

The funny thing is - the Chevy 4x2 sits a tad higher than a Chevy 4x4. The 4x2 is 0.2 inches taller.

The take rate on the tailgate step is roughly 40% IIRC. The tailgate step is rated for 350 lb.
The other huge myth is box depth or lift over.
Box depth:
Ford F150 = 22.4 inches
Chevy 1500 = 21 inches
A Ford pickup box is 1.4 inches deeper.

Bottom line - the tailgate step and side access steps are handy accessories. If you don't want them then don't get them.
At least Ford gives you the choice.

The CSIRO The Australian Government sponsored research facility is now celebrating an International court ruling , that has global companies paying them royalties for WiFi, a system they invented. So it would be a great innovation for them.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/how-csiros-stars-won-the-wifi-battle/story-e6frgakx-1226316861762

The one option that I love the most. Is the remote starter.

@ wa2be don't ever ever call a Ridgeline a truck.

@ wa2be I agree that the Ridgeline's trunk is fantastic. I have a friend with a Ridgeline and that trunk is helluva useful. But for my part I think that the Rambox+built in bed divider/extender on the Ram 1500's to be even more useful. They take useless space out of the bed, add lighted lockable waterproof storage that also has a drain plug. Right now the Ram 1500 is the only truck I would seriously consider if I were in the market, and that is in very large part due to that Rambox. Also their interiors are spectacular and a selectable AWD option is really nice for poor weather. Hoping Ford and Chevy catch up on these features.

z71 package is still awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I disagree about the plastic drop in bed liners...My dad used to own a 2001 Nissan Frontier and he put a drop in liner in the bed.

All the thing did was retain water when it rained and before the truck was even 4 years old it had rust spots in the bed because of it. Not to mention that drop in bed liners slide around themselves in the bed which totally defeats their purpose of protecting your bed.

I have a Line-X Xtra Color matched bed liner in my 2011 F-150 FX4, and so far I think its the best investment I've made to the truck.

I think that the backup camera is a great option also. To be able to hook up to a trailer without a spoter or having to keep geeting in and out backing up a little at a time is awesome. Once in a while though I do get lucky and line up to the trailer on the first try.

Yup it is a reg cab 4X4 Dakota 6' bed, the door jam sticker says GVWR 5900lbs! and the truck weights 4200 with me in it, so that leaves it with a 1700 cap! and that is with me and a full tank! I would haul 40 water bottles around every day for 3 yrs. and that is 40X 44.5lbs= 1780lbs!! and there was still NO bottoming out, and I have no extras just put edelbrock shocks on it. The only thing I ever had to do (re-Calls) were ball joints and water-pump, I had them replace the water pump under warratee but I bough and pais my own $$$ for the good Moog ball joints, the OEM has NO Grease fitting!! now tere are, and I bet no more ball joint problems! The other thing I need to say, is we also had a 2005 Avalanche, and that was a rolling Swisse Army Knife! Ford has nothing to compare with them, But the are awfully exspensive!!

A tailgate step a "must have" option? You have to be kidding me. My 60 yo wife has no trouble climbing into the bed of our F250. I am 54 yo and was always the last one picked for any sports team, so I am no magnificent physical specimen. I am also not 100 lbs. overweight. I can scramble into the truck bed in 2 steps.

My advice? Skip the step option and use the money to enroll in Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.

RE: Lou -

You stated

"Bottom line - the tailgate step and side access steps are handy accessories. If you don't want them then don't get them."

I agree, but you miss the point. This article was about the "10 Best Options" on a pickup truck. So if you are ordering a new pickup, and can only get a total of 10 options (starting with a base Work, ST or XL truck), the article demands that the tailgate step be one of those 10 options.

Sorry, but that is ridiculous.

Ford is very innovative with neat little gadgets in their SD trucks. I suppose you can afford to come up with those kinds of things when you have not released a totally new truck in well over a decade. They have saved a ton on development costs due to sitting on the same basic design for well over a dozen years.

@Bob, you don't need to fix what isn't broken. The Super Duty has the best looking body and cab design on the road. It's also the most functional. There's nothing to change about it. If they did change it they'd just ruin it. Since your a GM guy (I think) I'll put it into context for you. The Super Duty to me is like those Like a Rock Chevy Silverado's of the 90's. As far as I'm concerned, Chevy could have built that truck all the way up till right now in 2012 and it would still sell like hotcakes. All they needed to do was do the updates like Ford as they went along. Maybe round out those wheel arches for the 25-3500 versions. Instead they Ruined it with the last two redesigns. Put a brand new 1990's style Chevy with the new suspension and new interior on the lot next to the real 2012 Chevy we have now and there's no doubt in my mind which truck the public would choose. It sure as hell wouldn't be the new one. There's only 2 trucks on the planet I can actually say would Still sell today like that. Those 90's Chevy's and those 67-72 Chevy's. In my book those are still the best looking trucks ever made. Ford finally has timeless truck designs like those 2 in the Super Duty and F-150. I'd rather they didn't screw them all up just for the sake of doing so. No thanks.

ohhhhh....just look at that man step on the back of that ford pickup truck. that is right up my alley! kudos to ford for offering the man step and that neat tucked up frame!

Posted by: tinker bell | Apr 2, 2012 1:26:37 PM

I agree 100% tinker bell and I praise Ford for offering the
Women & Man step. The other automakers need to get on the bandwagon and offer similar things. A friend of mine knows an engineer inside the Ford camp. He said that Ford was considering offering a pink Mary Kay edition to go along with their Platinum and King Ranch trims. You can never have enough high end trim levels!!! Go Ford!!!


@chevy sucks:
"SK you are an idiot, you obviously DO NOT use your truck for work with comments like " tail gate step is the dumbest idea ever".
Can you step easily into the back of a GM, dodge or Toyota? No you can't. Stop being a hater cause your favorite company has no innovations"

You obviously didn't even read my post. I stated right in the post that I DO use my trucks for work (various brands, BTW). If you are loading things into and out of the bed and you need to use a step to get in then you don't need a truck, you need a cargo van with a low flat load floor. Try loading and unloading dirt, stones, mulch, 50lb feed bags, 80lb mortar bags, and other things like that constantly. After doing that for a few days you will understand why a high load floor and the manstep/handrail are a stupid idea. As others have said: if you like it then great, but it shouldn't have made the list of "best options".

And yes, I CAN step in and out of my 1994 Chevy bed with no problems at all ...

bedliners are terrible, all they do is promote rust and destroy the bed of your box -water gets between the metal bed and bedliner and sweats in there causing mega rust, sprayliner is the way to go for sure, if your having the sliding problem over the sprayliner, simply throw a sheet of plywood in the bed of your truck- problem solved.

yes SK you are an idiot, if your going to use your truck for hauling dirt or loose materials then dont get the man step or simply put some poly over top to prevent the problem.

Lou gave you all the specs on heights so you're wrong there also. I think you should have just simply said I hate Ford and I am a Chevy guy, I am here simply to troll and put down anything that is not GM...sound right?

lets use some common sense here people, geesh

@Jeff - the "man step whether it be on the tailgate or box sides gets panned because guys believe Chevy advertising PR stating that the Ford trucks sit much higher than the Chevy trucks. As I have posted, there isn't a big difference in load in or lift over height. Does the manstep need to be on the "top 10" BEST options. Probably not. Most of the things on this list don't make sense to me.
What are my Top 10 Need to have options?
1. Locking/limited slip rear differential. A pickup or van is next to useless in poor weather, on poor roads, or offroad without this option regardless of 4x2 or 4x4. It is more critical in 4x2.
2. Armor for pickup box - that can be bed rail protectors, factory liners, tailgate protectors etc. If you use your truck as a truck you need to reduce the wear and tear on the reason why you bought the truck in the first place - the box.
3. Trailer towing hitch - another reason why many buy a truck - to tow. It also makes for a secure mounting point for tow straps etc.
4. Block heater - If you live anywhere that sees cold weather, this is a must have.
5. Integrated trailer wiring and brake controller. Every vehicle I've ever had with the exception of my current truck, I've had to wire up myself. You can buy kits that plug in to existing systems, but nothing seems to be more sanitary than the factory set up.
6. Power/tow mirrors. I've driven trucks with and without power mirrors. Being able to fine tune one's mirrors for various conditions is great. I think that I will slot in back up camera's and sensors in this category. After driving a truck with them, just like having power mirrors - I won't go back ;)
7. The longest available pickup box in the truck configuration I want. As far as I'm concerned in this area - size matters.
8. Seating - it must provide safe comfortable seating for the number of passengers I plan on carrying. Minimum of 4 with shoulder belts and head rests. I also need adequate room in the cab for 2 large dogs and 1 rat dog. For me = a crewcab.
9. Engine - I don't care about how big it is as long as it pulls and hauls what I want. I do want to have a good selection.
10.4x4
Well, here are a few more:
11.Mud flaps, side steps or runnning board type side guards. If one spends considerable amounts of time travelling down gravel road or roads "sanded" with coarse road aggregate will reduce the damage to the paint and extend the life of the paint. I've seen trucks that look like they've been sandblasted
12. After all that I'd probably throw in the tailgate/side steps as I use mine all the time. Even my 12 year old black lab can use the step to climb out of the back of my truck.
13. I like the Handsfree phone.
14. I'd probable slot in cargo management at 14 but that is one area that I feel can be much better addressed by the aftermarket.
I could stare at this for days and change my mind or readjust priorities based on my mood.
The first 5 are mandatory as far as I'm concerned. The rest are luxury items.

@Lou:

Thank you for the numbers but as you know those vary greatly depending on model and configuration. According to the 2012 info on the Chevy and Ford websites for both 1500/F150 and 2500/F250 the Chevy numbers can vary from 32.7 to 35.1 and the Ford numbers from 33.6 to 37.7. So the difference in height could be anywhere from 0.9 to 5.0. Five inches is a big difference. BTW -- I like your "best options" list better than the PUTC one.


@Dean:

So I've been frequenting this site for years but now I'm a troll. And all because of a post from someone whose screen name is "chevy sucks" and called me an idiot in his first reply (and now you did too)?

If you read my posts I never called anyone names and I NEVER said I hated Ford (as a matter fact I said in my last post that I own and use many different brands on a regular basis). You and "chevy sucks" made this a Ford vs. GM argument. I never said one brand was better, I just said the tailgate step should not have made this "best options" list and explained why.

I think we all know who the trolls are ...


@SK

you may not be a ford or brand X hater but your post came across that way and after reading all these boneheads bicker about mine is better blah blah blah it struck a nerve. Your man step comments made no sense, i would certainly not stop buying Fords(not saying you said that either) because i was worried my man step would get dirt in it, i would either not order it or put poly over it (poly if i only hauled dirt the occasional time) The step in my opinion is sheer genious, its so simple its stupid, if the chevy guys had this innovation on their truck first the ford/ram guys would probably be razzing the chevy guys and so on. Anyways myself and im sure others get sick of the bickering and mine is better attitude, be nice to have posts based on the subject at hand for a change.
cheers

@sk - I had looked at the Crewcab 1/2 tons because that is what I own. I think that for most guys the height isn't a big deal.
Chevy probably used the "tallest" Ford and the "shortest" Chevy for their adds. I had read that all of those "attack" adds backfired for Chevy as many took a look at Ford and Ram because of them.
My brother in law has the tailgate step on his truck and he's never used it. I use mine all the time. I even have a ramp that sits on it. Handy for loading and unloading stuff and getting my old dog into the truck. I've hauled broken cement blocks, gyprock etc to the dump when doing some reno's and I found that the deep ribs in the tailgate/pole armor were a bigger hindrance than the pole itself. If I did that sort of thing on a daily basis, I wouldn't want the step.

dont forget the real man step,,,,the most invention from ford years and years of development...and office on the go,,same engineer,,,,wow



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