Texas Draw? A Quick Guide to the Winners of the 2008 Texas Truck Rodeo


Each October, the 40-plus members of the Texas Auto Writers Association gather the latest herd of full-size pickups, SUVs and crossovers to compete in the Texas Truck Rodeo, with one earning the title of "Truck of Texas." The trucks are tested on- and off-road for two days before the jury votes for its favorite rig.

This year's Truck of Texas winner was the new 2009 Ford F-150. Upon hearing the news, Ford rightfully announced its claim to the honor and roped the bragging rights that go along with getting such a distinction in the largest truck market in the U.S.

Chrysler, however, said, "Hold it right there, partner!" The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 was named Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas by TAWA. The Ram's optional RamBox weatherproof, lockable storage system available for the cargo box also won Best Feature.

So what gives? Which half-ton truck do Texas auto writers prefer if they're announcing different winners for seemingly identical awards?

Think of it like the Grammy Awards, where different genres of music get their own award, like Best Country Album or Best Rock Album, but an overall winner is awarded Album of the Year.

In the Texas Truck Rodeo, Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas designates a specific class, as do Crossover of Texas and SUV of Texas, while Truck of Texas is considered the highest honor of all the vehicles TAWA tested. And that's no bull.



I both agree that both trucks (Ford & Dodge) deserves the honors. As these 2 new trucks are offering the customers with more options and more standard packages. Both trucks has their pros and cons.

But as a previous Ford truck owner and now the pround owner of a big off road Dodge Ram 4x4, my choice would be for new Dodge Ram. My choice is simple, after seeing all the 2003-2008 Ford F-150's go through more engines than a newfi (Newfoundlander) drinking beer first hand and all the Dodge trucks that I've seen still with original engines, it makes my choice perfectly clear. Don't get me wrong, I like Ford trucks, but not the engines that they currently (2003-2008) have which is the V8 Triton engines. Nothing sounds as good as a HEMI engine.

I think Dodge and Ford both have great new features to offer the customers. A previous owner of A dodge 1500 and a current owner of 04 F150 i think Ford is the truck of Texas due to the fact when you think Texas you think towing big trailers and hauling equipment and you need a max towing and payload and that would have to goto Ford.

I'd have to give the slight edge to Ford.

the f150 may have the highest tow rating but when hooked up, the f150 is the weakest tow'er.

I like the new F-150, but I like the new Ram better. To me, it seems they have totally redesigned the Ram to look and work a lot better. They finally came out with a true crew cab, a cool/nifty RamBox and a ton of other cool stuff. The F-150 is really nice, but I like the 04-08 styling (don't know about handling yet), a little more than the 09.

It's amazing that two half-ton pickups could be such different vehicles from each other.

We'll publish our 2008 Half-Ton Shootout with all the new 2009 models on November 12, including the new 6.2-L six-speed GM trucks. It'll be one heck of a battle for an all-around winner.

How true, Dodge and Ford's 1/2 ton's are very different. I tend to go for the Dodge with the Ram Box and new/different suspension.

The F-150 is the best truck hands down, as it has been for 31 straight years. I have owned 9 F-150's and has never had 1 negative thing to say about any of them. Dodge needs to hang it up. They make a crappy product. They always have. The "hemi" engine sucks, the suspension sucks, transmissions suck. They have no build quality never have!!! and they are worth absolutely nothing when trade in / auction block times come. I work for an auto auction. We have a Chrysler account, and I see first hand the crap that dodge makes. I firmly believe in the saying that "anything Chrysler can do, somebody else can do better" which is very true. I am NOT a Chevy guy but, I would buy a Silverado before I bought a Ram. Dodge needs to go out of business. Besides when push comes to shove GM and Ford are going to be the only survivors in this economy. Good luck when your Ram gets to 15,000 miles and your truck needs thousands of dollars in warranty repairs and there are no more Dodge dealers. And to say that the F-150 is the weakest in engine choices just wait until the EcoBoost engines come out, and the 6.2L V8 comes out, which I know for a fact Ford is still planning on utilizing in the next year or two. Good Luck Dodge you will need it!!!!!

To "Andy" - good luck to you too, if you get your wish and Dodge goes out of business... If you think that Dodge goes down alone, you're a fool. They'll take a good portion of SE Michigan down with them; suppliers, small business owners, etc. Say good-bye recession, hello depression.

According to consumerrepports.org the F150 engine is "loud and feels strained" I guess that's why "Pickupman" is waiting on the new ecoboost version. As for the hemi engine "sucking" I think he means "sucks the headlights out of 5.4 F150s" (couldn't resist).

The hemi's a great engine, both power and reliability wise, and unlike Fords 5.4 doesn't need super charging to get to get over 400 horsepower.

I'm not surprised that Ford won. Texas is Ford country afterall. But kudos to Dodge for giving them a run for the money. It will take a very convincing product to topple the blue oval from the mantle. And it sounds as if Dodge came very close. I definitely like the styling of the new Ram better than the Ford. Dodge has designed very creative ways for storing all sorts of things. I would like to say that everybody has the right to their opinions when it comes to who makes the better truck. But I would never wish the demise of any brand just because I happened to favor one over the other. And I certainly would not call an item crappy until it was proven to be so. Recent data from Consumer Reports and JD Powers and Associates have the Dodge Ram 1500 rated higher in innitial quality than the Ford F150. Don't take my word for it. Check it out for yourself. Where I still think Ford is a great product and does have great resale value, they have been slipping in quality as of late. Hopefully this new product will change direction for them. And I also hope that Dodge will stay a part of our American culture for years to come.

The Truck of Texas winner (F-150) is not even eligible to win it's class/segment. The same rule has applied with TX Auto Writers Assoc. in past years. The Super Duty won truck of TX last year but it wasn't eligible for the Heavy Duty Pickup award. The 09 F-150 beat the new Ram - hands down. The Ram was the best of the losers.

Some of you guys haven't obviously read the latest consensus from Consumer reports that says FORD has the best quality of all the American car companies. Their quality is equal to Honda and Toyota. And to say that the only way to get 400+hp out of a 5.4L is bull. These engines are capable of putting out 500hp naturally aspirated, why they don't is anyones guess. The "hemi" engine is not a real "hemi" I am surpised that you dodge guys don't know that. What happened to the good old days when Ford used to clean GM and Dodges clocks with the old 428 cid/460 cid etc. The 6.2L Hurricane is coming watch out Dodge.....

its ashame that none of you have taken notice that toyota has run away from all of the big three. (dual independant variable valve timing, VVT-I).( acoustical controlled induction system, ACIS). a torque converter that is 1.92 to 1 ratio. steeper gears and better fuel economy with out making EPA fuel economy getter model that they don't build much of and cant tow 50% of their capacity claims if you purchase that model. 4.30 gears on the tundra and getting the fuel economy. bigger brakes on the tundra than the big detroit three's 3/4 ton trucks, trapazoidal rear end to keep sway from ever happening in the first place. bigger rear end in ring and pinion size as well and has not 1, not 2, but 3 bearings at the ends of each side of the axle. detroit needs to wake up and stop worrying about who has the most horsepower and torque at the flywheel as that means nothing unless you can get that power to the ground. they are all making a better product than they use to, howerever it is ludacris to say that ford's quality is anywhere near toyota or honda. toyota spends 1 million an hour in just research and development. that is totally unmatched by any manufacturer of trucks. the frame on the tundra costs 3 times as much to manufacture as it would if it were "boxed" and your big three build triple tech frames on all of their HEAVY DUTY trucks before you start slinging mud. its built for compliance so you dont feel every "bump" in the road (and thats the "truth" about trucks as ford says it. :-) and if you wanna talk ponies the 5.7 tundra with the TRD eaton supercharger is 504HP and 550 lb. ft. come and get some thats faster in 1/8 mile than the dodge charger SRT-8. AND THE MOST AMERICAN TRUCK ON THE ROAD BY PARTS CONTENT AND THE ONLY ONE THATS 100% ASSEMBLED HERE ( IN TEXAS)! those are some cold hard facts and yet i still dont want to see anyone go out of business, thats bad for everyone. oh and by the way ford has NEVER outsold General Motors in trucks. only chevy or gmc, i think we'd all agree its the same truck! ford has never outsold general motors collectively. one last rant, almost every single engine built has a damn hemispherical head. so everyone has a "hemi". but definately true its not the 426 hemi from yesteryear. that was a HP monster. :)

The Ford is a good truck but dosnt compare to the Dodge. In recent years ford has had many problems with the f 150. I know from a family member who owns a large construction company. They have a Ford fleet plan only because they are the cheapest. The Ram blows the f 150 out of the water and the only thing that even comes close is the Chevy/GMC.

The comments to this entry are closed.