Talking Trucks Tuesday: The Search for Meaningful Awards

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By G.R. Whale

A vehicle can win an award for almost anything. It can receive accolades because it suits a particular lifestyle, excels at saving the driver (and others) from driver errors, posts a fast lap time or demonstrates durability and dependability.

The trouble with many of these awards, however, is how the criteria are set.

We've seen the same vehicle win "mid-size SUV" and "mid-size luxury SUV" categories for the same year from the same awarding outlet separated by only a 4.2 percent price difference from one trim level to another. We've seen "most appealing" and "most dependable" awards applied to 20 vehicles in the same class. And we've seen North American Car & Truck/Utility of the Year Awards jurors write in favor of diesels because they are "mechanically simpler" than gasoline engines. Maybe the hoods should be opened next time.

We like data- and numbers-based awards, especially where the scoring is presented in ways that allow consumers to draw their own conclusions or adapt findings for their own use. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, Consumer Reports ratings, Challenges and Ward's 10 Best Engines come to mind.

Given the diversity and strategies at play, do awards affect your purchase decision? If yes, which awards do you find most useful and are there any you'd like to see created? Let us know in the comments section below. photo by Mark Williams




Yes, they used to until I bought a new 2011 Tundra. That truck turned out to be a nightmare because of $17K of warranty work. The '11 Tundra has won awards from JD Powers and was recommended by CR.

So, I'll now take the awards with a grain of salt.

If anything, I'd like to see transparency with auto manufacturers repair data.

Innovation and technology should be one of the biggest factors when awarding a new vehicle.

I like the title has 2017 Superduty as the JD Power winner for truck of the year, that for sure is the best truck on the market, just based on number 1 selling for 39 years, no awards needed.

Story is MOTOR TREND truck of year, not JD Power..
A lot of things considered for the picks. To name a couple, safety, technology, ease of use, features, capacity, etc

"We were far more impressed with the performance of the F-350 dual-rear-wheel diesel. Despite weighing in at 8,643 pounds—15 pounds heavier than the Ram 3500 dual-rear-wheel diesel—the F-350 returned an outstanding 16.3/20.5/18.0 mpg city/highway/combined. Excellent in its own right, the F-350's result is all the more impressive compared against the Ram 3500 dually's 13.3/17.3/14.8 result. Did we mention class-leading torque and towing/payload capability? "

"With 30,000 pounds in tow, the F-350 was remarkably unfazed," Chris Walton said. "Sure, there's a sense of weight behind, but not 15 tons. The engine pulled smoothly through the rev range, the transmission clicked off smooth, quick upshifts without surging, and when it came time to slow after the quarter mile, the Jake brake gave me so much compression braking that I felt extremely confident transitioning from off-throttle to gentle braking for the turnaround."

The Super Duties accelerated more quickly and smoothly than their Ram Heavy Duty rivals, braked comparably well, and handled better both on the skidpad and the figure eight. Towing at near max capability, the F-350 was quicker and smoother than the Ram 3500 and felt less burdened. In a trailering slalom test, the F-350 was able to carry considerably more speed than the Ram 3500 and experienced less body roll, increasing driver confidence. The same held true when comparing the gas-powered F-250 to the equivalent Ram 2500.

Just the facts

Durability and dependability is all I care bout.

I prefer innovation. Durability and reliability come down to individual experiences. A 1% failure rate still makes for a bad experience for that 1%.


The family of the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road

2 Dependability based on longevity: 1987-July 2015 full-size pickup registrations.


America's Longest-Lasting Pickups

+Based on IHS Automotive VIO registration data for all brands of GVW 1-3 pickup trucks continuously sold in the U.S. since 1988, Dodge and Ram have the highest overall percentage still on the road.


Hav eyou seen some of the misinformation Chevy and Ram have been putting in their ads lately? Chevy bases longevity on longevity of registrations. And Ram only bases it on longevity of registrations of trucks sold continuously. Since the Silverado wasn't sold in 88 it isn't includes and the Super Duty wasn't available in 88. It is based on registration data. It does not capture durability and reliability. I guess that's what years of frustration will do. Because Ford has the best selling truck for 40 years.

Most useful awards:
1) sales data (best selling year after year you know it has to be good)
2) shootout
3) Safety Awards. F-150 only truck that's gets a IHS Top Safety Pick and 5 Stars from the gov.

If I don't recognize the company or agency giving the award or rating, then it means nothing to me. Too easy for a company to create a shill to "Award" themselves "Best Doomaflotchie" as a sales gimmick.

Best value 4x4 work truck 1500. That's what I want to see compared and award

Just imagine if the new duramax beat the Ford ,,,for better puller so people get a super duty for the gadget not for power right ,,

Just imagine if the new duramax beat the Ford ,,

Posted by: Miath | Nov 15, 2016 1:18:10 PM

That's not an imaginary thought, that's a foregone conclusion.

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