2018 Best Half-Ton Truck Challenge: Judges' Deep-Dive Videos

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There's nothing better than sitting in the shade of a porch shielded from the hot late-summer Tennessee sun with three truck-loving auto writers while talking about anything and everything related to the latest crop of half-ton pickup trucks.

Related: What's the Best Half-Ton Truck for 2018?

You've already read the results of our 2018 Best Half-Ton Truck Challenge and heard the judges talk in a fairly focused manner about what they thought were the highlights from the competition, but you might be surprised about how far and wide the discussions ranged during that same sit down. To recap, we were talking about the five competitors in our Challenge: the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the 2018 Ford F-150, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500, the 2019 Nissan Titan and the 2019 Ram 1500.

Our video team kept the cameras rolling as we got deeper into the topics of bed technology and GM's advancements that make max trailering and payload capacity clear to owners. Not that humans will ever stop doing stupid things, but thanks to GM's new policy of posting exact capacities for each pickup on the truck's doorjamb sticker, every Chevrolet or GMC half-ton pickup owner will have the knowledge they need before towing or hauling. We always like to see manufacturers err on the side of safety and the new door-tag strategy — one that is not mandated by the federal government — is the type of decision we like to see manufacturers make, especially if it could prevent an owner from doing something dangerous.

The two videos below provide even more information about how we assessed and compared these new half-ton trucks against each other. As you might guess, we could have talked for another hour about all sorts of topics, but we had to cut it off somewhere.

Cars.com photos by Christian Lantry

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Great feedback and insights from the video team.

At least with the GM trucks you know what your capabilities are.
No best in class crap, just the truth.
Love the power tailgate option.

Chevy wins again.

The GM twins are the most cleverly designed trucks you can currently purchase.

Mark Williams- are you still going to post a detailed right up?

Where is the report on the Rivian pick up truck. So bored of oil burners. Rivian will reveal the truck in 10 days, what is wrong with you Mark Williams?

Crap?

Chevy wins again...Posted by: papajim's personal financial advisor | Nov 20, 2018

Correction: Papajim actually employs several advisors based on their respective specialty. One handles the stocks, one for bonds and fixed-rate securities, one for precious metals & gems and the other is presently in training.

Indeed. Chevy wins again.

Actually GMC won,Chevy ended up in 4th.

The GM twins are the most cleverly designed trucks you can currently purchase.
Posted by: GMSRGREAT

Lets see if that translates into full size sales leader. Short of that these " new " GM trucks will be like all the previous. " new" trucks which fell short. When the 3 yrs old truck is only 15 point behind one of the GM wonder trucks you really got to wonder - what were they thinking???

GM showing the way to to a more mediocre way. Let's face it, for a new truck they didn't exactly swing for the fences. Playing it safe gets you a truck that can safely say it can beat a Titan.

$12000 off the 5.3s hereabouts, resale is gonna rock with these things.

When was the last time Ford or RAM had a better truck than GM? (excepting the Cummins, of course).

It must have been way back in the 60's or something.

Ford did have that straight 6 which was pretty reliable.


But man, since then, Ford just has been a crumbling investment.

When the 3 yrs old truck is only 15 point behind one of the GM wonder trucks you really got to wonder - what were they thinking???


Posted by: GM Blows Chunks | Nov 20, 2018 7:48:34 PM

It is nearly 2019, your truck is now a 4 year old design. Oh, the 2016 GMC beat your Ford back then.

https://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/01/whats-the-best-light-duty-truck-for-towing-2016-texas-truck-showdown.html

To be clear, GM is by no means the first to put a sticker on a vehicle indicating its specific GVWR, curb weight and payload capacity. That’s been a legal requirement for decades for all vehicles.

My 1980 Mazda RX-7 has a sticker telling me that, as well as my 2009 F-150 and my 1991 F-150 before that. You can find the sticker for your vehicles in the drivers side door jamb.

The only potentially new thing GM might be doing is putting another sticker in a more visible location on the vehicle and might be including more details. I have seen older trucks from various manufacturers include GAWR (front and rear) and GCW, though, but those details are less consistently presented.

Fun game: go to a dealership (doesn’t matter which brand) and ask how much payload capacity a fully loaded half ton has. Once they quote you the maximum possible (leaving out the “when configured correctly”), show them the door jamb sticker on one of the fully loaded trucks on the lot. Their expression is usually pretty priceless when they see the actual capacity.

That's a very good idea with the vehicle specific information on the decal. Everyone needs to copy that from the bailout baby.

What is AB talking about? Trim/option specific payload has been on the door jamb for decades.

@all -- Thanks to all for the comments and feedback. This was an experiment for us and, for the most part, we think it worked pretty well. Will likely do something like this again.

--Judges story is on the way. We're figuring out best way to make the scoring in each category easy to read. Have to create a few more charts.

--Rivian info on the way. We've been talking to them for a while and they look like they're ready to make a splash.

--good catch on the payload and GVW numbers. And love the idea of holding sales people accountable about important issues like individual ratings. It's a safety issue, which is why we like that GM is doing the specific GCW numbers for specific pickups. Hope others do the same.

--Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

I love GM bc they make trucks and don't worry about "best in class " nonsense!

Great video and reviews. Much appreciated

Have a great Thanksgiving Mark.

What is AB talking about? Trim/option specific payload has been on the door jamb for decades.
Posted by: Frank | Nov 21, 2018 6:54:06 AM


Which is a problem if you order a truck. A lot of 2019 Ram Limited owners are getting a nasty surprise when they pick up their new truck and the payload rating on the sticker is 400 lbs less than what Ram lists it at in every brochure and website page. 1,400 lbs is not out of the ordinary.

I think there should be a range for each category for human error and truck configurations. The F150 XL with the 5.0L V8 in 2wd is still the fastest pick up available at sea level. If above sea level at some point the 3.5EB 2wd XL single cab is the fastest truck out there, both faster than the 3.5HO 450HP limited F150 because of power to weight and because you only get 3:55 gears at best, the other models have 3:73 available. Every model will better another model depending on configuration for every single category. What is most important to me as a truck owner is off road ability and I did not see approach and departure competitions, ground clearances or available options such as Rams air ride is a bonus for Ram like no one else has, there should be points for that. What about GM having more truck models available in midsize trim, what about F150 and Tacoma being best sellers, what about Ford offering a F450 when no one else does. What about Titan offering a regular cab but Tundra got rid of theirs. What about Rams 12 inch screen or GM's available bumper step. Where are the points for available options for each brand. You gave the Raptor extra off road points just because it had 4 tow hooks, what if I wanted sway bar disconnect? you gave no points to Ram Power wagon in that competition for that or for having an available winch. Then there is human error.

What you guys need to do is make an excel spreadsheet where you can add in all these options and assign weight factors based on average opinions that your judges give. Then make the Excel spreadsheet available online so people can add their own weight factors. And I mean everything from available engines to heated seats and center shifter to gear shifter to knob shifter and best windshield wipers. Leave no stone untouched and readers will add to the list every year. There should be at least 500 categories just to start then in two years it can grow to 1000, don't forget fuel types and cost per mile via electricity premium regular or diesel summer or diesel winter mpg. You see how complicated this can get. But it would be one hell of an article to pull off and you will never get it completely right as we can always keep adding to it. Don't forget paint and sticker packages, tire options, back seats in the Ram recline, there's 100 points for Ram, Ford offers an F450, there's 100 points for Ford, Tundra has a rear window that completely comes down, there is 100 points for Tundra, Titan offers the only large diesel in a half ton, there is 100 points for Titan, GM is the only one to offer two brands in each category, 100 points for GM, Honda is the only truck that drives like a car, there is 100 points for Honda but that's all they get.


It is nearly 2019, your truck is now a 4 year old design. Oh, the 2016 GMC beat your Ford back then.
Posted by: GMSRGREAT

I wish to thank you for making my point. So back in 2016 the Sierra was 34 point ahead. Now in 2018 the 2019. " New" truck is only 15 points ahead of the truck which by your words nearly 4 yrs.old. Seems like GM is going backwards against an older design. That my friend is Major Fail. Perhaps the next " New truck" will be 7 point ahead if the points trend continues, Lol!!

I love GM bc they make trucks and don't worry about "best in class " nonsense!

While GM may not use the " best in class"
They do prefer and use the phrase " Best in Segment".


@ casual

And they do show up and win comparisons..so thank and yes they are best in segment!! Eapecially in performance and that's what matters to many in a truck.

Good day! Happy Turkey day

GM sells maybe 5% of full-size trucks with a 6.2. Ford"s 2.7,5.0 and both 3.5's are faster than a 5.3. Maybe 5% of Ford trucks are sold with the base V6. So logic says 95% of trucks sold by Ford are faster than 95% of trucks sold by GM. Actually logic says it is greater than 95%. The percentages could change in 2019 with the diesels and GM's 2.7. Now that is performance that is not lost to the truck buying public. This is likely why GM is losing full-size market share.

Perhaps the next " New truck" will be 7 point ahead if the points trend continues, Lol!!


Posted by: F.farce@yahoo.com | Nov 21, 2018 10:09:44 PM

Even with your spin, it is still a GM win.

GM sells maybe 5% of full-size trucks with a 6.2. Ford"s 2.7,5.0 and both 3.5's are faster than a 5.3. Maybe 5% of Ford trucks are sold with the base V6. So logic says 95% of trucks sold by Ford are faster than 95% of trucks sold by GM. Actually logic says it is greater than 95%. The percentages could change in 2019 with the diesels and GM's 2.7. Now that is performance that is not lost to the truck buying public. This is likely why GM is losing full-size market share.
Posted by: just the truth | Nov 22, 2018 10:39:25 AM

0-60 times has nothing to do with which truck is best. The F-150 as it exists today is one of the weakest trucks in terms of durability and being able to perform the role trucks were originally meant for. The bed is weak and prone to cracking. The IFS is weak and soft. The rear leaf spring packs tend to be some of the softest and prone to excessive sag with a load in the bed. And like others have pointed out, its 4x4 design is extremely unreliable and weak. Plastic actuators, plastic vacuum lines, plastic solenoids, plastic check valves, pot metal components. It's like Ford asked the Dollar Tree to design their 4x4 hub lock system. The Dollar Tree said sure and we'll throw in a free dash while we're at it.

It's like Ford asked the Dollar Tree to design their 4x4 hub lock system. The Dollar Tree said sure and we'll throw in a free dash while we're at it.
Posted by: Vincent | Nov 22, 2018 2:57:26 PM


That explains why the 2015-19 F-150 dashes melt in the sun lol...

Lets see if the GM trucks wins over Ford with the buying public in 2019.
That is worth more than all awards and testing results combined.

https://youtu.be/oZf2Ktyji_Y

Tfl likes the GMC Denali. Says it rode as good even better than ram

New Ford diesel was huge disappointment!

Great job GM!

Tfl likes the GMC Denali. Says it rode as good even better than ram

New Ford diesel was huge disappointment!

Great job GM!


Posted by: TNTGMC | Nov 23, 2018 3:22:56 PM

MotorTrend TOTY 2019 Ram. Where's the game changer??

https://www.motortrend.com/news/ram-1500-2019-truck-of-the-year/

@ it

Ram is good truck. Where is the Ford? Oh ya. Diesel is a joke. Lol




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