Talk to me about 1/2 ton trucks

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    Talk to me about 1/2 ton trucks

    The time has come to replace my 2002 Dodge ram 2500 ctd 4x4. I will be honest, I really really really want another 2500 4x4 diesel... though when I think with my bigger brain, a 1/2 ton gas truck will do everything I need. I have nothing to tow, in the future I "might" buy a boat or a camper. A 3/4 ton gas is also a consideration at this time.

    I want 4x4, 4 doors, and preferably a bed 6' or longer. I have been looking at 2015+ trucks, budget around 30k, though when I was looking at diesels we had a budget around 50.

    So of the big three, any years/motors/transmissions I should avoid or stay away from?


    (or should i throw caution to the wind, you only live once and buy a diesel)

    #2
    It pains me to say this, but go 3/4 ton dodge gasser. My buddy got a 16 power wagon last year, and I like that interior far more than the fords. If you were going to work it regularly, I’d recommend the Ford, in my experience they hold up far better as work trucks. The dodge will get you more options for a lower price point, and the 6.4 is a pretty stout motor.

    If you are going new enough to get a Ford with the 10 speed, I’d do that over the dodge though. The 6.2 is a workhorse of an engine (you will have to run the piss out of it if you are working it hard, but it’s built to take it and it will take it all day long) and the 10 speed is a huge leap forward over any auto trans in the past 20 years. It feels weird to drive, but it’s going to live a lot longer and get a load moving a lot easier than any six speed ever would.

    And I say this as a die hard gmt800 fan boy, I’m on my second one and will keep buying them until they all rust away (the seats are the absolute most comfortable seats ever for my fucked up back), fuck the new gm trucks. In addition to being completely hideous, the interiors feel like shit and I feel the build quality has dropped down to the level of 2000ish Chrysler.
    PM Trampas for all of your moderation needs

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      #3
      Riding in my coworkers Ram (2017?) with the 8 speed or 10 speed or whatever it is. That thing shifts up and down ALL the time. He doesn't notice it at all when I asked him about it, but that's all I can notice when we're driving around, is how often it shifts up and down.

      Drives me nuts. But I don't own any automatic transmission vehicles, so maybe I notice it because I'm used to shifting.


      If you really want a 2500 diesel, then get it.

      If I were looking for a new-ish truck, I would get a Dodge/Ram because I think they are the only one still offering a manual transmission.
      - Buck

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        #4
        I inda e-know you from following your recent schooling journey. Don't buy a half ton. Don't step down. You'll waste your money, always want another diesel, and you will be buying one within 2 years. You'll end up talking a bath on that half ton on the process because the depreciate way faster.

        I've only had half ton trucks until recently. They really aren't meant for people like you and me. Now that I have a Cummins 2500 I realize just how hard I struggled to make my half tons do what I needed them to. After my recent towing road trip with my ram I was convinced I made the right choice and it was worth the price tag.

        My wife towed an empty trailer once and in a neighborhood with my half ton. She was white knuckling the wheel and didn't feel confident. She hated it. On this trip she saw I was exhausted and offered to take over between rest areas. She was a little fearful. Within 15 minutes of towing with my ram she had one hand on the wheel, the adaptive cruise set at 70 and she was singing along with her music. That's how night and day the trucks are.

        Sure, my 05 Silverado could have done the job, but not with the confidence my ram did. Half ton trucks are just 80's sedans with a big trunk. They are made for people that tow a pop up or bass boat occasionally and commute to the office the rest of the time. I know that ain't you!

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          #5
          Originally posted by dnsfailure View Post
          Riding in my coworkers Ram (2017?) with the 8 speed or 10 speed or whatever it is. That thing shifts up and down ALL the time. He doesn't notice it at all when I asked him about it, but that's all I can notice when we're driving around, is how often it shifts up and down.

          Drives me nuts. But I don't own any automatic transmission vehicles, so maybe I notice it because I'm used to shifting.


          If you really want a 2500 diesel, then get it.

          If I were looking for a new-ish truck, I would get a Dodge/Ram because I think they are the only one still offering a manual transmission.
          That's funny about you noticing and being annoyed by the transmission shifting. My sister in law has a JL and all I notice is it shutting down and starting when you stop. It drives me nuts and if I'm the driver I shut it off.
          I'm a Chevy fan but if I was going to buy a new 2500/3500 it would be a Ford with the 460.

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            #6
            The new Rams are pretty nice. I would look at a 6.4L Hemi with the 8 speed. Everyone I have talked to has nothing but good things to say about the 8 speed. It shifting constantly is a good thing, it keeps the engine in it's power band. The trucks with the 6 speed like my 2018 2500 are more annoying to me as they will actually lug the engine a bit and then suddenly leap forward when it downshifts as you give it more throttle to maintain speed. I've gotten used to holding throttle until it starts to chug around, then I let off the throttle completely and when I get back into it a second later, it downshifts smoothly and maintains speed. I think it's a programming issue, but they don't seem to be doing anything about it. Damn I miss having a manual transmission! But yeah, you couldn't give me a 1/2 ton from any brand. They are just cars with beds now.
            1988 Dodge Ramcharger 2018 Ram 2500-Sleipnir
            Odin Owns Ye All

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              #7
              Love my 2018 F-150 with the 2.7 and 10 speed. Dont notice it shifting, love the turbo in the mountains. Have towed a loaded 16'enclosed cargo trailer, probably 6k fully loaded and it pulled it flawlessly. I prefer it over any of the variety of 3/4 and up trucks we have at work. Even the 2019 F-550. They just ride to rough for the occasional towing I do.

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                #8
                I'm in the same boat as OP.
                Really been looking at F150's mainly because of the trailer backup assist. I get sick of having to pull the horse trailer when my wife and daughter go to events. Horse events are not my thing. So, if that feature helps my wife back up a trailer, I'll go that route. Or she can just man up and learn but for some reason she freaks the fuck out when she tries.
                Also, I never pull more than ~8k. 3.5 eco or 5.0 is what I'm looking at but not opposed to the 2.7 eco if the price is good.
                opinions are welcome!

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                  #9
                  If you are set on 1/2 ton, put a set of Firestone airbags under it day one. They make a world of difference towing or hauling anything in today's cars with beds. The kit I put on my Tacoma ran me around $300 and I helped a friend put a kit on an F150. Install for both was bolt on and all we had to do was remove factory bump stops.

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                    #10
                    Food for thought. A modern 1/2 ton has an equal tow capacity to a 90's one ton.

                    Airbag a half ton and maintain an E rated tire and I don't see how you could go wrong.

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                      #11
                      I've seen mexicans haul damn near an entire house with a little datsun...
                      - Buck

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Action Fab View Post
                        Food for thought. A modern 1/2 ton has an equal tow capacity to a 90's one ton.

                        Airbag a half ton and maintain an E rated tire and I don't see how you could go wrong.
                        Almost all the 1/2 tons I have looked at, have the same or more tow rating then my 02 CTD.

                        I do question how the 1/2 ton would pull it vs my current truck though.

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                          #13
                          will a dealership let you tow something during a test drive? that would probably put it to rest, if 1/2 ton works for you or not.
                          - Buck

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                            #14
                            I went through this last year. Spent a little over a year in a 2018 Ram 2500 with the 6.4. After two plus months in the shop, and no real end in sight, I cut bait and went to a 2019 Chevy 1500. Dealing with Ram and their service left a pretty bad taste in my mouth.


                            Mine has the 5.3 and 8 speed transmission. Yes, the front end leaves something to be desired, but I don’t stand outside looking at it enough to be annoyed. It has grown on me over the past few months, but I also liked the cat eyed chevys. It has the larger 4 cab that came with the redesign. The bed is 69.6” or something goofy like that. The engine and transmission have been flawless over the last 14K. My biggest gripe is the mushy shocks.

                            Time will tell if I stick with a half ton, or go back to a 3/4 ton after this. Can answer more specific questions if you have any. I considered Chevy, Ford, and Toyota when making my decision.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Aggie06 View Post
                              I went through this last year. Spent a little over a year in a 2018 Ram 2500 with the 6.4. After two plus months in the shop, and no real end in sight, I cut bait and went to a 2019 Chevy 1500. Dealing with Ram and their service left a pretty bad taste in my mouth.
                              The idea of this happening makes me livid. I couldn't imagine having a new truck, just to have it break 2-3 times in two years, especially if it left you stranded. At that rate I am better off keeping my 2002.

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