A truck is one of the most versatile vehicles you can buy. When you need a combination of cargo space, towing capacity, room for passengers, and general reliability, a pickup is the way to go. These characteristics are what drive so many new pickup truck owners to this style of vehicle time and again.
If you find yourself in a similar boat, you are probably discovering the many varieties and possibilities trucks and manufacturers have to offer. Size alone is one of the most crucial aspects to a truck. The size of the truck you select will determine how well it performs whether you need it as a daily commuter or professional workhorse. Ford, Toyota, Nissan, and Chevy trucks all offer similar size ranges, often broken down into midsize, light-duty, and heavy-duty varieties.
What are the differences and why are they so important? Here is a general breakdown of the different types of trucks, sizes, and features you can buy and their advantages/disadvantages.
Back in the day, trucks were a lot smaller than they are now. Still towering over the sedans and coupes of the time, most full-size pickups were large enough to carry a few people and a decent amount of cargo. Since that time, due to advances in technology in automotive design, trucks got a lot bigger. These advances have allowed them to carry even more supplies and equipment while offering a better, more comfortable interior for passengers.
Despite these advances, some people still long for the days when trucks were more manageable in size. Better maneuverability and fuel efficiency (with the right engine choice) are all reasons people seek something smaller in a pickup. For this type of customer, the answer is a midsize truck.
Bridging the gap between most cars, SUVs, and full-size trucks, a midsize pickup is perfect when you need something that has more cargo room without sacrificing maneuverability and engine performance. A midsize option is also good for daily driving where you need to park in normal-size spaces or a standard size garage.
Midsize trucks also tend to be good for light trailering and off-roading. The smaller size makes them more nimble off-road when you have to avoid obstacles and debris in front of you. With a towing capacity ranging between 3,000 to 6,000 pounds, you can also use a midsize pickup as a reliable hauler if necessary.
Choose a midsize pickup when you want most of the benefits of a full-size truck without sacrificing as much fuel efficiency and maneuverability.
The image most people picture when thinking about a truck is that of a light duty model. Considered a full-size truck, light-duty pickups are on the smaller side of the performance spectrum, meaning they often come with lower end engine options and drivetrains. Don’t think, however, that they lag behind when it comes to horsepower and torque.
Most light-duty trucks have a combination of V-6 and V-8 engine choices. Ford and Chevy trucks, in particular, come with many powerful V-6 options that offer better fuel efficiency at the same time. These engines are perfect for light duty work where you need to move around a lot of material or supplies in the bed of the truck or a small trailer.
For daily drivers, even though they are larger in size, light-duty trucks are also perfect for getting around on a daily basis. For the weekends, most light-duty trucks can handle small watercraft and RV campers via the built-in hitch. Towing around 5,000 to 10,000 pounds, most light-duty pickups are designed to handle tasks that midsize trucks can’t.
Starting off the full-size range of pickups, light-duty models are a good introduction to what a truck actually feels like behind the wheel. If you are a first-time truck owner, this can be the perfect choice when you want a real truck while getting some extra fuel efficiency and reliability out of the mix.
When nothing but the best will do, a heavy-duty truck is the only option to consider. Coming with the best engine options, most reliable drivetrains, and unique features/options to make professional work easier, a heavy-duty truck is the cream of the crop. Compared to any other vehicles, you will get the maximum amount of towing capabilities possible.
Able to pull loads starting at over 10,000 pounds, a heavy-duty truck is perfect in most professional environments. As a true workhorse, you will find many heavy-duty truck models working on farms, factories, construction sites, and other areas with a lot of equipment and materials to move around.
Since heavier loads can be more abusive on a vehicle’s chassis and drivetrain, heavy-duty trucks are designed and built with this abuse in mind. Therefore, you will find a higher degree of reliability, durability, and longevity with most heavy duty options.
Unfortunately, buying a heavy-duty truck comes with a few disadvantages compared to light duty and midsize models. Due to the larger engine size and heavier frame required for towing and hauling larger loads, fuel consumption is significantly increased. Whether you choose gasoline or diesel, expect a higher price to pay when it comes time to visit the gas station to fill up.
Chevy Trucks – Making The Right Choice
Ultimately, the type of truck you choose depends on what you need from a pickup. The final choice should not be about the size alone. While it may be nice to think about driving the largest vehicle on the highway possible, a heavy-duty version may not be the right choice for you. Similarly, something small like a midsize pickup may lack the power and cargo capacity you need on a daily basis.
Sit down and reflect on your list of must-haves out of a new pickup. What are the things this pickup needs to have in terms of features and capabilities? How do you intend to use this future truck? Answering these questions will help you narrow down what type of pickup you actually need.
After that, you will be able to look at different Ford, Toyota, Nissan, and Chevy trucks with an eye towards what will and will not work for you.
No matter which size or brand truck you select the versatility you will find in any of the mid-size, light-duty or heavy-duty trucks on the market today will surely make you a loyal truck owner for years to come.