2018 Ford F-150

Truck owners typically use their pickup for one of four things: hunting, hauling, small jobs or transporting family members. Here are the key elements to consider before purchasing a truck destined for one of these uses.

1. For hunting

Hunting trips very often venture along logging roads or even off-road. Such excursions require a truck adapted for these conditions. To safely navigate this terrain, your vehicle needs to include certain features, such as a limited-slip differential, skid plates, high ground clearance and suitable tires. Here are a few models that meet these criteria:

  • Chevrolet Silverado Z71
  • Ram Rebel
  • Ford F-150 FX4
  • Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
  • Nissan Titan Pro-4X

2. For hauling

On the question of which truck is the ultimate workhorse, don’t expect a consensus among truck drivers. This much, however, can be agreed upon: if you’re pulling a heavy load, you need a heavy duty diesel truck; and if it’s a reasonably-sized trailer or boat you’re towing, or a motorcycle or snowmobile, a smaller truck will do the job. That said, no two trucks are made equal. Looking at the figures, here are a few that stand out for their towing capabilities:

  • Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost: has the top towing capacity at 12,100 lbs and also has the most power and most torque.
  • Ram Ecodiesel: has the best fuel efficiency and can tow up to 10,670 lbs.
  • Chevrolet Silverado 6.2: can tow up to 11,460 pounds and is particularly enjoyable
  • to drive.

3. For small jobs

Bigger isn’t always better. If you want a good all-round truck designed for smaller jobs, here are some models to consider:

  • Honda Ridgeline: an excellent choice for people who want the best of two worlds: the practicality of a truck and the feel of an SUV.
  • Toyota Tacoma: this indestructible Toyota model continues to be a synonym for reliability and durability. Not the most comfortable truck, but it’s tireless and can easily venture into the thicket.
  • Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Canyon: less for work, more for pleasure, these two GM trucks aren’t suitable for big jobs, but can manage smaller ones perfectly.

4. For families

The phrase “family vehicle” usually brings to mind vans and SUVs; however, trucks can certainly fall into this category too. Certain models can comfortably seat six people, all while providing a ton of space in the back. There are in fact a number of trucks designed specifically for families. Here are several examples:

  • Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra: these are the largest trucks of the bunch, with the most spacious interiors. They also offer the greatest number of family-oriented features, such as Wi-Fi Hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • Ford F-150: some F-150 models are highly luxurious and include impressive SYNC voice-recognition technology and touch screens.
  • Ram 1500: the only truck on this list with independent suspension and therefore the smoothest ride.
  • Toyota Tundra: it isn’t the most spacious, and it’s far from being the most comfortable, but it’s the most dependable (no small thing).