OK, they're not as exciting as their little brothers, and you see few of these on the road that have been modified to aftermarket perfection. They're big and bulky, make a loud racket in stock condition, and are, well, just not cool.
Diesel trucks may not have the same enthusiast appeal as their gas-drinking brethren, but they're the real workhorses of the pickup truck world, and they're definitely here to stay. What they lack in finesse is more than made up in brawny appeal. These trucks can do anything, go anywhere, and can haul approximately 10,000 pounds or more while doing so. This issue's focus is on diesel haulers, and if you've gotten this far in the magazine, you've seen our well-presented array of customized diesel dualies and single-axle trucks, a bevy of diesel-related tech stories, and our very own diesel hauler shootout - all geared to bring about a greater understanding and appreciation of these hard-working big boys.
When talking diesel pickups, there's certainly a lot to appreciate. Most of these trucks come with enough grunt to definitely get the job done. Consider the latest Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty pickup, which has an impressive 325 hp and a whopping 600 lb-ft of torque. This is enough power to tow 12,000 pounds (with a 4:10 axle ratio) and turn the quarter-mile in 16.8 seconds. If you need more power than this, we suggest getting a Class B license.
Why would you consider a diesel truck? Well, if you've been following our popular boating section, you know a lot of those boys haul big boats to and from rivers and lakes, and the perfect match to that radical boat is often a radical diesel truck. It gets you to the water with ease, and in most cases, the price of diesel fuel is a welcome change from gas. And, as our aging baby boomers can attest (myself included), many of us will be hitting the road in the coming years in diesel pickups, hauling fifth-wheel and travel trailers to picturesque locations during retirement years and vacation opportunities. Diesel trucks, which have always been a big thing in Europe, will definitely gain in popularity in the U.S., as demands for alternative fuels and powerplants become overwhelming and lifestyles change to welcome a new surge of diesel popularity.
In addition, who says you can't modify and refine a diesel truck the same way as a gas-driven hauler? There's a strong aftermarket niche for diesel pickups that addresses everything from performance enhancements to towing accessories, to special dualie applications. We've seen some sharp-looking diesels out there over the years, and their ranks are sure to increase.
In this issue, you might have noticed our diesel hauler shootout. Much like our Truck of the Year and SUV of the Year competition, the Truckin' staff spent countless hours on the road and on the test track putting these big boys through their paces. My hat again goes off to all the staff who participated in this testing. Their professionalism and thoroughness really came through, paying off in a comprehensive and enlightening series of articles on the merits of the current crop of diesel haulers.
Never discount the lineup of heavy-duty diesels. Their dependability (usually offering more than 500,000 miles of continuous service), workability, and diverse abilities will make them popular in the years to come.