Three-quarter-ton and 1-ton trucks are the heavy-duty workhorses that many truck owners need. GM, Ford, and Dodge all offer great trucks in this segment and picking the best is very hard. All of them feature strong axles and frames that will hold up to heavy use and abuse. All of them also address the new diesel emission laws. Ford trucks offer a strong gas V10 and a twin-turbo diesel Power Stroke V8. The Power Stroke will whip the others in a race, but it returns poor fuel economy doing it. Ford retains the straight front axle this year and offers good suspension packages. Ford's trannies are strong and durable, and there's also an available trailer towing package that includes a built-in electric trailer-brake controller.
Dodge's heavy-duty offerings get the new Cummins 6.7 turbodiesel that's almost as strong as the Ford's in performance and retains legendary Cummins strength and reliability. A diesel exhaust brake is also standard. The new six-speed automatic in the Dodge deserves mention as a very user-friendly transmission that is strong enough to be in a medium-duty truck. Dodge has a straight, strong front-axle design and a good suspension. The Dodge is also probably the easiest truck of all to modify for off-road use.
Chevrolet and GMC HD pickups are the Off-Road Editor's Pick for heavy-duty pickup though, as the new Duramax diesel returns the best fuel economy of the bunch, and the base gas engine is GM's excellent 6.0-liter V8. The Allison automatic transmission continues to be reliable and just about bulletproof. The trucks are heavy-duty with a beefy frame, coilover front suspension, helical-gear locking diff instead of clutch-pack limited-slip, and many other features that make these the best available today. GM's trucks received a complete redesign in '07 and are fine-looking vehicles.
Now, if I could only own one vehicle to do it all, on- and off-road, it would be the Dodge Power Wagon. It wins the best all-around award because it's a 3/4-ton truck that comes from the factory with 4.56 gears, electric-locking differentials front and rear, an electronic-disconnect sway bar, a 12,000-pound winch, armor, and an excellent suspension with tuned springs and gas shocks - all with a factory warranty! It only comes with the 5.7 Hemi, which does a good all-around job, even if it is a bit thirsty. The Power Wagon will easily tow a medium-size trailer or boat and handles a flatbed with a vehicle on it with ease. Will it tow a two-vehicle trailer with ease? No. The Dodge Power Wagon does just about everything else well.
There you have it - the Off-Road Editor's Picks for best trucks.