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Pickup Trucks Are Getting Huge. Got a Problem With That?
America’s hardest-working status symbols, pickups are exploding in size and eating up roadways. Dan Neil questions these behemoths’ styling...and safety.
Wall Street Journal
By Dan Neil
Aug. 1, 2020

In July, J.D. Power declared Sierra HD the king of the bro-dozers, placing it first in its 2020 U.S. APEAL Study of Large Heavy-Duty Pickups, which tracks owners’ excitement and emotional attachment in the first 90 days.

“The front end was always the focal point,” GM designer Karan Moorjani told Muscle Cars & Trucks e-zine. “We spent a lot of time making sure that when you stand in front of this thing it looks like it’s going to come get you.”

Mission accomplished.

But are pickups really getting bigger, on average, or do they just look scarier? The answers are somewhat and definitely. The average pickup on the road gained 1,142 pounds between 1990 and 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and 730 pounds since 2000.

“One of the most significant changes in that time was the arrival of crew-cab configurations, which added cab space to make them more family and work friendly,” said Mike Levine, Ford spokesperson.

In 2011, a change in the way the feds calculate vehicle fuel economy (the so-called “footprint rule”) gave domestic truck makers incentive to go big. Ever since, GMC, Chevy, Ram and Ford have been locked in a competitive feedback loop chasing best-in-class attributes and capacities—the “towing/hauling” wars. For MY 2019, for example, Ram’s 1500 Crew Cab gained 3.9 inches in overall length over a 4.1-inch longer wheelbase. In the same model-year, the Chevy Silverado gained 1.7 inches in length on a 3.9-inch longer wheelbase.
*Full Article at Link
 

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This is meaningless if we aren't factoring in cab-configuration.

The average pickup on the road gained 1,142 pounds between 1990 and 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and 730 pounds since 2000.

In 1990 I bet close to 50% (maybe more) were Regular Cab, in 1999 "Extended Cab" was the most popular. Today Crew-Cab is in the 75% range.

Have they gotten bigger yes, mainly the front-end, a 2500 Silverado drove past me and the neighbor the other night, (we were walking along the road) :eek:
 

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Ford made their Cabs longer in 2009; the increase by GM and Ram basically caught them up to where Ford has been for 10 years, I don't think the new F-Series "grew".
 

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Its the bigger is better model, more power, more legroom, etc
As Full-size Crew-Cab trucks became one of the "Family Haulers" in the driveway, the growth in size was welcome.

What was the first year GM had a Crew-Cab 1/2 Ton truck? 2007

The one that came out in 2000 was basically a 3/4 Ton truck called/disguised as a 1/2 ton.
 

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As Full-size Crew-Cab trucks became one of the "Family Haulers" in the driveway, the growth in size was welcome.

What was the first year GM had a Crew-Cab 1/2 Ton truck? 2007

The one that came out in 2000 was basically a 3/4 Ton truck called/disguised as a 1/2 ton.
When did Dodge launch its 1/2 ton crew-cabs?
 

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Its the " Bigger is Better" mentality that exists now. Buy a bigger house then you need, buy a bigger vehicle then you need, even restaurant portions, most are enough for 2 people. Some people can't help themselves, brainwashed I say.
 

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Its the " Bigger is Better" mentality that exists now. Buy a bigger house then you need, buy a bigger vehicle then you need, even restaurant portions, most are enough for 2 people. Some people can't help themselves, brainwashed I say.
You mean like "longer, lower, wider?" Bigger is better has been around a long time! Look at the pyramids - each succeeding pharaoh had to have a bigger burial pyramid!
 

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This is meaningless if we aren't factoring in cab-configuration.

The average pickup on the road gained 1,142 pounds between 1990 and 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and 730 pounds since 2000.

In 1990 I bet close to 50% (maybe more) were Regular Cab, in 1999 "Extended Cab" was the most popular. Today Crew-Cab is in the 75% range.

Have they gotten bigger yes, mainly the front-end, a 2500 Silverado drove past me and the neighbor the other night, (we were walking along the road) :eek:
I was thinking the same. Plus, how much has the weight of cars increased due to crash protections and added equipment? Though yes, pickups have gotten bigger, but every type of vehicle has grown heavier. I bet if we knew the weight of all the mandated safety equipment/structure it would be a big chunk of the increase when comparing the same configuration of truck.
 

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So the CAFE mandated that the MPG requirement is F(1/(LxW)) and things got bigger. Color me surprised. Sort of like when the IRS accelerated depreciation of vehicles over 6000lbs and dentists started buying them as their company "car" back in 2011 I think it was. Tax/regulations sometimes have unwanted side effects.
 

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I don't subscribe to the WSJ so I don't know if they give actual specs in the article. Here, I'll hlep:

2021 Ford F-150 2020 Chevy Silverado 2020 Ram 1500 2020 Toyota Tundra
Wheelbase 145.4 in 147.4 in 144.6 in 145.7 in
Length 231.7 in 231.7 in 232.9 in 228.9 in
Height 75.6 in 75.5 in 77.5, 79.6 in 75.8 in
Width 79.9 in 81.2 in 82.1 in 79.9 in
Ground clearance 8.5 in 7.9 in 8.3, 10.8 in 10.0 in

In doing my search I also ran across 2020 Jeep Gladiator and the Toyota Tundra.

1962 Cadillac 6 Window Sedan
Price : $5,211
Weight : 4658 lbs | 2112.833 kg
Seating Capacity : 6
Doors : 4
Exterior
Length : 222.0 in | 5639 mm.
Width : 79.9 in | 2029 mm.
Wheelbase : 129.5 in | 3289 mm.
Front Track : 61.0 in | 1549 mm.
Rear Track : 61.0 in | 1549 mm.

Why a '62 Caddy? It was a large standard car in the 1960s, the Caddys got quite a bit heavier later in the decade but I'm not going to beat this to death. I did cut my performance driving teeth--I did lots of drifting (REAL drifting, not the crap they do today)--in a '62 Caddy. By the time I got to Bondurant Driving School they didn't have a whole lot to teach me.
I've maintained for years that the new PUTs are just EPA-driven evolutions of the standard cars of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Bulkier, taller, more ground clearance, quicker, better MPG (?), but thanks to the EPA, the standard '60s sedan lives on. And prospers. Who'd have guessed? :think:

I'll let someone else run the comparative cost/inflation data. In the FWIW department, the front and rear track on my Soul are about the same as the Caddy. Maybe they should call it a Wide Track Tiger? :drive:

For some reason the bot would not let me include links.:confused: New policy?
 

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Its the " Bigger is Better" mentality that exists now. Buy a bigger house then you need, buy a bigger vehicle then you need, even restaurant portions, most are enough for 2 people. Some people can't help themselves, brainwashed I say.
MMMmm...I LOVE the double portion triple portion single meal servings that restaurants do!.

With my waist band expanding from eating meals like these 3 times a day )breakfast,lunch,dinner) I'll need giant truck to carry my family's and I bloated 1st world bodies in.

On the roads these day I see many people who look quite uncomfortable having had squeeeeezed themselves into the front seat of a 2500 HD series pickup truck.
 

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The guy from Unhinged is looking at you....
Yikes!, That look is a look of a man ready to assault someone with a phone. Someone get him a triple portion dinner plate and a bigger truck quick!..My god his head is filling up the window of his F250 he has got to be uncomfortable.
 

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Not only have truck gotten too big but they're also now too expensive for a lot of people. There's a market for smaller, affordable pickups. Ford and Hyundai have figured this out. GM will be late to the game as always.
 

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Not only have truck gotten too big but they're also now too expensive for a lot of people. There's a market for smaller, affordable pickups. Ford and Hyundai have figured this out. GM will be late to the game as always.
They are not ‘too big’
 

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Not only have truck gotten too big but they're also now too expensive for a lot of people. There's a market for smaller, affordable pickups. Ford and Hyundai have figured this out. GM will be late to the game as always.
You mean that Ford and Hyundai are selling a lot of them?

Also like when GM was late to the game when the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 came out and were a massive success? Oh, wait....
 

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Its the " Bigger is Better" mentality that exists now. Buy a bigger house then you need, buy a bigger vehicle then you need, even restaurant portions, most are enough for 2 people. Some people can't help themselves, brainwashed I say.
To a point, bigger is better................ offering more "value" is a way to charge more, i.e. make more money.

Not that going out to dinner is a thing right now, but if I'm going to drop $50 bucks, the place that gives me enough food of lunch or dinner the next day is not a bad thing.

"Brainwashed" seems a bit extreme, but if we are talking bank-accounts; guilty.


I was thinking the same. Plus, how much has the weight of cars increased due to crash protections and added equipment? Though yes, pickups have gotten bigger, but every type of vehicle has grown heavier. I bet if we knew the weight of all the mandated safety equipment/structure it would be a big chunk of the increase when comparing the same configuration of truck.


So the CAFE mandated that the MPG requirement is F(1/(LxW)) and things got bigger. Color me surprised. Sort of like when the IRS accelerated depreciation of vehicles over 6000 lbs and dentists started buying them as their company "car" back in 2011 I think it was. Tax/regulations sometimes have unwanted side effects.
The law of unintended consequences, happens all the time; make rules for people to something, watch and wait.............

"Oh, I had no idea that was going to happen"
 

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They are not ‘too big’
IMHO yes they have gotten to BIG and that is mostly that they make one size fits all and the "medium" sized ones are mostly crummy trucks for full size money
Are they too big or to tall? You can still get single cab, while they are somewhat longer than 20 years ago, they are a lot taller which furthers the impression that they are a lot bigger.
 
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