Pickup Of The Year: You Guys Are Lame
I am disappointed in your latest Pickup Truck of the Year test (March '08). I think you did a very poor job comparing the trucks. I would think that if someone really wanted to do a good comparison, try using all the 1/2-ton trucks on the market. Chevy, GMC, Nissan, and Mazda all got excluded from the test. If you are going to compare something, why not compare apples to apples instead of apples to oranges? The Dodge Dakota is all by itself in the test, as is the Toyota Tundra. Then you have the Dodge 2500 diesel and the Ford F-250 diesel, which isn't even a fair test because you never used a Ford with a Crew Cab, and why not option the Dodge with off-road tires and a limited-slip differential or the Off-Road package like the Ford.
If you are going to compare pickups, compare all the 1/2-tons, or all the 3/4-ton diesels or gas, and don't leave the Dakota to compete all by itself against four larger, more powerful trucks. Last but not least, do a price comparison, because if I had all the money in the world I would not buy an F-250 extended-cab shortbox.
Ultimately, if I was Editor, I would be embarrassed to publish such an article.
Grove City, PA
P.S. How much did Ford pay to win the "test"?
Editor: Maybe we missed something, but when did Mazda start building a 1/2-ton pickup truck?
As we've stated before, Pickup Truck of the Year is-and always has been-limited to vehicles that are either all-new or substantially revised for the upcoming model year. The purpose of the test is to showcase the latest in new-vehicle engineering and design, and to pick one model which we think represents the best new example of four-wheel-drive pickup-truck technology for the coming year. It is not, and never has been, a direct comparison test between all vehicles in any single class.
On a related note, we do have plans in the works for a 3/4-ton gas-engine direct-comparison test. Keep an eye on these pages in the next couple of months.
As far as options are concerned, we do ask each manufacturer to equip their test rigs with all available off-road package options if applicable, including lockers, skidplates, all-terrain tires, and so forth. But in the end, we test whatever the manufacturers choose to deliver to us.
And no, we have never demanded or accepted payments of any type for this test-and for what it's worth, we can't recall any OE manufacturer ever attempting to bribe us with one, either.
Needs Old Harvester 1-Ton Info
Reader: I have a '60 International 1-ton trck that I'm looking to restore to its original glory. It has an inline flathead six under the hood, with 19-inch wheels, a five-speed manual tranny, and a 12,000-pound winch. It needs some work on rust on the box and bottom of the cab. I have looked at Web sites for information and have found nothing but dealers wanting to sell trucks. Do you know of any sites I can look at for parts and information on the truck?
Fond du Lac, WI
Editor: Sure. The Binder Bulletin (www.binderbulletin.org) is a huge repository of information for All Things International, and we'd guess that's a good place for you to start.
Another "Stupid 'Wheeler" TV Ad?
Reader: I am concerned over a TV commercial I have seen over the last several months. It is for a certain type of "six-pack" battery that comes with different-color tops. It portrays a man going to a car dealer and purchasing a 4x4 with oversize tires, then going to his local auto parts store to buy said battery. Of course, on the way he drives over a curb/median, crushing flowers and grass growing there.
To me it seems that if this advertiser were targeting the off-road enthusiast with these ads, they would know better than to show a vehicle displaying this type of disregard.
I have been wheeling for as long as I have been driving (24 years), and I know the issues we face every day, especially here on the East Coast, and that type of thing only negatively affects our sport. Thanks for your time and a great mag.
Editor: And thanks for writing in. We haven't seen the commercial in question, but you're right, advertising such as this only serves to reinforce negative and undeserved stereotypes of wheelers in the public eye. Perhaps a few letters to the manufacturer in question would alert their bosses (or their ad agency) to the problem?
Lifting Your Truck? Adjust Your Headlights
Reader: As a professional truck driver who drives all night, please ask your readers who lift their trucks or load it up to adjust their headlights. You wouldn't believe how many times a night we're blinded by morons with four to eight lights going on in front. And I'd like to punch the guy who invented those bright-ass HID and blue lights. Those should be illegal. If you can't see with your regular headlights on, you shouldn't be driving!
One more thing: in California, if you pull a trailer you have to stay in the right two lanes. I see a lot guys pulling MX'ers, U-Hauls, or Jets Skis at 70 mph in the fast lane. Big ticket!
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Editor: Just about every state has a headlight height law of some sort, as well as restrictions on beam color and/or beam type (LED, HID, et al). We'd strongly advise anyone who intends to lift his 4x4 to make sure he's adhering to all relevant headlight laws-and if you're running aftermarket lights, make sure they're DOT-approved for on-road use. Thanks for the reminder about trailers too.
How To Get My Truck In Four Wheeler
Reader: I was wondering what it took to get into your magazine. I have an '83 Chevy with linked suspension front and rear, 400ci small-block, Turbo 400 tranny, an Ox Locker in the front and a posi in the rear, full cage, 5.13:1s, disc brakes all the way around, and 40-inch Boggers. All the work was done by me. I am only 23 and built this truck on a $15-an-hour budget. It's a real eye-turner.
Editor: Sounds sweet to us. You can send photos of your truck to Four Wheeler, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Or, sign up at http://rides.fourwheeler.com and you can send high-resolution Jpegs to your own "Readers' Rides" page at fourwheeler.com.