Sharon J. Rehana
Sharon J. Rehana

Heavy-duty pickup trucks have their own place in the construction market. Few vehicles can handle the job of moving massive loads better than a diesel pickup. Built specifically for work, American manufacturers Dodge, General Motors, and Ford have updated their models with new diesel powertrains to meet more stringent emissions requirements.

Because of the cost associated with producing and maintaining a diesel, the North American market does not offer many options, however, in the construction market there has been a growth in demand, and therefore, supply. Annual U.S. diesel truck registrations have increased to more than 500,000 a year from about 400,000 in 2001.

When used continuously, such as on a construction jobsite, a diesel is more practical; it offers more mileage and fuel use for the end user. On a construction jobsite, workers and equipment need to be transported from one site to another on rough terrain, in a fast, safe way. The heavy-duty pickup is ideal for such conditions.

The Dodge Ram 3500 SLT was designed, engineered, tested, and built to meet the standards of commercial truck buyers. The power on this pickup is delivered from a 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel with 350 hp and 650 foot-pounds of torque, featuring a factory-installed diesel exhaust brake. In addition, it offers a large enough cab to transport crew safely.

Diesel-Power Pickup Truck Manufacturers
Diesel-Power Pickup Truck Manufacturers

The Ford F-450 pickup offers a towing capacity in excess of 24,000 pounds and a maximum payload of more than 6000 pounds. Powered by a 6.4-liter Power Stroke Diesel, it delivers 350 hp at 3000 rpm and 650 foot-pounds of torque. Additionally, it features an integrated tailgate step and stowable bed extender for cargo-hauling flexibility. According to Ben Poore, Ford Truck marketing manager, the Super Duty customer isn't one who buys a pickup because it's cool to have a pickup; they are bought by people who are hauling and towing, often earning their living with their trucks, and their truck has to be as reliable and dependable as they are.

General Motors offers its own line of heavy-duty pickup trucks for the construction jobsite. The Chevy Silverado 2500 HD offers a 6.6-liter turbo-diesel with 365 hp and 660 foot-pounds of torque. The truck is available in regular, extended, and crew cab configurations, with two box lengths.

American manufacturers of these heavy-duty pickup trucks constantly are improving the reliability and workability of the truck's performance, making your choice to pick one more difficult. Whether you are transporting crew, hauling material, or towing equipment, a diesel powered pickup truck offers the power needed using the least amount of fuel for the most amount of mileage.

Sharon J. Rehana
Associate Editor
srehana@hanleywood.com