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Seven ft. 15 lb. Panels

Travel n corrals mounted on horse trailer

Peace of mind when horse camping

 

Auto Flex air ride suspensionComplete pickup truck leaf spring replacement with air bag suspension. Self levels, improves ride, braking, steering and handling. AutoFlex Review

 

Automated Safety Hitch Help for your Rear Truck Axle, an inline dually

Safety Hitch inline dually

Dramatic Trailer Braking & Turning for Safer Towing

 

1-800-909-7071

Horse Trailer Super Store, shop open until midnight. Selling Cimarron, Logan Coach and Outlaw Conversions
 

EZ connector trailer wire connectionThis is the reliable weatherproof electrical connection for your trailer.
 

Logan Coach horse trailers

Strength of Steel Beauty of Aluminum

Whiz Proof Trailer Floors

 

BIGFOOT Hydraulic Trailer Jacks

Built to Outlast your Trailer, Steel Tank, covered leg

Big Foot steel enclosed foot trailer jack

 

Actuling electric over hydrauliic trailer brake actuator

DirecLink Trailer Brake Controller using your trucks computer with ABS brakes for your trailer from Tuson, best trailer brakes you can buy
 

Cimarron horse trailers

Cimarron Custom Aluminum Horse Trailers

 

Centramatic wheel automatic wheel balancers

Automatic Tire Balancers for Trucks and Trailers

25% to 50% longer tire life, eliminates cupping and tire vibration

 
Gander lock gooseneck lockGanderLock for Goosenecks: Protect your trailer as well as your expensive saddles, bridles, tools and flat screen TV. Goosenecks if you just lock the coupler, the thief's loosen the set bolts, slide out your adjustable coupler Read the Review
 
Express corralsExpress Corral Larger corral that goes up in 15 minutes, down in 10. For your trailer and pasture. Comes in a kit with an aluminum storage box. More.
 

Cattle and Horse Trailers, ask your neighbor

Titan stock trailer

New Polylast Floor video

 

EUREKA!

Saddlematic

Saddlematic power saddle rackMotorized Saddle Rack, save your back and shoulders and energy for your horse ride.

 

Step Above trailer ladderThe Safe heavy-duty trailer ladder you'll use. Read the story...
 

The Flip-Over Ball gooseneck hitch converts to smooth truck bed in seconds.

 

direc

Maximum Trailer Braking Power for Serious Towing Trailer Brakes as fast as your Truck Brakes

 

Newly redesigned PopUp 2 Gooseneck Hitch. More info....

 

Weight Distributing

Weight Distributing Hitches for safe controlled trailer towing. Reviewing Equal-i-zer WDH Click.

 

Sulastic Rubber Springs are a cast hinge embedded with rubber. They greatly improve your trucks ride.
 

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Second Row

Crew cabs account for almost 50 percent of the half-ton market, which was why we asked for trucks with four full-sized doors.

We moved the driver’s seat all the way back and judged each truck by how much room was left for the back drivers side passenger’s knees and legs, seat-bottom angle and back support.

The Toyota Tundra CrewMax had the most room and best seating position and comfort for its back passenger. Our thighs were almost level with our knees and lumbar support was good. There was plenty of legroom.

We liked the Dodge Ram’s new Crew Cab configuration. It doesn’t disrupt the truck’s proportions like the old MegaCab configuration did and there’s still plenty of room, though not as much as in the Tundra.

The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra had identical second rows. They were comfortable but a little on the small side. Entering the rear seat was also a  bit difficult because the door apertures were on the smaller side too.

The Ford F-150 was comparable to the Dodge Ram and GM trucks but we didn’t like the low height and angle of its seat cushion. Our knees were above our hips because the seat was so low.

The Titan had the most cramped second row. Our knees touched the back of the drivers seat. Seat height was a bit below where we wanted it to be and back support was lacking.

Trailer Sway Control

Sway560Both Dodge and Ford are offering trailer-sway control technology for the first time.

 In the case of the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500, its stability control system has been enhanced to counteract unintended trailer motion. It does so by using the truck’s antilock braking and traction control systems to apply individual wheel brakes and/or reduce engine power.

 The Ford F-150 uses a more sophisticated trailer-sway control system: By taking advantage of its integrated trailer-brake controller, the F-150 can apply both its and a trailer’s brakes to stop sway, making the road safer for other drivers, too.

 Built-in Storage

Rambox560All of the truck’s had ample interior storage but we thought the Dodge Ram deserved superior recognition for its all-new dry, lockable bedside bins that go by the name RamBox. The bins make use of empty space above the rear wheel wheels and along the box sides while still leaving enough room to fit a 4x8-foot sheet of plywood in the bed. The Ram also had extra storage bins in the second row load floor.

The Titan also deserved a small amount of recognition for the exterior lockable cubby located in the left fender just behind the rear wheel.

Mirrors

Titandragloaded1560When we put together the specs for the Shootout, we were very clear we’d be performing tow tests with the trucks. Only the Nissan Titan showed up with optional double-lens, extendable trailer towing mirrors while the rest of the herd had standard single glass mirrors.

If you’re going to tow frequently, trailer-towing mirrors are invaluable. We were able to get by with the rest of the trucks because our test sleds used flat metal plates for to weigh them down. It would have been difficult to see around the sides of the trailers if they’d had wide and tall profiles like an Airstream or a boat.

Summary and Winners

We're immensely thankful to all the involved manufacturers for their support putting this event together; any aid aside, you’ll still be doing yourself a favor if you consider their products when shopping for your next truck or accessory. We'd also like to thank the team from Ricardo Inc. who instrumented all the trucks and certified our quarter-mile, hill climb, autocross and brake tests.

And, of course, we're very thankful to you, our readers. We do this for you.

Some are likely to be disappointed with the results because their favorite truck didn’t finish where they expected. Our test is only a snapshot of how specific truck models performed in our week-long test under rigorously controlled conditions, not a comparison of manufacturer half-ton lineups. The results could have been dramatically different had we included other engines or different cab configurations.

To determine the best overall half-ton in our comparison, we created a scoring system that measured the trucks subjectively and analytically. We believe our scoring system reflects how core truck buyers drive and evaluate their half-ton pickups during everyday use. Tests involved moderate to difficult towing situations, and considered towing confidence and safety to be the factors worth scoring, not cup holder size.

The maximum number of points a single truck could have scored was 99 – if it had performed better than every other truck in every test. Analytical scores (power, pulling and fuel economy) and subjective scores (driving impressions and features) were divided near evenly, so empirical data made up 48 points (48.48 percent) and personal opinions made up 51 points (51.52 percent) of the 99. 

The first component of our ratings was points assigned for driving impressions. Impressions were split into three categories: driving empty, pulling a trailer and performance over an offroad obstacle course. For each category, we gave the best-driving truck six points and the least-comfortable truck one point. The rest either drove similarly or had pluses or minuses that canceled out any advantages or disadvantages, so we scored them all with three points. The maximum a truck could have earned for this component was 18 points.

The second component awarded points based on the trucks’ power and pulling capabilities. Points were earned according to where the trucks finished in various time, distance and suspension-travel tests, with the top finisher getting six points and the bottom finisher getting one. The maximum a truck could have earned was 42 points.

The third component awarded points for key features that we think are important in determining how usable a truck is and how confident it makes its driver feel when working the truck hard. Unlike the other components, where points were assigned according to where the trucks ranked relative to each other, each truck could have potentially earned a maximum three points for any feature (except storage, which we assigned a maximum 6 points to because we think the new RamBox was worthy of special attention) – with three points meaning the feature was both available and well-executed. We compiled a list of 10 important features and assigned a maximum 33 points according to availability and execution for each truck.

The fourth and final component ranked the trucks -- assigning 6 points for the best performing and 1 for the least performing – according to how well they did in our fuel economy test.

With 61 points (out of the maximum 99 possible), the Ford F-150 earned the title of 2008 PickupTrucks.com Shootout Best Overall Half-Ton Pickup. The only thing this truck is missing is a powerful V-8 -- it finished last in two of the three pure-power towing tests -- but the rest of its performance and packaging was excellent. It took top spots in both our timed ride-and-handling test and our fuel economy test, and it offers value and features the other trucks couldn’t compete with -- like trailer-sway control, which can manage the trailer’s brakes, and excellent road manners when towing.

Bestoverall560

The Chevrolet Silverado ranked right behind the Ford, with 58 points. It so tremendously dominated the power and pulling tests that it only barely lost to the better-equipped, better-riding F-150. If the Silverado’s fuel economy performance had been even in the middle of the pack rather than last, it would have won this contest.

One interesting side note: The Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado were the only trucks we tested that didn’t have fancy navigation screens.

The Toyota Tundra, with 56 points, took third. If we catch any flak over this Shootout, it will be because the Tundra jumped ahead of the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 and the GMC Sierra. Like the Silverado, the Tundra had excellent power and performance numbers. While it couldn’t beat the Silverado in that category, it beat the Sierra by nine points and bested the Ram by 14 points in those tests. That was enough to push its score up to the third spot. It did very well in the brake and traction-control tests, even though its stability control performance in the autocross was poor. Its lack of towing-support features also lowered its score.

The all-new Dodge Ram took fourth, with 54 points. The Ram got top marks in unloaded ride and for its storage options, particularly the new RamBox bedside bins, but that wasn’t enough to make up for its overall fifth-place finish in the power and pulling tests. We think a six-speed transmission would have made a big difference because the new Hemi V-8 (higher rated than the Tundra’s iForce V-8) had plenty of power but difficulty finding and staying in its peak power band. If you need a very light-duty pickup, the Ram is a great choice.

Perhaps almost as shocking as the Ram ending in fourth place is the GMC Sierra’s fifth-place finish, with 50 points, considering it’s practically a twin to the Silverado. This was thanks to our descending, six-to-one scoring system. Between the Tundra consistently finishing second to the Silverado and the Sierra’s two critical last-place finishes -- in the autocross and brake tests -- the GMC Sierra lost ground that it couldn’t recover. It’s proof that no two trucks are 100 percent alike, even if they roll off the same lines.

The Nissan Titan ranked in sixth place, with 47 points. The truck was the oldest one in our group, and its results reflected its age. Its pulling and power performance was lacking, and it hasn’t kept up with the next-generation technology that makes towing and hauling easier on drivers.

Grandtotaltable560

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