Four Questions to Ask When Choosing a Truck for Adventure Hauling

 April 11, 2017  3:21 PM

Look outside. You know it’s spring, not because of the birds chirping or the trees budding, but because of the mud. Mud, everywhere. Spring means it’s time to load up your toys and hit the bush, but before you do, you need to make sure you have the right truck for the job. Just how do you go about choosing the right vehicle for your trip?

No matter the purpose, be it quadding, dirt biking or even that early May Long camping trip, as any adventure hauler will tell you, these are the top questions to ask yourself when choosing the right adventure truck.

What am I hauling?

Seems like a ridiculous question, but it’s really about the weight of your toys and how much towing capacity they require. Can your truck stand up to the elements, or are you going to be the laughingstock of the trip? Everyone holes up once in awhile, but generally, you gotta get it done without getting stuck. Whether it is a trailer to pull your bikes, a 5th wheel, or a couple quads in the box, the weight of what you are hauling will determine what towing capacity you’ll need. If you’re not sure, go to your owner’s manual to determine the true weight, and follow this detailed guide to understand the towing capacity required for your adventure.

Which duty of truck has the correct towing capacity?

If you answered the first question, this part’s easy. You know what capacity is required, so now you just need to find the right duty of truck for the job. Your adventure may sound like it requires a heavy duty truck, but to be honest, your options are likely all technically ‘light-duty’ trucks. As much as we all want to be heavy-duty, a one-tonne pickup truck is still just a heavy-duty light-duty truck, boys. If you are towing a fifth wheel or multiple toys on a utility trailer, you may want to try a one-tonne, such as the Ram 3500, which has a maximum loaded trailer weight of 23,400 lbs, or the Ford F350 with a towing capacity of 23,500 lbs. If you are pulling a lighter trailer or just hauling a single snowmobile or quad, a half-tonne truck such as an F150 or Ram 1500 should be just fine. Again, ensure you’re aware of what capacity you need when selecting the correct model of your favourite truck brand.

Can I sacrifice towing capacity for 4WD?

If your adventures are off-road, you may want a truck that gets you through the worst of things with a four-wheel drive train. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it does present some things to consider. Four by four trucks are heavier, meaning they have lower towing capacities. Going back to what capacity you need, based on what you’re hauling, ensure you’re thinking about what terrain you’ll be driving on or through this summer. If you are going off-road or onto muddy areas, you will find yourself relying on four wheel drive quite often; however, two wheel drive is fine for drier areas and harder ground.

What is the most cost-efficient way for me to haul?

Fuel selection isn’t necessarily just about fuel efficiency, if you’re a regular adventurer – there’s quite a lot more to consider. If your hauling needs require a heavy duty one-tonne truck, then diesel is almost surely the way to go, since its low-end torque will help get you moving. If you are only making a trip a few times a year, gas may be your best option, as it will be more cost efficient from an asset standpoint, as diesel trucks cost on average $5,000 to $8,000 more than their gas model counterparts. However, if you are traveling at or over 40,000 kilometres a year, then diesel is the better choice cost-wise, from a fuel efficiency and maintenance standpoint.

Choosing the right truck for your adventure is important, and you want to make you sure you get the right one for the job. If you haven’t found yours yet, come down to your nearest Mac James Motors and test drive the truck of your dreams. You can even apply online now, be approved within 2 hours, and soon be out tracking mud all over your new to you truck.

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