Truck Trend Letters to the Editor

Emissions Check

Apr 11, 2016
Photographers: Truck Trend Editors
Photo 2/6   |   001 2016 Ford F 150
Absent F-150?
As an avid reader of your magazine, I am very curious why the ’16 Ford F-150 was not in the Pickup Truck of the Year competition. If there was an explanation in your testing article, I missed it. Since the Ford is the only aluminum truck, I feel all the more it should have been included.
Mike Day
Via Email
Simple and easy how can you have a Pickup Truck of the Year comparison and not have the best selling truck in the U.S., the Ford F-150?
Ben Purifoy
Via Email
This is a very simple question to answer. To be eligible for the Pickup Truck of the Year competition a vehicle must be either all-new or significantly revised. You may have noticed that the all-new ’15 Ford F-150 won our 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year test. However, no major changes had been made between ’15 and ’16, rendering the pickup ineligible. However, you can be assured that F-150 will be back in the test for 2017, hint hint.
Photo 3/6   |   002 Pickup Truck Of The Year Keys
Even More Transparent
Very good job on the May/June ’16 issue. It was a spectacular, fully fleshed-out magazine! Truck Trend has come a long way over the past decade. Congratulations!
Just some quick questions, simple as "a-b-c":
a. Transparency. Yes. This is just the right thing to do. But different people may have different weighting factors of their own that they may want to apply to the purchase of their own new truck. So, in addition to your own weighting factors for Highway, Towing, Off-Road, Interior, Exterior, Functionality, and Empirical (15 percent, 15 percent, 15 percent, 10 percent, 10 percent, 15 percent, and 20 percent, respectively), would you please furnish the raw, unweighted data in each of those seven categories, and let us apply our own factors? For example, mine might be 20 percent, 10 percent, 10 percent, 15 percent, 15 percent, 15 percent, and 15 percent, in which case, would the GMC Sierra have come out on top?
b. Tom DeGideo. This guy is great (I also like the big work trucks). Why not hire him as a staff writer to cover all the larger trucks and broaden his specialty beyond Ford? It need not be an "every issue" commitment but maybe a couple or three times per year?
c. Issue Frequency. I may have written about this before, but I really think the time is right for you guys to go monthly now. The truck world is very active, and the popularity of pickups is just going through the ceiling. And since your magazine has the subtitle that includes SUVs, I'm sure that category might also cover the next most popular vehicle: CUVs.
Bernie Kressner
Appleton, WI
Great questions! Let’s look at them one-by-one.
a. For now we’re going to be slightly hypocritical and say that we’d rather not publish the full scoring. Not because there is anything to hide, but more for the reason that we’d rather minimize the potential for confusion. However, if you’re good at math you can extrapolate the data provided and weight it any way you choose. So grab a calculator and have fun!
b. We love the letters that we get from Tom! And would love to have him write a column for us, if he’s willing. The ball is in his court!
c. We agree, and are working on it. There are three levels of corporate bureaucracy above us that play into the decision to increase frequency. Rest assured that we’ve been working steadily on it for the last year, and hope to have some good news for everyone soon!
Photo 4/6   |   003 Chevrolet Colorado Silverado HD Midnight Edition
One Trick Pony
Just received my May/June ’16 issue, and I loved the letters from Tom DeGideo II, but I am concerned that you are becoming one-note willies! Lately all you push are HD pick-ups and now even heavier stuff! Some of us would like to see articles on van, especially mini-vans. When are you going to acknowledge the new Mercedes-Benz Metris and maybe some of the other vans and maybe passenger vans that are based on trucks? Even Nissan is offering a smaller passenger van, and then there are the Sprinters and the Ford Transit Connect vans too! Lets get back to a broader spectrum instead of the current myopia you have been publishing.
Bob Marks
Via Email
Admittedly, the May/June issue was very pickup heavy due to the fact that it was our Pickup Truck of the Year issue. However, it also featured the RAV4 Hybrid, and Lincoln Navigator. And in the January/February issue we had a road test of the new Ram ProMaster City along with the Lexus RX and Toyota Tacoma. So it’s hardly fair to say we’ve been pushing HD pickups disproportionately. Looking back for the past year there’s been a pretty even mix of midsize, 1/2-ton, heavy duty, and SUVs in the mix. We even throw some vans in for good measure. Sorry, though, mini-vans don’t fall into the realm of the Truck and SUV Authority, so you’ll have to look somewhere else for that. Also, be sure to check out trucktrend.com for daily industry news updates and features that don’t always end up in the magazine, including SUVs, vans, and crossovers.
Photo 5/6   |   004 Chevrolet Silverado 4 Wheel Steer
On All Fours
I worked as a manufacturing engineer in the machining and assembly departments in the Delphi plant that made some of the assemblies for the Quadrasteer system during the 2002-2005 timeframe.
I agree that it was a great system, but the "bean counters" were its downfall in my opinion. This system was not offered on any low-end vehicles. You had to purchase the more expensive, luxurious models as part of a very expensive option package.
I feel that this option, if offered as a standalone option on any truck, would have spread out the fixed costs due to the number of customers that would have bought it for farming, construction work, etc.
A lot more people would have bought a $2,000 standalone package compared to the number of customers willing to add it as a $9,000 package.
Jim Thompson
Via Email
This happens far too often, even today. We’re firm believers that all options should be available à la carte. This way people can order the options they want without being shoved into a package they don’t need. Maybe we’ll get there someday.
Photo 6/6   |   005 Ram Tradesman Manual Transmission
For The Love Of The Manual
I understand your love for manual transmissions as well, as I feel the same way. But wouldn't we have more car crashes due to the fact that not everyone is good at driving manual? And what about kids who get manual cars for their first car?
Brendan Perryman
Via Email
The theory stands that if all kids had to learn on manuals, they would all be better, less distracted, drivers and grow up with a skill that most don’t have. This would ultimately lead to fewer crashes.
You are right on the money with your observations in the March/April ’16 issue outlining the benefits of the manual transmission. Without question, inattentive and distracted drivers represent a disproportional amount of vehicle crash at-fault individuals. Couldn’t agree more that new drivers should be required to “earn” their license behind the wheel of a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission.
Tom Winkler
Via Email
See? This guy gets it! I read your editorial about the sad demise of manual transmissions while punching the air and shouting “YES!” Like you, I fervently hope truck manufacturers will expand, not shrink, their offerings of manuals in pickups and SUVs. You did leave out a couple of further advantages of a manual, such as in the event of a dead battery, being able to start it by pushing the vehicle up to jogging speed, jumping in, whipping it into second and popping the clutch. Vrooom! There is nothing more satisfying. Also, of course, there’s the old trick of being able to inch the vehicle around the shop, if necessary, using first gear and the starter motor.
Jim Richards
Durango, Colorado
We’ve used both of those manual transmission advantages before as well! The only issue with creeping on the starter is that most manufacturers now require the clutch in to start, so that needs to be bypassed. Our long-term Nissan Frontier actually has a “Clutch Start Cancel” switch for this very scenario, which earns them major brownie points!
Boy, did your editorial in the March/April ’16 issue ever strike a raw nerve! I am 72 years old, own five vehicles, and all have manual transmissions. It is inconceivable for me to live without a manual-transmission vehicle. I would never leave home without one. I would rather lose a kidney or my right arm (oops, can't lose my right arm).
Bernie Kressner
Appleton, WI
Better keep that right arm! It might be tough, though not impossible, to shift without it!
I enjoyed your editorial about the demise of manual transmissions. You’re right on the money about today's lack of knowledge or interest in manual transmissions in modern pick-up trucks. I've been considering purchasing a new truck, but right now I'm content to wait. I do agree that new drivers should learn to drive a manual transmission. I read another article in an auto magazine and their main concern with a new vehicle was whether they could get their daily e-mails. I don't know about you, but receiving e-mails on the road is not a priority for me. I can wait until I get home or to the office!
Paul D'Ascenz
Via Email
Prioritizing whether or not you can get emails while driving is a great example of what’s wrong with the world today. Sure, we’re all guilty of checking our phones while driving, but caring more about email connectivity than driving dynamics should be criminal. Those people need to be riding the bus.

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