8-Lug or HD Truck and We Spot a 1500HD
Eight-Lug or HD Truck?
Zoom in. Zoom out. Zoom in. Zoom out. This picture, submitted for show coverage, was taken at an angle that obscured the truck’s identity: Was this specimen a 1500 ½-ton or a 2500 ¾-ton? The wheel's lug nuts were shrouded within the custom wheels, so that was no help. All the badges were shaved, so that was no help, either. The HD mirrors could be an addition to a non-HD truck, so that, too, wasn’t conclusive. I couldn't see the exhaust or rear axle from the picture’s angle. The aftermarket headlights, paint, and hood only complicated matters further. Without a good walk around the truck, it was tricky to know for sure what I was looking at. If it was a Ford, I'd know for sure, as Ford has kept the styling of its Super Duty and F-150 distinct throughout the years. Likewise, Toyota and Nissan don't have an eight-lug HD truck, making the Tundra and Titan easy to eliminate. Unfortunately, the Nissan Titan XD is not an eight-lug truck. But as for this particular specimen, its classification remained a mystery.
Indeed, there are certainly cases where big, lifted ½-ton trucks are built in an eight-lug style, fooling the masses and sometimes towering over their heftier, 32-plus-lugged brethren. This magazine has traditionally been reserved for literal eight-lug HD trucks; ¾- and 1-ton 2500 and 3500 GM, Ram, and Ford varieties of all generations generally dominate this description. Most are powered by Duramax, Cummins, and Power Stroke diesel engines, but their gasoline counterparts count as well. (More on that topic to come!) If you've followed this magazine for any amount of time, you know the trucks are typically built in a lifted, show-truck style. To varying degrees, these trucks still do truck-like things like towing, hauling, and off-roading. The crazy part is that this type of customizing of a literal eight-lug HD truck has taken on a life of its own, so that we all know what it means to apply the figurative eight-lug style to vehicles that don’t have eight lugs.
You may or may not have checked it out already, but this month we're featuring a Chevy 1500 eight-lug conversion truck. More than just a half-tonner, six-lugger done eight-lug style, it actually is an eight-lug truck. (Now, it’s not an HD, although there is that oddball factory Chevy 1500HD that exists. I’ve seen three in two weeks! If you have one of these, let us know!) So yes, we've gone a little rogue this issue, and yes, we know it’s a 1500. I’d argue many wouldn't know it was a 1500 by looking at it, as the real giveaway is us telling you it’s a 5.3L truck. Would you have known without knowing its engine? And what do you think? Thumbs-up or thumbs-down for eight-lug conversions that are customized in an eight-lug style?
Switching to the HD Truck portion of the title, did you know the magazine used to be 8-Lug Diesel Truck? It was changed to HD to (obviously) include gasoline HD trucks. Taking advantage of the ability to run both diesel and gas trucks, this month you'll notice three gas features—two Hemi trucks and a Chevy big-block. Gasoline HD feature trucks are definitely rarer than the oil-burning variants, which, at first thought, seems plausible because there are more diesel trucks than gas trucks rollin’ the streets. And sure, the diesel trucks are better equipped for heavier hauling and towing in general, but I somehow doubt many of you really need “that much truck.” Both will get you from point A to point B just fine. Lastly, based on many of the spec sheets I get, you’re not doing extensive engine work to your diesel trucks. Why did you opt for a premium-trim diesel? On the newer trucks, that engine/tranny option could have funded a bunch of other mods. Is diesel simply a more common characteristic of eight-lug style builds? Does diesel represent the enthusiast market, while gas is more commonly associated with fleet trucks? Likewise, who out there opted for a gas truck, and why?
While we may conclude that a majority of the trucks we feature are eight-lug HD trucks, I think there is a time and place for the occasional eight-lug conversion (like the 1500 in this issue), as well as the HD truck that’s offered with more than eight lugs (think dualies). But, it’s safe to say that if it isn’t an eight-lug truck or an HD truck, it probably doesn’t belong—even if it has that contagious eight-lug style.