Truck Trend Letters to the Editor
Professional Driver, Open RoadI was just reading the “Big Boys Toys” article and noticed there was mention of the Class A CDL. You didn't drive the Silverado 3500HD due to the combined weight of 21,969 pounds. Now correct me if I'm wrong, and it might be different from state to state, but I had a Class A license and needed it for anything over 25,999 pounds. A regular Class C license should have been good up to that.
You are correct in assuming that the weight at which a commercial license varies from state to state. For example, in California you are technically required to have a Class A (commercial or non-commercial) for any trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds (conventional) or 15,000 pounds (gooseneck/ fifth-wheel). Any trailering while engaged in business also requires a commercial license. Always check the local laws of the state you are towing in to ensure compliance.
While what we were towing may have been legal in the state of Iowa, where we were, the biggest factor was that a Class-A CDL was a requirement of our hosts, General Motors. And at the end of the day, it’s their wishes that we needed to adhere to.
Cummins Crate TacoI found your article on the Cummins 2.8L crate engine from the September/October 2017 issue very interesting. I purchased a four-wheel-drive ’05 Tacoma with the four-cylinder gas engine and five-speed manual transmission as a project. Would this engine be a good fit for the truck?
The answer is a resounding yes. A few years ago, we had the opportunity to drive a Cummins-built Nissan Frontier that sported its 2.8L engine and the Nissan’s factory six-speed manual. While not the exact platform that you’re working with, it’s awfully close. It was a blast. Plenty of power and pep, and the folks who built it reported stellar fuel economy as well. If we were in your shoes, we’d make a call to the Cummins crate-engine folks and pick their brains. It’s an excellent group over there who will be able to help steer your build in the right direction.
P.S. We should note that you’d need to seek the guidance of your local authorities as to the engine’s emissions compliance in your vehicle in your state.
P.P.S. Send us photos when it’s done!
MisplacedI purchased the November/December 2017 issue of Truck Trend at a newsstand in Seattle, and it was missing pages 19 to 34.
Yikes! If you should ever find this to be the case again, immediately return it to the point of purchase. The pages most likely fell victim to the sticky fingers of another patron who didn’t feel the need pay retail. Bummer.
Back to the BasicsI am curious if one can still buy a truck that is basic, like the ’78 Cheyenne that I used to drive. I traded up from that truck to a ’14 Silverado and it is like driving in an airline cockpit with endless knobs, panels, cameras, screens, luxuries, and so on. All I need and want is a basic truck like my old Bow Tie. Do any of the Big Three still offer one new? Thank you for your great publication!
Short answer is yes, all of the current truck manufacturers offer a basic work truck, but finding one can be a challenge. None are going to be as simple as your old ’78, but you can get pretty close. Look for the WT trim from Chevy, Tradesman from Ram, XL from Ford, S from Nissan, and SR from Toyota. In our experience, Nissan’s S-grade Titan and Titan XD come the closest to that old pickup feel while retaining all the performance you’d expect from a new truck. And the Ram 1500 Harvest Edition we tested in last month’s Pickup Truck of the Year competition was lovingly nicknamed “Grandpa’s truck” for its back-to-basics feel.