Supple leather, power-operated pedals, and 22-inch wheels are nice, but they aren't necessarily priorities for truck guys who need to do hard work on a budget. Besides, it can be very easy to start with a $25,000 truck, add a few goodies, and end up paying twice that. Where are the bargains these days? You may discover that shopping for a base-model half-ton is the way to go. These trucks can do the tough jobs around the work site, and if you forego the cushy interior and high-horsepower engine, may not cost an arm and a leg to buy.

Here's what you need to know about the half-ton base models on the market.

Some manufacturers offer a specific work-truck trim level of their half-tons--notably Chevrolet/GMC and Toyota--but base models from Ford, Dodge, and Nissan also can be considered the work truck of the line. And for those who may be thinking about buying a fleet of trucks (the minimum can range from one to five), we've included fleet-truck information where it applies. For fleet-truck buyers, all these trucks are available with multiple engine choices and several bed and cab options, and prices are most likely negotiable.

Please note that photos weren't available for all base models, so what you see is as close as we could get. When we could, we used the latest photographs.

Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1WT
Dodge Ram 1500 ST
Ford F-150 XL
Nissan Titan XE
Toyota Tundra Work Truck

Sweating the Small Stuff:
Chevrolet Colorado/ GMC Canyon 1WT
Dodge Dakota ST
Ford Ranger XL
Hummer H3T
Nissan Frontier XE/ Suzuki Equator
Toyota Tacoma