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Pickups Then and Now

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Bum Steer

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My other thread about tires made me think about pickups in general.
Growing up in my part of Va,farm pickups and their use was much different than today.
Lots of smaller outfits like us used 1/2 ton Fords or Chevrolets with a few GMCs,Dodge or IH thrown in.There were some 3/4 tons,especially if they didn't own a 1 and 1/2 to 2 ton truck as well.
Very few had four wheel drive.Almost all were manual transmissions.Eight foot wide beds were the norm with a few narrow sides.Most I remember had the OPTIONAL AM Radio 🍌
Most all had a set of wooden stock racks which a few left on but most kept in a shed unless they were needed.A lot of the trucks themselves were kept inside or under roof. You really didn't see on with a lot of dents in them.Dust and dirt,yes,but not dents. Some of that was because of the heavier gauge metal used then,too.
Another difference was pickups weren't used so extensively day to day as now.A lot of jobs were done then with a tractor and flat bed a wagon or a three point carryall.Maybe some of that will return with the increased use of SXSs.
Today,finding a two wheel drive is rare even on a dealer's lot.A lot of folks have a 3/4 ton because of trailers and a number are well equipped with options.The truck is used more and run harder.A lot more miles in a year.The cattle racks are few,if any and so are the ton and a half 6X4s with a 12' bed.The 2 tons are mostly flat dumps or dedicated cattle trucks with factory aluminum beds.Some,if not all, change has come because of increased farm size or the increasing need for farmers to have another"paying job" to support their farming in modern times.In my area,there are very few who can rely on farming alone to support themselves and their families.The others are either big operators or they have a more simple standard of living than what is considered "normal" these days.
Not saying one era was better than the other.Just thinking back and how we adapt to our situations .
So it was 1976, me and my buddy were going "out west" and needed wheels. We spotted this truck in tiwn leanin up against an oak tree with a for sale sign on it. A 1958 3/4 ton Chev Apache with a straight 6, 9' stepside wooden floor box, floor start, 4 on the floor and a big ol' emergency brake handle that never worked beside the stick shift. Got it for $100. Most parts were uh, "aquired" during off hours at the scrap yard. Lots of beer and country music to get her road worthy.
We were on the road for 3 months from Ontario to BC where she finnally blew up. Rod through the block. The pic is outside Chilliwac where she "calved". RIP.
PS, we rode boxcars back home.
3BD9C7C1-2FB0-4F78-A8D8-4D771EA7D652.jpeg
My other thread about tires made me think about pickups in general.
Growing up in my part of Va,farm pickups and their use was much different than today.
Lots of smaller outfits like us used 1/2 ton Fords or Chevrolets with a few GMCs,Dodge or IH thrown in.There were some 3/4 tons,especially if they didn't own a 1 and 1/2 to 2 ton truck as well.
Very few had four wheel drive.Almost all were manual transmissions.Eight foot wide beds were the norm with a few narrow sides.Most I remember had the OPTIONAL AM Radio 🍌
Most all had a set of wooden stock racks which a few left on but most kept in a shed unless they were needed.A lot of the trucks themselves were kept inside or under roof. You really didn't see on with a lot of dents in them.Dust and dirt,yes,but not dents. Some of that was because of the heavier gauge metal used then,too.
Another difference was pickups weren't used so extensively day to day as now.A lot of jobs were done then with a tractor and flat bed a wagon or a three point carryall.Maybe some of that will return with the increased use of SXSs.
Today,finding a two wheel drive is rare even on a dealer's lot.A lot of folks have a 3/4 ton because of trailers and a number are well equipped with options.The truck is used more and run harder.A lot more miles in a year.The cattle racks are few,if any and so are the ton and a half 6X4s with a 12' bed.The 2 tons are mostly flat dumps or dedicated cattle trucks with factory aluminum beds.Some,if not all, change has come because of increased farm size or the increasing need for farmers to have another"paying job" to support their farming in modern times.In my area,there are very few who can rely on farming alone to support themselves and their families.The others are either big operators or they have a more simple standard of living than what is considered "normal" these days.
Not saying one era was better than the other.Just thinking back and how we adapt to our situations .
 

Lee VanRoss

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Not to worry. If things keep going the way they seem to be heading we will be lucky to have '3 on a tree', vacum wipers
or the mule to pull it when fuel gets too high. The dirty thirties will be back before we get out of the gasping twenties.
 

Splash

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I miss the days I could back up to the tailgate and sit down. I've grown shorter. Now I have to dang near get a step ladder to get up there!
 

Nesikep

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I miss the days I could back up to the tailgate and sit down. I've grown shorter. Now I have to dang near get a step ladder to get up there!
I think these new 1500 series trucks look ridiculous sitting so high, and have neither load nor offroad capability
 

chevytaHOE5674

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I think these new 1500 series trucks look ridiculous sitting so high, and have neither load nor offroad capability

Funny you say that though as most new 1/2 trucks have a higher towing capacity than 3/4 ton trucks of yesteryear.

Neighbors 2020 chevy 1500 has a towing capacity of 9700lbs i think it said. My 7.3L powerstroke is only rated to tow 10k lbs per the owners manual. Lol
 

Nesikep

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Funny you say that though as most new 1/2 trucks have a higher towing capacity than 3/4 ton trucks of yesteryear.

Neighbors 2020 chevy 1500 has a towing capacity of 9700lbs i think it said. My 7.3L powerstroke is only rated to tow 10k lbs per the owners manual. Lol
Well, yes, they have good brakes, other than that, how is a 5000 lb truck going to put up any fight to a 10K bumper pull trailer behind it that feels like fishtailing a little? I've seen plenty of examples of where that didn't work at all and they flipped over in the ditch.
I also don't see how these little diffs, transmissions and transfer cases would hold up to towing, because I really doubt there's been much change in the design there
 

chevytaHOE5674

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Been a lot of changes. Stiff boxed frames, 6 to 10 speed transmissions, more torque and horsepower, better brakes, better tires, etc.

Thousands of guys out there towing 8-10k with a 1/2 ton without issue.
 

Caustic Burno

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I remember the first cattle trailer we seen at the salebarn. Everyone used sideboards.
My first truck was a 56 Chevy Apache with four on the floor.
It was brush painted black.
Put it in granny gear and walk beside it throwing square bales on.
 

kenny thomas

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I remember the first cattle trailer we seen at the salebarn. Everyone used sideboards.
My first truck was a 56 Chevy Apache with four on the floor.
It was brush painted black.
Put it in granny gear and walk beside it throwing square bales on.
I remember sitting in line for 4 hours in a pickup truck loaded with calves and seen a gooseneck trailer pull straight in to unload in a different spot. I told my father in law that I would buy one of those that winter when we sold tobacco. He said I was wasting money that I couldn't get a trailer anywhere to load. Bought my first one that winter. Everyone wanted me to haul.
Now I can't think of but one set of cattle racks on a pickup and he usually hires someone to haul his calves.
 
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simme

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I remember sitting in line for 4 hours in a pickup truck loaded with calves and seen a gooseneck trailer pull straight in to unload in a different spot. I told my father in law that I would buy one of those that winter when we sold tobacco. He said I was wasting money that I couldn't get a trailer anywhere to load. Bought my first one that winter. Everyone wanted me to haul.
Now I can't think of but one set of cattle racks on a pickup and he usually hires someone to haul his calves.
Cattle racks on an old 1/2 ton pickup with a couple cows in motion could be a little scary as I recall. But all we had back then. Took several loads to move many head. Sometimes took a little encouragement to get them loaded as well - small box and too high off the ground.
 

kenny thomas

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Cattle racks on an old 1/2 ton pickup with a couple cows in motion could be a little scary as I recall. But all we had back then. Took several loads to move many head. Sometimes took a little encouragement to get them loaded as well - small box and too high off the ground.
Many places we used a few square bales of hay to load them. Cattle must have been gentle back then
 

Brute 23

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Well, yes, they have good brakes, other than that, how is a 5000 lb truck going to put up any fight to a 10K bumper pull trailer behind it that feels like fishtailing a little? I've seen plenty of examples of where that didn't work at all and they flipped over in the ditch.
I also don't see how these little diffs, transmissions and transfer cases would hold up to towing, because I really doubt there's been much change in the design there
Modern trucks actually weigh more than older trucks by about #1500.
 

Nesikep

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Modern trucks actually weigh more than older trucks by about #1500.
I doubt that in the light duty trucks.. I know the 1990 Dodge 150 gasser I just bought packs some weight, I'll have to take it over the scales
Nevertheless, I'm quite certain a new 1500 has anywhere near the weight of my dually, and the two rear tires sure make a difference when you're trying to control a trailer
 

Brute 23

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I doubt that in the light duty trucks.. I know the 1990 Dodge 150 gasser I just bought packs some weight, I'll have to take it over the scales
Nevertheless, I'm quite certain a new 1500 has anywhere near the weight of my dually, and the two rear tires sure make a difference when you're trying to control a trailer
I'm talking apples to apples. A 2020 1/2 ton weighs about #1500 more than a 1970 1/2 ton. You will see the same on a 1 ton dually vs a 1 ton dually. For all the iron on the older trucks they were still lighter than their modern counterpart.
 

Nesikep

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Reliability is the problem with modern trucks... not performance. A modern 3/4 ton diesel would out perform that truck in every aspect except damage to the pocket book.😀
that's definitely true!
Are they still that much heavier despite going to aluminum bodies and boxes? (especially the half tons).. I know the 3/4 and 1 tons have had heavier drivetrains going into them for quite some time... Just in my truck the NV5600 transmission is a BEAST at close to 400 lbs, lot of old 1 tons had Dana 60 or 70 rear ends, then they went to Dana 80's and other similar sized ones.. the diesel engines (especially cummins) are MUCH heavier than even the old big blocks 454's and 460's
 

Brute 23

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that's definitely true!
Are they still that much heavier despite going to aluminum bodies and boxes? (especially the half tons).. I know the 3/4 and 1 tons have had heavier drivetrains going into them for quite some time... Just in my truck the NV5600 transmission is a BEAST at close to 400 lbs, lot of old 1 tons had Dana 60 or 70 rear ends, then they went to Dana 80's and other similar sized ones.. the diesel engines (especially cummins) are MUCH heavier than even the old big blocks 454's and 460's
Ya it's crazy what all the gadgets and nonsense electronics weigh. I read an article about it. If you looked behind the dash, or under the hood, or grabbed a seat out of a 1970 truck there just wasnt that much there. Look behind the dash and stuff of a 2020. Its packed with motors and wires and computer boards. Just think how much of that #1500 you could chip away if you stripped the electronics out of a new truck. Plus add in emissions and safety stuff.

It really is amazing what a modern truck can do as far as speed, stopping, towing, etc. Just look at what we demand out of tires now days also. Good or bad, it is amazing.
 

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