Ask TFL: What’s the Best Off-Road Truck for My New Business?

Ask Your Questions About the All-New 2019 Ram Rebel
[Photo: FCA]

For every enthusiast that loves to get their truck muddy for fun, there is a professional out there in the world that needs off-road capability to help make a living.

That’s what today’s AskTFL question is all about. Pierre writes:

I’m trying to launch my own company of specialized land surveying and I’ll need to go directly in farmers fields, forestry patches and maybe quarry and mining sites. Ultimately I’ll need a mobile office in the form of a box in the back of a pick-up heavy duty truck (I have my sight on the F250 Tremor).

In the end, I need a vehicle that can tackle mild offroad after driving on pavement for a while. In addition, we are considering buying an RV trailer for the family, so we’ll need some towing capacity.

I’m currently considering a RAM Rebel (probably the diesel option if I find a used one) or a Chevy Silverado LT Trail Boss. With my starting money, I think I can only afford used vehicles.

You drove all of them and more, so what would be your advice between those two? Maybe there are options I haven’t considered yet (other trucks, or modified a non-offroad truck).

Thanks for the question Pierre.

There is one argument I want to make before even talking half-tons: if you already know you want an HD, you might want to just go ahead and get a 2500 or F-250 right away. It’s often the case that we convince ourselves that a smaller truck will be enough, and then you end up disappointed because you needed an HD from the start.

It seems to me that if a Tremor will be good for business, you might want to go straight there. Though that is an expensive choice, so lets look at your half-ton options.

First lets talk about the utility of both the Rebel and Trail Boss.

Towing capability favours the Ram Rebel, which can be optioned to pull up to 11,540 pounds, though that drops by 200 pounds when four-wheel drive is selected. The best the Trail Boss LT can muster is 9500 pounds of towing capacity, so that could influence your decision, though you can get a family friendly camper that weighs much less than those ratings.

When it comes to actually heading off-road, both trucks offer the same stock tire option, a set of Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs. The Trail Boss offers a touch more ground clearance than the Rebel, though if you get the optional air suspension, it will help you lift the body up and over obstacles. Thanks to its rear coil spring suspension, the Rebel ends up having a smoother off-road ride overall, while the leaf springs in the Chevy cause some chatter and stiffness in the rear end.

In short, if your truck will be living on rough gravel roads for long periods of time, the Rebel will treat your spine a bit better.

The interior of the current generation Rebel is also a step ahead of Chevy thanks to more usable storage and nicer materials. The reconfigurable bin in between the Ram Rebel’s front seats is a stroke of genius and would work very well for a mobile office.

When it comes to working with the box of your truck, the Chevy is a smarter choice. GM currently has the smartest box in the industry with three tie-downs at each corner, wider bed walls than any other brand, reconfigurable tie-down points and more.

With its 5.3-liter V8, the Silverado offers decent power, but the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 is much stronger in the real world. Opting for the EcoDiesel is a smart choice for fuel consumption and torque, and you can’t get GM’s 3.0-liter Duramax diesel in the LT Trail Boss.

You can however now get the 6.2-liter V8 in the LT Trail Boss, and that has to be one of the best pickup V8s available anywhere, though finding a used one isn’t likely just yet.

Overall, if I had to choose between the two, I would be driving a Rebel to work. Good luck with your business!