What Is the History of Dodge Trucks?

The Dodge Brothers Company built its first trucks for use by the U.S. Army during the First World War. Afterward, Dodge Brothers produced mechanical components for vehicles built by the Graham Brothers Company until 1928, and it produced its first half-ton pickup for Chrysler in 1929, after which trucks sold under the Dodge brand name. Dodge introduced 3/4 and 1-ton pickups in 1935, fore-point load trucks in 1936, and it produced its first factory-built, four-wheel-drive truck in 1946.

The Dodge Brothers Company built half-ton chassis cowls, cargo trucks, light repair trucks and ambulances during the First World War. Dodge trucks were paneled vehicles until 1929, when Chrysler acquired it to produce half-ton pickup trucks. The 1929 pickups were the first trucks to feature four-wheel hydraulic brakes. The company started designing a military four-wheel-drive truck in 1940, which led to the first stock, light-duty four-wheel-drive truck in 1946.

Chassis for Dodge trucks produced during the Second World War became the basis for the civilian Power Wagon. The company modeled the Dodge Power Wagon after tough trucks designed for China's Burma Road. Dodge produced its B-series trucks through 1953, and afterward it introduced major power boosts with its C-series trucks from 1954 to 1960. The company produced two D-series truck lines that ran from 1961 to 1971 and 1972 through 1993. The company introduced the LoadFlite automatic transmission for 4WD trucks in 1970, and the 400 V8 engine became available by 1972.

The 1994 Dodge Ram featured a number of industry firsts, such as the roomiest standard cab and the first reclining seats in a regular cab pickup. The trucks also featured best-in-class Cummins engines and the first factory-installed power take-off adapters for four-by-two trucks with automatic transmissions. Dodge continues to provide leading-edge technology for its trucks, as of 2015.