When shopping for 1-ton pickup trucks, some things to look for include engine size and specifications, the length of the bed, interior features, differential gear ratio and differential traction unit. Both gas and diesel engines are available for most 1-ton pickup trucks, with significantly higher costs, better fuel efficiency and higher resale value for diesel engines. Long bed 1-ton pickup trucks typically offer more flexibility in terms of hauling large or heavy loads, towing larger trailers and for cab-over campers.
For heavy-duty towing or hauling large loads, 1-ton pickups with large, diesel engine blocks are available. If the truck is only needed for moderate duty, smaller engines or gas-powered trucks can save cost without sacrificing performance. The three major 1-ton truck manufacturers, Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford, all produce gas- and diesel-powered 1-ton pickup trucks.
Differential gear ratio helps determine the pickup truck's amount of low-end torque or fuel economy. Numerically higher-gear ratios, such as 4.10:1 and 3.92:1, give better torque and power for pulling large trailers or hauling heavy loads. Numerically lower gear ratios, such as 3.23:1 or 3.43:1, give up power but gain in fuel economy for highway driving. The differential traction unit, either a standard open, limited slip or full locker, determines which drive wheels receive power when traction is lost, such as in mud or on uneven terrain.