Why Dodge?

"Grab life by the horns" is one of Daimler Chrysler's advertising slogans - it conjures up excitement.  And then there's "Ram Tough", which isn't just another jingle... it's an explanation.  Those two phrases and the mind pictures they create are in part why Dodge maintains such a loyal following.  The Dodge Ram truck just happens to look as tough as it performs.  It is the reason why most people buy a truck!

I recently traded in my 2004 Dodge diesel 3500 for a new RAM 1500.

I chose a Dodge truck...

Dodge Truck Diesel

(five times in a row)

Dodge Truck, Late Model
Dodge Quad Cab TruckDodge Accessories

When you find something that works, you stay with it.  Over the course of more than ten years and four Dodge trucks, gas and diesel powered, log and short beds, I'm a good one to ask about the reliability and value of these trucks.  I don't work for Dodge, I don't own stock in the company and I have nothing to gain whether you decide to buy a Dodge truck or not.  At one time, I had a lot of questions about how Dodge stacked up to the competition.

{Background} The first truck I ever owned was in 1979 (ancient history according to my kids). I had a 15 year old battered Ford quarter-ton. About the time it gave up the ghost, kids started appearing and I went the route of 4-door cars and SUVs for the next twenty years. When I was next in the market to buy a truck, it was 1998 and we were moving to a 25 acre "ranchette" due north of Dallas, Texas.

I was excited at the prospect of owning another truck. Hey, I'm a guy, we like trucks and I finally had a real reason to be buying one. I researched and looked at all available models, Ford, Chevy and GMC, but from a purely ascetic viewpoint, I liked the looks of the newly-designed Dodge Ram. It just looked like it meant business. However, I wanted to remain objective and make sure I was getting the best truck and the most bang for my buck, so I drove 'em all and investigated everything I could find on the Internet and through local dealers.

This site is about Dodge Trucks, actually it's an account of my Dodge Trucks as I have owned four since 1998. The purpose of this site is to share experiences with other Dodge owners so that we can exchange information, tips and more fully appreciate the finest truck on the road today, the Dodge Ram.

Whick truck manufacturer is best?

When it was all said and done, I had to admit that all truck manufacturers were building an acceptable product. One had an edge in the ride and handling area, one beat the competition in towing and on and on. What it netted out to be was "which model do you like and which one can you afford" - because all of them will get the job done.

When I was satisfied that the playing field was relatively level, it was time to shop price. I dinged Ford and GMC at this point because the sticker price was thousands more than Dodge or Chevy. Of the two remaining, I canned the "bow tie" and went with my original choice, DODGE!

Did I mention I'm also a (closet) geek? Yep, the word's out and to prove it, I bought my first 1998 Dodge Ram 4x4 online. I did my research and shopped dealers and finally agreed to a price from a small dealer about an hour away from our home. We concluded everything online, all I had to do was go pick up my truck, write a check and sign a few papers.

Man, that redesigned body they introduced a couple years prior just took my breath away. Heck, it still does - four trucks later! To me, the Dodge Ram looks like it means business and for most applications it does. This is a quality piece of automotive design. I can still remember the feeling of driving "MY" Dodge off the lot. Yeah, I had arrived... in a new red Dodge truck!

Okay, I admit it - I'm a victim of Dodge's advertising, I had to get a red one. Apparently they were successful in selling that color to the world because my dealer had about 20 red trucks and only a handful of other colors. My Dodge was a quarter-ton, 4-door quad cab, 4x4 with a 360ci power plant with a short box. It could get the job done!

Peeves I hate this stuff

Dodge trucks, I can honestly say that I never had any serious mechanical issues with any of my trucks.  I am religious about getting my oil changed and performing the scheduled maintenance. One truck developed an minor A/C problem, but the dealer took care of that under warranty. Mechanically speaking, I've had no issues with Dodge.

One of my only (ongoing) complaints with Dodge was (and is) the 'Spartan' interior.  You could argue that Dodge builds a working vehicle with few embellishments, but the fact remains that most of the current truck buyers are not typical construction-types... many are Yuppie types looking for a thrill.  IMHO, the owner of the best interior design award is Ford, but that wasn't enough to get me to buy one - then or now.  What's odd about this is that the interior hasn't changed dramatically in the seven years I've been buying trucks. There isn't a whole lot of difference in my 2004 than my 1998 interior design and layout.

I have a friend who decided not to buy a Dodge just because of the interior. I think that's a message for Dodge... change it up, dress up the interior in some way.  And speaking of interiors, if you often take your dog along with you, be sure to see the custom "pet pad" I made for our pooch.

Long box vs. short box debate

I've owned them both, mostly I've has short beds.  The first long box Dodge I've owned is my current vehicle, a 3500 diesel.  I will probably never go back to a short box truck.  It is ironic that many dealers sell the long beds for less than the short beds.  I believe that is a result of market demands as opposed to economics; seems most buyers prefer the short beds.  I always did until I got a long bed, and now I wouldn't go back.

After owning a long box and using it to haul many loads of lumber, firewood, ATVs, etc. there's nothing like the added capacity.  I mean... isn't that why we bought a truck?  Maybe not.  Possibly the only negative issue with a long bed is parking.  They just don't design parking lots to accommodate a modern truck with an 8' bed.  Darn near impossible to pull into a parking space without having to back up and straighten out the rig.

Instant gratification

Check out what's Dodge HOT on eBay right this very second.  We just installed a feed that pulls eBay bids of the auctions, which are about to end.  Now you can get those new rims, or bid on that classic Dodge you've been dying to talk yourself into buying.  See what's HOT on eBay right now!

My first time...

The first vehicle I ever owned wasn't a truck, it was a car... and it wasn't a Dodge, it was a Chevy.  A '63 Chevy Impala SS.  I took the Rolling Stones' advice and had it "painted black".  It had white & black interior, and probably had 40 pounds of wax on the sheet metal. It was a classic automobile.

It appeared in my life with a 283 ci. engine, which my brother and I rebuilt from the short block.  I tried every carb combination one could think of, from dual quad carbs, tri-power and even engineered a ram air-induction from coffee cans and dryer vent hose. I was during my high school era and that was a good time!  I learned how to repair engines and sheet metal through the experiments I performed with "my Chevy obsession". I know I spent more time under it than in it, but that encounter laid the groundwork for my future you-fix-it jobs.

I had a part-time job in a gas station earning a whopping $1.60 an hour, which was the minimum wage at that time. When I needed parts for my Chevy, I had two options... that I could afford. Visit a local junk yard and search for a part that 'might' work, remove it and haul it off. The second choice was to grab the latest J. C. Whitney Catalog and call them or place an order by mail.

Over the years, my choice in vehicles has changed and my budget has increased, but I continue to receive the J.C. Whitney catalog and have done so for almost 4 decades. I think it would be a hoot to see their data on all the parts I've ordered since 1968.  After I returned from Viet Nam, I bought my first "new" car, a 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle. Since then I've had several cars, SUVs, trucks and motorcycles, and probably all had something that was bought from J.C. Whitney. Do yourself a favor and rediscover J.C. Whitney.  Browse the J. C. Whitney Catalog online and see if they don't have that special something you've been planning to buy... or haven't been able to find.

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