View Full Version : Looking for smooth-riding truck

Jul. 24, 2011, 03:08 PM
I presently use a GMC Yukon to bumper pull a 2 horse straight load Featherlite. We'd like to get a bigger trailer -- a gooseneck -- so will need a bigger truck. We test drove a Ford 240 - 250 (?) yesterday and it felt too bumpy to my back. Seats were comfy leather but the ride was jarring to me who has a lower back issue. This was with my husband driving.

My husband says, "It rides like a truck and they're all like that" and the salesman said, "The ride will be smoother once you've got that new trailer attached." LOL.

My question is, what is the smoothest riding truck?


Jul. 24, 2011, 03:18 PM
I can tell you my Chevy Silverado is about the worst riding truck I've ever sat in. Now to be fair to newer vehicles my chevy is an '05. I used to always buy Ford but when our Ford dealership died in my hometown and a dear friend went to work for he Chevy dealership, I bought from her. I was glad she could get the commission but the truck sucks-big time. :( I swear that I can feel every little pebble it goes over and the lines of tar across the road as well. :(

I'm hoping it's just the standard tires that give it the crappy ride and I'm finally at about 42K and the original tires are about shot so hopefully new tires will make a big difference.

Uh, can you tell I don't drive much! :) Truck new in July '05 and it's now July '11-6 yrs old and about 7 K/yr. Retirement is great!!!!!!! :D :D :D

Jul. 24, 2011, 03:18 PM
I have an F350, brother has a Dodge, sister-in-law has a GMC Silverado. I've driven and hauled with all three. The GMC is the smoothest, quietest ride, hands down. My Ford is bouncy, until you put a ton in the bed. the Dodge is noisy (diesel, as is the GMC), and like riding in a stagecoach on a washboard road! UGH.

When I need to replace my Ford, I'm going to invest in the Chevy/GMC Silverado Duramax diesel. Awesome ride, quiet, tons of power, looks good doing it.

Jul. 24, 2011, 03:47 PM
All 3/4 and one tons are going to be "stiff" because their suspensions have to be able to carry the weights they are certified for. Put the weight in and the ride improves.

If you're empty you can do such things as run tires at the lower end of their pressure range (of course this will negatively impact fuel economy). You can add an air-ride suspension system. This is not a cheap way to go but will dramatically improve ride quality as you can easily adjust the air pressure for the best ride.

I've got an '08 Chevy Silverado 3500HD dually. It rides reasonably well "bobtail" or empty but really does better when the trailer is hooked up or I'm hauling something heavy. But it's never going to ride like a car, or even an SUV.

If your back is really an issue take a look at air ride systems and just plan for one in the truck.

Here's an overview from Wiki:


Here's some offerings from a couple of sellers:




Tom King
Jul. 24, 2011, 04:12 PM
A truck is still a truck, but the smoothest riding ones are the GM's. They all ride better with a load in the back. If you have to have a real truck and have a bad back, you can get aftermarket air-ride suspenions for any of them.

Jul. 24, 2011, 06:05 PM
I had a Ford F250SD and it had a REALLY stiff suspension. It also had the turning radius of a school bus. I now have had 2 Chevy 2500HDs and while they are slightly pricier, they have a much smoother ride, tighter turning radius (small school bus, rather than full size) and more amenities at each level of trim. It took me a few trailer trips to get used to how that softer suspension worked with the trailer, but it wasn't a big deal.

Jul. 24, 2011, 06:25 PM
My neighbor has had GMCs always, Chevys by default as farm trucks, but when we go for day long trips pulling the trailer, he prefers my 2007 F150, is easier on his back.

He drives a cattle and grain truck most days.
Most everyone else that drives my pickup comments about how smooth it is.
I wonder if some trucks are easier riding than others, in the same brand and make?:confused:

Try different ones for size until one fits well.:yes:

Jul. 24, 2011, 07:39 PM
I'd say GMC.

But you'll feel a difference in the Fords going from the 3/4 ton to the 1 ton.

I did test-drive a used 1-ton that had after market Midas-looking shots added. It felt like my daddy's Cadillacs of yestercentury-- quite smooth and willing to stay on the road no matter how drunk you are. Don't ask... but I do mean "smooth." I don't know how these would do with a gooseneck attached. My might squish 'em to death.

If your rig is large/heavy enough that you really need an F-450, I think air bag suspension will be your only option.

ETA: And yes, the truck will feel smoother with the trailer behind it. But it won't quite get to "car" suspension.

Jul. 24, 2011, 08:42 PM
Do you need a l-ton truck? My F250 did everything and more with a 2-horse plus camper up BC mountains. I now have a 350 Dodge diesel - man that thing is harder than the Ford, which was pretty stiff...but the inside is like traveling with our front room furniture it is so posh.

Jul. 24, 2011, 09:18 PM
It is interesting that you get all of this great advice without anyone mentioning a year model. Well, one or two did.

The model year makes a huge difference.

I have a 2008 F350 and it rides just fine.

Far far better than the 1999 F350 it replaced.

I am told that this year's model rides even better, but I have stayed away from temptation so I don't really know.


Jul. 24, 2011, 10:57 PM
We have found that the longer the wheelbase, the better the ride, and it improved more with a load in the truck. Either hitching the trailer or loading the camper made it feel soft like a Grampa car! Our best ride was in the 1-ton Ford dually, 4-door Crewcab and a full 8ft long box. That made it 4ft longer than the cab only/8ft box basic truck models. This was a LONG truck. And it could handle a BIG load with no problems. I still found it a very nice ride empty, just had to park way out to find spaces at the store!

Having ridden in all kinds of short bed trucks, regular trucks, 4-wheel drive trucks, cab and long bed models, they all rode terrible because of the shorter wheelbases. Didn't seem to matter whether 3/4, 1-ton, or the brand name. The trucks are just sprung with heavy springs. Seats themselves are improving in these models so they can help improve the ride. So certain seats might help the ride for an individual.

Newer, larger truck that replaced the old Ford here, is stiffer than almost anything I can name. Hay wagon ride comes to mind! Ha-ha Husband bought me an air-ride seat for that truck! Have to say that seat gives a SUPER ride, good back support so I don't even notice any bumps. Has arm rests too! However now HE wants to drive all the time, so I may need another air-ride seat on the passenger side!!

Jul. 24, 2011, 11:08 PM
IMO, Chevy/GMC wins hands down. My youngest DS has a Dodge Cummins, and while it is a towing BEAST, it is not so fun to ride in. I've driven the Dodge, a friends Ford F250, and our various Chevy trucks over the years have them all beat for comfort. I have not tried the Toyota or Nissan.

My oldest son just bought a 2011 Chevy Silverado LT two days ago, and it is a really, really nice truck. And it was $10,000 less list then either Ford or Dodge. Fully loaded with towing package and the 5.3. The only thing it doesn't have is skid plates. I'm thinking he's not taking this off road for quite a while anyway (has a beater Jeep) so that can wait. And it is that beautiful Granite Blue that I love ;-)

DH has a 2010 Chevy Silverado, and I drive a 1995 Chevy Turbo Diesel. While we are not brand blind (we also own a jeep) we just really, really like the ride, handling, responsiveness and quality of the Chevy's. YMMV

Jul. 25, 2011, 12:47 PM
They will all ride stiff to a point -- you need that stiffer suspension to carry the weight. A 2WD will ride smoother, generally, which I am much enjoying. Where I live, I have zero need for 4WD (had it for ten years, maybe turned it on twice for kicks) so I traded mine in and am enjoying the nicer ride.

The Chevys generally also have a softer suspension than the Fords, but there's a bunch of tradeoffs in that too. Newer trucks also ride softer than older trucks.

I have lower back pain as well, so I understand how uncomfortable it is, but I would not expect anything more than small differences between trucks.

Jul. 25, 2011, 11:18 PM
Thanks so much for all of your input. It's extremely helpful. What I test drove was a Ford 250 with a 7 foot bed. Not sure of the year. If I get the new used trailer, we'll need an 8 foot bed. But I'm not going to get the trailer until I'm sure that I'll be comfortable in the truck.

When I showed my husband the first few comments (many more now to share) he said he had not thought of the air suspension and he'll look into that.

Thanks again. You've given us a lot to think about. And look at. I'll check back to read any further comments and will definitely let you know what decision we make.

Jul. 26, 2011, 04:15 AM
I had a 1/2 ton Dodge that smooth, so was my 1/2 ton Ford ('98 and '97 respectively). But while I did haul goosenecks with the Ford, I don't recommend it :no: and hope you are getting something larger?

I currently have a 2001 Chevy 2500HD (like Hilary) and it is the best truck I've ever owned. Smooth ride, smooth acceleration, hauls well. I have the deluxe inside package, whatever that is, with leather and heated seats, etc. The fuel economy is balls; 8.1 liter gas engine will do that though.

My SO has a custom built 2007 Ford (350 w/ 450 rear end, basically) and it is horribly rough. We just bought a big LQ trailer and it squished the rear down more than he liked, so he added airbags and now it's even rougher. My F350 I had before (1995) was also very uncomfortable, even with my GN hitched up with horses; I ended a rough ride to a vet clinic an hour down the interstate once and was surprised I wasn't pissing blood.

My Dad has a newer Dodge, I think 3500 but not sure, and it's pretty nice. Quiet too.

Jul. 26, 2011, 08:56 AM
Another vote for air suspension, it really takes the sharp edges off the bumps, especially when loaded.

Empty, they are all going to ride like trucks...

Jul. 26, 2011, 09:16 AM
IMO, Chevy/GMC wins hands down.

For ride comfort, this is my understanding as well.

I love my Ford, but I know for many years Consumer Reports has dinged it for feeling "too truck like".

Sparky Boy
Jul. 26, 2011, 09:43 AM
We had a 4 door 4x4 Chevy Duramax. It was like a cadillac inside and rode very smoothly. I'd try this or the GMC and see which you like better.

Husband had to have a Ford so we sold the Chevy. The Ford is not comfy at all unless it's towing a trailer. Don't know about the Dodge, can't get past the noise of the Dodge diesel.

Jul. 26, 2011, 11:00 AM
I have a 2008 F350 long bed crew cab dually. It rides great and is very quiet for a big truck. The turning radius is HUGE (worse than a semi w/ trailer), and it is a maintenance HOG, but it is a cushy ride.

Jul. 26, 2011, 11:13 AM
Thanks so much for all of your input. It's extremely helpful. What I test drove was a Ford 250 with a 7 foot bed. Not sure of the year. If I get the new used trailer, we'll need an 8 foot bed. But I'm not going to get the trailer until I'm sure that I'll be comfortable in the truck.

Unless I am mistaken, there is no such thing as a 7' bed.
Truck beds generally come in 6 or 8'

Also, by the way fyi...
engines are half ton = 150 ford's or 1500 gmc/chevy
3/4 ton =250 or 2500
1 ton =350 or 3500...
don't know dodge

I know your husband is doing the shopping for you, but its a good thing to know the lingo.

I have a 2002 2500HD, its pretty comfy, and I do have lower back issues too. I have adjusted the lumbar support to help my back. When the lumbar support is all the way out, it kills my back, but retracted, its fine. Everyone has a different twist on their back issues though.
I think I agree that the chevy's are the most cushy.

Another thing you could do, is buy a seat that has air ride or cushions the bumps.

Jul. 26, 2011, 11:18 AM
I've hauled with/driven with F250's(2006 and 2008 models) and 2009 Chevy Silverado. I noticed a HUGE difference. The Chevy was MUCH more comfortable.

Jul. 26, 2011, 12:38 PM
engines are half ton = 150 ford's or 1500 gmc/chevy
3/4 ton =250 or 2500
1 ton =350 or 3500...
don't know dodge

Dodge uses the same "rating" system as GM.

It's really not the engine that determines the rating of the truck, it's what's around it.

For example my Ram 1500 has the same engine as some Ram 2500s, but has a lower towing/hauling capacity due to the axles, gear ratios, frame, etc.