Big Pickup Trucks Making Big Tracks in Australia

Big Pickup Trucks Making Big Tracks in Australia

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Pickup trucks picking up sales in Australia: If you’ve noticed more large ‘American-style’ utes on Australian roads, you’re not alone.

More information on pickup trucks and utes.

Whether a ‘ute’ or a ‘pickup truck’, these vehicles are a workhorse in Australia.
When driving a big pickup truck, it pays to know the different petrol types in Australia.

Most Aussies are all too familiar with utes - they’ve been exceptionally high-selling vehicles over the last half decade. However, many aren’t familiar with the oversized pickup trucks that have been crisscrossing US highways for years.

You soon will be, they’re coming to Australia. In fact, many are already here.

What big pickup trucks?

Firstly, ‘utes or pickup trucks’?

The difference between Australia’s modern day workhorse, the ute and pickup trucks their design.

A ‘ute’, in a traditional sense, means a passenger cabin with a rear tray without broken bodywork. A ‘pickup truck’, on the other hand, has its rear cargo tray and passenger cabin as separate pieces.

Today, many people use the terms interchangeably. Interestingly, Australia and New Zealand are the only English-speaking countries not to use ‘pickup truck’.

‘Big pickup trucks’ that we’re referring to in this article are the American-style utes offered by Dodge Ram, GMC, Chevrolet and Ford.

Ford F450

(The Ford F450 is an example of a mammoth pickup truck)

If you’ve ever pulled up next to a Toyota HiLux or Ford Ranger, you’ll know they’re not exactly small - but they are compared to some ‘Super Duty’ pickup trucks.

Australia’s thirst for large utes (and/or pickup trucks) is attracting more models

This month, May 2021, saw Ram Truck’s all-new DT series Ram 1500 launching in Australia. It joins other models in the 1500 range offered in Australia by Ram Trucks;

  • Express Quad
  • Crew Cab
  • Warlock II
  • Laramie
  • Limited

Sold at dealerships, these vehicles suit Australian drivers and roads.

It wasn’t too long ago that large pickup trucks like the Ram 1500 seemed unimaginable on Australian roads. Many examples were imported and converted to right-hand drive Aussie spec at a huge cost.

Ram 1500(A Ram 1500. Source:

Converting American-spec vehicles to suit Australian roads isn’t easy or cheap

The process involves moving the steering column and instruments over as well as an Australian-compliant headlight system, windscreen wipers and metric gauges like temperature and speed… it’s a long list.

The popularity is rising with some private import and conversion companies reporting a backlog of hundreds of vehicles and the need for 24-hour operations.

Ram Trucks aren’t the only big pickup trucks on offer

Some other big pickup trucks on sale or coming soon to Australia (built for Australia) include;

HSV / Chevrolet
Silverado 1500
Silverado 2500

Silverado 2500(A Chevrolet Silverado)

Nissan Titan

Sierra 1500
Sierra 2500
Sierra 3500

Toyota Tundra

How are these pickup trucks different from the utes we know?

“With that kind of power, you could almost reconnect Tasmania to the mainland.”


‘Big’ definitely describes these vehicles. Here’s the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Vs the current Toyota HiLux (Vs “other”)


Silverado 2500 - 6.349 m (with standard rear tray)
HiLux - 5.325 m
African bull elephant - 4 m (max)


Silverado 2500 - 2.457 m
HiLux - 1.9 m
M4 Sherman Tank - 2.62 m

Kerb Weight

Silverado 2500 - 3,616kg
HiLux - 2,231kg
58 average people - 3,600kg (world average human weight)


The Chevrolet Silverado 2500 is powered by a 6.6L turbo diesel V8 which produces 332kW of power and 1,234Nm of torque.

For comparison, the 2021 Ford Ranger RAPTOR 2.0 delivers 157kW of power and 500Nm of torque.

For (more) comparison, the 2021 Nissan GT-R NISMO delivers 441kW and 652 Nm of torque.

The Silverado’s 1,234Nm of torque is massive. With that kind of power, you could almost reconnect Tasmania to the mainland.

Almost, but not quite. You can, however, tow up to 5.89 tonnes. Big pickup trucks offer massive towing capacity. A 2020 Toyota LandCruiser Sahara offers 3500kg of max towing capacity.

Owners could expect a Christmas card from BP

Fuel efficiency isn’t a big brag for big pickup trucks as the comparisons below explain.

2020 Toyota LandCruiser Sahara
Claimed: 9.5L/100km (combined)
independent: 12.5L/100km (combined)

2020 Ford Ranger Wildtrak
Claimed: 8.9L/100km (combined)
Independent: 9.1L/100km (combined)

2020 HSV Chevrolet Silverado 2500
HSV doesn’t give any official figures but independent tests peg it at around 18L/100km (combined).

Utes and pickups offer a lot for motorists

Safety tech, off-road ability, passenger comfort and cargo / towing capacity are some of the reasons utes are so popular in Australia. Many, like the big pickup trucks mentioned above, also come with top-shelf entertainment and driver assist features too.

The friendly and experienced team at Positive offers fast and competitive rates on vehicles both new and used. Start with a quick quote today to see how you can get into a new ute sooner rather than later.

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