Is Toyota Already Selling The H.D. Tundra?

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Toyota Tundra fans have been waiting on pins and needles for an “H.D. Tundra”, or heavy-duty Tundra, ever since Toyota announced they were working on a 3/4 ton Tundra back in 2005. Originally promised to follow soon after the light-duty Tundra (the current model), our sources are now saying that Toyota won’t be introducing an HD Tundra anytime soon…if at all.

That’s right – it’s far from certain that Toyota will ever produce a 3/4 or 1 ton Tundra. As of July 2008, we felt the HD Tundra was at least five years away. Today, we’re wondering if Toyota is ever going to produce a 3/4 or 1 ton Tundra. Perhaps the market for H.D. trucks is going to shrink so much that Toyota’s current light-duty truck is “heavy duty enough.”

In other words, what if Toyota is already producing the H.D. Tundra?

Here’s what we’re wondering:

  • Ford has reported that the newly re-designed 2009 F150 poached about 10% of Super Duty customers in 2008 (Diesel World Magazine April 2009). While the new F150 is a great truck, it’s definitely under-powered. If the new F150 had more power, would more Super Duty buyers switch? More to the point, can Toyota attract Super Duty owners to downgrade with a beefed up light-duty Tundra?
  • Would a light-duty diesel engine encourage heavy-duty truck buyers to downgrade? Diesel engines are great for pulling big loads because they generate so much torque, and even a light-duty diesel would be a better motor for pulling a trailer than the current crop of powerful gas engines.
  • Will new federal fuel economy regulations make it difficult for manufacturers to sell heavy duty trucks? We’re still waiting for specifics, but it’s likely that the 3/4 and 1 ton truck segment would shrink dramatically if fuel economy regulations make them dramatically more expensive to produce.
  • Every auto manufacturer is planning to shrink their model line-up because making vehicles smaller is the easiest way to improve fuel economy. The current model Tundra is pretty big – is it big enough to work as a 3/4 or 1 ton truck? Keep in mind the Tundra hauls and tows as much as a brand new 3/4 ton truck did as little as 10 years ago.
  • Smaller engines are coming in the F150 (a new 3.5L V6 EcoBoost may replace the 4.6L V8), and GM is said to be looking at a similar setup in the Silverado/Sierra. If the new “small” truck engine is a V6, doesn’t that make the 5.7L Tundra a “big” engine? In other words, if all truck engines shrink, could a powerful engine like the 5.7L be considered “big”?

Here’s the big question: The diesel Tundra is still a strong possibility for the immediate future, but could it be positioned as a light heavy-duty truck? In other words, could Toyota make an H.D. Tundra on the current platform using the 5.7L and the 4.5L diesel engines? Toyota could beef up the current truck’s frame and payload ratings and position the H.D. Tundra as a smart alternative to the big hulking Super Duty – diesel power, great towing and hauling ability, but a lower cost and better fuel economy than big trucks from Ford, Dodge, and G.M.

By making an H.D. Tundra that is nothing more than a slightly beefed-up 1/2 ton Tundra, Toyota would save some money in terms of R&D. The marketplace seems to be embracing smaller trucks (see F150 poaching Super Duty buyers), so it’s possible that consumers would really appreciate a “light” heavy duty Tundra.

Thoughts? Would you be interested in a beefed-up half ton Tundra that hauled and towed a little bit more than the current half-ton but that offered similar mileage and pricing? Do you think it’s a good idea?

Filed Under: Tundra News


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  1. Mickey says:

    I’m sure it’s neded but in my case I wouldn’t want one. Don’t have a need for it.

  2. Fair enough. Mike at pointed out that HD trucks fall outside the new fuel economy rules, so there’s not as much of an incentive to produce this “light” HD truck.

  3. TXTee says:

    I don’t need anymore than what Tundra currently offers as well so never been too interested if Toyota would enter the heavier duty market. The only improvement I’m looking for so far is interior aesthetics because the cabin is a bit dry but other than that I’m VERY happy with this truck.

  4. Art64 says:

    Beefed up half ton? Why not go with a 3/4 ton or 1 ton? We already have a supercharger to beef up a half ton. A half ton truck will only be rated for that category–1/2 ton. It’s not gonna be rated to carry a 3/4 ton payload or towing capacity.

  5. Art64 – The idea is that Toyota could use the current truck design to produce both a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton. The only difference would be stiffer springs, frame bolstering, etc. The Tundra 1/2 ton is big enough to be a 3/4 ton truck, and with some modification it could be rated nearly as high as a new 3/4 ton truck from Ford, GM, or Dodge. Of course, this ‘heavy-half’ wouldn’t be quite as capable or comfortable as the 3/4 ton trucks from the domestics, so who knows if it would be viable.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “The Tundra 1/2 ton is big enough to be a 3/4 ton truck, and with some modification it could be rated nearly as high as a new 3/4 ton truck from Ford, GM, or Dodge.” If it big enough then why isn’t it? Because it is NOT big enough!! Haven’t we crossed this bridge?? So a Turd can tow16k tow as the new Ford, how about 24k as the 450. There is also Freightliners out there, according to Tundra owners a Turd can out tow them too. Really I seen a Crewmax 4X4 that was 8100lb max tow capacity on the window sticker with the tow package. so that’s what ya call “The truck thats changing everything”. So with GM filing Chapter 11 hows that plant in CA (NUMMI). The one that makes 60% GM parts and 40% Toyota. Keep putting down GM, truth is they are made in the same plant, and Toyota must not be to far behind them. So Mickey wasnt the Geo’s made in a partnership of Toyota and GM. But yet you put GM (Toyota) down, they share a plant. Maybe you should worry about corrosion in the frame area before a HD series. Baby steps!

  7. Anonymous says:

    General Motors may stop building cars at a factory it owns with Toyota in California, known as NUMMI, following the Detroit-based carmaker’s bankruptcy filing Monday, Bloomberg News reports.

    The only GM product the plant builds is the Toyota Corolla/Matrix-based Pontiac Vibe, which will be eliminated as the automaker closes down the Pontiac brand.

    The plant also builds the Toyota Corolla and Toyota Tacoma.

    GM CEO Fritz Henderson told reporters Monday that no decision had been made on its future involvement in NUMMI but discussions with Toyota are ongoing.

    NUMMI, short for New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., was established 25 years ago in a GM plant in Fremont, California, as a way for GM to learn manufacturing techniques from Toyota. A number of GM manufacturing execs have done a stint at NUMMI. Today it is the only auto assembly plant in California or the West Coast.

    One in the same, both POS’s. Pretty funny if you ask me. So Mickey how bad was that GM vehicle that you owned??? Tell me a story grandpa….

  8. Anonymous says:

    Heres a new spin on the NUMMI subject if the Goverment has stepped in to assist with GM so would say basicly funding it and running it. And then there is NUMMI that is owned by GM and Toyota do we US Goverment now have stock in Toyota, so whats the exchange rate for Yens??? And it keeps getting better just when you think buying a Turd was a good idea you findout its a overpriced under engineered GM. At least GM can make a frame that doesnt rust in half, does Toyota us the scraps GM throws to them. Boy that a tough pill to swallow.

  9. Mickey says:

    It’s funny anonymous you’re totally afraid of the Tundra. You keep writing but hiding at the same time. What year was the Tundra 4×4 Crewmax you refer to? Definitely not an 07 or newer. You know that so you keep putting up your typical B/S to try tp piss everyone off. Doesn’t work here. So now you need to replace that steak you have hanging in front of you so your dog would play with you.

  10. tmac says:

    He would like to remain anonymous…
    Just like all the people that drive chev’s would

  11. Dan says:

    2010 Tundra Crewmax with a Max Tow capacity of 8100 lbs with a 4×4 5.7l and tow package. Once a month I will check this page and poke fun at ya with no life dreaming about having a date. Its pretty funny I know more about your Trucks then you do. You want the VIN of the 2010 with the 8100lb capacity there was also 2 2009 4×2 Crewmax TRD (Poor man cant afford a real truck version) with tow capacity well under the 10k rating and a Rock edition with the same 8100lb. Pretty cool they put it right on the window sticker. What is up with the TRD package on the 4×2?? Ford has one that is pretty cool called FX2, do not get this confused with the FX4. They are proud to say its a 2wd. Then theres Chevy, funny the Z71 is 2wd unless it says 4X4 under it. Looks like NUMMI is rubbing off in more than one way. Prerunner, wanna see a real truck look at the Ford Raptor. Now there is a factory Baja truck, you want a PRERUNNER, we build the real thing. Mickey, you must be leaving your computer unlocked due to the fact some ignorant lady keeps posting comments under your name. Hows life as a security guard??

  12. Rob says:

    Even a modified (reinforced, stiffer) version of the current Tundra frame would fall far short of the domestic’s 3/4 ton real working capability. Most of the current 3/4 ton domestics, bone stock, are easily capable of handling far more weight than they are rated for.

  13. Mickey says:

    Dan that’s funny when I look at my book on the Tundra’s state a Crewmax 4×4 with tow package can tow 10,100lbs. My Crewmax has a 4×2 with a tow package of 10,400. This is straight out of the Tundra book. SO Dan you finally figured how to put your name down. I thought it was a long name hard to spell.

  14. Dan – You said that “I will check this page and poke fun at ya with no life dreaming about having a date.” Do you know what projection is?
    Get some help man.

  15. Rob – That’s true. Despite Dan’s delivery, I think his point is that you shouldn’t call a half-ton anything more than a half ton. So, I think the answer to my question is that “this is a dumb idea.” Still, it can’t hurt to ask right? 🙂

  16. TXTee says:

    Again, sad that some people have nerve to say others don’t have a life when they are the one with nothing to do but worry about a product they don’t even own.

  17. Mickey says:

    Also Dan when you go to your next ATM and it’s down or it takes your card you can blame me for that…. That’s what I do Dan not a security guard. Also I’m in heavily in Loss Prevention so I do surveillance’s so I’ll be watching you……

  18. Michael says:

    I would be interested in a Tundra HD.

  19. Peggy says:

    We have been towing our 2006, 27 foot Cougar fifth-wheel all over the western United States with our 2007 Tundra double cab, piling up more than 30,000 miles already. We added some airbags over the rear axle to beef up the 1/2 ton suspension just as a precaution. Other than that, it’s stock all the way: 5.7L, 4X2. It has out-performed both of the Ford Super Duties that preceeded it. The ’99 F250 is on it’s third tranny with fewer than 150K miles, and the ’05 F350 is in the hands of some poor sucker in Minnesota, with its lemon sticker still in place. That 1 ton boat anchor from Ford couldn’t even pull the above mentioned trailer over Pacheco Pass, a gentle little highway over the coastal hills in Central California. It blew out its first tranny in just 2200 miles – yes, twenty-two HUNDRED – not thousand, and its first turbo at 15K miles. It was all down hill from there…at least we could coast down hill! Ford was forced to repurchase the vehicle after the arbitrator ruled in our favor, stating in part, “…the customers’ concerns about the safety of the vehicle are vindicated…” As for you Chevy owners, the heavy duty trucks with the DuraMax/Allison combo seem to have been worthwhile, but why do Chevy truck owners view their vehicles as phallic symbols? Sheez – Grow up – it’s a piece of hardware.

  20. Peggy – Good info about your truck – thanks for sharing.

  21. Rich says:

    I think you Toyo guys are unfamiliar with what a HD truck is made to do. Campers and utility trailers, and fiberglass boats are not the work load in question here. I have owned c2500’s, 3500’s in pickups and I still own 2 f250 powerstrokes (1 – 6.0L, 1 – 7.3L, and 2 f450 7.3L’s and an f650 7.3L. With that said, I really like these new Tundra’s. I am considering buying one as my work/personal/bid truck. But what we do with our (guys who “WORK” 3/4 hd) trucks, is flat out abuse them. And they take it every day. We don’t have the luxuary of parking a “light” heavy duty and go pick up a real work truck to pull a skid loader, or haul stone block, dump trailer loaded with 8+ tons from job to job. Unless these Tundra’s are ready to tackle jobs like these, then step down and take the crown in a light duty arena. No room here for play ground tonkas! I would like real life situations where and if a Tundra at times has been able to pull and, more importantly stop a heavy load of 16k +… that’s the question I have. I nor anyone else who has experience with true 3/4 tons expect the Tundra to match up, bottom line it wont day in and day out, but will it do its share in real life situations? It is a good looking truck, and has to get better fuel mileage that any domestic 3/4 ton. Forget the window stickers guys, because for real, 3/4 tons are 3 times the truck a 1/2 ever could be! I promise you that. 24 gvw is just a license plate technicallity for a 3/4 ton diseil, I can tow that all day! So if anyone can give me so real info on these trucks, I would really like to own one. Not to replace a work truck, but to do a heavy job if one comes up from time to time. Make sense?

  22. Jason (Admin) says:

    Rich – I know that the big diesel trucks are a different type of vehicle, but if you re-read the article you’ll see that the question I have is very specific: If Toyota built a beefed-up half-ton, would you buy it?

    Clearly, your answer is “no”. However, for the reasons listed in the article, it’s clear that some people may say yes.

    Also, if you’ll recall, Ford made a “heavy half” F250 based on the F150 between 1997 and 1999…and they sold a few thousand copies. It’s probably because some people don’t need a full 3/4 ton.

    Make sense?

  23. Rich says:

    What is the point? If you have already dominated the half ton market why single yourself out in a tiny market gap for “heavy” half ton. Build a 3/4 ton. You’ll notice that the difference is suspension and braking power. Not motors. Guys who haul need strong motors yes, but more important, trannys, brakes and suspension. Your dangling a candy store idea here. Build a 3/4 ton gas motor and watch sales climb. Toyo makes great vehicles, just not in commercial truck arena. Lawncare guys would gobble these trucks up across relations if they had 3/4 ton specs to put them at ease. Just my opinion. Guys like me have the need for big trucks but would like to have a truck for personal use that looked sharper, pulled harder and stopped better than a 1/2 ton but without having to drive around in a big bulky truck everyday empty. We do it because it is all to common for us to have to grab a trailer and some material or haul something. Hence the details demanded in a truck listed above. Anyhow, again my opinion.

  24. Jason (Admin) says:

    Rich – Fair enough. I think you’re right that a true 3/4 ton would sell better, but I think Toyota might be looking for a way to boost sales volume without making a huge investment.

    I respect your opinion, however. A true “HD” Tundra would be better in most respects than some sort of up-fitted half-ton. Unfortunately, all my sources tell me there’s no HD Tundra in the cards.

  25. Frank says:

    Theres alot of knowitallism going on here in my opinion, and it makes as much sense as it never has in the past, the Tundra is a fine work truck – within it’s limitations.

    I’ve seen many 1/2 ton work trucks that do just that – work, day in and day out, the Tundra being one of them. I’ve also seen many 3/4 and 1 ton grocery getters, who’s owners just HAD to have dual rear wheels to pick up the occasional 2×4 at Lowes or Home Depot, or tow the fishing boat on the odd

    This bashing is pure nonsense. 24k loads? Sorry friends, but if my line of work required that level of capability on the daily, I’m buying a used 450 / 550 / International 4700 that I can beat on without worrying about making it lose its pretiness – lets get real here.

    And for the record, I’m a hard working blue collar guy, and have no problem admitting that any half ton offered today would easily meet my needs of 2000lb payloads or less daily, and pulling up to (sometimes) 4-5k in trailer weight

    The Tundra outperforms the competition within its limitations in my opinion, and yes – when its used for work, it IS a real work truck.

    Good day gents.

  26. Rich says:

    Frank, you almost made sense w your comment. I really like the Tundra. But like you mentioned.the.occasional use of truck owners is the other end of.the spectrum. I drive a single axle 3/4 diesel. I still have a pick up for those 2 x’s but I also can pull 4 skid of stone on a 4 ton trailer, or skid loader.or 10k dump trailer and park at the mall on Saturday w my family when empty. That’s the difference. The 1/2 tons are for guys who want suv’ s w a pick up bed. They ride nice and look great. Bottom like won’t make it in the construction field if you have to haul something large and more over stop it! Just can’t justify taking a tundra back to the shop to swap it for a stand by 450 as you stated. Do you know the cost of insurance on commercial trucks? I see what your saying. Probably better built than any half ton out there, but still the best fit for pick- up truck owners to do the most work without going duels is 3/4 tons. No contest.

  27. Jason (Admin) says:

    Frank – Well said.

  28. Dan says:

    The trouble with Tundra right now it is with it’s extremely weak payload.Toyota listen up,we want a 3/4 ton HD truck,gas or diesel it doesn’t matter but give us the payload .Right now the Toyota Tundra has one of the lowest payloads on the market,who cares about 10 years ago when it would have been in the HD league,we want one now with 2800 lbs payload not 1200 for the crew cab…unless you want to settle for regular cab,long box and a max of 1800 lbs payload…Toyota,give us the real truck or else we will all be buying Fords,GM’s or Dodges…

  29. Jason (Admin) says:

    Dan – I hear what you’re saying. Ford’s 7700 package lets people put some serious weight in an F150, but even in that case it’s just on regular cabs and extended cabs.

    As for a heavy payload in a half-ton crew? Not so sure anyone will be doing that, but we’ll see. The new Tundra is due out in 18 months or so…

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