If you are pulling heavy loads for long distances, I'd go with the diesel. What you are describing doesn't sound heavy to me (you may know better) - so I believe you'd be fine with gas. I'm also a Ford truck guy, but I have friends who have both Chevys (GMCs, actually) and Rams and they each swear by their truck brand. I don't know a lot about transmissions, but the gear ratio is where it's at with regard to pulling vs. gas mileage. I'd love to have a diesel, but I just can't justify the extra cost and I've never had any issues with my 2004 F-150 that has a gas engine and a transmission that is geared for pulling vs. gas mileage. My gas mileage in this truck is not good - 14-15 mpg on a good day. But I only drive it about 3500-4000 miles per year and most of the time I'm pulling a gooseneck with calves or rolls of hay. I've never hooked this little truck to a load of calves or rolls of hay (16 ft trailers) where there has been any debate about whether or not it would pull them. Now, most of my miles are in Mercer and Boyle counties - not a lot of hills - but I've pulled loads of calves through Casey county to the Russell county stockyards and never had any issues. If I had bought a truck for gas mileage, I'm sure it wouldn't pull as well. I agree with the premise that is called out in several of the threads above. There are advantages and disadvantages to each brand and you have to look at what the truck offers vs. what you want vs. what you really need vs. what you want to spend in order to make a good decision. Hope to see you on the open road in a few years!