As many horsies I can pack under that hood and as many gears steep I can fit.
Never mind that crappy tall gears. If you had a big enough transmission and can shamble along at 85 before hitting red line then alls well.
The first 4 years was nothing but company issued tall gears which fall down 4 gears or dip into top of low range on a little hump in the Midwest or PA. Sick of it. Never again. I tasted my first true western truck later in the 90’s with the right amount of horse and steep gears. Climb anything out west provided its not too steep at close to speed limit.
One of my older road cars was a mountain car, the axle was a bit over 4 something back there with a second aux OD box behind the trans. Get across 40 in Tennessee at 70 without having to struggle loaded to the east coast and back. Its not fast. Thats the key. Just shamble along. Add fuel as needed.
What the modern trucks take away is the ability to have gauges on the side dash following each of the axles and transmission temperatures, pyro, engine temperature oil and so forth. That additional information helps you make sure shes doing well and not running too hot. Its really important.