Monday’s post by Jim Klein about a Ram 3500 with the optional diesel having 1,000 ft-lbs of torque generated all manner of comments.
CC has long been successful in bringing people of all backgrounds and lifestyles together so this is a collective opportunity for sharing and learning. This question popped into my head while chatting with Jim and we agreed it was too good to not ask. We’ve heard from those who have no need for pickups so let’s hear from those who do indeed need a pickup for whatever purpose.
What pickup do you have? What engine does it have? And, what do you use it for? Is there anything else about it you want to tell us?
Lastly, I would encourage anyone reading this who has never commented to do so. We are curious about your pickup.
Had many pickups over the years 69 f100 75 c20 94 dakota 88 f150 current 17 frontier. All sixes two newest the only autoboxes. Agree since 90s full size trucks are way too big and inefficient for everyday use unless u pull big trailers for a living.
1987 El Camino with a 4.3 V-6 and 4 speed automatic (in ’87 the V-6 came with fuel injection).
A daily driver (one of two I use), and the go-to ride for my Saturday morning junkyard trips.
It currently has about 85,000 miles, and is nearly rust-free, having spent most of it’s life in the San Gabriel valley east of LA.
Currently I have a 2009 Chevy Silvarado short wide bed 4.3 v6/auto. Great truck and is all I need. I SOMEtimes wish I had the extra space of an extended cab or quad cab, but not very often. I’m 5’10 so I have no love for the late model trucks that are so tall that I can’t reach over the bed sides. This is a key point for me in owning a truck and I wish they still made true step sides.
As a young guy in my current situation I probably don’t need a pickup but when you are given one and enjoy them so much it is worth owning. I have a 1997 f150 regular cab with a flareside bed. It is a 4×4 and has a 5.4 triton with 340000kms on it. I use it’s ability often to haul stuff fairly often. Having a farm and enjoying the out doors I use it’s off road ability often too. Although for the most part I could fufil my needs with a much smaller, efficient vehicle I will always own a truck.
I’ve had four in the past: 1991 Dodge Dakota, 4cyl/5speed; 1996 Dodge Dakota 4×4, 6cyl/auto; 1998 Chevy S-10, 6cyl/auto, 2003 Ford Ranger 6cyl/auto. The two Dakotas were used for my reenactment sutlery business, and hauling motorcycles, either in the bed or two at a time on a trailer.
And I’ve always had a need for something that’ll haul loads and motorcycles. But I don’t haul dirty loads. With that restriction gone, I’ve found a minivan works much better, and it will pull a trailer to haul a motorcycle, but I’m not using it for that purpose as often as I did the pickups.
2011 F150 XLT crew cab. 3.5 Ecoboost.
It tows our travel trailer around when we camp, or our utility trailer when hauling things. I moved a 7′ hot tub 80 miles on that trailer last weekend.
Our ATV finds its way into the bed frequently, when it is not on said utility trailer.
Other than that, my wife uses it to run around town in, and I use our car to commute.
We bought the crew cab when we were hauling kids more often than things. The kids are now older, so its replacement will be an extended cab with a longer box, when the time comes.
I’ve owned four pickups since 1983, and own one now. All 4 wheel drive, three with an extended cab and one double cab. All smaller than what’s now considered full size: a 1981 Datsun 720 KingCab, a 1986 Ford’s Ranger SuperCab, then a gap of almost 20 years without a pickup to a 1997 Toyota T100 XtraCab and for the last three years, a 2016 Tacoma Double Cab Short Bed which I currently own. Except for the Datsun, and the first three years I owned the Ranger before getting married (to a women who also owned a pickup), they were second (or third) family cars but typically were my daily driver. During the 20 year gap, I mostly drove a Land Cruiser wagon and a Forester. I mention that for two reasons; I felt a need for AWD or 4WD, and both “wagons” were pressed into use hauling all kind stuff of loads, including stuffing them to the gills with yard debris and other trash for dump runs. So, arguably, I didn’t really need a pickup.
That said, I like driving pickups. I like the utility, the driving position and visibility, and yes, the image. In my youth, I autocrossed and roadraced four cylinder compacts, and certainly broke a few traffic laws on twisty canyon roads. But now I’m old and slow, I enjoy the journey but also the destination, especially when it involves unpaved roads and remote forests, mountains or deserts. I’m not crazy about the powertrain in my Tacoma, the Atkinson cycle 3.5 V6 with six speed automatic. And especially I don’t like the gas mileage … personal expense and environmental impact … but try to compensate by walking and bicycling around town as much as possible, and try to use our Golf where we don’t need the truck. I don’t use the 4WD, let alone the TRD OffRoad features as much as I’d like, but the crawl control and rear locker have helped me out once or twice. The OEM Bilstein shocks are showing some age after 65K miles, but otherwise the truck has been completely reliable after a few early software and hardware glitches covered painlessly under warranty.
I have an Toyota SUV daily driver but I also have a 1988 F150 4×4 for hardware, dump, and winter plowing duty and a 1980 F100 for week-ends.
I have owned one and have daily-driven one (for about a six week stretch).
My own was a 1963 Ford F-100 with a six and a 4 speed stick. It was a toy. What is funny is that the Ford would absolutely wear me out after a Saturday morning of horsing it around while the Ram 3500 Jim tested would have left me fresh as a daisy.
My last 6 weeks of my first year of law school my 71 Scamp was sidelined and I borrowed the 81 Datsun 4×4 King Cab pickup my father had bought. He bought it to plow snow on a private road and to be a general utility vehicle. Plus, with all of the stripes, decals and the roll bar (Oops, light bar) he thought it was cool. It was about as pleasant to drive as the F-100 I later owned, except it had a wider turning circle and less torque.
Currently, no. I’ve owned 2 full-size single cab Dodges, a Jeep Scrambler, and briefly a sad pathetic ford ranger which I absolutely LOATHED. Im debating on scoring another truck to compliment my Challenger for camping trips, furniture hauling, inclement weather, 4×4 debauchery etc. I’ve never owned a 2nd gen Ram or mini Ram Dakota, but would love either. I tend to be pretty picky with my vehicles. I always have a specific idea of what the right ride for me is. I don’t approach a vehicle purchase like I’m replacing a broken toaster or TV.
Yes I have a pickup, well actually more than one.
The one that sits in my driveway and does the work is an 06 F-250 Crew Cab, 8′ bed, Shift on the fly 4×4, 3v 5.4l and the close ratio 4sp with Low and Overdrive. It is wearing a Workmaster canopy with the tool box inside the driver’s side panel, opening passenger side window and barn doors with tail gate removed.
It gets used for all sorts of hauling, from building materials, to furniture and appliances, to equipment for the non-profit I work with. It is also my primary transportation when we do get the unusual heavy snow. In the ~3 years I’ve owned it I’ve racked up about 12,000 mi. A number of my tools reside in that side box so it it ready to help me get many jobs done on short notice.
I also own an 02 F-150 Super Cab, 6.5′ bed, lever operated 4×4, 2v 5.4, and automatic. It resides in the town where my kids go to school and I own some properties.
I use it for working on said properties and transportation when I’m there with the wife. It was also picked up for that 4wd as the house my son lives in is at the bottom of a steep hill in a community that gets snow when no place around does. No one gets out of that street w/o 4×4 when the snow gets thick. It also comes in handy when there is a problem with one of their cars or they need a 6 passenger vehicle. This year it earned its keep when the heater core on my son’s car started leaking in the middle of my busy season and he had no one experienced enough to help him pull out the dash and replace it. It also comes down to my house occasionally to haul bulk materials like gravel since it doesn’t have a canopy.
3rd pickup is my 72 IH Scout II Cab Top. It has the 345, close ratio 4sp and the 2sp 4×4. It is down right now as it needs front brakes and I’m not fixing the drums on the Dana 30 so I need to brake down and install the disc brake Dana 44. When it is on the road it often just gets used as a convertible, but it is also used for hauling lawn mowers and other things that will fit in its 5′ bed. It has also hauled a lot of gravel over the years. It will carry 1500lbs w/o breaking a sweat and it is perfect for taking it right where it needs to go even in the tightest of spaces. Hopefully it will be back on the road next summer.
I have two. One is a 1967 GMC short stepside that is more of a “sport truck” since it is lowered and it has a nice fat camper special sway bar on it. Handles like a car! Recently acquired a beat up half ton ’71 Chevy long bed with a 307 and Powerglide! that I now use for home improvement store runs. The longer bed and helper springs make it so much handier.
Well, Akismet or perhaps some other internet pothole swallowed my original verbose reply, so I’ll be brief and hope it gets through. I’ve owned 4 pickups in the last 35 years, including my current 4wd 2016 Tacoma TRD OffRoad. I use it for fun and a bit of work, though realistically other vehicles would be as good or better for the latter. A 5’ bed isn’t great for 8’ lumber. But I’ll probably always own a pickup, and though all of mine have been sub-full-size and we’re daily drivers, I could see getting a slightly larger pickup with a camper for extended vacations. I know a van is probably more useful, as Paul has shown, but I guess I’m a pickup guy, though I only came to that after 10 years of small/sporty car ownership.
I had 5 pickups from 1986 to 2017. Before that big wagons worked for me. After I retired my last truck, I’ve used a Chevy HHR with a utility trailer. The front passenger seat folds as well as the back seat, making hauling 8 foot lumber in the car a breeze. It’s not wide enough for plywood but that’s where the trailer comes in. It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad. New trucks are too big in all the wrong places and wayyyy too expensive, and in my opinion, uglier than ever.
I’ve never owned a pick-up truck. I grew up with Depression born parents and I was taught, well, it was drummed into me, that one should never consume more than one needs.
I don’t particularly like paying taxes, either, so I don’t smoke, drink or drive a vehicle larger than the one I need. Regular gasoline runs about C$1.50 a litre in Vancouver at the moment, so a vehicle that uses 15L/100 km is simply not going to happen for me, since I usually drive 2000 km a month.
Trucks are very expensive for what they are, the average transaction price in Canada being about C$60K. The new car I bought last year cost less than half that price.
So I guess I am old school. I don’t like consuming more than I need.But then again, such beliefs have led to a rather early retirement.
I sometimes forget I have a pickup. Best thing I did was get a battery shut off switch. So when I need a truck, it starts.
Trucks have gotten overly expensive, but if you are willing to give up luxury there are deals to be had.
You can still pick up a new basic 2wd regular cab for just over $20K. I paid $34K for a new crew cab 4×4 with aluminum body, direct and port injected twin turbocharged engine, and 10 speed transmission. It does 0-60 in under 7 seconds, tows 7600 pounds, and has consistently been getting better city gas mileage than our minivan. Resale is excellent.
I think it’s a great value for what it is. It would not be at MSRP but nobody pays that. Many people are paying a lot more for little to no more capability, but hey if they weren’t then my truck would have been more expensive so I’m not complaining.
I have had one, a 1997 Ranger, bought new, 5 speed XLT with the 4. It was my daily driver for the 5 years I had it. It was more fashion statement than anything, as it mostly was used to haul air. It was a cheaper option than a mid-size car, and at the time, it fit my frame better (I was over 300lbs then). I don’t regret having one, but I don’t think I would have another, regardless. My life, even though I own a home, does not require my hauling much bulky, and without kids or family, I don’t need a 4 door, and living in Florida means I have no need for a 4X4. I guess that I would be an ideal candidate for one of the proposed subcompact trucks from Ford or VW or Hyundai, but unless they are really cheap, I think I’ll still pass. I would still prefer a hatch or trunk over a bed.
I got a camper shell for my 2011 Ranger (daily driver) & don’t regret it when I was able to haul all my luggage in the bed to Edisto Beach last year without any tie-downs. But it’s still not quite the same as a van for interior capacity (especially for passengers) & that’s why I eventually found an ’05 Chevy Astro to fill the void of my ’96 Aerostar. I still have the Ranger.
I’ve only ever had one, which was actually my ex’s, but we bought it when we were married.
It was a 2002 Chevy S-10 and it really was the little truck that could. For basic homeowner needs, it was perfect (to me at least). Ironically, my current wife had the same truck when we started dating before she got her Lancer. The only difference was it was an extended cab, whereas the one my ex and I had was a basic S-10. Hers was also black while ours was dark blue.
I would’ve liked a 4.3L V6 better, but the little 2.2L 4-cyl got the job done most of the time. I say most of the time because one time when we went camping in the Western Maryland Mountains, with all of our gear (and a few friends’ gear too) loaded up into the back, with the AC on, it was a challenge on I-68 getting up to the Sideling Hill Road Cut Rest Stop. I had to immediately get into the right lane like I was driving a loaded down semi. That little 4-cyl was OK, but that was a rude awakening on the little truck’s lack of power.
Speaking of the AC, that thing would freeze you out! I suspect it had WAY too high a SEER Rating for the tiny little cab on that thing, as well as robbing the power from that little engine that could.
Both my ex and current wives miss their trucks, but would prefer a bro-dozer size one next time.
The ex really wanted a GMC Sierra back in the day, and Mrs. RetroStang Rick says she might want an F-150. I’m trying to talk the latter into a more reasonably sized Ranger, Canyon, or Dakota (if they still make ‘em), as that really is all the truck we really need. But my wife is also intrigued by the thought of a CUV like a Honda CR-V instead of a truck these days for her next vehicle. As much as I’m not really a fan of either type, I’m starting to understand the practicality of such a vehicle, so perhaps “Resistance [really] is Futile”. ;o)
Oh cool!! I found a picture of it! I absolutely loved the wheels on that thing…
These little trucks had everything just right by this time.
Which is, of course, why GM cancelled them.
Yep, I loved my S-10. Unfortunately, they were out of production by the time it was due for replacement, and the general word was “don’t bother with a Colorado” so I went Ford Ranger set up to be its equal (2WD, stretch cab, V-6 with automatic).
What a crashing disappointment!
Same with my ’93 Ranger. The 4-cylinder made all of maybe 95 hp and while it was a great truck, when I tried to take it up a mountain road in Wyoming while loaded with camping gear, it literally wouldn’t go faster than 25mph. I crept the whole way up in the right lane with my hazards on. But it (eventually) made it, with no problems.
Mine at least made 42 mph on that long 6% or 7% grade. Thankfully, I was getting off at the rest stop featured in my link above. That was the first big incline I faced. After that, I was ready for it and built up a good head of steam on the downhill side when I could.
No, but probably will for my next daily driver. I’m not a truck person, but I’m also not an economy car or crossover fan either, so given the fact that I sometimes find myself in awkward/impossible situations trying to transport an engine, toolbox or something of similar bulk in said compactcar, a pickup is really the natural choice. Plus given the fact that I do my own maintenance, a vehicle as simple, rugged and easy to work on as a traditional pickup is far better for a vehicle I don’t really care about that much. I’m about over the tight access and costlier 4 wheel alignments that comes with a typical modern car.
I won’t give the whole game away until my next COAL, but I’ve now owned a truck for almost a year and frankly should have done it a lot sooner. It’s older and well used and much less expensive than a new one would have been and as such I’m not particularly concerned with its exterior looks or condition.
However. It’s saving me tons of time and wear and tear on the other vehicles from not having to put dirty, or oversized, or wet, or damaging materials in them anymore. Not having to deal with U-Haul is every bit the blessing it sounds like. It comes in extremely handy more often that I ever would have realized. It’s reliable enough that we took the whole family and more luggage than ever before to the West Coast for Christmas. It’s letting me enjoy my semi-retired (as much as I want to be) lifestyle in ways I never imagined. Love it!
I could likely resell it for close to what I paid for it and don’t see that status changing soon. And as an added bonus our insurance company rates the youngest driver (our newly licensed daughter) on the cheapest vehicle and thus having this one is actually saving us money on insurance versus the other four vehicles.
I live in a medium sized city and have plenty of parking for it. If I lived in downtown SF again this particular one probably wouldn’t be the optimum vehicle. But if I had to do my COAL selections all over again I’m fairly certain a truck would start to feature within the first ten vehicles, rather than being close to the 50th.
You shouldn’t tease us like this.
For occasional use it just makes sense to get an older well worn truck, that still has life left in it. Since you didn’t spend big bucks if it gets another dent or scratch its no big deal and the fact that the interior gets muddy, coffee gets spilled ect isn’t going to be the end of the world.
Now if it is the primary daily driver that racks up a lot of miles then it might be a different story.
It’s a white cabover Hino. Or not. 🙂
Hehe! Now, now.
A pickup is all I have ever owned, or at least driven as my own daily driver. I currently have two, a daily driver and much like Jim, the subject of my next Truck of a Lifetime when I finally get around to finishing it.
The daily driver is 2012 Ford F350 Crew Cab 4X4 XLT – Diesel, long box charcoal grey. I purchased it used in 2015 and commute daily about a 50 mile round trip with it. Also used for:
– Snowmobiling; it has a two place aluminum deck on it year around and also for hauling ATV’s and dirt bikes
– Towing my 28′ travel trailer
– Towing a 24′ car trailer for my various project trucks
– Business use, including travel to other cities (400-500 miles) and occasional hauling duty for the business.
Annual use of 35,000 km (22,000 miles)
For most off pavement/ off road and hauling dirt my 1978 F250 4X4 does all the dirty work.
Located in a Canadian city of 40,000 or so where there are more trucks than not, and most families have at least one.
Great question to ask and the responses are interesting to read.
Not now, I have no use for one, I did have a AL110 with silver diamond six, it would pull far more than it was rated for though I dont know what that figure was, its primary function was carrying dirt bikes though it towed several broken Datsuns home to the village, they were not its heaviest feat by a long way a water logged 25 ft Kauri launch and the K model Bedford that couldnt get traction on a boat ramp would take that prize and it just drove away with them on a strap, Good old truck really.
I’ve had 2 S10 pickups, both configured the same with the 2.2L 4 cyl and a 5 speed. I rather liked the well used first one, a ‘94, so I thought it would be even better to have a new one. So I bought a new 2001, and never cared for it. It had been repainted in spots, and a bunch of other minor quality flaws that you’d expect in a Chevy from the ‘’70s. And good grief was it slow.
We traded it in after 14 years to get a new car for my wife, and I kept her old Toyota Matrix with 2X the mileage. I couldn’t stand driving that S10 anymore, and I feel like I’m driving a Lexus now by comparison. I used my truck to haul my bike and other gear, but I can do this with the Matrix. The S10 was great to have when we moved some years back, but how often do you do that? The Matrix has surprised me with its cargo capacity, and I’ve only missed the S10 once in the last 4+ years. I hope that S10 went to a good home; it just wasn’t for me.
When I worked for GM we used to call the 2.2 “the rock crusher.” These Chevy motors were bulletproof and would tolerate little maintenance. Not exactly the sweetest sounding thing!
I had zero interest in owning a pickup until my wife and I moved onto 11 acres and got a few (17) sheep. She made me buy a truck, against my will. Got a low-mileage 2004 Ranger, 6 cylinder, extended cab step-side. And its great. I pick up 4-6 bales of straw every other week (I used to do this 2 at a time in my Xb), haul sheets of plywood and 2x4s for a pump house I’m building, bring the dog along in the extended cab,and its available for towing a 900 lb trailer plus 1700 lb of sheep should we have to evacuate because of fire (Northern California you know). Also small enough to drive in and around San Francisco when I need to pick up materials at a building recycling place.
If I were a city dweller I still would not own a pickup but in the country, on my little property, my little Ranger is just right.
I was never a “truck guy” until I bought our second home and realized that my ’88 Volvo 240 DL wagon was no longer going to cut it for the abuse that I was going to heap onto it for our dual home ownership needs. Plus, I wanted a semi-reliable work beater so as to save our other, nicer cars.
I eventually bought a VERY used ’93 Ranger for this task for $800. It was great in that I did not care what happened to it and could haul things that wouldn’t fit into our other two cars. I sold it once we bought our minivan and regretted it.
Two summers ago, I found another pickup. It’s a ’92 GMC Sierra. 4 speed manual with overdrive, 4.3 V6, crank windows, rubber floors, and no AC. It looks like an old government surplus truck. But it only had 127k miles and for all of $1000 it has been doing the job my Ranger did flawlessly.
I can haul our little pop-up camper, throw my kayaks, mountain bikes, or fishing gear into the back. I can haul 60 bags of mulch or several used appliances for our rental. I can drive it anywhere and not care what happens to it. When we take it to the beach and the floors get caked with sand, I don’t bat an eye. Dents? Ha! Who cares, it’s a pickup–it just adds character!
That said, I would never spend big money on a truck. I would feel too reluctant and guilty to use it for real “truck things”.
I bought my one and only pickup 11 years ago and still own it. In 2008 I went to my local (now defunct) GMC dealer. At the time, gasoline was hitting $4 a gallon for the first time and pickups and big SUVs were languishing on their lot and got a really good deal on the kind of truck I really wanted. I got a 2-wheel drive Sierra 1500 extended cab with traction control, which has served me well trough every snow storm. The intended reason for this purchase was that I would be transporting two kids to college and back, round trip of over 400 miles. Three years after the youngest graduated I still have the truck with 97k miles. I plan to keep it another 11 years, at the least and will probably be my last pickup as well.
My daily driver, and my first full-size pickup (other than the 1953 IH R-110 project that never achieved liftoff), is a 2014 F150 XLT Supercrew with the 5.5 ft box (folding aluminum tonneau cover) and 5.0 V-8. Purchased new in July 2014, it currently has 54k miles, so I don’t do a ton of driving. It pulls my 22 ft pontoon boat, my 12 ft flatbed utility trailer (sleds/ATVs/JD tractor), as well as easily hauling whatever combinations of landscape supplies, luggage, furniture, or whatever are being hauled back and forth between suburban and lake homes.
I average 18-19 mpg in the warm weather, closer to 16-17 mpg in the cold, and down around 13-14 mpg when towing. I could average 20-21mpg on the interstate in warm weather, assuming I stuck to the speed limit in the right lane, but I don’t want to get rear-ended, so I don’t. This truck is something of an extravagance for me, and I could live without it, assuming I had a vehicle with a towing capacity of (ideally) at least 5000lbs or so. That would limit me to at least a mid-size SUV or pickup (with 4WD/AWD for up MN/WI snow).
If I switched to a mid-size SUV, the trailer would be used more, which can be a hassle. For a smaller truck, the new Ranger is somewhat intriguing, but wasn’t available 5 years ago when I bought the F150, no apparent cost advantage to me at today’s prices, and it appears leg room really sucks in the four doors. The Tacoma would be a lot more attractive if Toyota had bothered to update more significantly, and I haven’t forgiven GM for screwing a lot of people by taking the bankruptcy route (which Ford avoided) so the Colorado/Canyon would really need to impress. First glance says they’d probably be worth a look. The Nissan Frontier has an outrageously cramped cab, to the extent we asked for a different vehicle when we were assigned one as a recent airport rental. I guess the Honda Ridgeline would be worth a look, but to me it still looks like half a Pilot.
The F150 pretty much does it all. Six passengers if needed, 7500lb towing capacity as equipped, and a box big enough for me. I will say the one downside of the F150 is its size. The large size is certainly a function of its utility, but I don’t like people parking next to me. Not a problem at Home Depot, for instance, where I can park in the hinterland and walk, but in a small, cramped parking lot I get real nervous about careless neighbors leaving door dings. Some people just don’t care.
If I couldn’t have this truck, or say a truck this large, I’d probably lean toward a Highlander at this point. I’ve always liked Toyota and Honda, having owned several over the years. The Highlander is to me better looking than the Pilot, has workable cargo space, Toyota reliability, good towing capacity, acceptable efficiency, and not outrageously priced (although that assumes one is desensitized to paying $40k +). I might even consider the Highlander Hybrid, understanding I’d need to work around the 3500lb towing limit.
1998 F-150 SuperCab 4×4 with the 4.6l V8, towing package & factory skid plates. Bought it brand new. I’ve taken it off-roading / mudding (not the serious stuff, but more than just dirt roads). Used it to tow a popup camper, haul wood, appliances, furniture, filled it to the gills with camping equipment for four people. It’s been a good truck & has lasted for over 225,000 miles. It’s well worn but very faithful. Now its helping my daughter learn how to drive.
I’ve never owned a pickup. In 37 years of driving, I’ve never had a true need for any of the utility or benefit they provide. I’ve never said “man, I really wish I had a pickup”. I get why people like them and why some need them. But as a daily driver, while it’s nice to be up high, it doesn’t seem to be too enjoyable or economical to drive, especially the full sized ones. Seems to me the mid-sizers like the Tacoma/Ranger/Canyon-Colorado would check all the boxes for most people. Nowadays though the sell price for mid and full size isn’t too great, depending how you option it, nor is the fuel economy penalty.
I drive company cars, and currently have an X-Trail (Rogue). But I frequently borrow utes (usuall Nissan Navaras or Ford Rangers) from our yards when I’m going on holiday etc. I’m trying to arrange one for my next car.
When we go camping we take quite a bit of gear with us, and a double cab ute fits all the gear and the family with no problems. I could probably make do with the X-Trail, but we’d have to compromise on a number of things.
We have the Silverado 2500 and 3500 on sale at one of our dealerships, but I’d never go that big. Just way too huge for NZ roads and carparks.
2015 Ram 1500 Big Horn quad cab. My first truck, only had it a year and a half, and I absolutely love it. It’s my daily driver in addition to being used to occasionally pull a boat. It’s big and roomy, which I like, in addition to just being a good looking truck. It’s come in handy now so many times I can’t imagine not having a truck. Also, if people get bent out of shape because my daily driver is big gas guzzler that just fills me with glee.
I’ve never owned one, though I’ve used my all cars as pickups. Whenever we’ve moved my Cortina was loaded to the roofline with small things that weren’t worth picking in the moving van, while the kids rode in the other car. The Cortina, Swift, (Ford) Laser and Mazda 3 have all carted home bales of hay (one at a time), bags of feed, posts, rolls of wire, and other pickup kinda stuff. Yeah, it’s raised a few eyebrows at the farm supply. For rubbish and loads of earth we have a trailer.
Never needed a pickup, just worked my cars hard. Use what you’ve got; that’s the old-fashioned way, I guess.
That reminds of the time my dad used his 1979 Corolla wagon to haul a load of manure for mom’s garden. Yes, you read that right… manure. He just folded down the back seat, put down a tarp, and shoveled it in. And swept it out real good afterwards.
And the smell?
I don’t recall that being a big issue. This was old, dried up manure, definitely not fresh stuff, hence being able to sweep it out. And it was horse manure, not cow, if that makes a difference (I have to admit I haven’t spend enough time on farms to know if they smell different).
It does make a difference, having shoveled tons of both over the years.
All of our “car” vehicles have done double duty carrying all manner of construction supplies, etc. Did you know a New Beetle can carry up to six 8′ 2×4 studs, inside, with the tailgate closed? Hauled a new, in the box dishwasher home to my Dad’s house in my ’15 Honda Fit. Sometimes I had no choice but to use the car when the truck was down for some reason.
Got a good chuckle at the landfill when I pulled across the scales in Herbie with a small utility trailer and a load of farm and residential trash. Also got some laughs pulling a manure spreader home (again, with Herbie) from a farm auction.
I remember times when we still had our New Beetle, when its sunroof made it our best hauler for long skinny loads. Our 5’ bed Tacoma also has a sunroof, but a shorter cab plus a small rear sliding window opening create surprising challenges even for 2”x2” lumber or PVC pipe. No sunroof on the Golf which is Beetle’s replacement.
I haven’t owned a pickup since my 1988 Ranger. The grand caravan does everything a pickup could do for me and much more.
Two caveats on that, if I ever really need a pickup truck I can borrow the truck from work, which is a big 10 year old Toyota with 5.7 l V8
Also being from Canada there is less cultural norm to own a big pickup.
No, I’ve never owned a pickup. Sometimes I’ve thought it might be nice to have something like an old 1990s era Tacoma for hauling the occasional load of mulch and such, but I don’t think I can justify paying for registration and insurance on a vehicle I’ll only use very occasionally. I’m probably better off just renting a truck on the very rare occasions I need one, or just having stuff delivered rather than hauling it myself.
I have had 2
My first was a 2010 Reg Cab Ford Ranger. I bought it from Carmax and had it for a big 2 weeks before it went in for a warranty issue and was left on a lift that was recently installed overnight. The next morning they found the truck laying on its side. The lift broke and the truck fell. They promptly bought it back and gave me $3000 extra on top of the price I paid to them and the cost of all the fees (tags/taxes etc)
My next truck was a 2011 Chevy Colorado Reg Cab (aka the white work truck). This was bought in 2015 and only had a CD Player, AC, and auto trans as the optional features. It had a rubber floor and vinyl seats with manual windows.
I actually used it as a daily driver from 2015 to 2018.
I got a cap for a very good price. It was a demo model. It was blue but as a I am a cheap B*stard, I went ahead and bought it and christened the truck the “Dodgers Truck”
It was a good truck until the final year of ownership(2018) when if left sitting for 3 days the battery would be dead. I had to disconnect the battery if I let it sit. I spent hours diagnosing the issue and could not find it. The dealer also looked over it(on my coin) and could not find it.
The end of it came when I realized 3 things.
1. I had a beater GM van that I was using to haul crap in
2. I wanted a brand new car with a long warranty
3. I was tired of disconnecting a battery all the time.
I traded it in and bought a 2018 Hyundai Elantra
Here is a pic of both my Colorado and GM van at the dealer. I drove up to look at cars in my van and bought my Elantra that day. The dealer wanted me to take possession of the Elantra that night yet allowed me to leave my van there over night and bring the Colorado back the next morning.
I think that was the last truck for me, i really did not use it for much trucky things and the things I did use it for, the van replaced it.
Not currently, but I have had a few over the years. The most recent was a 1995 Chevrolet K2500 4×4, extended cab, long box, 350 powered. I bought it for hauling materials for my renovation projects and junk hauling trips to the dump… and ended up installing a fifth wheel hitch in the box and using it for camping as well. It was a decent truck despite it’s age (I owned it from 2013-2016). I sold it after we decided to sell the fifth wheel, as my wife bought a Ford Expedition and we decided to get a utility trailer to use for hauling instead.
I used to have a 2003 Avalanche that I owned for 3-4 years and while that was not a legit pick up truck, it was a very versatile machine that definitely allowed me to do a lot of different things with it. Great truck!
The only other pick up I had was my dad’s old 1985 Ford F-150, 2WD regular cab with the 300-6 and 4 speed manual. Dad gave it to me when he bought a newest truck, so I drove it for awhile. Nothing crazy or too remarkable about it.
While renovating my home, I finally decided that I needed a truck on hand, rather than always trying to borrow one, so I purchased an ’83 Silverado long bed. I used it for hauling all types of materials, but at the end of the day, it had to be clean. (Don’t have a digital pix of it). After I was T-boned by an uninsured driver, I bought a non-running ’93 S-10 Tahoe 4.3 and restored it. I’m not hauling as much now, but I tend to drive it more than my Fit! I have hauled “dirty” loads in it, but like the Silverado, at the end of the day, it has to be clean! 🙂
I’ve owned my ’73 Chev C10 with manual everything and the six for about sixteen years. I was able to use it to move house, and pick up larger body parts to help maintain the rest of the fleet. It’s the small blue truck next to the white manly truck in the picture below.
Right now I’m driving my wife’s old 2008 Envoy that I treat like it’s a truck, but I’ll be in the market for one again in another year or two. In the past I’ve owned (in order) a 1992 S-10 2wd with the 2.8 V6 and 5 speed that was my first new vehicle, 1972 C-30 beater 2wd with a 292 straight 6 and a granny low 4 speed that I later found out was a somewhat rare longhorn with the 9 ft bed, 1987 C-10 Silverado 2wd auto with the powerhouse 6.2 diesel, 1993 F150 4×4 with a 300/ 5 speed and a snowplow, 1998 Mazda 2wd 2.5 4cyl 5 speed that I only kept for a year, 2001 Ranger 2wd 3.0 V6 auto, 1978 F250 2wd with a built 460 auto that was really impractical but I wish I still had it, 1995 GMC 2500 2wd 350 auto, and last so far, 2012 Silverado 1500 shortbox 2wd 4.3 auto, I only drive 2 miles to work and my wife needed a better vehicle so we traded it and I took the Envoy that we’ve had forever. Hopefully someday I’ll learn my lesson because everytime I’m without a truck I’m missing having one and asking myself why I got rid of the last one.
I have owned one pickup, a 1997 Ford F150 I purchased new in the fall of ’97. It had the 4.6 liter V8/4 speed automatic combination and got a steady 12 MPG in town, thanks in large part to the 3.55 final drive Ford used to compensate for the lack of bottom end torque in the OHC engine. Other than the crappy fuel mileage it was a pleasant enough vehicle to drive, at least in a straight line. The one additional complaint I had was that it was sometimes hard to park, especially in constricted areas. A couple of years into my ownership we moved house and the new garage was smaller than at the previous abode. The only way the truck would fit into the garage was if the nose was actually touching the raised area where the furnace and water heater were located. I finally came to the conclusion that 99% of the time the only thing I was carrying in the bed was air and decided it was time to move on. On the few occasions since then that called for a truck I was able to borrow my brother and his Silverado. It seems to me, based on cursory observation, that most pickups are used for transporting one or two people around, with only occasional use of the bed. Of course, as always, YMMV.
Apologize that this will be repetitive for long-time readers…
I’ve owned five trucks over the years:
1969 F-100 (2WD, 240/auto, longbed styleside). Its story is here: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/coal-requiem-for-a-truck/
1995 F-250 (4WD, 300/auto, longbed). Story here: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/cars-of-a-lifetime/coal-stormy-relationship-how-long-will-a-ford-f-150-transmission-last-without-fluid/
1995 F-250 Powerstroke (4WD, Navistar 7.3l diesel intercooled/auto, longbed). I guess I never wrote it up beyond what’s mentioned in the link above. After a few years, I started getting nervous about having an expensive diesel repair. I also knew my Dad was nearing the end of his dementia battle and I’d need to make multiple 16-hour round trips to Georgia to clean and prep his house for sale. So the Powerstroke was sold to a landscaper/snow plow friend (still running great, but he did end up with a couple expensive repairs – whew!).
1950 International L-170. Bought this out of a storage lot after getting permission to get it running first (which I did, barely). No brakes so had it towed home. The plan was to make it roadable and haul hay with it. A tornado put an end to that when the pole barn in which the truck was stored was sprayed over a mile of cornfield East of our farm. The truck itself wasn’t damaged, but it got moved to the very bottom of the pile, and when someone stopped and made an offer, I took it. A couple of pics are here: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/cc-outtake/curbside-outtake-three-trucks-and-a-riddle/
2015 RAM 2500 Tradesman (4WD, single cab, longbed). My first, and hopefully last new truck. Paid about $32K for it (stickered for about $42), as it was a never-titled truck used by a Chicago dealer to plow multiple new car lots. Had about 700 miles on it. As you see in the photo, I dressed it up quite a bit, and have had three different people approach me offering to buy it on the spot. As is a common complaint, I hate the ridiculous bed height (41″ at the tailgate), and Dodge/RAM has yet to figure out how to program a transmission so it shifts without completely ruining the driving experience. Also, given my truck was equipped with the snow plow prep group, it has super-stiff springs and rides like a 1948 Power Wagon.
Other than the L-170, all of these were almost exclusively used as pure work trucks – hauling hay, equipment, stock trailers, construction materials and debris, etc.
I did use the RAM as a DD for a couple months while waiting on my Chev SS to arrive from Australia (my Fit sold in a week, leaving me without a car DD). Being near retirement, I’ve given thought to what one vehicle I will eventually need to downsize to (besides my wife’s car), and it will more than likely be the truck, at least as long as we live in the country and I’m hauling bulk stuff around). But that time’s hopefully a ways off.
I’ll toss one other truck into the mix that I’ve had the pleasure of working on in my career. I’ve not driven this particular model, although I have operated a smaller version before (it’s like driving and apartment building): https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/cc-capsule/the-cat-797-mining-truck-ill-see-your-v12-and-raise-you-twelve/
Got distracted and attached the wrong photo from what I intended. Here’s the RAM hauling my Boomer 8N and a load of mulch.
I bought my first pickup 6 years ago when I was 69 years old.
Retirement and this truck have allowed me the opportunity to add a sense of physicality to a life where I previously spent most of my time at a desk in front of a computer.
Those who read my COAL series will recognize this truck. It’s a 2013 Toyota Tacoma double cab long bed equipped with the older style 4.0 V6. It has a 6 foot bed, a five speed automatic transmission, is 18.5 feet long, has a 140.6 inch wheelbase, and a 44 foot turning radius. It is not a TRD model so it has a relatively gentle ride.
The 4.0 engine is rated at 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm.
I use it primarily as a daily driver and make a number of dump trips per month for tree and brush removal, junk runs for friends, family, and neighbors, furniture moves for the same group, for church rummage sales, and of course for snowy days.
The newer Tacoma introduced in 2016 has a smaller engine (3.5) with more horsepower and about the same torque but at a higher (4600) rpm . Some truck reviews indicate that the 4.0 still feels stronger than the new 3.5 engine (which has a 6 speed automatic).
I’ve heard some people say that we talk horsepower but we drive torque. I’ll defer to those more knowledgeable than I about that theory.
The newer 3.5 engine is rated at 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque at 4600 rpm and uses an Atkinson-cycle design.
“The newer 3.5 engine is rated at 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque at 4600 rpm and uses an Atkinson-cycle design.”
That piqued my interest, since an Atkinson-cycle engine is normally very weak on torque, not what I’d expect to see in a truck. All Prius engines are Atkinson-cycle, which is more efficient than Otto-cycle, and the electric motor provides the extra torque when needed.
Checking the Wikipedia, we learn the 2016 3.5L Tacoma engine is the 2GR-FKS, which combines dual direct+port fuel injection with a simulated on-demand Atkinson cycle. Now that Toyota has mastered the art of switching between Otto-cycle and Atkinson-cycle just by varying the valve timing, I guess they can use Otto-cycle when that 265 lb-ft of torque is demanded, and Atkinson-cycle otherwise.
Pretty clever for a dinosaur-burner.
I have the 3.5 with 6 speed auto. After 65K miles I’m used to it, but can’t say it’s great. I only have a few miles behind the wheel of 4.0 Tacoma’s but they did seem torquier, and my 3.4 T100 was also more relaxing to drive. Though all things being equal (which they’re not) a 6 speed will shift 50% more than a 4 speed. And the 3.5’s mpg, while better than the 3.4, seems to really suffer in the mountains. There are some highway grades where the empty Tacoma needs to run at higher rpm than our 4 cylinder Golf. The flip side is that high rpm passing power is plentiful in the Taco (by my standards). By the way, thanks Jason for the QOTD, and thanks especially to all the new names that have come out and shown their truck love and told their truck stories.
You are welcome. Seeing so many new names has been great.
We’ve got a lot of great readers and learning of so many use cases does us all good.
I have had a Silverado 2500 SCLB for a year now as a daily driver. Bad mileage, rough ride, work truck spec. And I love it especially since my commute is quite short.
It’s a 2014, got it used and in pretty good shape. Bright red with an 8’ plow, it was an impulse buy I could not resist.
No. My workplace is right next door to a Lowe’s so even the largest possible home improvement projects can come home by hatchback, multiple trips being no big deal since I’m headed that way anyway.
i currently have a pickup and it is my daily driver. It’s a 2008 Toyota Tundra Double Cab (read extended or Super cab with doors) with a 5.7L V8 and 4×4. I chose this truck for the statistically superior reliability (it’s been excellent) and it had the roomiest extended cab (I wanted a 6.5 box minimum). I bought the truck off lease about 7 years ago or so from a Toyota dealer. Contrary to the stereotypes, I didn’t have to remortgage my house to buy it, in fact I got a very good deal since it was owned by a commercial company – it was cheaper than the last two cars we have bought.
For me, I live on a rural property, and having a pickup is invaluable to property maintenance, and other home projects (ie dump runs,hauling lumber and building supplies). it’s also our “cottage” vehicle. When we load up for a week at the cottage the truck is packed to the gills with coolers, bicycles, all our outdoor and water gear, and other supplies we need. It also will pull the boat and do dump runs when we are at the cottage. I use it to haul my dirty car parts, such as engines, transmissions (which leak fluids at time), and all my old oil and filters to the recycling center. In winter, the 4×4 is invaluable on our poorly maintained rural road. Even our Outback had a tough time last winter.
The great thing about these modern trucks, is that they are do it all vehicles. I can haul my entire family in it, while hauling a ton of stuff. And yes, the majority of the time it runs empty, but we also make a concerted effort to use our 4 cylinder family cars far more often than the pickup. For me, no other vehicle suits my lifestyle and needs better. And quite frankly, it’s my money and my life. I live well within my financial means and I will drive what I deem appropriate.
As I Canadian, I feel compelled to state that we are a diverse group and there are a lot of Canadians who have bought pickups for generations. Pickup ownership is very common in rural Ontario and northern Ontario. It is very common for families in these areas to have a car(or crossover these days) and a pickup. Major urban centers definitely have far less pickups but rightly so. As someone who lived in Toronto, I would not want to own a pickup if I lived there again.
I always find it so fascinating how much angst the modern pickup seems to cause so many on the internet. For whatever reason, people just fell compelled to push their personal beliefs on others when it comes to truck ownership. Why is owning a practically useless high dollar sports car okay, but pickup owners get ragged on?
I can tell you why I don’t like modern pickups but practicly useless sports cars are okay. Just my opinion but here goes. Useless Sportscars have never been practicle but they were never meant to be. That was part of their appeal to their buyers. They never changed the formula. The pick up truck formula changed, alot. A Corvette from 1953 sat two. Sixty six years later it still seats two. It’s still a sports car. If they came out with an “extended cab” Corvette the outrage would be intense. In 1953 any pick up Sat two, three if they were good freinds. Today most seat six, at the expense of the whole purpose of a pick up, bed length. The pick up wasn’t meant to be a family vehicle. It was a man’s vehicle, a work vehicle. They changed the formula. Add in a host of luxury crap and our classic pick up doesn’t seem much like a pick up anymore.
Crew cab trucks are incredibly versatile vehicles. They changed because society has changed. No longer does dad go to work while mom ferries the kids around. Dad needs to haul kids too.
A 5.5′ bed still hauls pallets or 4×8 material with the tailgate down and they haul and tow more weight than ever. That meets the “work” needs of most people. Why should you care if some of those people want luxury to go along with the versatility, the same as people in every other vehicle class today? If you want a bare bones regular cab with an 8′ bed you can still buy one, and people still do if that’s what they need. But not very many, since most want something more versatile.
I appreciate your opinion Hardboiled Eggs and Nuts, but I think you missed my point. People berate modern trucks as being expensive, big and useless, using lots of fuel and are basically an indulgence in style. The reality is, they are a lot bigger, but they are more useful than the past models and they are one of if not the most practical and useful vehicle configurations on the road. A sports car is actually an indulgence is style, uses lots of fuel, and has virtually no practical uses beyond driving pleasure – yet no one criticizes sports car owners. Both also cost a lot of money, but people only seem to care that pickups are expensive while no one cars about a guy dropping 100K plus on some high performance machine.
I agree with Phil, I don’t see why a pickup is less of a truck because it has a crew cab or other indulgences. The fact is pickup have evolved with society. When I was growing up, dad had a regular cab with an 8 foot box. As a family of six, we used to ride around in the back of the truck and four in the front. This just doesn’t fly anymore. And FWIW, my truck will do everything dad’s did but even better The once exception would be carrying really long material, although with the tailgate down, I have carried 16 foot lumber.
No, a pickup truck would never have met my needs at any time in my life.
Trucks and SUVs are currently very popular as lifestyle vehicles. This does not mean however, that many of the people who own and drive these things don’t actually use them as they were intended to be used. I think that there are some readers out there who are looking forward to playing “gotcha!” and exposing some of us as posers.
Today’s trucks are so comfortable and capable that they can be used in almost any situation. Especially Quad cab models which can be used as comfortable and flexible family cars. They can be the only vehicle that you have to own. The only real downside is the cost of the vehicle and relatively poor fuel economy.
My Dad owned a ’75 Chevy Stepside for 45 years. He also always had a station wagon as a second vehicle.
My own first truck, a ’66 Ford F 250, was purchased ( in 2004) both as a hobby project and to use as a working vehicle. I used it for starting up my swap meet, car parts business. I also needed a truck when I acquired a rental property and had to do a lot of repair, renovation and maintenance work.
My current truck is a 2007 F150 long bed, access cab, V6 powered model. It came in handy while I was towing trailers to So Cal meets. It also has been useful in my Wife’s antique furniture business. It’s a very comfortable truck that returns 20 mpg, during normal highway use. Since most of my travel now is limited to my Wife and myself, I used this truck to take many, many trips to Oregon, South Dakota, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and southern California. I also lend it to my kids and family members when they need a truck occasionally. A couple years ago I finally added an SUV to the stable, a ’96 V8 Explorer. I finally found out why these things were so popular. It’s just so useful and comfortable. I find that I prefer to drive the Explorer more than the p/u, unless I’ve got a real large load to carry.
No “gotcha’s” intended. We’ve heard from those that don’t need pickups and to keep things balanced the question of who has one was posed.
My only intent is to give everyone insight into the lives and needs of others. Nothing more.
At the end of the day, we ALL are posers.
If we didn’t buy a car or truck for purely practical reasons, we chose what we bought because it clicked with our likes. Even something purchased for basic transportation is usually not just the first thing one sees at the lowest price one can pay. We liked the style, what it helped us represent ourselves to the world, or how it sounded, or how thrifty (or not thrifty) is was to operate, or something.
Otherwise, we ALL would be driving some very refined version of a Model T, wouldn’t we?
I have a 2003 Dodge RAM 1500 and, yes, ‘that thing’s gotta Hemi’! 5.7l Hemi, Flowmaster dual exhaust, regular cab, short bed, 2WD I love my truck! I drive it daily. It is fun to drive, but also will haul anything I need, including Boy Scout camping gear and our trailer. Previously, I’ve had the following: 1976 F100 3 on the tree 2WD, 1992 S10 5 speed 2WD short bed, 1994 C1500 stepside auto 2WD. All 2WD regular cabs. No need for 4×4 in KC.
I have 2 pickups. One is a 2000 gmc sierra single cab 8 foot box 4×4 with 5.3 v8. Currently has 145 k miles. I purchased this brand new. My first new vehicle. Second is a 2015 gmc Sierra 4 door 5.5 foot box 4×4 5.3 v8. Got this from used in 2018.
I have. Had other trucks in the fleet, 1970 ford f250 4×2 360 v8 4speed manual, 1976 Ford f250 hi boy 4×4 360 v8 4 speed manual . 1989 Ford f150 4×4 regular cab 8foot box. 302 v8 4 speed manual, 1986 gmc s15 4×4 extended cab 2.8 v6 auto, and 2002 s10 4door 4×4 with 4.3 v6. Not in that order all used.
This is kind of redundant, as I posted this picture in the other thread. 2000 Chevy K2500 with 5.7L gas V-8. This is the bare-bones fleet model with crank windows, cloth bench seat and vinyl floor, just what I like. Originally owned by the State of California, I got it at 15 years old with about 150000 miles on it and complete service records. About 170000 on it now and no major repairs.
Used for access to my cabin in the mountains, hauling debris to the dump and carrying construction materials. We have a slide-in camper, which is the primary reason for a full-size 8′ bed model. It’s most unique duty is occasionally towing aircraft.
I have had a van or pickup for much of my 50+ years of motor vehicle ownership. More often than not, there was a motorcycle or small passenger car also in the fleet for economical commuting.
I love the look of these white 2500’s with black flares. Nice truck!
My husband owned pretty much a continuous string of compact, mid-size and full-size pickups since the late ’80s: ’88 Nissan Hardbody, ’94 Mazda B2000, ’05 Toyota Tacoma, ’07 Toyota Tundra and ’15 GMC Sierra. All of them regular cab, standard bed,
After more than 20 years of making good use of a pickup for his work, our side hussles, or home improvement, we came to the realization that our situation has changed. The last pickup was purchased out of habit. For us a pickup truck amounts to a two-seater vehicle that guzzles gas and isn’t fun to drive.
Late last year, we sold the Sierra and bought him a CPO ’15 RX350 that has all the utility we need and is an amazing road trip vehicle to boot. HE LOVES IT.
Started with a 1986 F150 long bed, 302/auto, a stripper, out the door brand new at $12k. I always thought the twin fuel tanks were a bit quirky, but you could steal a hose from the other side of the gas pump and fill up at double speed (and tick off the guy that then pulls in on the other side). The bench seat got very uncomfortable on long trips and it was noisy in there with rubber mats and no insulation. Used it to pull race cars and fill up the bed with parts while junkyard diving.
Traded up to a new 1996 Ram 1500, short bed and long cab, with the 318 and a 5 speed. I had the wife and kiddos and all by then. $20k out the door new. Still have it at 180k miles, it is great at towing, but as a daily driver, the length (actually no longer than the F150) and the constant shifting in town were burdens. It does get 15 to 17 miles per, which is about to look good, because I compensated for the length and shifting by buying a 1999 Ram 1500 shorty, with the 360 and an automatic. Much easier to drive, maneuver, and park, but it gets a mere 12 to 13 miles per, and that adds up. Bought it out of CL for $4k a few years back with 100k miles, now my daily.
I figure that by having two old trucks, at any given time, at least one should be working. At least that is the excuse I give my wife (she looks cute in there driving one of them, when her car is out of commission). I still trailer old cars home, and I am now doing construction and heavy maintenance on a second home, so a lot of materials get shifted back and forth. The Dodges seem much more stout and strong than the old Ford did, but the sheet metal seems thinner. I like to use the old-school piece of plywood in the back of them as bed liners, they work just fine.
I bought my first truck in 1977 solely because I needed wheels of some sort. I found a local guy who asked for $200 for a 65 Chevy C10. Sold! While it had a 283 and Powerglide that $200 did not extend to a working heater, which is unpleasant in New York. A few months later I got a job at IBM and immediately ordered a new Ford. I did get $400 for my trade-in so I guess I made a profit.
For the next 36 years I just borrowed a truck when I needed one. I moved to Vermont in 2014 and after a while I realized I could use a truck so I bought a 1999 Ranger. Compared to the Chevy it is the height of luxury – automatic overdrive, 4.0 V-6, HEAT, AC,power windows/mirrors/locks, AM/Fm/cassette AND CD, 4WD, carpets, cloth seats, etc.
While the body is in good shape the last few winters have played havoc on the chassis and it may not pass inspection this year. I see a 2001 F-150 for sale around the block so I may upgrade.
I first got into truck ownership in 2014, when I bought my house. It was a beater ‘96 F150 for $900, to supplement my ‘99 XJ for various house projects. My house wasn’t a “fixer upper” per se, but needed the garage gutted and the landscaping was severely overgrown – so the truck quickly earned its keep. Also, having 5 full grown maple trees and no city leaf pick up meant I had to rake em, tarp em, and haul them away in the 8 foot bed. Although I am more of a GM guy, I was specifically seeking a Ford of this vintage for one specific reason: owning a vehicle with vent windows had long been a bucket list item. Fast forward two years and I have two aging cars and am someone who likes to road trip. I decided to sell both the Ford and XJ to consolidate into one vehicle, an ‘04 Silverado. More of the same came with this truck, plenty of house projects and helping folks move. The picture here is taking a bunch of my parents’ stuff to their cottage 3 hours away when they sold the house I grew up in a couple years ago. This Chevy has taken me all over the state of Michigan (Detroit to Copper Harbor and everywhere in between), all over the east coast, and many trips between Michigan and the DMV, having met my now wife shortly after this picture was taken and moved to Maryland. I fit everything I owned in it when I moved here to our apartment, and then when we moved 30 miles away out to the burbs. With that came more house projects, waste from demo-ing two bathrooms and again another overgrown yard has led to a plethora of yard waste runs. Next on the list is to tear down a dilapidated shed in our back yard and hauling it to the dump. I can’t imagine living without a truck, even now living in the congested DC metro area. However, my beloved truck will not pass the stringent MD inspection, and in addition my wife and I are expecting our 1st child this September. So the loyal Silverado will hopefully be handed down to family back in MI, and I’ve been bookmarking listings of 2014-2017 Silverados and F150s. 4Runners are also on my shortlist – driving my Dads makes me almost think I can get by without a bed. I bought the Chevy with 140k and it now has 182k, only needing brakes, belts, and a battery during that time. This era GM got a lot wrong but the trucks they did right, because it’s the one area where they can truly compete.
I should add the the addition of the folding tonneau cover increased the functionality for us tenfold, as we now take a few week+ vacations with it a year.
I should have read closer, the Ford was the 4.9 and the Chevy and 5.3!
’15 F150 Lariat 5.0 CC 4×4, my current DD. Love it!
It does everything I need it to do, whether handling the daily commute, weekend errands, or going out to dinner with my wife and friends to a nice restaurant. I tow a car hauler and haul all manner of stuff with it, take it hunting, and just use it like a truck at every opportunity. It does it all without breaking a sweat, nor do I break a sweat what with supportive cooled and heated seats and all the bells and whistles you’d want in its cavernous cab. Which is also why it’s our preferred road trip vehicle, along with its smooth highway ride, giant fuel tank capacity, and the quiet, supremely comfortable interior.
These modern trucks are truly impressive with their multi-talents and capabilities, and they are easy to live day to day. Well, except maybe for maneuvering around tight parking lots, and fuel economy is a bit of an oxymoron in a gasoline-powered truck.
Overall, though, I’m a believer and plan to remain a “truck guy” for as long as I can get in and out of the thing without needing assistance.
Yeah I have a truck. My current truck is a 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Laramie. I don’t use it as a daily driver but I still enjoy all the luxury features when I do drive it. I use it for pulling my boat on weekends, I also haul a slide in camper with it. Frequently I have the camper in while I tow the boat. For those occasions is why I got the one ton. Either the boat or camper alone a half ton could handle, but not both together. For me 4wd was required, and really here in Canada it’s strange to see any truck other than a basic work truck in 2wd anyway. I go down rough roads in mine and also launch my boat sometimes in places where there is no ramp. Like as shown here.
Similar camper for our K2500 Chevy, an eight foot Four Wheel brand. I had it on a ’94 F-150 originally. The truck could haul the camper alone, but no reserve for towing at the same time.
I’m on my third pickup, first was a ’65 C10 I had in HS, second was a ’70 C10 I owned from ’76 to ’06, and current truck is a 2004 Titan (only truck I bought new in ’04). Its a 2wd King cab, base model. 5.6 V8, 305 HP engine, 5 speed auto trans. All Titans had same engine and trans in any trim level. Only has 16,700 miles in it, about 1000 miles a year is all it sees. Use a ’86 Jetta for around town driving, truck used mostly for hauling or road trips. Hopefully will last as long as I can drive, should be my last truck. Comfortable, powerful, useful to have around.
Right now, I have a 4WD 1994 Nissan XE-V6 King Cab with a stick shift, 208k miles, a heavy-duty Old Man Emu suspension, and good BFG all-terrain tires. It’s perfect for occasionally moving awkwardly-sized things that weigh less than a ton and is a nice, easy drive.
Before that was a 4WD 1989 F-350 Crew Cab with a 4″ lift, 33″ tires, a custom windshield-to-tailgate lumber rack, and an automatic transmission. It was good for moving things that weighed less than 4,000 pounds, but it was a bear to daily drive and park. And 7.5 mpg is awful, just awful.
Before that was a 4WD 1989 F-250 regular cab, dead stock, with every heavy-duty, extra-payload, and trailer-related option available. It was great for moving things that weighed less than 3,000 pounds, wasn’t too hard to park, and got 10.5 mpg no matter what.
Can’t say I ever have, but I’m not so bold as to say no to one. It would be nice to have a secondary vehicle I can toss whatever in, not care how it looks, and generally keep as the beater for whatever I may need it for. Given my meticulous care when it comes to my own vehicles, it would be nice to own something that I won’t worry about getting scratched or dirtied up.
As for what I would drive? Well, buying new would be out of the question, but I tend to lean towards the GMT400 1500s as my choice, which is the last great pickup (To me anyways).
I do have a pickup from the era when a pickup was a pickup truck. It is my 1965 F-100 Custom Cab. Bought it in 2006 when I needed something to transport materials to the dump and then from Home Depot to home. Was a large amount of fencing debris and then new fencing materials.
Once it served it’s purpose I restored most all of the truck. The only section not restored and painted was the truck’s bed. Since there is a tonneau cover no one knows yet I can put items of the bed floor and not worry about it. Pretty basic with a now 390-2V engine rebuilt up from a 360 that was in the truck when purchased.No power steering, no A/C, four wheel drum brakes and Cruise-O-Matic. Sometime this year it is slated to get a dual master with power booster from a 66 Slick. Have not done a COAL on it yet.
These era Slicks look down right puny next to a 2019 F-150. Yet I can reach over the bed rails into the bed so beat that…!
Lord no. Moi? In a ute? Pfft!
Which just makes me a cynic and a bit of a dill, because I seem to have driven an AWFUL lot of them over time. Old Holdens, Fords, Nissans, Mazdas, Isuzus, Hiluxes, a Landcruiser FJ40, a Peugeot, one Suzuki Mighty Boy (truly), a Land Rover, Falcons and Commodores, and just one F250 4wd extended thing (ex-firefighting base?) 25 years ago, the latter which was large even by today’s sizings and was literally comical then: I was in hysterics as I could not get it round any suburban corner without clipping things (and ultimately became wedged in a skinny inner-city side road where I thought we’d have to ask folk to pull down fences if not houses to get out, only rescued by a sweary and unhappy truckie in the end). These have all been in the course of moving others or myself or building stuff or helping others do the same (with some from being on farms).
And this means even though I think they’re not for me, it turns out in retrospect that at least one purchase of a roughie would have been muchly cheaper than the hiring paid or beers provided or other miscellaneous services rendered over all that time.
Anyway, I’ll confess that a short spin in a 2012 Ford Falcon XR6 manual turbo ute (that’s 4-litre twin cam straight six with giant factory snail, 360+ hp for maybe 3500 lbs) was one of the most exuberant bits of fun I’ve had in any car, ever.
I’ve owned 13 pickups since my first one in 1984. I’ve commented about them many times already, and really should try a TOAL series. They all have their own story.
Currently my only vehicle is a 2016 F-150 extended cab in XL trim with the 6-1/2 ft bed. Pretty basic, but with a little garnish. It’s 2WD with the base 3.5L V6. I was a landscaper for 25 years, and while I’m out of the business since 2012, I still keep a loaded 6×12 single axle utility trailer loaded with enough equipment to go back in business if need be, but I just keep my toes in the water, so to speak, doing favors for select friends. I tried getting out of it, but they keep pullin’ me back in. Hahaha. That said, I occasionally pull the 3000 pound trailer around with no problem; the base V6 engine is plenty adequate here in flatland Florida. When I was in business, I found a 6 cylinder was indeed adequate, but for day in, day out, all day, every day trailering, a V8 was necessary, after throwing a rod bearing at only 126k in a ‘00 Silverado with a 4.3L V6. I briefly owned a gasoline F-250, having always wanted a 3/4 ton truck, but it quickly soured on me for several reasons; mainly being just too much truck for my purposes. Now that I only tow once or twice a week, if that much, I think a V6 will be okay. I bought this truck as a fresh trade at the Chevy dealership I work at. It may seem funny, working for Chevy, driving a Ford, and I get ribbed about it, but even the dealer principal doesn’t care; as long as I bought from him. LOL. Honestly, I would have preferred a Chevy, but nothing in stock struck my fancy or budget when I needed a new ride, the Ford did. Fact is, Ford makes a fine product, too. I’ve had it almost a year, racked up around 17k miles so far (it’s at 57k now), with not a single problem. I should add, I removed the factory side steps (don’t like them), the tool box (takes up valuable bed space), and a rubber bed mat (a truck bed without scratches is queer). Also, the previous owner had tint professionally applied to all the windows. I hate tinted windows; I paid $100 to have it all removed. I am looking for a headache rack; the mass produced ones just don’t look all that “protective”, I guess i’ll have one custom made like I used to.
Having driven pickups my entire adult life, once I got in the car business, I bought a car, a ‘08 Impala, and then a ‘12 Grand Cherokee. They’re another story, but I’m back to daily driving a truck. I haul everything from furniture to dirt. I like the versatility. One thing I sacrificed when driving compact trucks was bed width. No more. I’ve just gotta have at least 48 inches between the fender wells for the ability to load standard-size pallets. I will say, I’d prefer a regular cab with a 8 ft bed, but they’re hard to find used in decent shape. To be honest, the back seat in the extended cab does comes in handy.
Two things I’ve never owned are a 4WD or a diesel. Diesels are all fun and games until something goes wrong, then for the cost of a diesel repair, you could rebuild a gas engine. Besides, I’m not pulling houses around. It’s a good thing I didn’t have 4WD when I was younger, Now that I’m older, I realize 4WD is for getting you out of trouble, not in it. While I could use it sometimes, the lack of it makes me think twice when I’m in a sketchy situation.
I like driving a later model vehicle mainly for dependability’s sake, but I also like having the later model style for the image. In addition, I prefer my truck more on the “plain” side than a top trim model. The difference is usually just bells, whistles, and moldings. Lastly, while I see a lot a friends agonizing and fretting over scratches and dings in their new trucks, I’m not one of them. I’m ready to throw a load of loose bricks in the back of mine before the temp tag expires.
No pickup at present but I have owned three over the years. The first was a 1964 International Harvester 4X4 bought in about 1971-72 after I got out of the service and went back to school in Southern Illinois. My then girlfriend, later spouse, and I drove that truck all over the US and up to Canada. For many years we lived in an old farmhouse surrounded by the Shawnee National Forest and heated with only a wood burning stove for heat. The truck was necessary for that life as reaching the house from paved roads necessitated travelling several miles of unpaved roads, not plowed when there was snow, and fording two creeks. With a permit from the Forest Service I was able to gather dead and down trees from certain areas in the forest accessible only with four wheel drive and the truck made it possible to stay warm all winter with an expenditure of a lot of my time and effort but very little cash. I don’t remember when exactly I parted with the truck but the ending of a marriage and the needs of a child necessitated changes in life style the mission of the family vehicle changed. That IH was a real work horse, got good mileage with a small V8 engine, was pretty easy to work on and actually pretty great to drive long distance (as a fit young man!)
After moving to Alabama for a job in 1985 with just my daughter and I in the household I needed reliability for taking her to school and me to work. It seemed like the best vehicle available for the lowest cost was Nissan pickup so I bought a base model with AC as the only option. The truck provided excellent service until 1993 when I went abroad to work for a year. I sold the truck to a fried in Chicago who had is own building renovation/maintenance business and he used the truck for many years until it was T-boned at an intersection and totaled by the insurance company.
When I returned from the year abroad, in China, I bought a lightly used 1993 base model Nissan pickup. That truck also was extremely reliable. I didn’t really need a pickup although I used it for various house projects and in assistance to many friends and colleagues who did not have a truck. Aging a bit started to sneak up on me. I wondered why my shoulders ached after making a fairly frequent 700 mile drive from Alabama to Chicago to visit my parents and brother who lived there. Finally figured it out, a bit of arthritis and a lack of power steering combined to make the drive less comfortable. At the same time I got together with a wonderful woman who became my wife and she could not drive the truck with its manual transmission and lack of power assist so I added a car and the truck fell into disuse except for my commute and I sold it a few years later. parked it in front of the house with a for sale sign and a reasonable price and sold it to a craftsman working in the neighborhood just few hours later.
Have an SUV, based on a pickup, a Ford Everest, at present but would like to have a Thailand spec Ranger as well.
I also briefly had a ’78 Power Wagon and a ’95 Ram 2500 CTD and if a ‘Lil Red Express happens to find its way into my garage, then so be it.
I recently picked up a clean, low mileage 2000 Sonoma for my daughter’s first vehicle and have been driving it until she gets her license. I wish they would still make a pickup like that; simple, small, handy, easy to drive and park. Even the new Tacomas seem like the size a ’90s F150.
Pretty much any homeowner could use a pickup.
I’ve had many over the years. I just gave my son my 2003 Tundra Regular Cab. V6, 5spd. 2wd. The odo said 214k miles….but it had alot more. I love that truck. I supplemented that with a 1994 Toyota Hilux 4×4 in the winter. It was a V6 5spd. I use my truck for work, and in the winter, need fwd. I sold it, gave my son the tundra, and bought a 2014 Tacoma 4×4, by, 6spd man.
Not sure I like as well as the Tundra, but I bet I do this winter!
2007 Honda Ridgeline. All the truck I need. Mostly kids stuff and Lowe’s runs are what get hauled.
I had three consecutive Nissan hardbody trucks all kingkab models beginning with a ’88 4cyl 5spd. When I bought it in 1991 everyone said it was a stupid idea. Then suddenly everyone needs something moved. I hauled a lot in that truck since old Datsuns were still showing up in the boneyards. Tree and brush removal and all sorts of jobs. Mostly I just hauled air though.
Next up was a ’93 v6 5spd. It had a little more grunt than the 4cyl and the fuel consumption was very close so not really any difference. Still only occasionally hauled things around. It was the first and only new vehicle purchase for me.
Last one was a ’94 v6 4×4. Also 5spd Now this one had a fuel consumption penalty attached to it. I bought it months before the city tore up my street for water main and sewer replacement. I always managed to get in the driveway during the project. Still occasionally hauled stuff with it. I flat towed an El-Camino and a load of parts for it 500+ km. That was a fun trip.
So, continuous small truck ownership from 1991 until 2005 or so. I was hauling less and less and sedans made more sense and I was renting roll off bins for large projects where I used to haul crap myself. I would eventually take the advice of a friend and get a utility trailer for those times I needed to do dump runs and drag things home. Saved myself a couple of bin rentals so it’s paid for itself. Again, people need things moved.
Last year’s car search had me looking at trucks again. Full size trucks don’t appeal to me and the choices are limited in small trucks. What’s out there in my area on the used market are either high mileage and flogged to near death for cheap or like new with low mileage for more than I was willing to spend. The trailer makes even more sense now.
I bought a full size pickup 10 years ago to pull a camper. Well that didn’t really work out (wife is not a camper) but as a family of 5 I enjoyed having it so much I kept it and when it came time to replace it there was no question I wanted another one. I kind of wanted to downsize because full size trucks can be unwieldy in parking lots which gets annoying at times. But small trucks weren’t any cheaper on dealer lots, the fuel economy difference was only 1 to 2 MPG, if that, and the beds and interiors were considerably smaller while the exteriors were not exactly compact.
So I ended up with another F-150, a 2018 XLT 4×4 Crew Cab with the 2.7. Simply a great truck engine with excellent performance while returning 19-20 MPG around town. I am a bit concerned about the longevity of all the economy-minded technology but so far I am enjoying it. It just does everything I ask of it easily and comfortably. Except parking, lol.
Both times I had a pickup, I found reasons to use it rather than needing it in the first place. Like putting red mulch around all the trees because now I could fill up the bed with red mulch, instead of buying a bunch of bags. I could bring a refrigerator home myself and keep it upright, stuff like that. But the Town & Country (long wheelbase) with the seats out could do 90% of carrying duties just as well. I never had to carry bricks or anything super-heavy. Once I had many sheets of wooden lattice and it fit fine in the van, but was a nightmare because it kept getting tangled in the rear seat belts. For that a pickup would have worked better.
I just remembered I did carry bricks once in my S10. Once I carried them in my ’92 Mustang coupe too. I shouldn’t have because it was comically overloaded. That was when I was without a pickup, obviously. I replaced the rear shocks after that as it pretty much ruined them.
I had a 1995 Dodge Dakota SLT V6 extended cab back in the day. It was great when my kids were little, but when they started growing, there was no place to put their legs!
By that time, I’d moved and the new property was smaller and far less maintenance intensive. Since then, we’ve done everything with a combination of SUV and minivan hauling capabilities and the yearly delivery of mulch from the local garden center.
Overall, I liked the truck a great deal, but in the end, I really had a poor usage case for it.
We have a small company and our shop/home is on 80 acres, so we have a little fleet. My wife is the primary driver of a 2019 F250 crew cab diesel 4×4. It’s used to pull a horse trailer and our flatbed for work or hauling tractors around. You will also find her schlepping the kids to school in it, as it gets the best mileage of anything we own. Recently I went from driving a 2013 Raptor to a 2013 4Runner. The 4Runner has been working very well for me. It great on the roads around our place, just enough smaller than a full size that it’s easier to park and manuever around town, and it holds the tools or small parts I might need to shuttle around to my guys in the field. The two real knock around work trucks are a pair of 2012 F150 extended cab 5.0 4x4s, retired from the state. One long bed, one short. They just keep going and earning their keep. The long bed is up to 180k now with no major repairs, and the short bed is at 135k. No cars in the fleet at the moment, as they just won’t last out here.
Previous trucks have included a Ecoboost F150 (great power, terrible reliability), the aforementioned Raptor, which worked well, but was just too expensive for my tastes, a mint 93 F350 5 speed (beautiful and fun, but too slow for serious use), a 2003 F350 (best diesel I had owned. We’ll see how the 2019) stacks up, and my first work truck, a 1997 F150 regular cab short bed (still miss it), among others.
Here’s a picture of the current fleet.
I have a 2016 F250 Lariat Ultimate 4×4 with the 6.7 Powerstroke.
Unfortunately, as much as I wish I could say otherwise, I primarily use it to commute about 20 miles one way. I did have a 2004 F150 with the 5.4 and the diesel gets a little bit better gas mileage. I get sometimes around 20mpg on the highway, if I drive it right.
Occasionally it does get use towing a boat or hauling furniture, but it’s really an interstate beast. I’ve even hauled a couple cars with it. It really does it effortlessly, a lot better than the Tahoe I had. But like the Ram he tested earlier this week, this truck has more luxury features than my BMW X5 or my mother’s Volvo, so I can’t really complain.
Also cannot figure out why that picture posted sideways.
“You can always find use for a truck, either as a 2nd vehicle, or as a truck.” –me, about 1997.
I’ve had two trucks in my life, and intimate knowledge of a third. The first was my dad’s 1975 Toyota Hi-Lux SR5 with 5-sp manual, and a ‘Corolla’ engine. I would use it each time I came home from school or post-grad programs since he and my stepmom had their DDs and the truck was a 3rd set of wheels for ‘dirty’ projects. Pop had it from about 1982 to 1996. Damn thing was fast on the highway and easy to put into a skid because of its light weight. The standard cab was incredibly roomy because the doors were thin as the windows. It looked beat to hell when Pop got it and looked the same when he gave it to a friend who was way down on his luck; pop went over to the dark side of minivans after that and used those as his covered truck (he get one and take the back seats out). The HiLux experience is what convinced me to get my own in 1984.
My first truck was a 1982 Toyota SR-5 longbed with the insinkable R-20 I4 motor and 5 speed manual. It had bucket seats, a center console, gauge package (oil pressure and voltmeter); it did not have power steering but “power-assisted” brakes. Red with coal black striping. I got this in August, 1984 after my first car, a ’73 VW Type III squareback, burned out its bearings on my drive home from Philadelphia earlier in the summer. Since I envisioned a lot of moving in my future, I figured I was better off with a truck. I found it in a paper edition of the local autotrader. I was hoping it would last at least through 1990; I would have it through late 1998. It came with a camper top which was a deliberate choice, given that I’d need the storage (I quickly discovered that that the campertop did not give a good seal at the gunnel (top of the truck bed wall) and anytime I moved stuff interstate, anything below that line needed to be in plastic like a garbage bag in case of rain). It was my only vehicle from 1984 to 1997, and my DD to hospitals and rotation sites at all hours and any weather. Never failed to start in 0F cold in Wisconsin. It was towed twice only because of parking fascists, not from anything mechanical. It went East coast – West coast and back, and TNTC (too numerous to count) trips up and down the eastern seaboard. It was a decent handling vehicle for local and interstate use. I got about 360 miles / full tank regardless of whether it was loaded down or not. The only niggling problem I had with it over the years was the thermostat was prone to sticking when I would go on long interstate drives, and replaced it about 4 times which didn’t always fix the problem (it was never an issue in local or short highway drives–it would happen occasionally after maybe 4 straight hours at highway speeds); but when I’d pull off for gas and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before starting, the problem would resolve and never see it again for the rest of the trip. I made an unwise decision of getting a leased vehicle (1997 Accord, a thoroughly decent car) with a mileage limit, and used my truck to conserve miles on that vehicle. When my luck ran out and I made the choice to leave NY state for home (Atlanta), my truck was pretty much worn out (except for the R-20) and rusting to death (13 of the 14 years were in rust country); I put just about 100K miles, and cried the day I handed the key and title to a friend of mine who helped me pack my life’s remains for the trip home. I had 6 months left on the lease and I drove the Accord home; for the first time I didn’t think my truck could make the 1000 miles. I can still hear the hum of 5th gear sometimes.
My current truck is a 2001 Nissan Frontier XE 4×2 regular cab with I4 and 5 speed manual. A/C and a CD player. I bought it new in Sept, 2000 shortly after I bought my first house. I had looked at the S-10 (was not impressed) and was appalled that a 2 year old Tacoma cost more than a new Nissan truck. I don’t ever remember looking at Rangers. I was driving my dad’s 1978 Datsun 810 sedan (a car so worthy of a COAL) and homeownership was pushing me to get a truck again. I told the salesman what I wanted (regular cab, manual transmission, everything else is optional) and he pointed at this little truck in british racing green and with the nose of a ballistic submarine. It was the only truck in the lot with manual transmission, and most everything else was extended cab. It had a bed liner which I thought was a good idea, and really liked the aluminum wheels. It turned out to be a decent highway vehicle but the bench seats are getting less comfortable in comparison to everything else I ride in. I’ve had it now 19 years and 286,000 miles. I’ve replaced the radiator once (partial blockage) and the usual wear items, like tires, battery and brakes. And three transmissions (one rebuild, two replacements) because these little trucks weren’t build to tow trailers. Lesson learned–it does fine completely loaded down, but suffers mightily with a Uhaul 5×8 trailer behind it. My 2010 Toyota Venza AWD with the 3.5 L V6 and tow package is the designated tow vehicle now, and it doesn’t break a sweat with a trailer. My Venza is like putting on a better set of clothes to go out, and that’s now my DD, but my Nissan, I try to drive it about once a week and over the weekends when I have to fill some propane tanks or haul a lawn mower or a trip to Home Depot (my wife gardens and likes messy stuff like soil and pine straw). My niece asked me if she could have my mom’s old couch and if I could deliver it in my truck. Sure, Kiddo, but have some help where I take it.
One reason I disliked SUVs (other than the people who drove them) was that they were becoming gargantuan, but they heralded the next big thing, bigger and higher and longer trucks. Growing up in the 1970s, a full size truck for daily use was a F-150 and Chevy boxbodies; something like a F-250 (or bigger) were seen around construction sites driven by guys in hardhats and thick boots hauling metal, lumber and concrete. Now today’s 150 seems bigger than the old 250s, and most need a step up to get it. During the early 2000s when I was looking for a truck for home use, I was dismayed that most trucks on the market and the road were big like the Tundra, whereas I was looking for something as small as my dad’s HiLux which weren’t being made anymore.
And today these big trucks are a pain in the parking lot because they jut out so far into the lane. Each one I have to maneuver around to either turn to another row or into a space, I’m so tempted to paste a bumper sticker on it like “my truck is so big because everything else I have is so small.” I doubt most of them have ever pulled something. All hat, no cattle.
The picture is from 2013, hauling my mom’s bed from NC to GA. Though I prefer driving my Venza for long trips, when I need to I can still get in my truck today to go out of town, and it doesn’t cross my mind whether or not it’ll make it to Point B.
Picture, take #3
Try reducing the picture size if possible — it often won’t load, and won’t give an error message, if it’s a very large picture.
Yes, I have a 1992 Mazda B2600i 4×4 LE-5, purchased in 2013 after I moved to California. The undercarriage is virtually rust-free, something that wouldn’t have been the case after even one winter back in PA. Bought with about 120,000 miles for $4200, now has just under 150,000 miles, as it’s my second car.
It needs a restored driver’s seat and a respray in Sunrise Red, as the paint has been buffed so many times that primer is showing through. It could also use a new windshield as it was pretty well sandblasted by its previous life being towed behind a motorhome.
Just in the time since I bought a house near Long Beach (but in Orange County) I’ve had four different people leave notes on the windshield asking to buy it. I don’t intend to sell it any time soon. The only way I would is if my wife elects to replace her 1999 Dodge Durango (with 245,000 miles on the original engine and transmission!) with a new Ram 1500, but at this point she is leaning toward a Suburban, as though we love camping, we are unlikely to bit a trailer large enough that we’d be better off with a fifth wheel.
Of course, MY preference would be for her to keep the Durango going indefinitely (again, nothing rusts here) or buy something not so good for towing, and instead put the Mazda back behind a motorhome again, this time preferably a nicely kept GMC Motorhome (Palm Beach edition with green interior, please!)
2018 Nissan Titan Crew Cab. I consider it my modern day full sized 4 door car. 2-240 adult males and 2 Yellow Labradors use this as our only vehicle. I bought a toolbox to use as the “trunk”. It’s roomy, easy to get in and out of and serves our needs perfectly. I’ve had probably every manufacturers truck model over the years, I bought the Nissan because they take massive amounts of $ off of the sticker price and it has a 10 year/100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty.
I hope Nissan is around long enough to honor that warranty (based on yesterdays news).
Not now, but I used to drive a really sharp, straight, clean ’89 Dodge D-100 with an 8-foot bed. Bought it in ’04 or so, about 90 minutes’ drive away from home; sold it in ’10 or ’11 to a guy who worked a block away. It had a 318 with pathetically primitive TBI, a 3-speed Loadflite (i.e., Torqueflite in a truck or van) automatic with locking torque converter, A/C, FM-AM-Cassette-CD, sliding backglass, and a bench seat. It and certain nonstandard parts on it—some visible, others audible—will be subjects of forthcoming posts here on CC.
I currently have two pickups. My ’59 Chevy Apache I’ve had for 37 years. It’s a 235 6 cyl. with 3 speed column shift. I usually put between 700 to 1,000 miles per year on it between spring and late fall. Living in southeast PA, it isn’t driven during the winter months. It’s always been very dependable and I’ve had it so long now that it would be kind of hard to part with it. My other pickup I bought new. It’s a ’95 Chevy S-10 LS 2.2 4cyl with 5 speed trans. Just turned over to 148,000 miles and I love it. It also is off the road during winter months. After all these years it’s brilliant blue paint still shines and there are no dents or rust. Air conditioner blows cold and gets great gas mileage. I don’t ever intend to part with it. To be honest, I tend to get attached to my vehicles. My winter transportation is a ’95 Olds Ninety Eight with 86,000 miles also in very nice shape. Two and a half years ago I bought a ’61 Rambler American which I love to drive also during spring thru fall. Since I only drive about 12,000 miles per year, and I’m 60 years old, I don’t think I’ll ever own anything newer than my two ’95’s and that’s ok with me.
My current truck is a 1971 F100 longbed, mildly decrepit yet roadworthy, with a 302 engine and 3-on-the-tree transmission, used for dump runs, hauling firewood or lumber, and for the occasional drive when I feel like using it. It is a work in progress, and always in need of some type of repair, but it starts, runs, and stops more often than not. Unlike my daily driver Subaru, it earns frequent positive comments, and occasional inquiries from potential purchasers.
It is my second vintage vehicle, the first being a shortbed 4WD 1970 F100 in an advanced state of oxidative damage. Though not the wisest vehicle purchase I have ever made, it has helped me to sharpen my skills as a home mechanic by giving me opportunities to replace body panels, engines, brake and electrical systems, and even to do challenging repairs on bitter cold nights to get it ready to push snow the next day. This one is not roadworthy, and I will likely get rid of it, as I have grown weary of putting so much work into a vehicle that sees relatively little use outside of pushing snow and providing mouse habitat.
My first pickup was an early 80’s S10, shortbed, dark brown, extended cab, with a 2.8 L V6 and 4 speed manual transmission if memory serves. It was purchased to replace a Chevette that got me through many of my college years, and did a good job hauling bicycles and occasional work use hauling material for the landscaping company I worked for then. My most persistent memory of the S10 was dragging it to a gas station where I worked and using their lift to help replace the clutch. A friend and I did it, with basic tools and no prior experience, and it lasted the rest of the time I owned the truck. It was a capable, comfortable little truck that did what I needed it to do at the time.
Its replacement was a considerably larger, more comfortable and capable F150, 4WD, extended cab, longbed, with a fuel-injected 302 engine, automatic transmission, and the XLT Lariat options package, that served as the work truck for the landscaping business I owned at the time, and also my personal vehicle. It was the largest, nicest, most comfortable vehicle I have ever owned. It hauled heavy loads, pulled equipment trailers, and took me and my friends on road trips in style and comfort.
My fondest memory of the F150 was the last trip I owned it for, in which my friend and I drove from Connecticut to Vermont in a blizzard. We loaded some wood in the back for ballast, stocked up on food, fuel and beer, locked the hubs and headed out just before the governor closed the highways. It handled the deep snow with ease, and we were soon the only vehicle on the road for many miles. The truck rode like a dream, hour after hour through the deep and drifting snow, stopping only for us to relieve ourselves and grab fresh cold ones out of the back.
I passed it along to my business partner when I moved away to go to graduate school and determined that a large, expensive, fuel-guzzling truck was not a practical choice for my new life at the university. It made it to over 200K miles under his ownership.
The contrast between the F150 and its evolutionary ancestor the F100 is stark. Though they both have engines of the same displacement, they are miles apart in comfort and reliability. As much as I like my F100, driving it is a workout, and non-power drum brakes mean that stops need a bit more planning than is the case with more modern vehicles. I would not want it as a daily driver, even if I owned it when it was in better condition. The F150, with its creature comforts, reliability, and visibility, was easy and fun to drive and very useful to me at the time. Its main disadvantages were its size, thirst for fuel, and the cost (relative to cars) of parts.
I’ve only had one truck, a 1985 F250 2WD 6.9 diesel cab and a half longbed, XLT Lariat with captains chairs and yuuge center console up front.
I bought it off a workmate in 1997 and by then it needed a paint job, so off to Miracle it went. 1300 bucks later it came back with a pretty good clearcoat over metallic dark blue finish. I had a new headliner installed and resprayed all the blue plastic interior bits and turned it into a respectable family hauler.
It’s towed a 5th wheel, hauled lumber and drywall and was my daily driver for 5 years until diesel prices started getting ridiculous. But since I live out in the country I’ve always needed a truck for dump runs so i could never bring myself to part with it.
In the ensuing 22 years of ownership, body cancer at the cab corners has set in, the state Air Resources Board has offered me a grand to take it off the road and the clearcoat failed long ago.
But it won’t die. The AC still blows cold and though the tank selector module failed and I’m only running the front tank now, it does whatever i ask of it.
4 years ago i used it to bring home a 23 horse diesel Kubota, and with that i reworked the property to improve drainage, excavate for a deck and new driveway and rip out some 6 foot high shrubs i got tired of trimming.
All that topsoil worked out to about 80,000 pounds that needed to be removed and the truck hauled it all away, sometimes 4400 pounds at a time. Last month i brought in 10000 pounds of gravel for a new walkway and ive also brought home a couple of grand worth of fencing lumber and redwood 1 x 8s to upgrade the property.
I hauled a lot of air, probably for most of its life, but when i needed the hauling capacity it did the job and did it without breaking a sweat. A 6.9 can’t make enough power to hurt itself so at 170k it still runs well and never overheats.
But its days are numbered, and I’ll hate to let it go, but it will probably be sold this year and I’ll remember it fondly since we’ve sort of grown older together. Its one of the last honest trucks Ford ever built and the bricknose style and simple but nice looking dash remains my favorite.
I currently have (and have had) way too many.
-Red 1940 Plymouth. It’s got no bed, no rear wheels, and a rusted to hell paintjob. Unfortunately it has not ran since 1979(it was my father’s truck that he gave to me in 1997 after getting out of the air force)and I have not been able to fix it. She sits next to my old black ’74 Cougar. Has a weathered and probably not working 201 L Head.
-Blue 1991 Ram Shortbed. Bought it in mint condition from a Mopar collector in around 2000-01 for only like 4 grand. Had the 318 and (Somehow) black Torq-Thrust style wheels on it. Drove it as my main truck for a few years until I picked up a brand new Expedition in 2007. Best truck I’ve had. Good hauler for a 150.
-Dark Green 1996 Isuzu Hombre. This is my daily driver right now. Engine nearing 160k miles but its been running strong for the 4 years I’ve had it. Had to replace the muffler just about every month because the exhaust on this thing is shitty but other than that it’s great. Has a Vortek 4.3 engine swap out of a 1995 S-10 that was in when I bought it in 2015.
We have a 2016 Ram 1500 Big Horn, and love it. We use it around town and to tow our travel trailer.
Ours is sort of a unicorn. Big Horns come with cloth interiors; this one had an aftermarket brown leather installed, and then the original owner clicked damn near all the option boxes. It has the RamBoxes, the tow package, and the underbody shields, etc.
Neat truck. We will keep our Ram Unicorn as long as we can.
My daily driver is a 2001 Tacoma 2.4 liter 4 cyl with 5 sp manual. It is 2 wheel drive with the base suspension. It is an extended cab with the tiny jump seats in the back. The SR 5 option package means it came with a nicer radio and a little more chrome. Driving it feels like a more mechanical or visceral driving experience than some newer vehicles I’ve driven — I feel more engaged with the driving experience. I haul furniture, mulch, miscellaneous stuff, and a lot of air. I love the low bed height and being able to so easily reach over the side of the bed. I average about 22 mpg and have driven 157,000 miles over 18 years. Maybe I could have gotten by with a wagon, SUV, or many van, but I’ve enjoyed having a small truck that does its thing with no fuss.
If you ask if I own a pickup BED, I actually have THREE now: my 2011 Ranger (obviously), the Nissan Trailer (built from an ’85-’86 720), and most recently, another trailer built from a ’91 Chevy S-10 to go with my ’05 Astro. To be honest the Ranger is usually driven to work & back home 5 days a week with next to no load in the bed, and the trailers (the Wells Cargo Trailer included) spend well over 50% of their current lives parked under sheds. But when I DO use them, I make sure to make the most of their utility in order to justify having them in the 1st place, let alone all the work I’ve put into them (the Nissan Trailer especially) to give them their current functionality. When you’re able to pull 2 trailers with a 4-cylinder Ranger & STILL manage the EPA-estimated mpg or better you can’t be doing half-bad! 🙂
the Astro & S-10 trailer
What I have now: 1978 F100 Step-side. Currently has sandblasted doors, hood, and front fender panels. Rest of the body is grey, currently being prepared for red repaint. Stock wheels, original 300 straight 6 in it for the engine with a Summit 4 speed racing transmission. 190,000 miles on the body and the engine. This was the second truck i bought, in 1987. Put the transmission in a few years back. Going to keep this until I die.
I don’t have one that’s currently in operating condition, as my only other vehicle me and my wife have is a 2006 Escape.