Choosing the Right Pickup Truck for You
There was a time, not so long ago, when a pickup truck was an uncomfortable workhorse. Most had very few features other than a bed to carry items and and the power to pull a trailer. The interiors were often bare bones and, other than paint color, the exteriors looked pretty much the same across brands.
Times have certainly changed! Modern pickups are often better appointed and more comfortable than a sedan. Leather interiors, high end stereo systems and modern technologies such as back up cameras and navigation systems are commonplace today. Body styles vary greatly from model to model, giving each one a much more unique appearance. Many trucks today are just as “at home” going to a fancy dinner as they are in the field.
Of course, not everyone will want or need the extra features. Many pickup truck owners are not concerned about how nice the interior or stereo is. Instead, these users care only about the power to tow a large utility trailer or the ability to haul a load of gravel in the bed.
This is one of the first determinations you will need to consider when choosing a new or used pickup truck for yourself. Ask yourself how you will be using the truck. Will it be primarily a work truck, or will it double as a family vehicle or primary source of transportation? Do you need to tow a 5,000 pound trailer, or will you only occasionally haul furniture in the bed? Take time to think about these questions before you start your search.
Full Size or Midsize/Compact?
Once again, the question of how you will be using your truck will help determine what size you need. Over the last few years, the full size pickup has been by far the best seller, but there are still those who prefer the lower cost and improved gas mileage of a midsize or compact.
Perhaps you plan to use your truck to bring gardening supplies or plants home from the home improvement store a couple of times a year, or just need to haul trash to the dump twice a month. In this case, a compact or midsize may be just what you need. These trucks tend to be less expensive and use less gas. Many are still perfectly capable of towing small utility trailers or boats.
On the other hand, if you have lots of tools and equipment to carry around, or plan to pull a travel trailer behind your truck, you will want to go with full size. The 1500 series (such as the Silverado 1500 or the F-150) are by far the most popular pickups, and will meet the needs of a wide variety of users. In general, a 1500 series truck can tow between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds when properly configured. (source: wikipedia.com and others)
For even more robust hauling or towing, such as pulling a fifth wheel trailer or carrying very heavy loads, you might consider a “heavy duty” model, such as a 2500 or 3500 series. These can haul up to 31,000 pounds if they are configured to do so. Keep in mind, however, that there is more to towing capacity than simply the size of the trucks. Springs and shocks, frame rigidity and other factors affect the maximum towing capacity, so be sure to investigate this thoroughly prior to purchasing. Get in touch with us and we can help answer your questions. You may also call Bryce at 912-279-4222.
Regular or Extended Cab?
The extended cab and crew cab pickups have become increasingly popular over the years. These larger cabs with four doors are much roomier and allow you to comfortably carry more passengers. Even without additional passengers, many prefer these trucks due to the extra room provided by the back seat. This area can be used to carry items that you may not want to leave in an unprotected truck bed.
Regular cabs do not have this additional room, and generally are not comfortable with more than the driver and one passenger. Extended cabs have a small back seat (or fold down jump seats) and “half doors” to access the back compartment. Crew cabs are true 4-doors with a full size back seat which is comfortable for adults, even on extended drives.
All that being said, however, if you do not regularly carry passengers or have items you need to carry in the cab, a regular cab truck may work well for you. These tend to cost a little less and are a bit lighter, thereby giving a little better fuel mileage. Thinking carefully about how you will use the truck will make this decision easier.
Rear Wheel or Four Wheel Drive?
You need to think about not only how you will be using your pickup truck, but also where. This will help you determine whether you need rear or four wheel drive. If you are using your truck primarily on pavement with little chance of snow, chances are a rear wheel drive model will suit your needs just fine.
However, if you plan to go off-roading a lot, or if you drive in snowy or icy conditions, you probably need to consider a 4WD pickup. Basic 4 wheel drive is a selectable mode in which you choose when to engage the four wheel drive option. There are also models with full time all wheel drive.
Rear wheel drive models are certainly less expensive, and maintenance and/or repairs are more costly on 4WD trucks. However, if you drive in conditions such as those mentioned above, a 4WD model would be worth the extra expense.
So Which Pickup Truck Should You Buy?
There are so many choices available in the pickup truck line that it can seem a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, we can help with your decision. Just give Bryce a call at (912) 279-4222 or click here to contact us online. We will work with you to find the right truck for you at a price you can afford. We look forward to hearing from you.