Trucks are often portrayed as rugged vehicles. While it is true they are some of the strongest cars on the road, this is far from the only reason to purchase a truck. For many truck owners, the biggest advantage of owning a truck is the ability to haul cargo. Trucks have plenty of space in the back, but because of their strength, you can also attach a trailer to your truck for even more cargo. Trucks are especially great for camping. You can easily carry all your gear in the truck and even go off-roading directly to your chosen camp site.
The extra storage also applies to passenger space. While some trucks are two seaters, it’s becoming more common for trucks to have up to five seats, with plenty of space for passengers to stretch their legs. Another benefit of owning a truck is safety. Trucks handle well in all seasons and can withstand strong weather. Because they are bigger and heavier than other vehicles, they are difficult to damage in accidents and provide greater safety to passengers. On top of all the benefits, there are also a wide variety of trucks to choose from, so there’s something for every type of driver.
Types of Trucks
There are a surprising number of truck types available. Most drivers are familiar full-size pickup trucks. Full-size pickup trucks have several additional variants, but these mostly refer to the size and carrying capacity of the vehicle. Full-size trucks are great for cargo space and towing. They are some of the strongest and largest trucks. With the extra cab space, they are popular among families. Most manufacturers produce a new model of full-size trucks each year, featuring the latest technology. As a result, they can be some of the priciest trucks.
Midsize trucks share many of the strengths of a full-size truck, but in a smaller frame. They don’t have as much towing capacity or trunk space, but they still feature a large cab and excellent safety features. They are also less expensive than full-size pickup trucks. Overall, the two types of truck are so similar, midsize trucks are mistaken for slightly smaller full-size trucks.
Heavy-duty trucks are informally known as work trucks. This is because they are frequently spotted at construction sites and similar jobs. They feature large trunks and typically have only two seats, though more manufacturers are starting to make five seat variants. They possess some of the highest towing capacity of any truck. With the right configurations, some heavy-duty trucks can pull over 17,000 pounds.
If you are less interested in towing and cargo space, consider a compact truck. Compacts, also known as mini or coupes, are similar in size to a van. Instead of having interior space, they feature more trunk space. While they can still be driven off road, they don’t perform as well as other types of trucks outside of the road.
In recent years, there’s also been a greater focus on electric and hybrid trucks. Hybrids are more common as of writing. Hybrids sacrifice some of the base power of a full-size truck, but make up for it with significantly improved fuel efficiency. Because the technology is still new, the price for hybrid trucks can vary wildly depending on the model.
What to Consider when Purchasing a Truck
With so many trucks to choose from, it can be overwhelming to pick a vehicle. Before you start looking at specific models, think about what you need the truck for. Are you interested in the towing capabilities, or do you want a vehicle for your family? Are you using your truck for work, or leisurely driving? Once you know these details, you can start focusing your search on specific types of vehicles.
Another consideration is where you will be driving. Four-wheel drive is great in rougher terrains and climates, but it is significantly more expensive than two-wheel drive. However four-wheel vehicles are less fuel efficient, so you end up spending more on gas. If you intend to drive in the city, an automatic transmission keeps you from having to unnecessarily shift with a manual, but manual trucks are typically less expensive.
2023 Ford F-150
The Ford F-150 is a staple of full-size trucks. As of writing, it is one of the best selling trucks in the United States. Part of what makes the F-150 so appealing is the number of customization options. There are three different sizes of cab and bed lengths. A hybrid variation is available for 2022, as well as four different gasoline powered engines. There are options for both two- and four- wheel drive, and eight different trims on release.
It also features some unique features you won’t find on any other truck. For example, it includes an onboard generator with 7.2kW of power, which is enough to power a mobile welding shop. With the right configuration, you can easily haul around 3,300 pounds, or tow up to 14,000 pounds. It also includes Active Drive Assist, which allows you to take your hands off the steering wheel on select roads and highways. A driving facing camera ensures you are still facing the road and paying attention to other vehicles around you. Currently, the base F-150 costs around $31,000.
2023 Toyota Tundra
Previously, the Toyota Tundra was a mid-size truck, but in 2023 it was upgraded to a full-size vehicle. It features a powerful, twin-turbo hybrid V-6 engine, with a 10-speed automatic transmission. One of the improvements from previous models is the rear suspension, using coiled springs instead of the previous leaf-spring configuration. This gives the Tundra superior handling. Skid plates, a suspension lift and all-terrain tires further increasing the handling from previous models. There are a few different trims available, but most are based on adding additional bed or cab space. The standard trim includes a 6.5-foot bed with a 5.5-foot cab. It costs on average $35,000.
2023 Ram 2500/3500
When it comes to heavy-duty trucks, it’s hard to beat Ram. The Ram is available in both 2500 and 3500 variants, with the main differences being the size and engine. Both variants represent some of the strongest trucks currently on the market, able to haul around 7,500 pounds. With the aid of a small trailer, you can carry over 37,000 pounds of equipment. The Ram is so powerful, they had to issue warnings that in some states you can only haul that much weight with a commercial trucker license. While it doesn’t have too many improvements from previous year models, it does feature a five-link coil suspension, and a new 12-inch touchscreen. The base trim starts at $39,000.