So, tell me, what is it about Americans and their love of trucks. My guess is that it starts as a youngster, playing with toy trucks on the floor or in the backyard. We even had a toy truck that looked like a tow truck. We used it to pull our other toy cars, as well as a toy airplane.
Did you know that the Ford F Series is the best-selling vehicle in America, and has been for 35 years! Currently, US auto makers make only six full size light duty trucks, and three heavy-duty trucks. These nine vehicles account for 11% of the automobile sales in the US. This despite the rise in gasoline and diesel prices. Oh, and more than 200 models of cars account for the other 89%!
A battle within the battle is Ford versus Chevy trucks. Most farmers and commercial fleet owners stick to one brand throughout their lifetime. A Ford or Chevy owner is more likely to buy a Toyota truck than switch to another American brand. Gas mileage seems to be secondary to the truck owner. Perhaps they justify it as a business expense, or buy the gas “wholesale” out on the farms and ranches through a local distributor.
My take is that trucks represent the “little boy” still remaining in all of us. Back in a time when the pick up truck meant you were a hard-working guy, perhaps with a snazzy truck adorned with an EZ Rider Rifle Rack, and a driver wearing his worst or best work or cowboy boots. These days, the custom boots cost more than the old truck itself.
Experts think that the truck represents adventure, the unknown, as in what can I put in the truck bed. Yes, the truck is both functional and adaptable, much like we tend to think of ourselves. A more aesthetic view says the empty truck bed is a canvas, waiting to be painted. That sounds a little too artsy fartsy, even melancholy for the brut of a man driving a muscle truck. Maybe it applies to city slickers only?
But no doubt the truck represents Americana, a time when men could make their own way, work hard, and create their own path (journey). Again that sounds a little too fancy for this paragraph!
I like to think of the pick up truck as a toy, a plaything for weekends and things like fishing and camping. Also coming to mind are things like helping a neighbor or relative move, or bringing home some furniture from the consignment store. And a four-wheel drive truck can go almost anywhere, while pulling the owner’s favorite toy close behind.
Some people have the truck for everyday transportation. It does have the advantage of a higher and better line of sight in traffic. It also packs more brawn, for those inevitable fender benders. This brings us to the “luxury” trucks. We never had trucks with leather upholstery, GPS navigation, heated and cooled seats, fancy stereo systems, and retractable running boards. Heck, the fanciest trucks can run about $45,000.
Then, of course, the special edition trucks, like the Eddie Bauer or Harley Davidson can be purchased for the boomer turned cowboy. But trucks remain the thirstiest vehicles on the road. But, there are also a list of “good” reasons to buy a truck, even for commuting to the office from the suburbs.
1. Do more stuff with the kids.
2. It will make home improvements much easier (haha).
3. A truck is safer than a sedan.
4. It is equipped like a luxury car inside.
5. We could tow a boat (or jet skis) with it.
6. I am an old cowpoke who lost his horse (wait that is a song title for twangers).
7. I need something to match my cowboy boots!
Of course, now you must go out a buy a boat as well. You must be sick!