The first-ever pickup truck was introduced in 1917 during the economic boom following World War I. Apparently, the truck was envisioned by Henry Ford. He wanted to introduce a civilian vehicle that would be comparable to war trucks. Of course, these war trucks were reserved for top ranking military personnel and horses were still used in combat. Anyway, the Ford Model TT is considered the first pick up model ever introduced to America. However, it still required a modification to add a truck bed and it wasn’t until 1925 that Ford installed built-in truck beds. Can you imagine that these pickups, called Ford Model T Runabout, only cost 281 bucks? Today, a standard pickup is about 180 times that amount. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is that Ford is among the giants in the pickup industry. Since the release of the iconic F-series in 1948, Ford continues to deliver next generations. Currently, we are on the 13th generation of the F-series with no signs of slowing down. In fact, 2018 is year of F-series and its America’s top-selling car.  

Here are the top 5 reasons why pickups are so popular:

  1. Hauls large luggage
  2. Tows things, like boats and trailers
  3. Off-roading capacity
  4. Roomy interior and four-door seating capacity
  5. Luxury features, like leather seats and lane-keep assist

So, basically these cars are good for everything! Whether its work or play, anyone can benefit from the cars. Learn more about the pickup and then check out the popular Ford F-series…

Pickup Payload and towing capacity:

Pickups are categorized as half-ton, three-quarter ton, and one-ton. The measurements are supposed to represent how much the truck can carry, called payload. This includes the passengers and everything the truck is carrying with a half ton being 1,000 pounds, three-quarter ton being 1,500 pounds, and one-ton being 2,000 pounds. Of course, the pickups available on today’s market far exceed the defined carrying capacities however these have stuck over the years. Apparently, they originate from the first-ever trucks that were measured against horse-drawn carriages. Check out the pickups that fall under each of the categories and what they’re capable of:

  • Half-ton

Half-tons are by far the most popular, since these pickups are practical, fun to drive, and luxurious. Lighter duty trucks sell in the millions each year and include the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Nissan Titan, and Toyota Tundra.

The Ford F-150 has been the bestselling car in the US for over thirty years. The regular cab model, that’s seating for two, can apparently tow 8, 500 pounds and has a payload capacity of 2, 470 pounds. This is a good amount of torque for a ‘lightweight’ truck, thanks to its twin-turbo 3.5L V6 engine.

  • Three-quarter ton

Three-quarters are sometimes referred to as the 2500 series, since many of them include 2500 in the name. There’s the Ram 2500, Chevrolet Silverado 2500, GMC Sierra 2500, and then the oddball Ford F-250. Apparently, Nissan and Toyota don’t make cars in the three-quarter category.

The F-250 trucks can tow 12, 500 pounds, that is, if they are the regular cab model. It also has a supposed payload of 4, 200 pounds, that’s like 16 fridges! The F-250 tends to be more popular than the F-150 for work purposes, which makes the diesel engine a more popular choice. In general, the diesel engine can tow more and gets better gas mileage. The F-250’s 6.2L engine size remains the same as the F-150 however it’s an eight-cylinder instead of a six.

  • One-ton

One-tons are the largest size sold to consumers before becoming considered commercial trucks. These include the Ford F-350, GMC Sierra 3500, Chevrolet Silverado 3500, and the Ram 3500.

Looking again at Ford, the F-350 has the exact same towing capacity F-250, that’s 12, 500 pounds. That max payload advertised on the F-350 is 4, 370 pounds which again, is hardly different from the F-250. The F-250 and the F-350’s engine is the same, since they’re both 6.7L V8. So, what’s the difference? Well, not much. The F-350 may have slightly better towing capacity, since the suspension is stiffer however in some states it’s classified as a commercial vehicle and can end up costing more for insurance and registration.

Pros and Cons of Pickup Trucks

The top three advantages of the pickup include its payload capacity, benefits for entrepreneurs, and towing capabilities…

  1. The biggest advantage of owning pickup truck is its carrying capacity.  You’ll never have to worry about ordering another piece of furniture for delivery, since it’ll most likely fit into the back of your truck. This will save you money on any of those pesky delivery fees. You’ll also be able to easily transport bikes and other gear for recreational activities.
  2. Many people may also benefit from owning a pickup for work purposes. Anyone wanting to start a business that requires hauling and delivery, like for furniture or garden supplies for example, could benefit from a truck. It’s a great asset for anyone wanting to get into the field of landscaping or cleaning, since it’ll be able to transport all of the necessary supplies.
  3. Another major advantage of the pickup is that it can tow. Those who are fortunate enough to own a boat can transport it from their home residence to whatever body of water they like to sail around on. It can also tow trailers which is great for summer road trip accommodations.

Of course, like anything in this world, the pickup truck has a couple disadvantages…

  1. Pickups don’t get great gas mileage. You’d be hard pressed to find a pickup with an mpg rating higher than 21, which is what the twin-turbo Ford F-150, gets for highway driving. Also, its city mpg is only 17 mpg. Consider that the F-150’s twin-turbo can worsen mileage, despite the smaller V6 engine. Only drivers that make smooth transitions will possibly get better mileage from the turbo, otherwise it’s better to go with a V8. Compare the F-150’s mileage to ultra fuel-efficient 2018 Toyota Yaris iA, which offers 32 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. Clearly, if you’re concerned about fuel-efficiency, pickups aren’t the way to go. Then again, diesel can offer better fuel-efficiency, however they’re also highly pollutant and only really offer better mileage for highway driving.
  2. Pickups are bulky. Since they’re so big, they’re obviously going to be a lot trickier to park. They also tend be stiffer, since they’re designed for towing, which makes them harder to manoeuvre than your everyday car. Anyone looking to buy a pickup should keep in mind that it may take some getting used to, especially if it’s a more heavy duty one-ton car.

How to Choose a Pickup Truck

Today, the pickup market is vast and it can be tricky to decide what pickup to go with and what features to look out for. Here are some tips…

  • Brand

Do you have a trusted car manufacturer? If so, you can check if the company offers a pickup line. However, the F-series is an obvious choice, since Ford is the OG supplier of the pickup truck. And, as mentioned before, it’s 2018’s top selling car in the US.

  • Your Needs

What do you need a pickup for?  It makes a big difference, whether you’re going to use the truck to carry smaller loads, like landscaping supplies versus a big boat. You’ll need to consider the weight of your loads and then check the payload and towing capacity of the various trucks to see if it’s enough.  You may also want to check reviews, since sometimes the company’s advertised capacities don’t match up with user’s real-life experiences.

  • Engine Preference

The various engines offer variations in power and mpg. The heavier that your expected loads are, the more power you’ll need. Most people buying pickups mostly care about getting a ton of power however try to keep mpg in mind. You can save a lot on gas with a slightly smaller engine, especially if it’s all you really need.

  • Drivetrain Choices

Do you need a 4WD or does a 2WD suffice? Ok, so if you’re just getting a pickup for the look of it then 2WD is totally fine however if you’ll be towing large loads and going off-roading, then 4WD is the recommended option. 4WD powers all four wheels of a vehicle, which apparently gives better tractions on dirt roads or in snow, and also is better for acceleration and towing.

  • Cab Type

It’s probably not a bad idea to get a 4-door, since this is the most practical option for everyday use. However, it’s more expensive and the classic 2-door may be enough for some.

  • Truck Bed Length

What do you plan to load onto your truck bed? This is worth considering, since you can get beds that come in various dimensions. You’ll want a bed that can easily fit whatever items you’ll be transporting, especially if it’s stuff that’s important for your work.  

  • Budget

This is a consideration for any car and it’s no different with pickups. There’s a lot of variation in price and likely more special features for pickups, than other cars. You’ll want to consider any extra features you’ll need for your truck, not just the base price. Some examples of such features include, truck bed extender, tie-downs and toe hooks, and loading ramp.    

Are you thinking of going with the F-series?

Check out the 2018 F-150 trim options…

  • XL. The XL is the least expensive of the trims and its base cost is $27, 610. This covers a 3.3L V6 engine that has a payload of 1,950 pounds and a towing capacity of 7, 700 pounds.
  • XLT. Next is the XLT trim which is slightly more expensive than the XL and costs $33, 205. The engines the same as the XL and so is the payload and towing capacity. The only thing worth considering about the XLT is that it includes an additional luxury feature that’s not on the XL. It has a optional bed extender so that there’s more room for your loads.
  • Lariat. The Lariat is the next level up and costs 40, 920. It markets an EcoBoost, which is a fancy way of saying turbo-charger. The engine is a 2.7L V6 that has a payload of 1, 990 pounds and a towing capacity of 8,500 pounds.
  • Raptor. The raptor trim has a massive price jump from the lariat, nearly 10 g’s, and costs $50, 020. It’s 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine has a payload of 3, 230 pounds and a towing capacity of 12, 100 pounds. Obviously, this is a much more heavy duty choice and offers about a 40% increase in payload capacity. The Raptor F-150 is also popular for its off-roading capabilities.
  • King Ranch. The King Ranch trim is hardly more expensive than the Raptor. It costs $51, 835. It’s got a 5L V8 engine and offers a payload of 3, 720 pounds and a towing capacity of 11, 100. Notice that while the King Ranch has a higher payload than the Raptor, the towing capacity is actually less.
  • Platinum. The second most expensive trim is the Platinum, since it costs $54, 390. It has the same engine specs as the Kind Ranch and also has the same payload and towing capacity. Really, the difference here comes down to style preference.  The Platinum has a little more flare and you’ll find that it’s decked out with more chrome.
  • Limited. The Limited trim costs a whopping $60, 755. It’s got the same engine specs as the Raptor and also the same payload and towing capacity. The Limited is a luxury model of the F-series, like the Platinum, however it’s more expensive since it has more safety features and upgraded powertrain.

Conclusion

The Ford F-series is one of the very first cars used by civilians in the states and offers 2018’s top selling vehicles. Pickups are popular, since they’re so versatile and can do just about anything one might want a car to do. Whether you need to carry heavy loads for work or transport a beautiful yacht to the seaside, the pickup truck is your best bet.