Many people wonder whether a truck for sale is the best choice of vehicle for them. For some people, interest in a pickup stems from a long history with larger vehicles like SUVs. For others, it’s the idea of a more practical vehicle, something capable of hauling cargo without sacrificing passenger space. Whatever the reason may be, there’s no denying that a truck can be useful to the right person.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine if a truck is right for you. Unless you have previous experience with this type of vehicle, you might not be sure what you should expect when considering buying one. Since trucks come in all different shapes and sizes, this can be even more complicated by the type of truck you look at.
If you’re in this position, don’t worry. This article is all about the ins and outs of considering a new truck, especially if it’s your first time entertaining the notion of owning a pickup. By the end, you’ll have more information to decide whether a truck is right for you and what kind you may need for your specific needs.
Consider Your Vehicular Needs
When you go out and look at any particular vehicle, truck or otherwise, it’s helpful to know exactly what you’re looking for. In other words, what do you need your next vehicle to do for you? A vehicle that doesn’t satisfy all of your needs and desires won’t be useful to you in the long run. For some people, this means wasted time and money in the end.
How do you know what you need? Take a moment to sit down and list out all the details and specifications you would like from the vehicle. Try to think about and imagine how you will use it on a daily basis. Do you have any must-haves that you can’t live without? Is this going to be just a daily commuter or something to hold a lot of cargo?
A truck can be used for virtually any purpose, but anything related to hauling cargo and people long distances is a particular thing it does well. More exotic uses like off-roading can also be in the truck’s wheelhouse depending on the type you look at and choose. If you simply want a small town commuter with great fuel efficiency, you might better be served with a small family car or SUV.
When you have your particular list of must have and needs down, it is time to start looking around at different options.
The Range of Possible Trucks
Most trucks are fairly simple on paper. You’ve got the front with the engine, a cabin for the people, and bed for the cargo. Despite this basic recipe, trucks come in a lot of different forms and sizes. These small differences will have a large influence on how many people you can fit, how much cargo you can hold, and what kind of performance and fuel economy you should expect.
Beyond the usual different makes and features each car comes with, trucks tend to differ on two very important components. First is the bed size. Ranging from short five-foot to extra long eight-foot beds, bed length not only determines how much cargo you can fit but also how the truck will handle overall. Longer beds will usually create a longer turning radius.
The passenger cabin also differs in length. Traditionally, small pickup trucks have a two-person driver and passenger setup with nothing else. When you add a backseat, you usually have the option of either a traditional crew cab, which is small, all the way up to a full-length, car-like interior. If interior room is important, a larger backseat will be necessary. The final differences are the same as you will find in any vehicle. Different engine options and drivetrain options will all determine how powerful and capable the truck will be. Four-wheel-drive is usually a good option if you expect to drive in challenging conditions and weather. Otherwise, the more traditional rear wheel setup be enough and more fuel-efficient.
Taking the Test Drive
The best way to determine if a truck is right for you is to actually drive it. There’s no better way to experience the particular feel of a vehicle when you’re behind the wheel. In some cases, it will reveal secret characteristics and traits about a truck that you simply can’t discover on paper or online.
Be sure you test drive any number of trucks you’re interested in. Also, expect to be surprised if this is your first time driving a truck. Large full-size pickups, for example, can have a drastically different feel the first time out. They usually don’t handle like a car, meaning the turning radius will be larger and acceleration/stopping can be slower. Don’t let the different feel turn you from a truck upon first impression. The larger size can take some time to get used to, but once you have it down, you will be good to go.
If possible, bring someone along who has more experience with a pickup to give you some greater insight into what to expect owning a truck. They can also help you look for different things that may determine which truck will be a better fit for you and your needs. If you are nervous about driving a truck for the first time, start off with a small test drive. A smaller vehicle like the Chevy Colorado is going to handle more like a car than something larger.
Making a Final Decision
Ultimately, what you decide should reflect what you need and want out of the vehicle. If you feel like a truck is going to be the best fit in accommodating all of this, it may be the way to go. As long as you know what to expect as much as possible going in and you know what to look for before making a purchase, it is hard to go wrong with a medium-size or full-size pickup.
Finally, remember that the truck isn’t the only option to have better cargo hauling and passenger space. SUVs can the fill a lot of the same functions with some sacrifices. Even smaller sedans and station wagons offer some creative cargo and storage solutions using hitch and roof racks.
As long as you find something that will fit you and your needs like a glove, you will be making the right decision.