Over the past several years, I have driven my fair share of automobiles. However, my heart always beats a little faster at the thought of getting behind the wheel of a pickup.
I know it's not the norm, but times are changing and so are consumer preferences. Trucks are very beautiful, very practical, and are gaining popularity for not only their size and unique capabilities, but also for their comfort and safety.
Read on to find out why you should consider a pickup.
1. Feel like a bad a**
If you are looking for a quick confidence boost, try getting behind the wheel of a pickup.
I drove one for the first time in 1999 and have been in love ever since. After taking it for a spin or two and learning how to handle it properly, I felt I could take on the world.
Just being able to maneuver in and out of traffic made me feel like a total bad a** and very empowered.
2. Builds confidence
Ladies, I totally understand that the size can be somewhat intimating, but remember: the more you do something, the more confident you become.
To be honest, my first go-around was a little rocky, but after I became more proficient, I felt myself stepping up and conquering fears in other areas of my life. For example, learning to handle that truck also gave me courage to learn how to drive a manual transmission car, and attend the first women's all outdoor, off-road navigation rally raid in the United States.
3. Comes equipped with luxury features
Pickups are known for their cool off-roading, towing and hauling capabilities. However, there may be a few things that they are not so known for like their versatility, comfortable cabins, and luxury vibes. This makes driving them pretty cool, especially when road tripping, hanging with friends, doing heavy hauling, or just when you're in the mood for a drive to clear your head.
Check out a few luxury features that make them even more attractive:
- Music streaming via Bluetooth
- Power-adjustable driver's seat/pedals
- Large touchscreen infotainment display
- Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatible
- Hands-free phone capability
- USB ports
- Complimentary maintenance plan with roadside assistance
- Blind-spot monitor
4. Drives like a car/compact SUV
Since pickup trucks are quite large and built to be tough, you may automatically think they are hard to handle. That is the furthest thing from the truth; they're actually surprisingly easy to drive and the high road position gives you great visibility, too.
Modern pickup trucks have performance qualities that can easily be compared to a luxury sedan or SUV, too. Trust me, when I drove one for the first time, I was surprised as well.
A few years ago, I tackled a 1300-mile road trip (Michigan to Florida) in a pickup and it handled beautifully. On the day of the trip, I mentally prepared myself for the long drive, set the cruise control, cranked up the music and hit the road.
Now I can't say that a 1,300-mile road trip was easy, but driving a vehicle that makes you feel safe, is easy to handle, and is very comfortable makes every journey easier. Believe it or not, when I finally arrived, I wasn't stiff, didn't have any back pain, and was rather relaxed.
5. Offers more space
Outside of their performance capabilities, pickup trucks are also known for their roomy cabins, double cab options and large cargo beds.
The added space makes it easy for your family and friends to pile in for a fun day of shopping or a road trip adventure. This space also makes it easy on moving days, shopping for large furniture, Christmas trees — the list goes on.
Additionally, if you're the creative type, turning the bed of the truck into a mini pool party and sleeping under the stars are also fun and cool options as well.
6. Great for hauling and towing large objects
It's so useful to have a truck that can tow, haul and move big furniture. No more need to hire a moving service or someone to cart big items around for you; you can do it yourself.
7. Sense of safety
Feeling safe while driving is extremely important. There is nothing worse than that uneasy feeling we have all felt during our commute to and from work.
One thing that makes me feel safe when driving a pickup is being able to see what's coming due to greater road and driver visibility from sitting up so high. Having the ability to see what's coming sooner than later definitely heightens my sense of safety.
Secondly, most pickup trucks come in 4-wheel drive, which is very beneficial when driving in snow or on ice. Additionally, the more modern 4x4 trucks can be put in 4-Hi and 4-Lo from inside the cab, instead of inconveniently getting out of the vehicle and manually locking the hubs.
8. Unique safety features
Trucks have come a long way over the last several years. True, great road visibility and minimal blind spots are great, but auto brands have added several unique safety features that help drivers stay alert and avoid collisions. For example, some models come equipped with:
- Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection
- Blind-spot detection
- Dynamic radar cruise control
- Lane departure alert
- Automatic high beams
- Lane tracing assist
- Road sign assist
These safety features have assisted trucks in becoming a sought-after vehicle by all genders.
9. Comes in different sizes
Another very cool thing about pickup trucks is that they come in a variety of sizes. They are classified based on their GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), and the most common types are light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty.
- Light-duty trucks are based vehicles with a gross vehicle weight up to 8,500 pounds (3,860 kg) and a payload capacity up to 4,000 pounds (1,815 kg).
- Medium duty trucks refer to truck classes 6-7, which have a gross vehicle weight rating range of 19,501- 33,000 lbs.
- Heavy-duty trucks are any vehicle exceeding 26,001 pounds. Examples include city transit buses, mobile cranes, cement mixers, refuse trucks and tractors designed to pull refrigerated trailers, dry vans and other equipment. Class 7 is 26,001 to 33,000 pounds. Class 8 is 33,001 or heavier.
When are you looking to purchase one, make sure you focus on you and your family needs. Going big is always fun, but if that much space is not needed, then scaling back a bit would be wise.
What is GVWR? The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is basically the maximum total safe weight of your vehicle, counting the curb weight (the weight of our vehicle when empty) plus the weight of your passengers, fuel, any accessories added to the vehicle, cargo and the “tongue weight" of a tow trailer (normally 10-20% of the combined tow load and trailer weight).
10. Brings back memories
I always get nostalgic whenever I'm behind the wheel of a pickup. My ex owned a 1999 Ford F-150 and, after a few days, you would have thought I owned the vehicle. My friends and I would go joyriding for hours while he slept. He would wake up and be so annoyed I was gone with his only form of transportation.
Over the years, I have spoken to many of my truck loving sisters; they all have a great truck story.
As you can probably tell, I love sharing old pickup truck stories. Do you have any that you love to reminisce about? Let us know in the comments.