Pickup Truck def: a vehicle designed to haul cargo that the owner picks up and places into its cargo bed.
I may be in the minority, but that’s how I use my truck. I haul gravel, compost, dirt, and mulch, and shovel it out the back, which is the most efficient way to do it, short of a dump bed. I also haul junk to to the dump, and load loose items by tossing them over the side of my truck’s bed, and unload them the same way. I can readily lean over into my bed’s side and reach all the items in there. I easily tip large appliances single handedly into and out of the bed. That’s why I have a truck, and that’s what I expect it to be able to do. But there are times when I think I might like to ride in something a little more comfortable and safe than my 1966 Ford F-100. So I head down to my local Ford dealer and check out a new truck, starting with the business end:
There’s almost a foot of difference (10″ precisely) in the load height on any new Ford pickup from mine. Old Yellow’s tailgate sits 26″ from the ground; the F-150 is at 36″. That makes all the difference in the world for how I use my truck. I can’t even reach into the bed properly over the side of the 56″ tall F-150 bed. And shoveling in or out of the back of the bed would be an ergonomic nightmare even for a younger man than me.
I intended to drive around to the other truck dealers, but a cold downpour sent me scurrying home to check the stats on their web sites. Only Chevrolet and Toyota list their maximum load height (Silverado: 33.9″; Tundra: 35.4″). Endless specifications on every other possible dimension inside and out is on offer by the rest, but not the bed height? Hello! There are actually some folks who still lift things into and out of their beds.
I can tell by looking at them that the Dodge (oops, Ram) and Nissan Titan are no better. I guess it’s a sign of the times when a person has to use a ladder, a powered lift gate or hire a day laborer to just load or unload their truck. But in these times of renewed values of simplicity, an interest in urban farming, and just plain economical DIYing, it would seem that a simple full-sized-bed truck designed to have thing picked up and placed into its bed just might have some value again.