Daily Podcast: Pickup After Yourself

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
daily podcast pickup after yourself

Although Justin wonders how the loss of "lifestyle" buyers may hurt pickup truck sales, I never held much truck with the idea that Urban Cowboy-ism accounted for the lion's share of the market. Maybe that's because I live in southern New England, where anyone who drives a pickup truck uses it to relieve lawn-crazed suburbanites and home makeover addicts of their hard-earned money. The SUVOA defends our right to drive big honking SUV's on the grounds that their owners cherish their occasional "full" utilization (i.e. nipping out for a pint of milk during a blizzard). So it's entirely possible that there are parts of the country where people buy pickups just so's they kin move their lava lamp and mattress to and from college, or schlep a picnic table-sized TV home from their local big box store in time for the game. But I adhere to the theories of psychologist Jean Piaget, who said if you've got a capability, you bloody well use it. That's some scary ass shit when applied to nuclear weapons, but it puts a halo 'round the pickup's head. After all, if it wasn't so easy to haul stuff, people wouldn't buy so much stuff– and that's not good news for an economy based on unbridled consumerism (as opposed to?). Anyway, when pickups fall down, there's scary times ahead. Yes sir. Sure is.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 12 comments
  • CSJohnston CSJohnston on Oct 09, 2007
    I drive a 05 F150 RC-STX 4.2V6 5speed manual and it commutes well, fits my 3-person family tdoyle, Who gets the middle? CJ
  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Oct 10, 2007

    Keep in mind that the market for used pickups in the US is also boosted by demand from Mexico. Mexico "protects" their car dealers by prohibiting the import of new and younger cars from the US. However, a 10 year old pickup truck is old enough to be exempt. So a Mexican can buy a cheap used Ford F-150 Stateside and import it to Mexico for resale and make a nice profit. And there is a demand for these trucks there, and the price is about right. So this demand keeps a minimum floor on used pickup prices that they never seem to drop below ($4k USD or so). It makes perfect sense. If you are a Mexican living in Durango and need a pickup truck, your choices are (1) A newer, but way overpriced. Mexican one from your local dealer, (2) or a $4k used one imported from the US. It is a no brainer. Hell, buy two imported US pickups, one as a backup or for parts, and you still end up ahead.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Oct 16, 2007

    tdoyle said: October 9th, 2007 at 9:22 am My view of the pickup is that “Everyone sometimes needs one” and you never know when that is going to be. I drive a 05 F150 RC-STX 4.2V6 5speed manual and it commutes well, fits my 3-person family and regularly gets 20mph highway. No those aren’t Prius figures, but knowing you have the “capability” is comforting. Chris says: Yes I think this is the reasons that so many people buy larger vehicles than they need in the United States. They are buying what they want and I suppose this is the important thing but they justify it with the statement that this is the type of vehicle I might need... I prefer to buy something frugal for daily driving and keep something older on standby for those hardware store/lumber yard trips. Heck, I have a 2001 3/4ton 4WD GMC on standby (a friend's truck) and I trade chores to use this truck a few times a year if I need it. I fill up the tanka nd detail it before I return it. I cut down a tree or cut some lumber or whatever. 99% of the time though I take my $350 utility trailer to the hardware store and tow it home with my 8 year old CR-V. I can haul up to 1500 lbs and frankly my projects never require more than that. If they did I'd make two trips... If I was building a deck I'd pay them to deliver the lumber. Cheaper than the oeprating cost of a truck year round. I just don't want to put up with the large vehicle characteristics for all year when I only need it's abilities a few times a year. Same goes for minivans and big SUVs. I guess if gas ever really rises quickly and stays there (as opposed to rising and falling or rising slowly with the cost of living & rising paychecks) suddenly this might be more sensible to more folks than it is. Currently most (90%) of my friends and co-workers drive large vehicles - trucks/SUVs/muscle cars. I still stick with my little VW and plan for a TDI next time.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Oct 16, 2007

    I do miss my 1949 Chevy p/u though. Never really used it as a truck though - too nice. Always late when I went somewhere in that truck. Always somebody would want to talk about old trucks when I parked somewhere.