By on August 4, 2020

A strange phenomenon (one of many) cropped up in recent years among the more ardent of  very-online quasi-activists, one where people seem to think that jumping to the most hyperbolic potential outcome of their “enemy’s” actions somehow lends weight to their argument — to their opposition to something, anything.

It also manifests as a person attributing the maximum amount of malice to the actions of a person or entity they dislike, as if they hold a special key to the innermost thoughts of their most despised foes.

Which brings us to large pickup trucks and the nation’s children.

I’ve never read The Week and don’t know anything about Mr. Cooper, but I do know this is about as uncharitable as you can get when describing why automakers continue to sell vehicles that have existed for decades, and which consumers buy in enormous quantities.

One can only assume that in this reality, Mary Barra is rubbing her palms, gleefully thinking about the score her heavy-duty products have racked up in the daily Death Race 2000 of U.S. commuting. Perhaps a chainsaw bayonet (hood-mounted, of course) will soon find itself among GM’s newest pickup accessories.

Yes, pickups are large. Tall. Lengthy. They’ve always taken up quite a bit of real estate; the only issue is that they’re being sold in much larger numbers these days. Mr. Cooper elaborates, describing how the towering hoodline of said pickups obscures the roadway in front of the driver, leading to very real collisions in which the pedestrian (or your neighbor’s doe-eyed children) doesn’t stand a chance. We’re not talking a Honda Civic here, nor a Datsun 210.

Yet the height of a 2020 GMC Sierra HD 4×4 is 79.8 inches, and one can assume automakers haven’t shrunken the floor-to-ceiling distance in their modern trucks, so the height of the lip of the hood remains proportionate to the overall dimensions of trucks which came before. A 1985 GMC C/K 2500 4×4 was still a towering 73 inches tall.

A Ford F-250 SuperCab 4×4 from that same year was 75 inches tall.

The trucks have barely changed in proportion; only their sales volume has seen a serious increase. Surely, this doesn’t help the pedestrians who encounter these vehicles in a one-on-one manner. It doesn’t. Yet trucks of yesteryear didn’t carry backup cameras, proximity sensors, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and other safety nannies.

It’s also worth noting that a current-generation Ford F-150 tested by Motor Trend recorded a 60-0 mph stopping distance of 119 feet. A 1971 Ford LTD? 124.6 feet. A Dodge Charger of similar vintage recorded a distance of 123 feet when equipped with a 383 V8.

But this writer’s job isn’t to serve as GM’s attorney in this case of online hysterics. Just think of the money if it was….!

Let’s approach this from another angle. People are very outspoken today, and it often results in the more level-headed of us avoiding scenarios where we have to hear such opinions. It’s why I haven’t been on Facebook in three years. What “very online” car/truck opinion are you sick of hearing?

[Image: Ford]

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73 Comments on “QOTD: Next Stop, Hyperbole?...”


  • avatar
    Jon

    Well… i cant speak for anyone else, but i certainly purchased my latest fullsize pickup so that I could participate in the pedestrian points game. I mean… sure, I dont need a truck because I could tow any of my trailers with my Camry; but the real excitement comes when I am barrelling down a neighborhood street at 50mph with a 6500lb blind spot laden death machine…

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’ll tell you what I’m sick of: these “lookie two guys whose politics are out of sync with mine said something stupid on Twitter” posts.

    Who cares about what these dingbats said?

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Exactly. Twitter is the as****e of the Internet. Its hardly worth reporting on tweets from soft-brained character-restricted opinion purveyors. Okay, maybe the second as****e next to Reddit.

      But, I am inspired to upgrade my next F-150 purchase to an F-250 now. But only because it looks scary to Ryan Cooper.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I mean, seriously…there are plenty of criticisms you can make about these fake-monster trucks. You can’t see around them. They’re ugly. They’re codpieces. Too many are bought so their owners can flip off the “virtue signalers” (conveniently ignoring the fact that they’re actually doing the same thing, just with different virtues). Do I suspect the people who own them really like the idea that it sometimes annoys me off to see my entire rear view mirror filled up with their ugly-a*s grill? Yep. Whatever…as long as they spent their own money on it, and they don’t bother me, then I could really care less.

        But making a whole story about two clowns trying to get attention on Twitter by saying “oh, my God, they’re out to kill our kids”? Come on…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Distracted driving is the problem – and given the way most people drive you’re likely just as dead regardless of what you get hit by.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    Electric cars will improve the environment.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Twitter, where outrage goes to party :(

  • avatar
    TimK

    But the battering rams on the brodozers are made of vacu-formed plastic — just as phony as the posturing of the safety advocates.

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      I saw a T-Bone at an intersection of a SD Ford and a modern Subaru. The Fords front end was decimated and I was shocked at the plastic and thin metals used for the bumpers. I’m assuming that the Fords are designed with minimum materials to make sure they are not as Death Machines for the opposing party.

      If you want a true street bruiser a 64’ Imperial is the only answer.

      Once the Bro dozer runs off the 2nd hand lot with the lift, wheels exhaust etc… 18 months later it usually has bald tires and other maint. Items ignored because it’s either tires or bank payment for the next 84 months.

  • avatar
    fazalmajid

    Perhaps they were thinking of Somali “Technicals” (pickup trucks with tripod-mounted machine guns mounted on the bed).

    The pickup truck is quintessentially American, what with our relatively warm climes. In Europe’s cities vans are usually preferred because of the protection from rain they afford.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Pickup sales have been increasing in Europe at about 19% annually since ’17.

      It was just a matter of time, midsize (to us) of course, but yeah they’re still a niche.

      Except the versatility, style and options/luxury vs panel vans is unmistakable.

      That plus the aftermarket for pickups is hot, not just wheels/tires/offroad/etc, but camper shells, tonneau covers, racks, that mostly rival the security and weather protection of vans.

      If it’s outdoor jobs, when it snows/rains, tradies are likely taking the day off anyway. And enclosed trailers let you leave the work stuff behind, vs parking the van to jump in your personal car.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Do you really want the pedestrian/kid going through your windshield? Crushing your roofline?? Landing on your lap???

    Believe me, you want to confine the mess to the grill area. Same as bugs. Or deer.

    Our Aussie friends prefer to equip their trucks with pedestrian bars, so a quick rinse is all it takes. But realistically, it’s the car, truck, semi, train, cargo ship, whatever, that you don’t see that’s the problem.

    The bigger the vehicle, the more respect (attention) it should get. Certain laws apply here, and I don’t see what the problem is.

    A Civic, compact, etc, can leave you just as dead though.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      @DenverMike,

      “Believe me, you want to confine the mess to the grill area.”

      Gotta disagree with you there. I’ve never cleaned a human body out of a radiator, but I did clean a bird out of an air-to-air intercooler. And, I don’t ever want to again.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    There was actually a WSJ article recently published, authored by Dan Neil discussing this very phenomenon. I wont apologize for my dislike of trucks. They have ruined the automotive landscape and blighted our parking lots, highways and byways.

    I fully understand that trucks serve a purpose, but the fact that they are now typical commuter vehicles is something I just cannot stomach. I hear people on this site state time and again that trucks haven’t gotten larger. Just google a picture of a F150 from 1990 and tell me they aren’t bigger. That doesn’t even consider the rising popularity of HD pickups, the pinnacle of personal transportation absurdity. The chicken tax, CAFE, cheap gas prices and marketing have conspired to create the perfect storm which has resulted in farm equipment littering our country’s roadways and parking lots.

    There is no rational in which pickup trucks should be held to different fuel economy standards than typical passenger cars. There just isn’t. State vehicle registrations should heavily penalize vehicles that exceed a certain weight as we all know weight is the primary agent in destroying our infrastructure. Indeed, gasoline should be taxed at a much higher rate than it currently is to pay for infrastructure and push more environmentally conscious consumption. This may be the only country in the world where it is cool to destroy the environment. Where a$$hats with brodozers assault bicyclists and pedestrians with toxic fumes and chemicals from their modified emissions systems as a passtime for laughs and likes on social media. Where truck owners block charging ports for electric vehicles because pollution is their god given right.

    You can deny it all you want, but trucks are built to appeal to sociopathic tendencies of their owners. Why for instance do the lights need to be at the height of the grill? Wouldn’t it make sense to put them at a more passerby friendly height? Why are the grills, badging, proportions growing ever more menacing? Its because the truck makers are marketing primarily to men. Men who feel emasculated either by a increasingly sensitive and inclusive society or by their own shortcomings (read into that what you want). That is why trucks are appealing to the worst aspects of human nature. Who here hasn’t had a full sized truck tailgating their smaller car a foot off the bumper to move you out of the way? Who here doesn’t regularly see the most aggressive drivers piloting pickup trucks using their mass and scale to intimidate other drivers on the road? Who here hasn’t been boxed into a parking spot or seen multiple parking spots taken up by trucks?

    You don’t have to be a sociopath to want to drive a pickup truck, but trucks are the preferred instrument of sociopaths across this country. I don’t need science or polling to know that, neither do you. You just need to drive out into the world often enough to witness it yourself. If you think the automakers aren’t designing pickups that are intended to intimidate others and run that Prius off the road, you are kidding yourself. They will become ever larger, more aggressive and more dangerous to everyone else on the road. Because little guys need to feel big once in a while. It is as simple as that. I know that doesn’t encompass all or even most pickup drivers, but you all know its happening.

    Why the rationalization? Why the gaslighting? Just say it: I drive a truck because I am a jerk and don’t care for others. There that was easy. Automakers, stop beating around the bush. Just say it! Market trucks as a substitute for actual manliness. As a phallus extender for those not blessed in that department by god. You can now feel big at least when you are behind the wheel. Market your trucks as being what they are….an instrument for the innefectual and emasculated to impose their will on the road and intimidate others…just be sure to buy the biggest one, after all, you don’t want to be in a situation where you feel little again.

    The automakers are laughing all the way to the bank. Ridicule my position all you want, you know that these statements apply to a large portion of the truck buying population whether you admit it or not. I am not alone. I know there are a lot of people who feel this way but they just haven’t said it to your face.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Just google a picture of a F150 from 1990 and tell me they aren’t bigger.”
      They aren’t. The difference is bodystyle. In 1990 a truck was likely a regular cab, in 2020 it is likely a crew cab. Google “1990 Ford crew cab” and check out that “smaller” monstrosity.

      “The chicken tax, CAFE, cheap gas prices and marketing have conspired to create the perfect storm”
      Correct.

      “There is no rational in which pickup trucks should be held to different fuel economy standards than typical passenger cars. There just isn’t.”
      I agree.

      “State vehicle registrations should heavily penalize vehicles that exceed a certain weight as we all know weight is the primary agent in destroying our infrastructure.”
      We can do this, but that “certain weight” would be a lot higher than you’d expect.

      “You can deny it all you want, but trucks are built to appeal to sociopathic tendencies of their owners.”
      I do deny it. You’re just spouting bulls*t.

      “…trucks are the preferred instrument of sociopaths across this country. I don’t need science or polling to know that, neither do you.”
      Good Lord, what a terrible statement.

      “Just say it: I drive a truck because I am a jerk and don’t care for others.”
      I personally don’t like trucks and don’t drive them, but in the end I’d much rather live in a world of pickup buyers than in a world of projecting, haughty, pedestal-living Accord drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      GAMPER

      I agree. Proof?
      Why is the average F250 driver smaller than the average F150 driver.
      Do your own survey !

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        If you’re paying that close of attention to the height (at least I assume that’s the “smaller” context you’re going for here) of other motorists then then the big problem in that situation isn’t with the truck drivers.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        The LARGEST drivers I see tend to be in old Geo Metros. It’s strictly observational and not actual science, but I guess that sort of proves your theory? Sort of.

        I don’t know, I’m 6’2. My wife is 6. We had 2 trucks til just recently. I guess that makes me twice as sociopathic yet somehow taller than I should be?

        The more menacing front end part though is pretty easy. Go pull the grille off a 2000 hd vs a 2020 hd. The old one will have 3 or 4 radiator/heat exchange elements. The newer ones have 5-7 and they go top to bottom and stacked on top of each other. Pretty much seems like the height of the grille is to accomodate all the cooling.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      You should post this on the twitter.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Karen, try decaf.

        Welcome to America. Bigger homes, wide open places where you can enjoy/live.

        A tiny condo/apartment/studio just doesn’t feel right, too confining, (if given a choice), even to a single petite girl plus cat.

        Do you judge all Mustang owners by a few butt wholes? Do you generalize for fun (and profit)?

        Are you racist too?

        There’s a fine line.

        I never tailgate, but it is amusing to have dude in a small car maddogging you, inches from your bumper. I gotta wonder how long they were back there before I noticed.

        Fullsize half tons just feel like the right size. But if I could also afford a CUV runabout, believe me I would be in that most of the time.

        CUVs have their limitations, and there’s not to many vehicles that can do it all, even if you’re not there (or ignore) to witness when fullsize trucks are actually doing what nothing smaller can.

        By far the biggest difference is most Americans are consolidating their family’s fleet of cars to a single vehicle (or two). The one that can accomplish the most things, including the bread earning occupation.

        Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy.

        If unnecessary bling as added, snowflake over that.

        But pickups do pay more at the DMV. Every year. Yes by weight. They’re all classified “commercial”, until you can prove otherwise, and file for an exemption.

        All “trucks”, minivans, midsize pickups, SUVs, etc have been CAFE exempt since 1991. Check the before/after, size-wise.

        What’s a b!tch is backing out of a space next to an SUV/CUV (they all sport blacked out windows), you have to creep back slowly until you’re almost out.

        The Chicken Tax has given mini/mid size trucks every chance/loophole to excel. The Mini Truck Craze wasn’t hampered by it.

        And still midsize pickups embarrass the Titan and Tundra. They should have phenomenal success, at least in theory.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You think truck drivers are the only ones out there who drive like jerks and buy rolling codpieces? Okay…

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “Just google a picture of a F150 from 1990 and tell me they aren’t bigger.”

      A few inches isn’t that much of a difference.

      I had a 1990 F250. It came with 8.50/16’s. My 2010 came stock with 265/70/18’s. That is a 2 inch difference in width and a corresponding height difference. The cabs are taller to make room for better roll-over protection. They are a bit wider due to making room for better side collision protection and better sound deadening. Also to make room for all those airbags.

      My son has a ’98 Jelly bean extended cab. Mine is just more boxy. Bumper height is almost identical.

      I do agree that CAFE rules etc. have favoured larger vehicles. Lobby your politicians for change.

      “You can deny it all you want, but trucks are built to appeal to sociopathic tendencies of their owners.”
      “…trucks are the preferred instrument of sociopaths across this country. I don’t need science or polling to know that, neither do you.”
      “Just say it: I drive a truck because I am a jerk and don’t care for others.”

      This covers your last 3 comments:
      To quote Seth Williams:
      “A strange phenomenon (one of many) cropped up in recent years among the more ardent of very-online quasi-activists, one where people seem to think that jumping to the most hyperbolic potential outcome of their “enemy’s” actions somehow lends weight to their argument — to their opposition to something, anything.”

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        “A few inches isn’t that much of a difference.”

        • Elon Musk is 6’2″.
        • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is 6’5″.

        The three inch difference in height does not come close to representing the overall difference in scale.

        To do a ‘true’ size comparison of current pickups vs. pickups from the past, calculate the size of the ‘box’ [cuboid] which the vehicle occupies in space (LxWxH), and compare the resulting figures on a percentage basis. Use the width including mirrors if you can – good luck finding that data. [And the valid comparison, from the perspective of ‘everyone else on the road’ is current popular configuration to old popular configuration.]

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          “Calculate the size of the ‘box’ [cuboid] which the vehicle occupies in space (LxWxH), and compare the resulting figures on a percentage basis. Use the width including mirrors if you can – good luck finding that data.”

          The data is a 5 second search away and conclusively disproves your argument. Yet somehow it’s “totally obvious to everyone” that newer trucks are much bigger. Those who make this claim always seem to disappear when numbers come out, I wonder why that is…

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            Awhile back I compared a 2020 Sierra 2WD Regular Cab Long Box to a 1995 GMC Sierra 1/2 ton 2WD Regular Cab Long Box using this methodology (not counting mirrors) – the newer truck is 22.5% larger.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            If you use that methodology then yeah trucks today are much bigger, on average than they were back in the day. Not because the footprint has changed dramatically but because the height of the average truck has increased in part due to a shift it what is the most common configurations.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @ToolGuy – odd metaphor.

          A few extra inches matters if you are a porn star but not so much with a pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        Godwin’s law
        [Godwin’s law]
        NOUN
        humorous
        the theory that as an online discussion progresses, it becomes inevitable that someone or something will eventually be compared to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis, regardless of the original topic.

        should be there soon.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      I agree all these monster pickups used to commute (with only the driver) are ridiculous and often annoying. You can see the mentality in the fact that people used to refer to them as “pickup trucks,” but now they are referred to as “mah truck.”

      One of the biggest safety advances in pickups is anti-lock brakes. Before ABS stopping an unloaded pickup could invoke major pucker factor as the a$$ end slid all over the place.

      But, “increasingly sensitive and inclusive society,” as if. It’s exactly the opposite. There has been a big push lately to increase bigotry while labeling it “inclusion.” And, “increasingly sensitive,” er, uh, try increasingly nasty and insensitive (while screaming “insensitive” at anybody they can find to victimize for whatever nano-agression, imagined or otherwise).

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Most sedans have a solo commuter too. But it’s a snapshot in time. Mine has been with me for years when I actually needed a truck, to the office worker gig. Cheap, reliable, already owned, but 15 mpg.

        When I was commuting to the houses I was flipping, once I got near the unit, I’d hit The Home Depot for everything I’d need for the day. And you still might not see the stuff (poking out), even with the truck overloaded.

        I know guys and women that do simply have fullsize pickups just the long daily commute, and would rather take the pay cut than live in a choppy ride, penalty box for around 3 or 4 hours a day. Life’s too short.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Sometimes you have to exaggerate the problem to make people see the real problem. While I haven’t read the article linked, I’ve been saying for a long, long time that full-sized pickup trucks have grown too large and honestly, that size is no longer necessary to avoid fuel mileage and pollution control laws.

    Yes, those big pickup trucks ARE dangerous. In any car vs truck collision, it almost always results in serious injury or even fatality for the smaller, “weaker”, car. But worse, in almost every single-vehicle crash involving a big pickup, it still turns out giving serious to fatal injuries–to its own passengers. Just a few years back I recall a crash in northern Georgia where a pickup carrying five people went out of control while trying to pass a car and ended up rolling over a man mowing his lawn, killing him and four of the five people in the truck. More recently, there have been numerous single-vehicle crashes in a town close to where I live where if it was a pickup truck, it almost invariably rolled AND in a large number of those crashes, the driver or at least one passenger died. That high center of gravity cannot be overridden by simply reducing power to the wheels during the event–it’s already too late when those nannies kick in.

    The only way to prevent such rollovers is to lower the center of gravity and that means lowering the roofline and the suspension; you don’t need a bloomin’ foot of ground clearance for everyday driving! Even eight inches of ground clearance is higher than necessary except when you’re actively driving off-road. With modern suspensions, it is by no means impossible to have a dynamic suspension capable of providing lift when needed rather than standing tall full time. So much of this is the fault of users but truck design as a whole has simply grown too large and too tall for safety any more, not even considering how the size goes directly counter to the intent of improving fuel mileage and reducing pollutants.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      OK, larger truck vs smaller car collision: I agree – the small car will fair worse. However it is yet more hyperbole to say that it almost always results in serious injury or even fatality for the smaller “weaker” car. In fact, the vast majority of collisions now do not result in serious injury period.

      “in almost every single-vehicle crash involving a big pickup, it still turns out giving serious to fatal injuries to it’s own passengers” – source? A couple newspaper articles? My experience is that trucks are actually prone to having a lot of single vehicle accidents (which backs up the dangerous aspect), however most of these accidents are not serious. And often result in no serious injury. Yes rollovers are dangerous, not every truck accident results in a rollover and recalling a crash from 5 years ago doesn’t make it common.

      It would be interesting to know about all the frequent rolling that occurs in your neighboring towns and the vehicles in question. It makes me wonder the particulars on why that town and it’s occupants are so abnormally dangerous to themselves. The safety systems are pretty effective as long as you stay on the road in the first place. The rollovers tend to occur when you drift off the road first. And lets not forget that most serious single vehicle accidents are complicated by factors like speed, sleep, medications, alchohol, etc. Not saying it never happens, but awake, alert, sober, driving an appropriate speed for conditions people are a very small portion of all serious single vehicle accidents.

      My anecdotes are based on 20 years in insurance, and I would rather be in a MODERN truck than a car in an accident.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The fact that so many people seem to believe trucks have become significantly larger in the last few decades is a testament to automakers’ success in styling them to appear that way.

    I encourage anyone who actually believes this to consult with real specs and find the truth.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I’ve posted real dimensions over and over again. You can throw out all of the facts you want, it’s just pi$$ing in the wind. The vehicle that has grown the largest based on the form factor from 20-30 years ago is the minivan. Full sized pickups, body style to body style are barely larger. I think a couple of things contribute to this myth. 1. There are more trucks and 2. The truck you encounter is way more likely to be a crew cab (even though most crew cabs are the same length as an extended cab…half ton “long” beds are way more rare than the short bed version).

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Art Vandelay – I’ve posted specs on occasion and so have others. People wonder why politics have gone off the rails when they seem to run off the rails on anything they disagree with or dislike.

        A lot of this is directly because of mass social media. Prior to social media someone would have to look you in the eye to badmouth what ever they did not like about you. That would temper their response, if not, they would face the possibility of a fist in the mouth.
        I read that in Canada 19% of people get their information about COVID-19 only from social media. The problem obviously is that most of it is wrong. I bet that it applies to almost everything. Facebook algorithms are designed to link up “like minded” people. That works great for hobbyists and amplifying disinformation.

      • 0 avatar
        Snooder

        Part of the issue that people are pointing out is that it’s not just a body style to body style comparison.

        Small and midsized trucks used to exist, they’re gone. Wheels have gotten bigger, with a corresponding increase in height. Crewcabs are more prevalent. Duallies are fucking everywhere.

        https://www.insidehook.com/article/vehicles/why-pickup-trucks-keep-getting-bigger

        https://blog.consumerguide.com/pickups-steroids-1990-silverado-versus-2015-colorado/

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      While I do agree that some of it due to styling them to look big. However fact is the average truck you see on the streets is much larger than what you saw in say 1990.

      The average truck you would see on the streets would be a 2wd 1/2 ton regular or extended cab. Crew cabs were not common and only available on 3/4 and 1 ton trucks.

      Because the 2wd truck was the most popular that is what they were designed to be. Then they figured out how to strap a driven front axle under it for the minority that wanted 4wd. That meant jacking up the truck to have room for that drive system.

      Then somewhere along the line 4wd became more popular than 2wd and the mfgs design the truck to be 4wd from the start and then pull out diff and axle shafts to make it 2wd. The mfgs also decided that they shouldn’t leave the big tires for the aftermarket either. in 1990 your basic 1/2 ton pickup would come with 235/75-15 tires @ 29″ tall, the big tire option for the 4wd got you 31″ tires. Now 33″ tires are available from the factory on 1/2 tons and 35″ on 3/4 tons.

      Sure there were always those out there that would lift their trucks so they could install 33’s on their 1/2 ton or 35’s on their 3/4 ton 4x4s, but that was a rarity compared to the 2wd 1/2 tons that were the most common truck.

      So the height of the average truck you see on the road has gone up dramatically because the average truck configuration has changed significantly, even if the footprint of like body configurations hasn’t changed that much. The height is what makes a lot of people intimidated.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Scoutdude – your point is one of the most valid made so far. Trucks we see *are* bigger because crewcabs are now the most common configuration along with 4×4.’s. You also point out tire sizes are now larger.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        But a modern half ton crew cab shares the same footprint as an extended cab truck…they lengthen the cab and in most cases shorten the bed (Ford’s have a 5ish and 6ish foot box available…the smaller one is by far the most common. My father has an extended cab F150. It rides on the same wheelbase and has the same overall length as my crew cab.

        A 90’s crew cab would likely be a 3/4 ton with a full 8 foot bed. And with respect to capability you have to get a 460 or something akin to that to do the work of a modern commonly configured truck. You get more safety, better fuel economy, more capability, more comfort, etc. The added safety equipment with respect to side impact protection likely accounts for the width. But hating on modern trucks is cool here so folks do it.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          But as I said earlier it isn’t all about the footprint. Yeah the 5.5′ crew is about the same length as a 6.5′ extended cab but that larger cab is larger and thus the vehicle seems larger even with the same footprint.

          Yes the 90’s Crew Cab would have been a 3/4 or 1 ton since usually paired with an 8′ bed. The first 1/2 ton crew cab since IH discontinued theirs decades ago was the 2001 F-150 SuperCrew.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I live in the rural midwest where about half the vehicles are pickup trucks. People here use their trucks for their intended purpose of hauling/trailering/hunting etc. I have no problem with them, they are part of life in this area. If you don’t have use for one don’t buy one

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “If you don’t have use for one don’t buy one…”

      Would you tell a prospective Corvette owner that unless he lives at the track, he should buy a Corolla instead?

      It works both ways, you know.

      As long as the owners of these monster-wannabe trucks are behaving themselves, whatever. And some don’t. But isn’t that the same standard of behavior you’d expect of any driver?

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        You missed my point, a Corvette driver wants to drive a fast sporty car, that’s his need. A pickup driver wants to think that he’s prepared for any situation that might require a truck, that’s his need

        Drive what you need/want. If you don’t want one don’t buy one

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          A lot of it with Corvettes seems to be about image. Some Corvette drivers do want a fast car and do drive fast, but a lot of Corvette owners seem to treat there baby as if it would disintegrate if it got a drop of rain or (horrors!) bird poop on it, spend more time polishing than driveing, and, whatever you do, don’t push the go pedal past 15%. (Stereotypes, I know…)

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      @Lie2me,

      “A Corvette makes the owner feel good about himself and that is a real need”

      Absolutely.

      How come sometimes you make sense and then other times you’re way out in left field?

  • avatar
    lstanley

    I love anecdotes because they prove nothing, but the only guy at the c-store this morning not wearing a mask was driving a lifted, blacked-out brand new Chevy HD.

    /sips coffee

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Generalizing is an essential part of our DNA, and one of the hardest to unlearn. You take the worst examples and work backwards.

      Those kind souls that assumed the mountain lion, bear, tiger, etc, was a cuddly critter first, and possible dangerous killer 2nd, likely didn’t reproduce as often.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    This is kinda weird. But since we’re all about anecdotes, let me add mine. I bought a GMC half ton, crew cab pickup in 2015 (in the photo) to pull my newly acquired 28′ Airstream travel trailer with a GVWR of about 7,600 lbs. A number of SUVs are fully capable of pulling that weight, but the problem is that the Airstream’s “tongue weight” (the weight carried on the tow vehicle at the hitch) is just under 1,000 lbs. which doesn’t leave much room for people or stuff with. vehicle having a maximum cargo capacity of, say 1200 lbs. This was all part of my and my wife’s retirement plan in 2015, whereby we sold our 3-storey 100-year old Victorian house in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of DC, got rid of a bunch of furniture and spent 8 months “fulltiming” in the American west, mostly staying in National and State parks. So, there was a 5-month period during which I owned this truck and still lived in my house in DC. Having had experience 50 years earlier driving trucks of various sizes on summer jobs, the “muscle memory” hadn’t fully gone away. Driving the truck in the city was doable, but not something I’d volunteer for. During that time and thereafter right up to the present (I have a small apartment across the river from Georgetown), in the greater metro DC area, including the famed Capital Beltway, I rarely saw any pickup that wasn’t obviously a work truck; and I never saw and HD truck that wasn’t a work truck. Now that I live on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, which is a rural/small town area, I see lots of non-work truck pickups and HD pickups. Lotsa people here also have travel trailers of various sizes in their yards, including big “5th wheels” that must be pulled by an HD pickup.

    So, B&B, what we have here is yet another example of urban condescension directed at rural and small-town rubes for their vehicle preferences, masquerading as “concern” (it’s always “concern” from these folks) for the poor defenseless pedestrians and bicyclists. Show me a photographs of a bunch of “King Ranch,” “High Country” and similar pickups driving around the streets of Washington, or any other major US city, and I’ll withdraw my opinion.

    Now, if you want to talk about big SUVs, like Suburbans, that’s another story. I agree that many of them are kind of ridiculous. But in 12 years, I have yet to pry my wife’s Honda Pilot from her not yet cold, dead hands . . . and, at this point, we are a family of 2, not 5 as we once were.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      Come down to Texas sometime.

      You’ll see plenty of King Ranch trucks tooling around the middle of the city.

      Personally I don’t care what people drive. Wanna drive an F250 even though you live in an apartment in Frisco and work for a software company? Whatever, you do you.

      But its definitely a thing around the parts of the country where I live for folks to drive giant trucks. And its occasionally mildly irritating. I’m still pissed about the college kid who ripped the back quarter panel off my Cadillac with his lifted Ram duallie backing out of a fairly large parking space.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I did see full size privately owned trucks in downtown Seattle, but no where near as frequently as I see them outside of the city. It is because it is a bitch to drive them and park them in the city. I know from first hand experience as I occasionally have to drive my truck which is a crew cab 8′ bed F-250 4wd down there. I only do it when I am carrying something that needs the pickup’s size. Otherwise I drive my Hybrid that parks itself in the tight street parking, gets around most traffic circles in a single move w/o driving over the curb or island, and fits in the under legal width lanes with a bit of room to spare.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Very few personal vehicles are sold according to the purchaser’s needs. They are bought primarily according to their wants. Their perceptions. Their aspirations. And their emotions.

    Check out the advertising. Or most car reviews. Do they reference needs? How many talk about cornering G force, or 0 to 60 times in comparison to back seat room or east of exit/egress? Or blind spots?

    James May is correct, if we only purchased vehicles based on needs, there would only need to be 6 vehicles globally for personal and most commercial use.

    A 4 door Golf for single people, retirees, couples and urban commuters.

    A Golf Alltrack (wagon) for larger families and those who go camping, etc.

    A Toyota Sienna (a smaller mini-van for the rest of the world) for really large families. Also for couriers, most contractors/self-employed.

    An F-150 (a Toyota Hilux for the rest of the world) for farmers, construction workers who need more than the Sienna, those who tow large weights and prospective war lords.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    An extended cab short bed 4×4 using the same years and criteria is only 14% larger. This again is for a design released in 1988.

    Regardless of the precise number, it hardly justifies the frothing rage from commenters acting as if every truck on the road is lifted 12″ on 40s and rolling coal at every stoplight.

    Anyone can be a jacka$$ in any type of vehicle.

    ***Edit*** Not sure how this ended up down here, but this is a reply to Toolguy and the LxWxH comment.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      @jack4x,

      A very quick (possibly incorrect) cuboid comparison of the *smallest* 2021 F-150 against a 1978 F-100 (there was no F-150) says it grew by 27.6%.

      You can get larger configurations (cab, bed) now than ever before. And the mix of heavier-duty, 4WD and larger configurations has changed significantly.

      I am not hating on modern trucks or analyzing personalities (I know some people are). But when Dan Neil almost gets run over in the Costco parking lot and writes that current trucks are larger than they used to be [with higher hoods and reduced sightlines as he stresses], or when the average person observes that “the average truck on the road in 2020 is a larger vehicle than the average truck on the road was XX years ago” the answer is not “oh you’re imagining things.” Apples-to-apples (comparable body configuration) they are larger, and as-sold (popular weight class and body configurations) they are significantly larger. [Weight has grown as well.]

      For me (personal opinion), current pickup *beds* are significantly less useful than pickup beds of the past, and the bed is the main draw (for me).

  • avatar
    NoID

    To be fair, I was camping recently and witnessed a 2019 Ford F350 XLT parked beside a 1990s F350 XLT and the size difference was stark. I couldn’t help but think how much I’d love a truck with 1990s proportions but modern towing/payload capability.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I don’t know the exact dimension differences, but this thing is still a long way from “not big”.

      i.ytimg.com/vi/egPOYdIvaqs/maxresdefault.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        Snooder

        That’s just it. Even though the 1990 F350 is already large,the 2019 is still even bigger.

        The 1990 is 74 inches tall, and the 2019 is 79 to 81 depending on options, which I assume means wheel size.

        Half a foot is a fairly decent difference. It’s literally the difference between someone who is 6’2″ and someone who is 6’9″. Or to put it another way, the difference between a typical hollywood actor like Ryan Reynolds and an NBA center like Magic Johnson.

        There’s no way you can honestly claim that Ryan Reynolds is not significantly smaller than Magic fucking Johnson.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Yeah big deal. Have you witnessed a Fox Mustang next to a new one. Jeeze that’s more jaw dropping. The same goes for most “XXX ancient vs new” comparos.

      1984 Accord vs new, 1984 Caravan vs new, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc…

      And why are we going back that far anyway? 30, 40 years plus.

      Mama Drama aside, what’s happened in the last few years? Yes fullsize pickups have gotten a couple inches smaller/lower in a couple areas.

      But that doesn’t bring out the Karens vs pickups.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      But how could this be? Several here have insisted that trucks are the same size as they always have been ….they are sure of it in fact. So strange that you could visually make such an observation.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s true, not “always”, just the last 25 years or so (they’ve stayed the same). I guess we had real things to worry about, circa 1997, Y2K, ’00s, etc.

        Or melting snowflakes didn’t have a tremendous social media platform?

        And yet most cars/minivans/suvs/mini trucks, etc were much, much, smaller than they are now. Except it’s OK for everything else to grow.

        “…Oh no, it was totally necessary for all those others to grow…”

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Dad like to wrench and sell those fixed up cars on the side. It was a sad, sad day when my 67 Mustang convertible was sold. Dad smiled and said I’ve got a LeMans in mind that’ll take a 389. Drive my truck until we build you another car. 69 F-150, 351 engine, 4 speed, glass packs; a true stealth machine. Cold beer and interested women came into play. I think, a totally unscientific hypothesis, that those who didn’t enjoy and have success with trucks didn’t enjoy or have success with cold beer or interested women either. No disrespect intended to those who don’t like beer or lead alternative lifestyles.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Obviously this person has never heard of the Ford Mustang and Cars and Coffee.

    https://i.imgur.com/FIN2Php.jpg

  • avatar
    Snooder

    I think it’s relevant to point out that the difference between 73 inches and 79.8 inches is the difference between someone who is 6’1″ and someone who is 6’8″.

    Or to put it another way, the difference between a slightly taller than average dude and an NBA center. You can’t say that’s not a noticeable difference.

    And its worse because generally as has been bemoaned around these parts, greenhouses havent gotten bigger. So a decent amount of the height increase is below the window line.

    Let’s estimate about 54″ as the height on a typical truck.
    https://www.gm-trucks.com/forums/topic/232541-tailgate-and-hood-height/?do=findComment&comment=2348929
    If the window height was relatively the same then the hood height of the truck in 1990 would have been 7 inches lower. Or 47″.

    Looking at this chart of the average height of a child the difference between 54″ and 47″ is roughly the differencenter between the average 6 year old and the average 10 year old.
    https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/g/normal-growth

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Why don’t we start bitching about everything else that has grown in size?

    A 1970 Honda Civic had a 86.6 inch wheel base, 139.8 long and weighted 1,500 lb.

    A 2020 Civic 106 in wheelbase, is 177 inches long, and weighs 2763 lbs.

    The 2020 Civic has doubled in size. Isn’t that a 200% increase?

    Where is the outrage, the pages and pages of complaining that it is too big?

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