Choose the Best Pickup Truck for Your Needs

Your next truck is an important investment. Check out our expert advice on how to choose the best pickup truck for you.

  • The country pickup is the workhorse of the farm.
    Photo by Bruce W. Smith
  • Gritty ops to go old-school when it comes to his pickups.
    Photo by Brad Anderson Illustration
  • Heavy-duty half-ton options provide a comfortable ride with ample utility capability.
    Photo by Bruce W. Smith
  • A pickup makes it a little easier to haul gear for the outdoors.
    Photo by Bruce W. Smith
  • Pickups are extremely handy when hauling bulk loose material for home and garden.
    Photo by Bruce W. Smith
  • Properly equipped mid-size pickups are well-suited for towing lighter loads.
    Photo by Bruce W. Smith

Owning a pickup in the rural area where I grew up in southwestern Oregon was like having a wheelbarrow in the toolshed: Every family had one. My dad’s was a two-door, long-bed that served our family well for some 25 years.

On the weekends, Dad’s old truck dutifully hauled everything from manure to firewood to livestock on our 8-acre plot of land, while being his daily driver for the 20-mile round-trip to the mill. Several times a year he would clean it up real nice, slide a camper into its 8-foot bed, and hitch a boat to the bumper so we could pile into the cramped cab for a week-long family vacation.

I’ve carried on the family’s pickup-owning tradition. Regardless of where I’ve lived, there’s always been one parked in the driveway, ready to tow a trailer or haul something that is too heavy or doesn’t fit into the car or SUV. A pickup is an invaluable tool for anyone who lives in the country.

So when a friend told me his family of four was moving from town to a little place out in the country with a couple acres of land, and he was going to “break out of the box” by trading in one of the family cars for a pickup, I completely understood his reasoning for both the move and the change in vehicles.

He asked a lot of questions about making the transition from car to pickup, and how to choose the right one for their new needs. And rightly so. Next to buying property, a vehicle purchase is the second biggest investment a lot of people make in their lives.

Big on comfort

One of the big concerns about pickups is how the comfort level stacks up against that of cars, vans, and crossover SUVs. Rest assured, today’s pickups ride smoother and quieter than most cars and can be as richly appointed on the interior as any other vehicle, with creature comforts and features to match. It all depends on what trim level you want and how much you are willing to spend on the bobbles, bells, and whistles.

1/19/2018 1:31:36 PM

I'm on disability, $1040 a month, have a 6000 square foot garden, cant drive due to dementia, double vision, etc. what truck do I need?

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